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Julianne Malveaux



Recent Stories

Counting the Cost

The ‘Christmas Creep’

Did you notice that some stores are already touting Christmas sales? They are encouraging people to start buying for Christmas now. We’ve been experiencing this “Christmas creep” for years. Some of us are reluctant to call it “Christmas” creep because there is no Christ or Christianity in the profligate spending that accompanies a season that should be defined by gratitude and reflection. The birth of Christ should symbolize rebirth, the symbolism of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, a signal to reflect on African American community building and spirituality.

Ebola knows no borders

Counting the Cost

When it comes to matters of trade and economics, experts are eager to speak of “globalization.” People are keen to talk about the dissolution of borders and the many ways that countries work together across the globe. At least part of every Apple computer purchased in the U.S. was manufactured or assembled in Ireland. Many call centers are located in the Carribean and India. American companies subcontract these jobs to other countries because hourly wages are lower in those countries than at home.

Countering voter suppression moves

Counting the Cost

The Supreme Court recently blocked an appeals court ruling that would have restored seven days of voting in Ohio. In just three sentences, the court reduced voting access for tens of thousands of Ohioans, in yet another effort to suppress the vote.

African Americans less ready to retire

Counting the Cost

When the Federal Reserve Board issued its Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF), its findings were not surprising. The report, which is issued every three years, reflected the improved economic conditions since 2010, when the Great Recession was at its peak. The unemployment rate, though unevenly distributed, has dropped, and income and wealth have increased for some groups, but dropped for those at the bottom. Median wealth of African Americans and Latinos (grouped together by SCF reporting) fell from $21,000 to $18,100 while White wealth grew from $139,900 to $142,000. Just under half of all African Americans own homes, compared to nearly 70 percent of Whites, and housing value represents the largest portion of net worth for middle income families. When some of these SCF findings are combined with what we know about pensions and retirement preparedness, the unfortunate conclusion is that African Americans are less ready to retire than Whites, but better prepared than Latinos.

The Boomerang Generation

Counting the Cost

One of the most interesting findings of the data recently released by the Census Bureau is that so many recent college graduates live with their parents. Described as “boomerang” graduates, a third of them occupy a basement, a spare room, their old room, a floor or couch. Blessedly, they have parents with whom to live. And if they are 26 or younger, they have health insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

America needs a raise

Counting the Cost

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been floating at or above the 17,000 mark in the past two months–an all time high.

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Back to school, back to basics

Counting the Cost

Between early August and late September, students are going back to school. Before they go to school, though, they and their parents will hit the malls and stationary stores to prepare for their return. Retailers say that students and their parents will spend $75 billion on back-to-school items, and clothing represents about a third of this spending.

Policing the police

Counting the Cost

Except for the Good Lord, everybody has someone or something to “check” him or her. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has an unresponsive Congress to check him, and Supreme Court to do the same. Elected officials are checked by voters (when they vote), and the Securities and Exchange Commission usually checks corporate crooks

Dogs get more respect than Michael Brown

Counting the Cost

It doesn’t matter if you are a state legislator or an alderman, a journalist or a local leader. If you are in Ferguson, Mo., you won’t get any respect. You can be the uncle of a victim whose body was left to lie on the street for several hours and you will not be allowed to cover your young nephew. Not many would let a dog lay uncovered for several hours. Young Black Michael Brown apparently got less consideration than a dog.

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Working at taking a vacation

Counting the Cost

I don’t do vacations well. I have to be pushed and prodded, just about guilt-tripped, into taking time off. Sure, I’ll take an hour here, an evening there, to read a book or play word games. But it just about takes an act of God to get me to go play.

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