Black America v. Conservatism – Part 1



Part 1: Economics

Education, voting rights, fair housing, fair lending, employment, mass incarceration, the drug war, foreign trade, immigration and more have decimated the middle class in America. Blacks have been hit the hardest.

Reversing the hard fought accomplishments and laws of the 1960’s have been especially important to conservatives.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 suffered a severe blow recently.  How has conservative policies affected our standard of living?

According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), unemployment in the black community reached a high of 21.2 % in January of 1983 since being tracked by the FED in 1972. Black unemployment has historically averaged nearly double that of whites during that period.  Incarceration rates tracked by Pew Research Center has consistently averaged nearly four times that of whites since the early 1980’s. Those numbers reached heights not recorded ever and were more than twice the rates of those during the 1960’s when President Lyndon Johnson ushered in his “Great Society”, the bane of conservatives.



Conservatism has consistently been on the wrong side when it comes to growing a strong and vibrant socioeconomic system in the United States. Years of tax breaks and privatizing government functions wherever possible, has left a dwindling middle class, with less services a capable infrastructure, while losing personal wealth compared to the rate of inflation. One could argue that government contracts is the conservative answer to building private wealth. Getting contracting to go to war zones to cook for troops and drive trucks for many times the pay it took soldiers is an example of conservative privatization. 

President Ronald Reagan and his adviser, Milton Friedman championed  Supply-side economics also known as, “trickle down”. Take care of the wealthy or as many Conservatives put it, the “makers”. Friedman and the wealthy thought little of Keynesian Economics.   John Maynard Keynes, an economist in the late 1800’s believed exactly the opposite. Governments through monetary policy can lessen the boom and bust cycles of economy.

Another study by the Pew Institute compares average wages after adjusting for inflation. In real terms, middle class purchasing power hasn’t increased much since 1979.  Someone in 1973 earning just over $4 an hour lived as well as a person today making $20 an hour. Thanks to conservatives, the wealthy however, through tax breaks and other incentives have seen huge increases in income and wealth.

Since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, conservatives have been wrong on every socioeconomic policy affecting the middle class.  Blacks fare worse than the population at-large in most measures, when conservatives get their way.  Through gerrymandering, former politicians as lobbyists conservatives have abused the middle class.

When the Civil Rights Movement began to make substantial progress, conservatives changed tactics. Keeping aware of  complicated conservative schemes is an obligation.





Brown v. Board of Ed

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