State of the Dream 2011 | Media Coverage

Select Coverage of State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?

State of the Dream 2011 report cover State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom? surveys the impacts of a tax-cutting, government-shrinking economic agenda – as prescribed by Republican leadership with Tea Party allies – on communities of color.

We find that if such an agenda advances, the dream of a racially equal society, as described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over four decades ago, will be pushed even further out of reach.

If you are a media representative or blogger on social and economic issues and are interested in covering this report, please contact Maz Ali at 617-423-2148 x101 and/or [email protected]. Scroll down for select media coverage of this report.

Kansas City Star Logo

February 27, 2011

Economic parity dream needs a second wind

The nearly 400-year history of black people in America has always been a race to catch up. Recent data shows that history has not changed.

United for a Fair Economy last month released its “State of the Dream Report” showing that African Americans have only 10 cents in net wealth compared with 12 cents for Latinos and a dollar for whites. [...]

Joblessness is a major problem, too, among people of color. This is a “who you know” job market, which embraces white privilege. [...] also found that...whites are three times as likely as blacks and 4.6 times as likely as Latinos to benefit from the tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000. The report also shows that the benefits of the reduced tax rate for capital gains and dividends flowed “overwhelmingly to whites.”

That and the weakening of the estate tax will continue to widen the wealth gap. Again, this is the disadvantaged history of blacks in America, beginning as people who were property by law.

Read the full column by Lewis Diuguid on


Salon logo

February 24, 2011

The dirty secret of public-sector union busting

Look a little closer at who really stands to lose if Scott Walker gets his way: Women and minorities

Amid all the rightful outrage over Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to do away with collective bargaining rights for public sector unions in Wisconsin, one important point has been neglected: The demise of public sector unions would be most detrimental to women and African-Americans, who make up a disproportionate share of the public sector workforce. [...]

According to a report by the nonprofit United for a Fair Economy, blacks are 30 percent more likely than the overall workforce to hold public sector jobs.

Read the full post by Alyssa Battistoni on


OpEd News logo

February 23, 2011

"We're Broke," Say the Rich, and the Poor Must Pay

Racism is the salvation of late-stage American capitalism. For hundreds of years, real facts of human existence have been routinely turned on their heads, and non-facts accepted as ultimate truths, all to justify white supremacy. A society so afflicted can believe literally anything. Thus, the Republicans achieve wondrous success by planting the words "We're broke" in the mouths of men and women who are transparently rich, and who in turn serve the interests of the super-rich. [...]

This governmental brokenness coexists with December's Obama-GOP two-year, $850 billion tax giveaway, 40 percent of which goes to the top five percent of income earners, while 25 percent will go to the top one percent, according to the United for a Fair Economy.

Read the full column on


Washington Post logo

February 19, 2010

In Rough Times, Black Americans Remain Optimistic

When asked recently how they feel about their future, 85 percent of blacks said they are optimistic, with 65 percent indicating they specifically feel secure about their financial situation... [...] 

Fifty-six percent of blacks, compared with 44 percent of whites, said the current economic situation is not causing stress in their lives.

The confidence level of blacks in the race and recession survey is in stark contrast to the depressing economic data showing that the economic crisis is still plaguing the African American community. [...]

Read the full column by Michelle Singletary on


The Progressive logo

February 10, 2011

The Recession May Be Over, But the Misery is Not

Black and Latino families are continuing to disproportionally experience economic hardship, points out another report from the Boston-based research organization United for a Fair Economy. The reason is that they entered the recession with a meager cushion. In 2007, blacks had only a dime and Latinos 12 cents of assets compared to every dollar whites had.

“Very clearly, they don’t have the wealth to withstand and to endure economic hardships in the same way white families are able,” says Mazher Ali, a co-author of the report.

Read the full column by Eva Sanchis on


New York Times logo

January 28, 2011

Hard-Knock (Hardly Acknowledged) Life

So how is it that this Democratic president has the temerity to deliver a State of the Union address that completely neglects any explicit mention of the calamitous conditions now afflicting his staunchest supporters: the poor? [...]

And things could get even worse for the poor if the president feels the need to cut too many deals with the new Republican-led House in order to appear more centrist.

According to Brian Miller, the executive director of the nonpartisan and Boston-based group United for a Fair Economy and co-author of the group’s report entitled “State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?” released earlier this month, “austerity measures based on the conservative tenets of less government and lower taxes will ratchet down the standard of living for all Americans, while simultaneously widening our nation’s racial and economic divide.” [...]

Read the full column by Charles Blow on


January 24, 2011

MLK's Dream in Jeopardy

The world has changed since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream on the National Mall in 1963. But this year, during Black History Month, we should remember that King's messages remain as powerful--and necessary--today.

Nearly 43 years after King's assassination, the racial economic divide in our country endures. And if the austerity agenda advocated by deficit hawks in Congress succeeds, the state of King's dream is sure to decline.

MLK once said, "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." The unarmed truth--or data, in this case--is startling.

Read the full post by Wanjiku Mwangi of United for a Fair Economy.


January 20, 2011

GOP Austerity Plan is an Assault on Blacks and Latinos

"Them that's got shall get. Them that's not shall lose," as the Billie Holiday song goes. "Yes, the strong gets more while the weak ones fade. Empty pockets don't ever make the grade."

