Differences in race lead to divergent levels of economic development within the United States. Analysts often try to explain this phenomenon by observing a specific ethnic group's tradition and cultural ideology. Economists expand their analysis on the economic behaviors of African Americans by taking into consideration personal histories and value systems of the group under study. American families measure economic status in terms of income, and factors associated with material security as a whole. These factors may consist of health care, college funds, and retirement plans. However, African American families lag well behind when conceptualizing economic development under these terms.
The reason is due to numerous instances of discrimination that occur in the U.S. Many of America's public policies aid in the underdevelopment of non-white families. Increased economic development within America is the key to upward political and social mobility. If minorities are denied inevitable rights to equality, access to economic development becomes a highly difficult process. Despite America's idealized view on equal opportunity, it is valid to assume that economic security has been limited on the basis of race. Therefore, it is important to investigate why white American families are economically better-off than non-white American families. One must take into account aspects of political participation, education, and the number of children a family has in the home in order to understand this research question.
The lack of political participation of minority groups is a prevalent issue within the United States, explaining why non-white American families are less economically developed when compared to white American families. According to Douglas S. Massey (1995), minority families increasingly speak languages and bear cultures quite different than the established norms within the U.S. regime. He has found that ethnic groups carry their customs into new generations, leading many non-white families to become displaced and impoverished. Brinck Kerr and Will Miller (1997) believe that it is necessary for non-white American families to participate in elections in order to obtain equal representation that they are now lacking. They go on to say that political representation is the key to higher employment levels, and is a significant determinant to the minority share of professional positions. William H. Frey (1996) finds that immigrants usually encounter highly stratified society characterized by high income inequality leaving little room for upward mobility. In addition, Paula D. Mcklain (1990) assumes that non-white American families will continue to reside in low economic subcultures that are institutionally incomplete if they are represented at much lower ratios relative to the population portions of whites.
Susan Welch (1990) has found that minority groups have not even achieved half their population proportions in political elections. These numbers are even lower than what they were a decade ago. She states that other factors that lead to low political participation within minority groups is that a substantial number of non-white American families are not citizens, and therefore are not eligible to vote. Also, Massey has found that America enacts policies that hinder the socioeconomic status of immigrants for they are underrepresented at virtually all levels and institutions in United States government.
Moreover, Friedberg and Hunt (1995) have found that non-white American families receive less benefits than white families because of geographic segregation within the community. The various dispersion of minority families in different low-income areas within the U.S. makes it difficult for these families to be represented proportionally. Consequently, Rodney E. Hero and Caroline J. Tolbert (1995) believe minority families can now be easily manipulated by government because...
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