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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A dream deferred

A Dream Deferred

by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

When the government lowers taxes, they strategically do so for corporations. In turn, those businesses are expected to hire workers. On the contrary, companies tend to proceed cautiously by freezing hiring. Thus, we have 14 percent black unemployment and 12 percent Hispanic unemployment. This is a significant proportion of our society that is not able to improve their financial circumstances or increase their career opportunities. Subsequently, high unemployment causes the economic gap to widen between whites and minorities (not including Asian Americans). According to the Economic Policy Institute, the “top 1 percent” of wealthy Americans are 288 times richer than the rest of the country. How’s that possible? The average median household income is $57,000 versus over $16 million for the “top 1 percent.” For a country self-labeled as the “land of opportunity,” the “American Dream” appears deferred for many Americans. 

Interestingly, the current presidential election unveils the question of economic uncertainty. How much of an impact does the president of the United States or federal government have over unemployment and the creation of jobs?

They can’t do much unless they create new ways of changing the status quo. Until then, businesses possess the true power. There are many big businesses in America that spend millions of dollars in lobbying to keep the status quo. Therefore, they can condition the living situation of current employees, prospective employees, and society. Wealth can’t be built without generating significant income. The impoverished can’t escape poverty without a well-paying job. You can’t reach upward mobility without a progressive career trajectory. 

So what can we do to get back power as workers, thinkers, and professionals? The best way to undermine power is to force the holder of power to devote resources to impact the lives of others.

Therefore, the government and president must create ways to force companies to hire. They could legalize hiring quotas, demand quarterly hiring reports or raise business taxes on those businesses who freeze hiring. That appears to be complex and pragmatic. What’s a better solution? What can we do? 

If you can’t be them, then join them. To those millions of American without jobs, we can alter the status quo by creating our own businesses. For every one small business opened, that can lead to lower unemployment. I believe (as I write about in my book My Flexibility Manifesto) our country’s axiom is wrong. American businesses are created to earn profits. Japanese businesses are created to create jobs. Our country values dollars over lives. Politics are important but creating a small business or supporting a small business is more important to change. America is not equal. We can help change that- one small business at a time. 

Welcome to Black Excellence: From poverty to prosperity coming soon

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