It is a tale of two cities in early twenty-first century America. Wall Street is enjoying hefty bonuses and corporate America is awash in cash. Yet, all you can hear, whether inside the Beltway or around state houses is talk of austerity, the new buzzword that's all the rage. Conservative politicians in Congress and in statehosues around the country rode a wave of Tea Party pseudo populism, funded by Republican philanthropy, corporate lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full post by David A. Love.


In These Times banner

January 19, 2011

GOP Austerity Plans Will Widen Racial Economic Divide, Report Says

Countries around the globe have gone from implementing stimulus packages to austerity measures as a model for economic recovery. The new Republican-led House of Representatives here in the United States is now mounting up a campaign of its own.

Eliminating social service programs, tax cuts for the rich, and rolling back public sector employees are all on the GOP agenda. But a new report argues that these policies will further widen economic inequalities for U.S. minorities and the public at-large.

The Boston-based nonprofit United For a Fair Economy published the findings last Friday to highlight Dr. Martin Luther’s King vision for economic justice. The analysis is not only a rebuke to the House majority’s policies, but also stands in stark contrast to a recent International Monetary Fund report that suggests countries should continue promoting fiscal austerity.

Read the full column by Akito Yoshikane on


Huffington Post logo

January 17, 2011

President Obama Does Fulfill King's Dream

Nearly a half century after King's I Have a Dream words the black poor are still just as tightly trapped in the grip of poverty and discrimination that King warned about. On the eve of the King national holiday and Obama's second year in office, the Boston based research and economic justice advocacy group, United for a Fair Economy, released its eighth annual King Day report. It found that the gaping disparities in income, wealth, employment, quality and availability of housing, decent schools, and health care between blacks, minorities and whites has grown even wider.

Read the full column by Earl Ofari Hutchinson on


Dollars & Sense banner

January 17, 2011

The Revolutionary MLK

Making King Bland: Every year on MLK Day, a bland liberal version of Martin Luther King is celebrated, and leftists take time to point out how radical King was, toward the end of his life, at any rate.  Two contributions of note. [...]

Read the full post by Chris Sturr on


Background Briefing w/ Ian Masters banner

January 17, 2011

"State of the Dream" on Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles

Mazher Ali, of United for a Fair Economy, talks about the new report, "State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?" 


Facing South blog logo

January 17, 2011

When judging the state of King's dream for economic justice, the verdict is clear: Black America faces a nightmare.

African-Americans bore the brunt of the Great Recession's job losses and economic slow-down. And it only promises to get worse: The slash-and-burn agenda proposed by the new Congressional House leadership, as well as many state legislatures, will have a uniquely devastating impact in low-income and black and Latino communities.

Just how bad? A new report by United for a Fair Economy offers a valuable survey of the damage that's already happened, and how it will likely get much worse.

Read the full post by Chris Kromm on


Huffington Post logo

January 17, 2011

Black Americans Especially Vulnerable To Budget Austerity, Study Shows

Whenever governments cut spending, the pain is uneven.

But African Americans are especially vulnerable, as a disproportionately high number rely on government dollars for crucial services, a new study has found. As black people are more dependant than white people on public safety nets, and are more likely to be on public payrolls, governmental austerity could wound the black community especially severely.

Read the full column by William Alden on


Daily Kos logo

January 16, 2011

Austerity for whom?

"[B]ecause we exist in a society that has an infrastructure and legacy of racism, the effect of these policies is the same as explicitly racist ones. For example, if you work at the DMV in your state and you're a minority, it probably will seem very much like racism to have your job eliminated while simultaneously the wealthy White guy at your counter is registering his new Bentley as a result of his brand new tax cut. Especially if half your co-workers are of color and most of the new luxury vehicle registrations are from people who are White."

Read the full post on


Tikkun Daily logo

January 15, 2011

Are We At A Tipping Point? State of the Dream 2011

Just the other day, though, one of my more socially liberal friends forwarded a story about how the top 1% has seen massive wealth increases in the last 30 years while the lowest 40% have seen not only a drop, but have fallen into the negative wealth zone (owing more money with very little assets).

Could this finally be a tipping point? [...]

Just in time for that tipping point, my friends at United for A Fair Economy have released their 2011 State of the Dream Report. With the Republican majority in the House demanding “austerity,” and Democracts likely to join them on some of their agenda items, this report shows who will get hurt the worst by “centrist” economic policies.

Read the full post by Craig Wiesner.


WDEF News 12 banner

January 14, 2011

State of the Dream 2011

As we prepare to observe MLK Day Monday, we take a look at the "state of the dream"

The group United for a Fair Economy released a report today that sheds some light on how far we've come in realizing Dr. King's dream.

It shows that current public policies worsens the racial economic gap...hitting African Americans and Latinos hardest.

Read the full post by Nordia Epps on


CEPR logo

January 14, 2011

The Austerity Agenda and the State of the Dream

In advance of Martin Luther King Day next Monday, United for a Fair Economy has released its 8th annual "State of the Dream" report, surveying the economic challenges facing workers of color. The 2011 edition focuses on the impact of economic austerity on African American and Latino workers.

The report documents several ways in which the austerity agenda sweeping Washington hurts the African American and Latino middle- and working-class.

Read the full post by John Schmitt.


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