Commentary – How African-Americans Can Break the Cycle of Inherited Poverty: Part 2
This article is Part 2 of a commentary piece written to add viable solutions to Jazz Keye’s article “How African-Americans Can Break the Cycle of Inherited Poverty”. Before reading my article, I encourage you to read the original piece or you will be completely lost. If you haven’t read Part 1, click here to get updated on the issue.
Still on the fence about life insurance?
Ask yourself these questions. “If my job is the main source of income, what will happen to my family if I passed away? Does my family have enough money to get by if I was gone?” I’m not saying your family is better off with you being dead. I’m just saying things do get a lot easier when you have a bag of money (just kidding).
In addressing the issue of the lack of planning for retirement outside of your 401K, there are several options that are available such as a 403(b) plan which is an annuity retirement plan. You can also invest money into an individual retirement account (IRA). If none of these options seem viable you always have social security, but honestly I wouldn’t bank on it giving you sufficient income. Which is why you should think about how to cover your family financially before leaving this world.
“Think beyond your own prosperity”
In my opinion this is a pretty loaded statement, but here’s my stab at it. There is no ‘formal’ definition of group economics, but the idea is basically sharing resources among consumers and businesses with a common interest. I believe it’s possible for the black community to practice group economics. It’s just going to take a lot of work getting everyone on the same page, and more importantly, practice vs. conceptualize the idea. If you want to conceptualize the idea read some books and google ‘black group economics’. If you want to truly practice group economics in the black community, here are some ideas to get your mind jogging and put your money where your mouth is.
Group Economic Ideas
- Go to brunch at a black owned restaurant with a group of your friends once a month and leave a generous tip. Supporting black restaurants in groups is a great way to contribute economically without stretching your pockets.
- In buying a house, make sure that every party that takes part in the transaction is black. That means you should work with a black real estate agent, black real estate lawyer, black mortgage lender, etc, vice versa with selling.
- If you want to open a savings account, open the account with a black owned bank.
- When purchasing day-to-day items, take the time to look up black owned businesses that sell that product. And yes it may require a level of sacrifice if it’s inconvenient for you.
- If you know there’s a black owned gas station that’s 25+ miles away, buy a gift card from that location. Use the gift card where it’s accepted. That way you’re still supporting the business.
- If you’re an expert at social media and noticed a blacked owned business does not have a social media presence. Charge them a discounted rate or even volunteer to help them build a social media presence.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. If you know of any please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear other ideas people come up with. To practice group economics, think of what you can do to uplift your community. Take the initiative in doing it, and get your friends and family involved in the idea to make black owned businesses grow.
“From small businesses to enterprises…”
After contemplating a solution, one word jumps out at me and that’s ‘scaling’ which depends on what lens you’re looking at. A black business owner should ask, “how do I scale my business?” A consumer should ask, how can I help black businesses scale? From a black business owner’s viewpoint, I believe partnerships, collaborations, and exchanging resources with other black businesses is a great way to build off each other. For example, a black owned advertising firm outsources their bookkeeping to a black owned accounting firm. The black owned accounting firm refers clients to the advertising firm.
From a consumers viewpoint, I believe consciously buying and/or investing in a black owned business is a viable approach to help them grow. For example, if you know there’s a black owned butcher shop in your area, buy your meat from the shop. Write a nice review on Yelp and Google, and recommend the place to all your friends and family. Another example is if you know someone’s launching a business and you think it would be a great investment opportunity, invest your money in the start-up and help them grow as much as possible. Just understand taking small businesses to enterprises does not happen over night. It takes a collective effort to help businesses grow exponentially.
Here are several viable solutions to go along with each bullet point listed within the original article. Just remember, all of the options above is from my opinion and is not set in stone. Look at this article as a brainstorming of solutions to get you, your family and community on the right track. The black community faces a tough challenge of making economic gains, but I believe we can do it. It will just take a collective effort on everyone’s part to gain the knowledge to make conscious financial decisions. Feel free to comment below if you can think of any other alternatives. I’d love to hear your thoughts!