Why Disadvantaged Communities Cannot Wait.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Anyone who has not been living under a rock throughout their lifetime and has the ability to interpret history in an honest manner should be able to understand that the chronic and egregious effects of discrimination and greed have always been at the forefront of most of society’s problems. The detrimental effects of these forms of ignorance have long prevented human beings across all ethnic, economic, age, gender, disability, and religious backgrounds from being able to reach our collective potential as people to solve life’s problems and live in harmony.

Sadly, for far too long, those challenges and more continue to be exacerbated by our reliance upon and broken promises of the dream-selling people we naively elect and appoint to public office and government positions, but who repeatedly fail to deliver anything worthwhile.

Instead of embracing common sense and reality by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of such officials care less about anyone outside of their immediate families (and some feel the same about their own relatives too), citizens continue to allow those they have empowered to make life-altering decisions on your behalf to do so without unnegotiable expectations and effective consequences. As a result, many of these decision-makers who are supposed to be ‘serving’ in elected or appointed government capacities are instead reaping the rewards of holding onto opportunistic seats where they continue to abuse the public trust by irresponsibly misallocating taxpayer dollars, taking advantage of inflated salaries and benefits (which often include participating in Deferred Retirement Option Plans or another comfy pension plan), wasting public money on costly expenses tied to travel and attending meritless conferences, meetings, trade missions, and association memberships that fail to produce life-improving results for residents of the city, county, or state which such elected officials or appointed government employees represent.

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Together…citizen complacency, governmental negligence, and malfeasance are causing catastrophic problems for communities across the nation, with the worst impact being felt by distressed urban communities of color.

Research by a number of reliable sources like the Urban Institute and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, reveal income inequality continues to rise at alarming levels. According to a 2015 report published in the Urban Institute, “Income gaps are only part of the story when it comes to economic inequalities in America. Wealth inequality is even greater. The racial wealth gap is 3 times
larger than the racial income gap!” The same report cautioned that wealth inequality is increasing, young Americans are falling behind, racial wealth disparities worsen with age, and solutions such as “Helping people enroll in automatic savings vehicles, as well as reforming policies like the mortgage interest tax deduction so it benefits all families, will help improve wealth inequality and promote saving opportunities for all Americans” should be the preferred path. (Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, and C. Eugene Steuerle).

Urban and rural communities throughout every state today do not have any more time to waste. For the average middle to low-income person in America, getting swept up in the disillusionary hype associated with partisan politics, voter registration drives, making financial contributions to campaigns, and voting in elections has continued to prove fruitless to them, while this ‘systematic game’ continues to be nothing more than a ploy towards seizing privilege, power, and money for candidates and those involved with their campaigns who possess personal agendas. Disagree with that observation? Consider another issue involving today’s dysfunctional systems of government.

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According to OpenSecrets (opensecrets.org), a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy, Federal-level candidates, and political committees will spend more than $9.3 billion on 2022 federal midterm elections. State-level candidates, party committees, and ballot measure committees are on track to raise more than $7 billion during the 2022 election cycle. Billions more are being raised and mis-spent (in 2022 and each election year after) on campaigns for candidates running for Mayoral, City and County Council seats, County Executive/CEO, District Attorney/Chief Prosecutor, and other Municipal-level and County-level positions. Yet, the majority of citizens and small businesses in practically every city across the nation struggle (financially) to survive day-to-day, and income-eligible homeowners are lied to or ignored by City/County-sponsored Home Repair Programs that are supposed to assist them with limited repairs to their homes, although their same city, county, and state governments expect these homeowners to continually pay property taxes each year which the government abuses. Requiring economically disadvantaged people to do more and pay more with less is a heartless and dangerous expectation. This, in addition to the dismissive mindset and careless misappropriation of taxpayer dollars by those in governmental positions, is atrocious.

Instead, transforming blighted and rustic regions into eye-pleasing, residential and business-friendly neighborhoods benefit entire communities-at-large. The lack of living wage job and trade skill opportunities available to everyone (including ex-offenders & people with low or no skills), unaffordable housing, increases in utility rates, rising food costs, unfair taxation which favors corporate America & the
wealthy, abusive credit reporting practices in the employment hiring process and rental housing decisions, and eye-bulging gas prices combine to force even the most level-headed people to consider lifestyles of desperation that sometimes involve illegal activities. All of which can be interrupted or prevented if voters would make more conscious decisions about who they choose to vote into office, demand much better from people working in government positions, and discover the power of economic boycotts to produce change.

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Click on the following tool designed by OECD.org to gauge your own household income, how we compare with the rest of the U.S. and other countries, and see how income inequality affects your ideal world: https://www.compareyourincome.org/.

Staff Writer; Santura Pegram

This brother is a prolific writer and socially conscious business professional who has helped to advise small businesses; nonprofit organizations; city, county, and state governmental committees; elected officials; professional athletes; and school systems. He was a one-time protégé-aide to the “Political Matriarch of the State of Florida” – the late Honorable M. Athalie Range.

He can be reached at: [email protected].