Monday, January 21, 2008

When Black People Finally Got On The Up Escalator...

As one of my brothers famously put it: "When black people finally [in late 60s, early 70s] got on the up [economic] escalator, it started going down for everybody."

Imagine if King knew that 40 years after his last sermon, the minimum wage would be almost $4/hr lower than the 1968 minimum wage ($9.50/hr*) in real buying power -- that 25% of Americans would be living below a reality based poverty line based on a market basket of goods and services (not three times the price of the cheapest possible food basket which is the federal line), up from 15% in poverty back then...

...and that virtually every progressive news and comment outlet would perpetually parrot the decades obsolete official poverty line -- and never alert the people to the crazy increase in poverty as average income doubled...

...and that most every liberal and conservative (white? -- I have nothing against white people, having 5 Irish grandparents counting my mother's stepmother) commentator and pol would be much more obsessed with a war they are forced to watch on television that cost 1000 American maimed and 1000 killed a year than 75 million Americans are unable climb out of their economic sinkholes (wonder how many American lives that costs every year) -- that most (white?) progressives can even think that the so-called war even can even be spoken of in the same breath as the "Great Wage Depression"?

Don't ask me; ask King.

Such unimaginable economic regression (repression?) could lead to violence plagued housing projects because economically desperate drug dealing gangs had formed -- while minimum wage jobs were filled by even more desperate immigrants willing to work for 1939ish minimum wages ($4.50/hr w/no tax). Wouldn't that be positively unimaginable -- to King?

[ * $1.60/hr/1968 adjusts to $9.49/hr/2007 --

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