Income Inequality of African Americans

Racial discrimination is the main and ongoing problem in the social life of Americans. When we look at the gap of incomes between White and African Americans, we can see the inequality between these two groups. In general, whites have more annual earnings than their black counterparts in America. Lori Ann Campbell and Robert L. Kaufman emphasized that the wealth determinants, which are the indicators of socio-economic status, have effected more on Whites than Blacks. And even when society is organized, there is still some disparities on account of race and ethnicity. Campbell and Kaufman, 2006). And income disparities between African and White Americans have definitely effected the peace of the social life. According to Campell and Kaufman to understand the inequality of wealth between African Americans and other citizens, we need to consider first how that income comes from, how it is accumulated and sended out through society. (Campbell and Kaufman, 2006). By analysing the income, education and occupation, we can reach much more dependable outcomes of the disparity in wealth.

Because these three factors are the key elements of this disparity and these elements lead to the source of the inequality of wealth. Lori Ann Campbell and Robert L. Kaufman pointed out that the outcomes of wealth inequality between Blacks and Whites is much more acute than any other economical outcomes in the society that can not be explained by the key determinants of Black and White’s that are education,occupation and income. (Campbell and Kaufman, 2006). The difference in earnings because of the racial stratification between Blacks and Whites are someting that very important for the disposition of American society.

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Whites annually earn 80 percent higher than their Black counterparts and also their hourly wages are almost 48 percent higher than Blacks. (Dodoo and Takyi, 2002). These numbers are clearly show that wage is the most crucial factor for the wealth of a person. Besides the occupation and earnings, education is very important and related to the wealth of African Americans. Education does not effect the income of Blacks directly but it plays a key role. Because education effects the opportunity to occupation and it effects directly the income or welfare of the people.

Campell and Kaufman explain the importance of education by saying, “Education’s effect on wealth should itself be mediated partly by occupation; education facilitates entry into high-status occupations likely to provide greater earnings and fringe benefits which translate into a greater potential for wealth accumulation”. (Campell and Kaufman, 2006). If we look at the analysis of the rate of education, we can see the huge distinction between blacks and whites. Blacks attain a quality education lower than whites. And it effects their fates. So these three factors which are income, education and occupation are a chain of the wealth.

And the next paragraphs will analysis deeper the effects and sources of the wealth disparity between African Americans and White Americans. Unemployment is a very big problem for countries of the world. Growing number of population and mechanization are causing much worse to this problem. Unemployment leads to lose of the income, and the absence of income triggers poverty in both a citizen and country. According to Jeremy Pais, job creates income inequality because of the importance of the role of the job and the amount of trained and capable workers required. (Pais, 2010).

So unemployment is a crucial factor that must be considered by a country. Patterson describes that unemployment transmits a huge socio-economical disparity between African Americans and whites. (Patterson, 2010). He specifies also black median household income had declined by 7. 8 percent in 2000, when the incomes of whites were 65 percent. And he emphasizes that black median family wealth hardly grew which was standing at $5000 in contrast to white’s which was $100000 in 2007. (Patterson, 2010). In America, the rate of African Americans’ unemployment is about 15. 5 percent. (Newman and Pedulla, 2010).

This number is twice as much as whites. Even if they had a job, many African Americans work for the low quality jobs. This means low levels of income relatively whites. And also nearly 50% of the wage differences between blacks and whites result from the racial discrimination. (Greene and Rogers, 1994). So, we can say that discrimination of wages between blacks and whites play a key role to determinate the income status of blacks. Also underemployment is serious as unemployment for many Americans especially for African Americans, because generally they work in that kind of positions.

In March, almost 6 percent of workers had worked part time involuntary jobs. (Newman and Pedulla, 2010). The preferences of company recruiters can effect of this situation too. Because unfortunately, there is still people who have bad attitudes toward blacks. They think if they recruit African Americans to a high level position, the company can loss its prestige. According to Thomas Wison hiring and promoting are based on the race based preferences. (Wilson and McBrier, 2005). So white’s attitudes towards blacks change blacks’ income level. Beth Mintz and Daniel H.

Krymkowski explain that authority is an important dimension of social stratification and it is considered as a factor that maintains to race inequalities. And whites execute authority at work more than blacks. According to Mintz and Krymkowski, researches also show the white’s advantage of the authority. (Mintz and Krymkowski, 2010). Consequently, the race inequality of recruitment process and employment is directly effect the income and wealth of the African Americans. Besides the racial discrimination in labor market, one key reason for disparity is educational attaintment. (Newman and Pedulla, 2010).

Low skilled workers, who get less education, work for low qualification jobs and that means lower incomes than higher positions. So we can certainly say that the other factor of the income inequality is education. Because the primary criterion to possess a job is education. No one can maintain his/her life without income and anyone can earn money without a job. Income and job link to the education. When employers recruit someone to a job, they first look at that person’s education and job’s requirements are appropriate or not. So education is an important factor to people’s welfare.

In this case the one reason that why African Americans income lower compared to whites is their level of education. Because the investment on education is higher in whites than blacks, the return of course is higher either. Schooling has positive effect on the white workers. (Greene and Rogers, 1994). Because the blacks have received lower education attaintment and that effects their wages. Greene and Rogers also explain that an additional year in the school increases the wage’s of an employee by 69 cents per hour for blacks and 96 cents for whites. And the return to a linear years of education is 7. % for whites and 4. 3% for blacks. So they claim the rewards of the income are more on whites than blacks. (Greene and Rogers, 1994). And Beth Mintz and Daniel H. Krymkowski indicate that education is the investment which contributes to increase the authority in the workplace. And after the education, employees can show more authority and enjoy more returns of the investment of education. (Mintz and Krymkowski, 2010). According to Donna Jordan-Taylor educational attaintment is the most important factor in status both blacks and whites. (Taylor, 2010).

