Is the US properly measuring its economy to include Black America?

Exclusive: As President Biden meets with financial regulators, there is a question of whether U.S. economic metrics are excluding Black and brown populations.

President Joe Biden meets with financial regulators on Monday for an update on the state of the U.S. economy, which includes the country’s financial systems and institutions. The check-in comes as interest rates in the United States climb. 

Black woman in front of "Store Closing" sign on business,
A store advertises a sale on July 07, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Despite economic decline due to the pandemic, the country has staved off a depression in the midst of the worst months of the COVID-19 crisis.

So with that said, what is the economic forecast for this country? 

Recently at a White House press briefing, theGrio asked that question. According to Sameera Fazili, deputy director of the National Economic Council, “the economy is fundamentally in a position of strength.” She would not qualify if we are still in recession, staving off depression.  

She added, “But this president has consistently said that what we need to do is to take the moment to build back better.” 

However, there seems to be a different standing for mainstream America and the truth of Black America’s collective wallets as it relates to the economy.

Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics and policy and director of the Institute on Race and Political Economy at The New School, finds a new economic status calculation factoring in race needs to be in place and the pandemic’s impact has only further underscored his rationale.  

In this April 18, 2020, file photo, people wait for a distribution of masks and food from the Rev. Al Sharpton in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

“Going forward, we would be best served if we came up with metrics to determine the health of our economy, that disaggregated well-being and if it’s the measure of GDP, not only looked at aggregate GDP, but looked at it across income groups, different income groups or people,” Hamilton told theGrio.

“Even independent of income, we know that they’re in a plural America with all these different racial, ethnic and ancestral groups whose history and experience in America leaves their identity to have consequences in the marketplace. 

“We need to note and consider not just how a dominant white group may be doing, but various other groups, and in particular, Black Americans who often are at the bottom of economic security,” he added.

Television financial guru, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, told theGrio it is about wholeness for Black America in spite of the calculated state of the economy. 

Worker wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus, holds an unemployment benefit application form as she waits for a client at the state WIN job center in Pearl, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

“It is critically important for Black people to understand their money,” said Aliche. “I want us to really focus on what I call becoming financially full.”

“It means you have a strong fundamental foundation of your money. If you have the budget, you’re saving, you have a debt plan, a credit plan, you know how to earn, you know how to invest, you have enough insurance, you have a positive network, you have a financial team and you have an estate plan,” she added.

“In so doing when financial trauma and drama comes your way you are secure and you are stable and you’re able to easily rebuild if need be.”

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