On Independence Day here in America, many brothas and sistas are spending time doing the same traditional tasks of outdoor cookouts and gatherings, going on a cruise or Caribbean vacation or checking out whatever movie is playing at the theaters. Many of these brothas and sistas act as if our people arrived to the promise land and resort to statements about how great we are doing and how far we came from being slaves in America.
The problem with that thinking is just as America is still a young country, African-Americans are still young culture wise and our people have not made grown up decisions to act like responsible adults who can take care of us and our children and the following generation. Right now, our people are focused on goals and accomplishments with the reward of ego-reinforcement; not realizing this is nothing more than carrot-before-the-horse games being played out to keep us stagnant and non-progressive.
As a whole, African-Americans have not been taught, not been condition or come to the realization in order to be a grown up people in this world, African-Americans need an economy. People been talking and preaching about economics in the Black community to no avail because those who been preaching about economic empowerment tend to be viewed as nut jobs and in the left field or extreme.
You hear Target Market News come out every year with some ignorant and worthless data about the spending power of African-Americans – the dumbest statistic being compiled about our people and not one Black media smart enough to challenge or question that nonsense. Many people confused the spending power and the “disposable income” – another dumb phrase – of African-Americans as economic power which is far from the truth. What those stats really say is African-Americans are the most docile consumer group on the nation and this is a real term and concept.
Black economics is discouraged as they want our people to be nothing more than docile consumers. Our Black kids are told to go to school, get an education and get a good job to receive a paycheck working for someone else and when they hit 50 years old, they can buy that Cadillac or Mercedes as the symbol that they arrived. Then we go to Black media like Black Enterprise magazine, they trying to highlight personal stories as if these people are exceptional and special cases instead of creating templates for all brothas and sistas to follow and build collectively. In addition, I do not remember any articles on smaller Black entrepreneurs serving the Black community post Great-Migration in Black Enterprise magazine which is why BE magazine is full of shit in my book.
We brothas and sistas need to come to a realization right now about building an economy so we can be independent. The first African-American to do something is not going to build our economy. The civil rights icon or Black leader is not going to build our economy. Wearing kinte cloths and screaming “Hotep” when your Black ass originated from West Africa is not going to build our economy. The only thing that is going to build our economy in the Black community is understanding the economy ecosystem and focus on creating one in a collective fashion.
This article is design to get African-Americans introduced to the economy and understand what types of economies are out there. The most important thing African-Americans need to understand is there no such thing as “the one thing” such as one Black leader, one economic solution, one group of Blacks and all that other crap. We need multiple factors in play and the problem is the African-American been conditioned with a singular ego that is about them and theirs only. But that’s another topic, let’s talk about the type of economies that are needed in the Black community for us to grow up.
Remittance Based Economy
This type of economy is listed first because this is the new economic phenomenon because this is the driver to Black unemployment and loss of jobs that will never come back. The problem is, African-Americans who ain’t been nowhere, ain’t done nothing on the global level have no clue this is going on.
At its basic the concept of Remittance Economy means that remittances by workers abroad becoming a significant source of economic activity in the country; I am extending the definition to remittance money being spent creates growth in large cities, which in turn results in workers in large cities remitting money to their families smaller cities, towns and villages – thus creating a growth chain reaction.
Consider this – Syam Sundar lives in San Francisco and remits money regularly to his family staying in Bangalore. Syam’s family employs a maid, shops lavishly in the city’s malls and employs a driver. The maid, the workers at the mall – from shop salesmen to cleaners all send money to their families in tier 2 cities, towns and villages in India. The family’s driver Sreejeeth hails from a small nondescript town in Karnataka called Madhugiri. Sreejeeth sends money to his wife every month who in turn spends it on their daughter’s education and on daily grocery needs. The money which started from Syam in San Francisco has until now traveled to a school teacher in Madhugiri’s elementary school and a grocer in Madhugiri.
Consider more – due to several immigrants like Syam Sundar sending in money regularly to their families in Bangalore, the need for Banking services in Bangalore has gone up. Bank branches in Bangalore now need to employ a larger number of executives from Tellers to Branch Managers. Most these junior / middle executives hail from smaller towns like Tumkur or Gulbarga or Bijapur or even from Kanpur in UP or Mandsaur in MP. They often spend money when they go back to their hometown also resulting in increase in income of the shopkeepers in these towns.
So in this setup, one person does right by their people and move to where the money is at in America and then they send money home to their people. Their people spend that money in the local community back at home and create economic development. Because these people used to being on living off $1,000/year, do you think they have a problem working a $85K corporate job African-Americans used to do for $40K – 60K? You know much their people, their whole community get helped by just $40K a year and remittance?
