Last year, I did an article titled, ‘Combating the Poverty Crisis in Black America’, where I used many of the same Census Data that was cited in the article Mother Jones article on the Income Disparity in America. After reading that article I decided to crunch those numbers even further and create similar charts for African Americans.
Below is a chart, using the same data, to show how the income disparity looks just among African Americans.
The fact that the average income for 90% of African American is just slightly above the poverty line is simply appalling.
This income disparity among African Americans should be a wake up call. While, the rest of America has toned down and become more realistic about their reduced incomes, many of us seem to continue to be lost in the illusion of being rich. We are not. Based on this data, many of us are living lies. The Average African can not truly afford the lifestyles that we lead.
Let me give you an example. The average luxury car costs around $65,000. If you were to buy or lease, the cost with insurance, depending on credit would be around $1,000 per month. Rule of thumb, is that the price of your car should be roughly 25% of your income. In other words, you should at least $48,000 per year to drive a $65,000 car. According to the Census data, 60% of us can not afford it. Still how many of such cars do we see in our communities?
When you add the impact that mass unemployment, foreclosure and the overexposure to payday loans has had on our total net worth in recent years, you can see how the average income for 90% of us may fall even further.
Many African Americans, believe that having it, means that you can afford it. But, as we see from the data above, this is not true for many of us. Instead of that mentality, we need to develop one that says ‘not having doesn’t mean that you can’t afford it.’ We need to save and live more within our means. What we save could save us.