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When Minorities Become the Majority: The Vision for 2050
Southport, CT, August 14, 2008/ -- DiversityBusiness.com /- Census data leave no doubt that minorities are rapidly increasing as a proportion of the total United States population. This is the result of immigration and minorities’ higher birthrates compared to Caucasians. Minorities will become the majority of the national population around the year 2050, but many communities have made the transition already.

This country is not preparing for this momentous demographic shift that will create a “new majority.” The most pressing problem is that today’s minorities are getting neither the help they need to fully participate in the entrepreneurial economy, nor the education they need to staff the workforce in the service/knowledge economy.

Although overt, intentional discrimination has become socially and legally unacceptable in US society, the situation facing minorities destines all but a few of them to remain an economic underclass. When an economic underclass becomes the majority, the American Dream becomes no more than a fairy tale for most people, the class division between the embarrassingly wealthy and the unacceptably poor takes on epic proportions, and alienation, resentment, and social unrest become increasingly prominent in the American ethos.

The issue is not just a matter of fairness among the haves and have-nots. Even those who subscribe to the view that “life isn’t fair” need to pay attention to their long-term self-interest: the impact of minority underachievement will extend beyond the minority community to constrain gross domestic product, and harm “the haves’” ability to remain affluent. Instead of contributing robustly to the national economy, minorities will remain on the sidelines of their value chains, generating little wealth, few jobs, low tax revenues, and fiscal burdens.

Exclusion from the lucrative parts of value chains arises because minorities are not achieving the level of literacy—much less advanced education—necessary to participate fully in the service/knowledge economy. In most of this country’s minority-dominated communities—inner cities, barrios, and Indian reservations—no more than half today’s ninth-graders will graduate from high school. Many of those who graduate will not be able to read, write, do basic math, and use a computer—the most basic skills required for employment beyond the realm of unskilled labor. The social and economic costs of this inter-generational fate are rising as minorities grow in proportion to the national population.

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For more details please visit http://www.DiversityBusiness.com/Magazine

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