Latino unemployment is 12.4 percent, the national average is 9.6 percent.
Latinos earn less per year than the general population.
Latino educational attainment is lower than the average; their dropout rate is higher than average.
And yet, Latino buying power is expected to grow over the next several years.
That’s according to a new study published by the the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business. Â A report on the study in scienceblog.com says that “the percentage gains in buying power during the past decade have varied considerably by race and ethnicity: 108 percent for Hispanics; 98 percent for Asians; 69 percent for Native Americans; and 60 percent for African Americans.” All of this in spite of the recession.
Business loves a growth market (as opposed to politics, that loves a grown market).Â Business loves growth even more when the starting point of growth is spectacular. According to the report â€œThe Hispanic market alone, at $1 trillion, is larger than the entire economies of all but 14 countries in the world â€” smaller than the GDP of Canada but larger than the GDP of Indonesia.â€
I don’t mean to be cynical, but: the US Latino market is smaller than the Canadian market, but not by much. So where’s the logic of enforcing the southern border with fences and guns and radar, drones and troops? While keeping the northern border open virtually to a whistling stroll.
When you enforce a border you stop flow both ways. Â So people who use the millennial immigration routes, now rutted by an imaginary line, can’t go back for fear they won’t be able to return. What happens is that those same people move around the country and find new places to sprout roots. So instead of a flow you get a churn.
The result has an impact on the economy: “The top 10 states, as ranked by the rate of growth of Hispanic buying power during the past decade, are South Dakota (253 percent), North Dakota (237 percent), Arkansas (229 percent), Alabama (228 percent), South Carolina (226 percent), Maine (222 percent), Tennessee (220 percent), West Virginia (211 percent), Mississippi (206 percent) and Maryland (204 percent).” Not the Southwest, but South Dakota, Tennessee and Alabama. That’s mainly where the buying power growth is. That’s also where civil and educational rights for Latinos are stuck 40 years in the past. It’s where Latinos have the least political power. It’s where more attention should be focused.
And you wonder why big business is looking over seas for a growth market and willing work force. It makes you wonder why business backs anti-immigrant candidates when it benefits them to find ways to foster a growing market and with it a growing economy here in the US.
It just makes you wonder.