Monday, March 7, 2011

Why people are raising the white, male economic represession issue

Of late, I've seen a lot of comments about white male economic repression and that it isn't happening. Many on the left side of the political spectrum have been mocking this theory, saying it is isn't true, is just more bogus, racist Tea Party rhetoric, etc. However, the data, it would seem, shows these theories to be true, if you believe the government's statistics.
Earlier this week, the WSJ posted a great interactive chart with the latest jobs data from the U.S. Labor Dept.: ["Jobless Rate Falls Further"].
The interactive graphic allows the reader to punch in any amount of comparative data based on gender, education, etc., and create a line graph of data flowing from the last 60 years worth of job participation rates from the Labor Dept. Now, with any graphic like this, the data is an estimate and not 100 percent exact. It is impossible to count every exact person, we know that. But this is the data we all rely on to look at economic outcomes.
Here are two screen shots from the interactive charts that are worth viewing.
This first one shows a long participation rate decline of men in participation in the workforce:

All of the male race sectors have declined while the overall work participation rates of men and women combined have grown. Since 1972, white male participation rates have declined by 8% while black male participation rates have declined by 9%. Hispanic rates have fallen by 4% since 1973.
But here is the kicker: According to the latest U.S. Census, 2010, whites are now 79.6% of the country. Hispanics are 15.8% and blacks are 12.9%. So, while white and black workforce participation rates have declined at very close percentages, whites are five to six times the population rates as other races. This means that even though work participation rates are declining for everyone, tens of millions more whites are being harmed by low workforce participation rates than black and Hispanics. The data shows relatively equal declines in percentages but many, many more white people harmed by the economy than other racial sectors. Question: Is it racist to show and speak about this data in an interactive chart? Or, is it just another way of looking at bleak and dismal economic data?

The second chart shows the growth of women in the workforce:

Of course, we know why more women have entered the workforce ... they've had to and they've wanted to and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Participation rates have grown substantially during the time periods, although they now show a leveling off or slight decline in most recent years. The race groups are lumped pretty close together as far as participation rates. However, tens of millions more white women exist in the American population. So they are participating in lower rates in the workforce by sheer numbers of human beings than their racial counterparts.
This is just one sector of data available. There are many others. However, this data would seem to show that all of the worrying about the loss of economic by certain race sectors seems to be a legitimate thing to be discussing ... especially if you are in that racial sector.


Mark de Zabaleta said...

Excellent article. A quote from Rousseau: "Almost everyone prefers the lie discovered by them that the truth found by others. "

Tony said...

@Mark: You know Mark, that could be taken two ways!