If I’m correct, a person that speaks three languages is known as tri-lingual, a person that speaks two languages is a bi-lingual and a person that speaks only one language is an African-American. That’s the running worldwide joke in the African Diaspora about us in case you didn’t know that. We are probably the only people who have not figured out remittance where we have to go global to get our money and bring home the bacon. Hell, we moved out to the suburbs and forgot to remit back to the hood and drive BMWs and ish.
Consumer Driven Economy
A consumer based economy is based on retailing and consumption. The goal is we offer products and services to sell to consumers and we get money that way. This is what African-Americans have focused on primarily as their entrepreneurial options because they believe consumers are followers and chasing not only profits but personal recognition from their consumer base.
This type of economy has flaws and outdated due to the Information Age. For example, a consumer driven economy was based on a community economic model where people in the local community shopped at local merchants because that was their only source for goods and services. However, mail order eroded the consumer-driven economic model local economy last century and the Internet has driven this consumer-driven economic model down even further.
However, consumer driven economies are very strong in places like Las Vegas that attract a lot of tourists. In addition, Asian markets are extremely strong and resilient in consumer driven economics because they like to shop which is why they have all of the latest and cool gadgets and real tech people in this game like me focus on Asia so much.
However, African-Americans fail to realize many of their own own hoods were architected over 150 years ago to sustain the kind of consumer-driven economic model that is successful and resilient in Asia right now and they do not realize this. However, this is one of the fastest ways and most realistic way to jumpstart our community and creates jobs but our politicians and leaders are not savvy enough to understand this and our leaders are driven by ego and recognition.
Free Market Based Economy
A free market based economy is based on demand and supply and we are speaking of exchanges, open markets and brokers and bonds. This where we have commodities people want to invest in as their own financial vehicles and price them for now and also price them for futures. The government sells bonds, farmers sell futures of their crops and mines sell raw material. In addition, corporates sell shares of their companies and also sell their debt.
African-Americans basically have little to offer in this space but don’t not realize this is the level our people have to reach for true economic sustainability in a global economic marketplace. We need to create our own markets, our own commodities and offer instruments others find worth investing in. Due to the high level of financial ignorance and more of a focus on egos in the current state of brothas and sistas, only the next generation of brothas and sistas are capable of making any serious inroads to the development of a free market based economy.
Manufacturer Based Economy
The manufacturing based economy is the biggest driver of a nation GDP. It is based on the manufacture of physical goods that are exported worldwide with a strong demand for the product. For example, Italy has a strong demand for their manufactured luxury goods, China has a strong demand for their manufactured products and is working to corner the market altogether. In a way, hair extensions have become a manufactured product for emerging nations.
Manufacturing of products with a global demand create long term jobs and economic stability to the community that supports the manufacturing of products. Super rich cats that built mega empires like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford made their extreme sick fortunes off the manufacturing industry during the Industrial Revolution. However, they do not teach this in the African-American community and that’s why we have little understanding or appreciation except some rappers that want to call themselves Roc-Nation or Roc-a-Fella not realizing who they are paying homage to.
African-Americans are extremely shameful in this game because African-Americans have been working in manufacturing for decades and generations in the Midwest for example and haven’t created one major offshoot as a people where we are mass-manufacturing our own products for exports. Cats in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana been building and working on ISO lines for decades and got laid off and done nothing to create products on their own to build out global exports and create their own jobs and empires.
Summary of the Economies and Our Quest for Independence
I just outlined the major type of economies out there for brothas and sistas to understand we have to start focusing on creating these environments for us. Our independence is based on creating an economic framework. But we have to look at the realistically way to create jobs and economic development among brothas and sistas.
First thing, we are some broke cats in terms of having ego and pride and also lack of funds/capital to sustain each other, let’s be real about that. That means we brothas and sistas are going to have to focus on exporting goods and services. That means we have to export ourselves first into markets and do remittance – there is no way around that. Either you or your people are going to have to move around the world on your terms or move around the world on unfavorable terms to get money at the middle class level in the next 5-10 years.
Cats in America are going to have to develop products, plain and simple. Brothas are going to have to focus on creating goods and services to sell worldwide. We going to have to develop our own manufacturing plants and process lines and have to be a baron like the Rockefeller family back in the day, actually still to this day. I don’t care if we manufacture our own consumer products and export worldwide – that’s what we have to invent and have the belief we can do it, f*ck any bigot or sellout that objects and just make it happen.
Our independence is based on our economic situation to do for self, stand for self. Brothas and sistas celebrating Independence day need to ask themselves as they chew on the pork ribs are they really independent? And if not, realize what we have to do in order to get there and realize that there is no other way except an economic solution.