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The unemployment rate for African-Americans in Chicago is 25%, according to the Chicago Reporter. That’s higher than five of the biggest cities in the United States.

Chicago’s rate is higher than Philadelphia’s 19 percent, Los Angeles’ 18 percent, Houston’s 15 percent and New York City’s 14 percent, based on 2013 U.S. Census figures.

The experts say part of the cause is the segregation in Chicago. Many people find employment through connections, friends and family. This puts those living in black communities at a disadvantage.

For decades, the city’s economically marginalized black communities have been saddled with failing, underfunded public schools, high youth unemployment and low college graduation rates.

“You get neighborhoods where not only do you not have a job, you don’t know many other people who have one and can help you get one,” said Valerie Wilson, an economist who heads the Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

Another factor is the loss of manufacturing jobs. However, experts also blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s policies. Forty percent of the 5000 city jobs cut and 1,691 of the public schools jobs eliminated were lost by residents living in black neighborhoods. Emanuel has also chosen to invest in downtown and higher income areas and neglecting the poor areas.

Activists in Chicago have pointed to the rampant corruption by elected officials, labor unions, non-profits and more specifically black leadership that has sold the community out, costing residents opportunities for work and prosperity.

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One Response

  1. Tom Simpson

    This problem has been building for 40 years as manufacturing job opportunities in our cities have dwindled to less than zero. When on August 15, 1971, Nixon ended FDR’s Bretton Woods Fixed Exchange Rate System, it spelled doom for every US sector except Wall Street. By 1967 the US had begun cutting investment in economic infrastructure and advanced science programs. As the US became hostile to nuclear power, reliance on nuclear energy systems was cut in favor of fossil fuels. The United States would be deliberately transformed into a Consumer Based Economy from a Production Based Economy. This anti-American zero growth paradigm had many friends in government and Wall Street. Anti-growthers on Wall Street would push laws that favored speculation over production while the environmentalist pushed conservation and cuts in scientific advancements that required energy intensive capital intensive investment. The new age paradigm had struck. Financial markets dictated. This crazy zero growth system began to erode state and federal government’s commitment to improving the conditions of life of the people. It was a betrayal that would have future consequences. The “No Limits to Growth” paradigm was replaced with the “limits to growth” ideology of Forester and Meadows. By the beginning of the 80’s, the United States production had been cut by approximately 20%. During the same time period banking deregulation had lit a match under global financial markets. So while the curve of production was sent dramatically downward, the curve depicting financial turnover dramatically rose. Monetary emission by the Federal Reserve curved upward pushing up financial aggregates. This is called Lyndon LaRouche’s triple curve diagram which was first put out by him in 1995. It starkly portrayed a United States heading for doom if the US did not break from Wall Street’s grip on national policy. But it wasn’t to be. The US reached a crisis point when the trillions of financial aggregates peaked in 2007. Then a chain reaction collapse occurred. Starting when the housing bubble popped in August 2007, followed by the collapse of the mortgage backed securities bubble, it sent shock waves through derivatives markets around the world that would bring down Lehman Bros. Lehman’s risk underwriter, AIG, filed for protection bailout the very next day as it’s Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO’s) collapsed. Why did I bring this up. Because while our cities were gutted and our factories were torn down, Wall Street went on a binge! The same Wall Street banks that launder hundreds of billions of illegal money every year for the international narcotics trade. We must reverse the anti-growth policies of the US and create a banking and credit system that conforms to the needs of US economic growth and scientific endeavors. It starts with the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, national banking and a credit system to replace the bankrupt Federal Reserve monetary system. It calls for long term 25 year loans at low interest, to be issued through the commercial banking sector to modernize and improve the US’s water, power, and transportation systems. Millions of jobs will be created in the start up period of these projects as well as millions more as production gets underway. This program will pay for itself with the productive activity from the projects themselves. We will need to rebuild our machine tool industry to meet the demands of the recovery. This means dramatically expanding that portion of the machine tool design sector located in the auto and aircraft industries. Chicago and Detroit will undergo a 25 year renaissance in economic activity from the US recovery program. Through this creative process, both cities will produce the basis for the “make anything” capability that won WWII. Only this time we’ll do it in the name of peace.

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