Black And Hispanic Families Are Still Falling Behind
One of the biggest concerns for millions of working parents across the United States is their families’ economic security, especially as costs increase and incomes stagnate. According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, many black and Hispanic families face an even more challenging path to financial stability and economic prosperity.
Economic security is an incredibly important issue for black and Hispanic families. According to a recent poll, conducted by Latino Decisions on behalf of the Center for American Progress, 90 percent of black and Hispanic women voters in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia view economic security as one of the most important issues in the 2016 election.
Though black and Hispanic families stand to have an unprecedented impact on the upcoming election, economic security is out of reach for many of these families who have fallen behind their white counterparts. The gap between the median household income of white families and of black and Hispanic families is large and it’s getting bigger. In 2014, the black households earned $24,000 less than white household and Hispanic households earned nearly $17,000 less. The growing disparity between white families and black and Hispanic families comes at a significant cost for black and Hispanic families. If black and Hispanic median income had fared as well as its white counterpart, these families would’ve have seen $1,400 more in yearly income in 2014.
Unfortunately, conservative policies fail to substantively address—and at times even exacerbate—the challenges that black and Hispanic families face. Through obstructionism, poor policy proposals, and program cuts, many conservatives create additional hurdles for black and Hispanic families. For example, conservatives’ actions—like opposing measures to close the gender wage gap, attempting to block the Department of Labor’s new overtime protections, and promoting right-to-work laws that undermine unions—hurt black and Hispanic families’ chances at achieving greater economic security.
Progressive policies—such as paid family and medical leave; paid sick days; increased access to high-quality, affordable child care; and fair wages—would help more black and Hispanic families strengthen their economic security. Strengthening unions also helps raise wages for black and Hispanic families: On average, black women earn 11 percent higher wages if they are union members, and Hispanic women earn 16 percent more in wages, which demonstrates that strong unions are a key component of closing the wage gap.
BOTTOM LINE: Black and Hispanic families are continuing to fall behind white families on several economic indicators, like income, poverty, and access to paid sick days. When polled, these families care about their economic well-being and believe it should be a top issue in the 2016 election. Black and Hispanic families should have an equal shot at achieving economic security; however, conservative policies are making it harder for black and Hispanic families to get ahead.
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