We SHALL Overcome … Income Disparity

When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, it became illegal for employers to discriminate based on race; however, income disparities have not flattened out.

According to an article by Ned Resinikoff at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/washingtons-silence-the-racial-wealth-gap: “In 1967, with the Civil Rights movement still in full swing and Jim Crow still looming in the rearview mirror, median household income was 43% higher for white, non-Hispanic households than for black households. But things changed dramatically over the next half century, as legal segregation faded into history. By 2011, median white household income was 72% higher than median black household income, according to a Census report from that year.”

The same holds true for women. According to an article on the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (www.iwpr.org): “women are almost half of the workforce. They are the equal, if not main, breadwinner in four out of ten families. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent. Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.”

IWPR tracks the gender wage gapStarting over time in a series of fact sheets updated twice per year. According to their research, if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take 44 years—or until 2058—for women to finally reach pay parity.

Not surprisingly, the same holds true for those without a college education, regardless of race or gender.

So if you are a minority, a woman, or uneducated, or if you’ve just had a series of bad breaks, how do you overcome this? By opening and operating a successful small business. If your business offers quality products or services at a competitive price and you effectively target your market and run that business, you SHALL overcome.

Making the decision today to start your own business as we celebrate the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, honors his memory and puts you in control of your destiny.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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