LatinaLista — Minimum wage hikes. Obamacare. Critics of these programs have declared both issues will lead to the downfall of the country’s economy. Or worse, that somehow leveling the playing field, with these two programs, for those caught in the cycle of poverty, is a handout instead of a hand-up.
But the truth of the matter is if the millions of people in poverty — the vast majority of them being Latinos and African Americans — aren’t given this hand-up, the whole country will suffer in the not-too-distant future. After all, the nation is already a multicultural majority and is Latino dominant in sectors of the country.
Yet, being in the majority means nada when income and health disparities act as a bigger fence between the have’s and have-nots.
A new report by the Center for American Progress, underscores the urgency of closing the income and health gaps between communities of color and non-Hispanic whites if the nation is to have a Social Security system that benefits everyone.
According to the report:
If policies were instituted that could shrink racial and ethnic economic and health inequities, Social Security could gain even more important financial benefits from the growth of communities of color. Many communities of color have higher unemployment rates, lower earnings, higher incidences of disability, and greater mortality prior to reaching retirement than non-Hispanic whites. All of these differences adversely affect Social Security’s finances for the following three reasons: lower earnings that result in fewer payroll tax contributions to Social Security, higher benefit payments due to the progressive nature of Social Security benefits, and higher benefit payments due to increased disability benefits. Reducing the economic and health disparities between communities of color and non-Hispanic whites will create a win-win situation for communities of color and Social Security. Communities of color would see higher living standards, and Social Security would see a financial boost.
It’s common sense but unfortunately it’s not an attribute of too many in our Congress these days.