The reasons for mass support for OWS are not hard to understand. According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median or average income in 2010 was down 6.4% from pre-recession levels and even lower than the average worker’s buying power back in 1978. Poverty rose to 15.1% in 2010.
Those who have been most brutally hit by the recession are the Hispanic and African American communities, still oppressed by racism. According to the Economic Policy Institute (Sept. 21, 2011), half of all Black families have wealth—homes, cars, etc.—worth under $2200 in 2009. In contrast, though white household wealth is significantly down, it is, on average, an astounding 44.5 times higher!
A PEW Foundation study in July based on Census Bureau figures revealed that the average Hispanic household’s wealth declined by 66% between 2005 and 2009. African American average household wealth declined by 53%; Asians by 54%. White median household wealth fell by 16% over the same period (The New York Times, July 26, 2011).
> The article above was written by Marty Goodman, and first appeared in the November 2011 print edition of Socialist Action newspaper.