The Austerity Agenda and the State of the Dream

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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.

(1) Tax cuts for the rich flow overwhelmingly to whites.

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(2) "The attack on the public sector through pay freezes, furloughs, layoffs and proposed cuts is an attack on Black workers," who are disproportionately employed in federal, state, and local government.

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(CEPR ran the numbers used to produce this chart. The report also cites other numbers from CEPR.)

(3) Because a higher share of African Americans and Latinos are poor, "[c]uts to social safety nets hit Blacks and Latinos hardest."

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(4) Because African American and Latino workers also face the highest rates of unemployment, the failure to create a large-scale jobs program hurts them most.

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You can download the full report here.