If we look at the history of African American education, we can see a crushing advantage of whites. The capital expenditures to “Negro Education” was $135,842 while white students were $651,290 in 1938-39 school year. Also African American teachers could earn half of the white teachers in that time. (Dodoo and Takyi, 2002). The history shows the faint educational attainment of blacks. The results of an analysis in 1968, educational level between black and white men whose ages 30-39 show that disparity clearly. Results show that 58. 3% of the status difference between whites and blacks come from the levels of the background resources, 32. % is because of the importance and activity of these background attaintment and 9. 2% emanates unexplained differences. (Taylor, 2010). This anlysis shows that the value of education in whites is higher than blacks. The effects of chilhood background also effect this pay disparities between African Americans and whites. According to Jeremy Pais this childhood background comprises the role of parental socioeconomy, the structure of family, childhood socialization and educational attaintment. These factors of the childhood background make a contribution to skills and attributes that totally effect the quality of work life. Pais, 2010). Also he claims that parents and communities are important to acquire these skills and attributes for contributing of society later when they grown up but unfortunately there is not much families and communications give that chance to children in life. The differences in infancy and youth periods are very important for the inequality. Because different access of the socieconomic resources effects socialization and other crucial things like education and these things directly link to the the differences in the earnings.

Children who came from the same socioeconomic and advantages/disadvantages groups are earning similar wages when they grow up. So these differences are an important source of the income inequality. Researchers explain that half of the earning discriminations are based on the different educational attaintment and education and occupation status of the family. So crucial indivudual background factors that are socioeconomic status of family, stability of family, socialization of peer group and learned abilities also effect the quality of education.

Thus, these childhood advantages and disadvantages directly related to different skills of an adult in the labor market and that makes an inevitably affect of the wages of an employee. (Pais, 2010). So when we are looking for the income disparity from education, we have to look at the family and society background of the childhood. To sum up, the differences in the structure of income between African Americans and whites arise from the occupation and education differences between these two groups. Occupation is the first crucial factor causes to income disparity.

Because being an unemployed or employed can totally effect the welfare or income of the people. People can earn money with their job. And if they work for low quality jobs, their incomes will be less compared to high status jobs. Or being unemployed is even worse than the work for low quality jobs. Because without job, there is no income to sustain a quality life. In America, the rate of African Americans’ unemployment is about 15. 5 percent. (Newman and Pedulla, 2010). And this number is more than twice of whites. Although African Americans have a job, generally they work for the low quality jobs. And this reduce their income levels. Greene and Rogers, 1994). As we mentioned before, Patterson indicates that the household income of African Americans hardly grew compared to whites. (Patterson, 2010). The occupation inequality emanates from the attitudes of whites toward blacks that symbolises the racial discrimination, authority og whites in the labor market and education but we have to give separate place to education. Because the most crucial factor to income disparity between whites and blacks is education after the occupation. When we look at the blacks and whites’ education rates, we will see the white supremacy on education.

Of course the returns on the investment on education will be higher in the labor market. When we think about the education, we have to think also the parental occupation and education status and society of childhood years. Because these factors are also effect the education levels. Generally, if a child grow up a family and society of higher status, this child will take advantage of more education and position in the labor market later when he/she grows. Thus we have to consider to all sides that effect the inequality of blacks and whites’ income. Because everything is linked ogether and very important factor to effect this inequality. BIBLIOGRAPHY (Newman and Pedulla, 7/19/2010, Inequality In America And What To Do About It, Vol. 291, Issue 3/4, p17-18, 2p) (Wilson and McBrier, Jun 2005, Race and Loss of Privilege: African American/White Differences in the Determinants of JobLayoffs from Upper-Tier Occupations, Vol. 20, No. 2, Sociological Forum, pp. 301-321) (Mintz and Krymkowski, 15 Jan 2010, The Ethnic, Race, And Gender Gaps In Workplace Authority: Changes over Time in the United States, Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 20–45) Dodoo and Takyi, Nov 2002, Africans in the diaspora: black-white earnings differences among America’s Africans, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p913-941, 29p) (Campbell and Kaufman, 2nd Quarter 2006, Racial differences in household wealth: Beyond Black and White, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 24, Issue 2, Pages 131-152) (Greene and Rogers, Spring/Summer94, Education and the earnings disparities between black and white men: A comparison of professionals, Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 23 Issue 1/2, p113;18p, 5 Charts) Mintz and Krymkowski, 15 Jan 2010, THE ETHNIC, RACE, AND GENDER GAPS IN WORKPLACE AUTHORITY: Changes over Time in the United States, Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 51, Issue1) kpoksq_1165 20.. 45 (Patterson, 7/19/2010, Inequality In America And What To Do About It, Nation, Vol. 291 Issue 3/4, p18-20,2p) (Taylor, Winter 2010, African American Educators Misconstrued, The Journal of African American History, Vol. 95, Issue 1, p92) (Pais, September 2010, Competing sources of earnings inequality: A comparison of variance components, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Vol. 28, Issue 3, Pages 359-73)


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