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Reporting a $2.2 billion loss in its fiscal second quarter, the U.S. Postal Service said it expects to hit its borrowing limit by the Sept. 30 end of its fiscal year, and will default on payments to the federal government unless Congress allows it to cut costs and liabilities, Reuters reported.
The Postal Service, which has lost money the last four fiscal years, has asked to cut Saturday mail delivery and in March announced layoffs and post office closures.
1. Barbers—35.0%2. Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides—34.0%3. Residential advisors—29.6%4. Security guards and gaming surveillance officers—28.6%5. Postal service clerks-28.3%6. Baggage porters, bellhops, and concierges—27.1%7. Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators—26.4%8. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs—25.7%9. Bus drivers—24.9%10. Parking lot attendants—24.4%
'The downsizing of state and local governments is going to have a predictable, disproportionate, negative effect on people of color generally and especially the black community,'' said Bennett Harrison, a professor of political economy at the New School for Social Research. Professor Harrison, who has studied urban government workers since the early 1970's, said minority groups benefited disproportionately from the growth of the public sector and are now simply in the wrong place as history's wheel has turned. ''The case is unambiguous,'' he said.
The New York State Comptroller, H. Carl McCall, who as a young black man in the mid-1960's got his start working on antipoverty programs in the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay before going on to a career at Citibank in the 1970's, said his greatest fear was not so much for the people leaving jobs now, but for their children and grandchildren.
''Public sector jobs helped establish a stable middle class for the minority community, but the next generation will not have that opportunity,'' he said.
If the election of America's first African-American president was expected to give blacks an economic boost, it hasn't emerged yet. Indeed, the percentage of African-American men with a job has dropped to its lowest level since records began in 1972, according to the government's monthly jobs report released last week.
Even as the economy added a better-than-expected 244,000 jobs, the percentage of black males over 20 who are currently employed dropped slightly to 56.9, the Labor Department's April report shows. For whites, the equivalent figure is 68.1 percent.
Before this recession, the percentage of black adult men with a job had never dropped below 60 percent, according to Labor Department statistics.
And among blacks, it's not just men who are suffering. Just 51.5 percent of African-Americans across the board--compared to 59.5 percent of whites--have a job, the numbers show. That's the lowest level for blacks since 1984. (That group includes 16- to 19-year-olds, who are employed at a far lower rate than their elders.)
These employment rates are calculated differently from the top-line unemployment rate, which includes only those actively looking for work, and inched back up last month to 9 percent.
Heather Boushey, an economist with the liberal Center for American Progress, told The Lookout it's not just African-Americans who have been hit particularly hard. It's also other traditionally struggling groups, such as ex-offenders and those without a college degree.
"Anyone who would be last on an employer's list to get a job is really in bad shape" in the current downturn, Boushey said.
And employers' hiring practices may be making the problem worse. As we've reported, online job listings telling the unemployed not to apply have proliferated in recent years. The federal government is currently probing whether such listings illegally discriminate against African Americans, who are disproportionately likely to be among the jobless.
House lawmakers unveiled seven bills Friday to speed up the eventual closure of government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae ( FNMA) and (FMCC), part of a Republican push to dramatically reduce the U.S. government's role in the mortgage market.
The bills are part of a GOP strategy keep public attention on Fannie and Freddie, the two mortgage giants whose government takeover in fall 2008 has cost taxpayers about $138 billion so far.
Both Freddie and Fannie continue to post massive losses, and news that the Obama Administration is planning to pressure banks to lend money to disadvantaged minority who lack credit access can only be greeted with a smile: isn’t this what brought about the latest financial collapse?
Republicans, especially in the House, want to unwind the government's longstanding support of the $10.5 trillion U.S. mortgage market, arguing that the high levels of support that have traditionally been part of American housing policy pose too much of a risk of future bailouts. They face intense resistance, however, from powerful interests such as Realtors and community bankers, who have been lobbying on Capitol Hill to maintain federal support. The Senate, meanwhile, has shown little inclination to take up the issue anytime soon.
"Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action."
Both white Americans and black Americans perceive significant progress in the fight against anti-black bias, but white Americans believe the progress has come at their expense, a new survey finds.
The researchers contacted a random national sample of 209 whites and 208 blacks, and asked them how much discrimination each group faced, on a scale of one to ten, for each decade since the 1950s.
Black Americans saw anti-black bias as declining steadily, from 9.7 in the ’50s to 6.1 in the ’00s. Over the same period, they perceived a small increase in anti-white bias, from 1.4 to 1.8.
White Americans saw an even steeper decline in anti-black bias: from 9.1, in the ’50s, to 3.6, in the ’00s. But more striking, according to the researchers, was the sharp increase in perceived anti-white bias: Among whites, it shot up from 1.8 to 4.7.
White Americans, in short, thought that anti-white bias was a greater societal problem by the ’00s than anti-black bias.
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Omar Thornton, who was black, “did not seem to understand the concept of seniority” and therefore believed he was subjected to racism at Hartford Distributors, Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy said. The company’s most senior drivers pick the best routes, leaving the remainder for less senior workers like Thornton, Montminy said.
Thornton shot 10 people, eight of them fatally, within three minutes Aug. 3 before killing himself in what Montminy said was the worst mass shooting ever in Connecticut.
Immediately before the shootings, Thornton was fired for stealing beer. Afterward, he called 911 and told an operator: “This place is a racist place. They’re treating me bad over here. And treat all other black employees bad over here, too. So I took it to my own hands and handled the problem. I wish I could have got more of the people.”
Despite acknowledging a legacy of discrimination, the Department of Agriculture is still plagued by civil rights problems that have in the past led to unequal treatment of minorities seeking loans and other help, according to a government-commissioned report Wednesday.
Most of the employees interviewed by a private consulting firm did not believe the department, sued over the years by blacks, Hispanic, American Indians and women, had a civil rights problem. Research by the Jackson Lewis LLP Corporate Diversity Counseling Group “substantiated in part the anecdotal claims of neglect, at best, and wide-spread discrimination, at worst” at the department.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack arranged for the $8 million review as part of an effort to address long-running problems, many involving minorities denied loans by department field offices staffed mostly by white men.
Discrimination was most acute at the agency responsible for delivering farm loans and other programs to rural residents. The study noted that far fewer minorities participated in many programs than did whites, and found not enough effort to go into minority communities to market loans and services.
“Customers and potential customers stated that USDA policies and practices, often unintentionally, and sometimes purposely by ‘bad actors,’ result in the unfair treatment and denial of program access which have had a broad and longstanding negative impact,” the report said.
Vilsack said the department has put in place some of the more than 200 recommendations from the report. Since he took over in 2009, he has focused on correcting civil rights problems, reviewing long-neglected complaints and settling lawsuits brought by the minority farmers. He calls it a “cultural transformation.”