5 thoughts on “The Myth of Black Buying Power on the HellaBlack Podcast!

  1. This subject’s a bit off topic but IMO is definitely related, especially since Dr.JB speaks of the US’ GDP…

    As you know the subject of increasing the USG’s minimum wage standard, effectively doubling it from the current $7.25/hr to $15/hr, has been a hot-topic since at-least about 2012 & certainly since 2016 w Bernie backing it during his run vs Billary HRC. Never-the-less a $15/hr min-wage has yet to become the USG’s natl standard, tho a number of states & cities have embraced it [FYI: ex Baltimore’ Mayor C.Pugh (a Dim) said she’d back it during her 2016 campaign, but then reneged when she became mayor in 2017]. IMO $15/hr may become the USG’s natl min-wage standard by 2024-25 ‘IF’ Bernie [or maybe Liz Warren] should get elected POTUS in Nov, but if it’s ‘Ole ‘Record-Player’ Joe’.B, or Mayor Pete.B ‘Who Knows’. And if Repug Trump gets re-elected, IMO unless there’s a huge worker ground-swell [even among those who vote GOP] just ‘Forget-About-It’!! But even ‘IF’ Bernie gets picked as POTUS & pushes a $15/hr min-wage thru by 2024-25, IMO it’ll alread be obsolete such that it’ll be time to shoot for a $20 – $25 per hr min-wage by then.

    But is $15/hr truly the target US workers should be aiming for, even now? I just came across an article @ the Station 6 Underground website that says: ‘90% of Americans Earn Less Than 1950 Minimum Wage Standard’. Tho IMO 90% may be a bit of an exaggeration [IMO it’s definitely over 50% & may-well be up-to 2/3s], it’s definitely a point worthy of careful consideration. So I did a bit of research to find-out what the USG’s min-wage standard was back in 1950 [= $0.75/hr & the ave wage in 1950 = $1.60], but [IMO this is key] instead of multiplying by the increase the inflation rate [= a rise of 10.67Xs from 1950 to present], or even the increase of the cost of living from 1950 to present- Instead I looked at the increase in the US’ GDP from 1950 to 2018-19 & then divided that by the increase in the US’ population from 1950 to present, & then multiply that result by the US min-wage in 1950- IMO an obvious metric that most traditional economists seem to almost never use [I wonder why].
    – Assuming these GDP stats are basically reliable [we know how politically motivated &/or Wall St backed economists & play games w econ-stats such that many of them are basically bogus], the US’ GDP in 1950 was $300 billion & in 2018-19 was $20.494 trillion. The US’ pop in 1950 was 152 Mn & today it’s about 325 Mn- So from 1950 to present the US’ GDP increased 68.3133 Xs vs the US’ pop rose 2.138Xs during that same period, which comes out to an over-all increase of 31.95Xs = approx 32Xs has the US’ GDP risen vs the rise in the US population. Multiplying 32 * $0.75/hr -> the US’ min-wage should be $24/hr TODAY, & its average wage should be about $51.20/hr TODAY [Note the US’ current average wage is about $22.50/hr = a bit LESS than what its min-wage would have been had it been pegged to the rise in US GDP vs rise in US’ population since 1950]!! In other-words arguably even a $15/min wage is already obsolete / is too-low even now [it should be $24-25/hr & the ave-wage should be over $50/hr right now] & thus will definitely be too-low by 2024-25!! Yet most ‘main-stream’ Wall St type economists & politicians act like demanding even a $15/hr min-wage would so risk sinking the US’ econ such that only ‘radical’ ‘Marxists’-‘socialists’ would demand it. Because such economists love to peg wage-increases to the rise in inflation, which at an increase of 10.67Xs since 1950, the min-wage would now be $8.00/hr- Which the current $7.25/hr Natl min-wage is less than even that!! But this is how they get folks to take less than they should, if workers [& their alleged political allies] were demanding a $25/hr min wage NOW, knowing that $15/hr [NOW] would be their absolute least acceptable bottom-line; IMO the odds are they’d at-least be able to get a $20/hr min-wage, NOW- Instead of maybe a $15/hr min-wage by 2024-25!!

    PS: When ‘main-stream’ Wall St type economists hype the need to check inflation, that’s coded-language that effectively means suppressing wages & avoiding a full-employment econ- Which the Corp / Wall St 1% class love to suppress workers’ wages & loathe a full employment econ, because it’s easier to force workers to settle for low-wages when there’s hi unemployment. Of-course Black & Brown workers tend to get jammed on both ends: forced to take low paying ‘McDonalds’ type jobs because their unemployment rate is always so damn hi!!

    1. Note this article from ‘leftish’ economist Dean Baker ‘What the Minimum Wage Would Be If It had Kept Pace With Productivity’ [@ CounterPunch/2020/01/24/what-minimum-wage-would-be-if-it-kept-pace-with-productivity/ ] – Key Excerpts: } Until 1968, the minimum wage not only kept pace with inflation, it rose in step with productivity growth. The logic is straightforward; we expect that wages in general will rise in step with productivity growth. For workers at the bottom to share in the overall improvement in society’s living standards, the minimum wage should also rise with productivity.
      – The distinction between inflation and productivity is an important one. If the minimum wage rises in step with inflation, we are effectively ensuring that it will allow minimum wage earners to buy the same amount of goods and services through time, protecting them against higher prices. However, if it rises with productivity that means that as workers are able to produce more goods and services per hour, on average, minimum wage earners will be able to buy more goods and services through time.
      – While the national minimum wage did rise roughly in step with productivity growth from its inception in 1938 until 1968, in the more than five decades since then, it has not even kept pace with inflation. However, if the minimum wage did rise in step with productivity growth since 1968 it would be over $24 an HOUR Today,… {
      – So tho I used a bit of a different method than Baker did, apparently I’m right on the mark w his conclusion!

  2. One of your better programs. Hated that the hosts dropped the N bombs. Your analysis of the history & myth of buying power was on point. Imperialism, propaganda & counter intelligence leaves Afrikan people in a near hopeless predicament. Dr. Amos Wilson said in one of his last lectures that we had a 10 to 15 year window to enact real structural change & if not it’s over for Afrikan people . We’re seeing lots of great analysis & radical reporting, but no direct action or activism . We should take a page from what the yellow vest folks are doing in France. Looking forward to your book.

  3. With the exception of the vulgarity&ignorant dialogue between the hosts at the beginning, the conversation brought truth to light!

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