LatinaLista — Though some doubt the power of a Latino electorate, there is no doubting the buying power of Latinos.
In the latest annual report on minority buying power by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, Latino buying power is due to surpass $860 billion in 2007 and exceed $1.2 trillion in five years.
At this rate, Latino buying power will be the largest multicultural market by 2012.
The authors of the report credit this surge in buying power to immigration but also population growth.
From 1990 to 2007, the report documents a 307 percent growth in Hispanic buying power. In contrast, during the same period, the growth of non-Hispanic buying power only grew 125 percent.
The report further says that the Hispanic consumer market is the same size as Mexico's entire economy, in terms of its gross domestic product.
With the US economy obviously benefiting from the fact that Latinos are great shoppers, and spending their money freely, it makes those arguments against remittances somewhat moot.
After all, though people are sending money back home to their families, they are also part of the larger Hispanic community and spending their money in this country, further expanding the clout of the Latino buying power.
This report is further proof that all the rhetoric about the damage undocumented immigrants are causing the US economy is just that â€” rhetoric and an attempt to create an image of the Hispanic immigrant that is not true.
What is true is that if Latinos really wanted to make a statement to Congress and the rest of the country, the only thing that would need to be done is to agree not to shop for a couple of days.
Removing thousands of dollars from the economy for one day may not make a big impact, but it will get the attention of people.
It will also underscore the fact that Latinos come from a position of strength â€” and equally deserve the opportunity to be heard, but more importantly, be paid attention.