By Thomas Sheffield
This September marks the 10 year mark (I refuse to call it anniversary), of our last great economic meltdown. The economy has been growing consistently for the past 10 years since the end of the “Great Recession”. The country has added jobs and home prices continue to rise. The unemployment rate is below 4 percent. The GDP has grown consistently in the past 10 years. However, a large part of America’s citizens are being left behind by our booming economy.
Studies show economic prosperity is concentrated in certain communities while economic stability in other communities is rapidly going down hill. President Trump is consistently insisting he and his administration are responsible for our prosperity. As if to say all American’s are able to take advantage of great economic opportunities. I beg to differ. A large portion of the country, mainly living in the area that is called his base, is being left behind by today’s economy. The Economic Innovation Group released an account showing a county by county report with key findings. These findings include, new jobs are clustered in the economy’s best off places and most distressed communities have seen zero net gains in employment. Contrary to what you may believe, it is not a political party problem. Just as many distressed communities are in red states as in blue states.
Dr. King fought for the right for everyone to live in a safe, clean environment. The poor low-income citizens have often lived on what King called “islands of poverty”. The poor live in the inner cities near industrial zones or around brown field zones. Low-income people are forced to live in the most polluted parts of our cities. If he were alive today, Dr. King would have empathized with the plight of those struggling to deal with drought, wildfires and floods brought about because of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere caused by the abuse of our natural resources. He would have brought these issues directly to the consciousness of America.
Martin Luther King’s last speech was given in Memphis and he spoke economic empowerment. He warned us that if something isn’t done, we will all suffer. “if something isn’t done, done in a hurry, to bring the colored people’s of the world out of the long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed.”
I know many people are tired of hearing what we need to do as a people. The time for talking is over. Talking is the easy part. We must act to make our communities better. It is obvious no one will help us, so we must help ourselves. The first steps can be made through home ownership and insurance.
Feel free to contact me directly if you or your family needs help. If these things inspire you, and you want to do more or learn more, please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff.