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Sunday, June 16, 2024

New York City, the rate of unemployment for black men is near 50%

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The next question is about the recession’s effect on minority communities. The reporter notes that in New York City, the rate of unemployment for black men is near 50%.

“Given this unique and desperate circumstance,” asks the reporter, “what specific policies can you point to and what’s a timetable for us to see tangible results?”

Naturally, this is an impossible question to answer. The president already pointed out in an earlier answer that he does not possess a crystal ball (we knew that). In his answer, he does what he sometimes does on the public stage—he refuses to engage specifically on the plight of African Americans, but relates the question to everyone who is underprivileged or disproportionately affected by the downturn.

“Every step we are taking is designed to help all people,” says Obama, though he acknowledges that the “African American community and the Latino community are probably disproportionately represented” in the ranks of the unemployed and uninsured.

“My general approach,” he says, “is if the economy is strong, that will lift all boats, as long as it is supported by strategies around college affordability, job training, tax cuts for working families, as opposed to the wealthiest families.”

Policies, he says, “that level the economic playing field” are the key.

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