Black Community Reaction to Stimulus Package

I am going to discuss this topic on my upcoming show but I wanted to get a sense of what you guys had to say. Let me set it up. I've been listening to WVON and hearing complaints about how the stimulus package does not address the specific needs of the black community. There is rumbling that putting so much money towards infrastructure does not create jobs for black people because we are not in that industry in great numbers. A lot of black people are in the service industry and that is where Barak Obama should have targeted stimulus in order to help our community.

I also want to tie this discussion in with a previous discussion about spending money in the black community. The theory of having money circulate in our community to create economic development is nothing new and there is ample evidence that the "multiplier effect" is sound economic policy.

But the question I have is are we thinking too small when it comes to economic development? While it would be nice to do all of my shopping with African Americans, it is also true that globalization means that a lot of businesses have to compete in a highly competitive arena. So rather than holler about what money is not coming in, we should look at where the economic activity is taking place and look to get a part of the pie.

For instance, Youngstown Ohio created an incubator project for high tech companies after losing its manufacturing base. The incubator has created several profitable companies with more growing because of the collaborative nature of the system.

Then there is the pastor, Van Jones, in Oakland, CA who received grants to train low-income people on green-construction jobs and organic foods. (Read More)

Both are innovative approaches to creating jobs and economic development and they are in areas where this administration is making its biggest investment. So while I hear complaints about what we are not getting, I'm not seeing any innovating thinking as to what we ought to be doing.

The Urban League has a few good programs but what of the small black owned businesses in Chicago taking charge. Do we have incubator projects initiated by the private sector? Is the city of Chicago or black tech businesses in particular thinking of the next generation of products that will come from nanotechnology?

Again, I ask all of this because I believe our politicians think incrementally when the times call for bold initiatives. I will read you comments on the show and I look forward to a robust discussion.


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