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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tax Refunds in the Black community…Where is all that money going?

Tax refunds are coming back in the Black community. How can you tell? Easy. Look down at the feet of all the brothers and sisters in the neighborhood.

The easiest way to tell people have their income tax refund in the Black community is by noticing all the brand new sneakers on peoples’ feet. When Black folks get some money it seems like the first thing they do is head over to the Foot Locker, the Foot Action or whatever sneaker shop in their neighborhood and go out and buy the first pair of new Air Jordans or whatever new hot shoe Nike produces this year.

Making Phil Knight and the employees of the Nike Corporation richer and the Black community poorer.

In addition to sneakers there are other tells that tax refunds are being spent in the Black community. New hair weaves. Elaborate nail designs. New big screen TVs. New cell phones. Furniture. Cars. Designer clothes.

And in the summertime, new rims on tires and boomin sound systems.

Tax refunds usually average anywhere from $1100-$5000 depending on the individual or the family. And the sad thing is that Black folks aren’t paying themselves first when they get that money. 97 percent of all Black dollars wind up being spent outside of the Black community. Almost all the dollars from Black people’s tax refunds wind up in the pocket of a nonblack business owner.

Money can make money if it’s spent right. Unfortunately, most Black folks don’t know how to spend money. Brothers and sisters waste too much of their money buying consumer products instead of investing in themselves.

Out of all the tax money being returned to the Black community, not a single dollar is being reinvested in Black people or helping Black people get better. Not a single computer is being bought. Not a single investment in a small business or even a side hustle. Even if brothers and sisters bought things like savings bonds or put a little money away in something like a money market account they’d still pull a profit on that annual windfall many get.

But as it stands right now all that money goes out of the Black community into White, Asian, Hispanic and Arab hands. Everyone makes money off Black people but Black people.

That’s what’s saddest about this. 400 years after slavery and almost 200 years after emancipation, and 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, most Black people still live in poverty. Even with $1.1 trillion dollars flowing through the Black community.

$1.1 trillion dollars. Enough money to employ every unemployed Black man and Black woman in the United States.

But all that money winds up enriching other communities. Why? Because most Black people don’t know how to spend their own money or invest in their own people.

Money when spent well can provide a return to the owner of that money. And Black people have to start learning how to spend money in a way that makes a return to their community. When Black people pay themselves first, they invest in their future. Every dollar brothers and sisters spend on things like starting a business, buying a computer or even saving it in the bank is a step made towards building themselves and their community up into a stronger and more powerful economic power base.