Washington — Even in the best of economic times, it is toxic to American fairness to shrug off any job disparities to favor the financial interest of wealthy people. But in down times like these, when the gulf between haves and have-nots has grown so wide and the impact on our minority communities is so desperate, it’s obscene to even consider giving relief to the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers.
Doing so, as the GOP-White House tax proposal offers, eviscerates the notion of fairness in economic policy. Worse, it tears at the social fabric of our nation, further dividing rich from poor and increasing the economic disparities between black and Latino Americans and their affluent and disproportionately white fellow citizens.
To be clear, 15.1 million Americans were out of work last month, according to figures released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report. That figure includes an unacceptably high 8.9 percent of white workers. But for minority Americans, the figures are staggering and consistently out of whack with the rest of the population. The jobless rate in November for black Americans remained at a stagnant 16 percent over the previous month, highest among the major worker groups surveyed in the report. For Latinos, the rate edged up to 13.2 percent from 12.6 percent in October.