The Economic Circulatory $ystem

August 2, 2017

Just as the human body and most living creatures have a circulatory system that delivers life-giving blood filled with oxygen and other nutrients to every cell of their bodies, the economic system is full of veins and arteries that allow communities to thrive if the ingredient carried by the system — money — is present.

Some communities reap the benefits of the economic system more than others. Why is that?
The chart below explains part of the disparity. Noting the length of time $1 spends in the economic circulatory system of various communities.

The chart below explains part of the disparity. Noting the length of time $1 spends in the economic circulatory system of various communities.

  • 6 hours in the Black community
  • 17 days in the White community
  • 20 days in the Jewish community
  • 30 days in the Asian community

The longer that $1 circulates within a community, the more prosperous the community. For example, look around many black communities and what do you see? Liquor stores, Dollar General, fast food, etc. Nothing against these types of businesses, but those businesses and most others extract what little wealth there is in poorer communities and transfers it to communities where it circulates longer because those communities do business with others within their communities.

And the truth be known, the black community is not poor, that’s why certain businesses pop up in and around urban communities. Black purchasing power, according to University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth was $1.2 trillion in 2013. Black purchasing power in Georgia is expected to reach $95 billion in 2018 according to Jeffrey Humphreys, director of the Selig Center. “Georgia is now the fifth largest African-American consumer market in the United States and owns a 21.8 percent share of total buying power for the state,” according to the Selig Center.

The Economic Circulatory $ystem

That’s a lot of money, however, most of it disappears and ends up in another community before sunset falls on payday. And it’s spent on what?

According to Black Entrepreneur, here’s a breakdown:

  • No group watches more television than African-Americans (37 percent more). Black women watch more television than their male counterparts.
  • Not surprisingly, the largest portion of non-edible-goods spending in the black community went to-ward ethnic hair and beauty aids.

How do we help that $1 circulate more than six hours in the black community? We must think before we spend. FBBC will soon publish a black business directory — use it. The Macon Middle Georgia Black Pages has been around for 25 years promoting black businesses and those that support them — get one.
One final note: If we can harness just the money inside the black community, there is not a need that cannot be filled. As David Love wrote for Atlanta Black Star, “Black folks don’t have jobs because they are creating so many jobs for other communities. For all of this wealth, we don’t feel wealthy because we are sending all of our money outside the black community.

“As Dr. Boyce Watkins noted, we need to harness that wealth. He said that with over $1 trillion, one can buy: 1,000 NFL teams; 3,000 predominantly white universi-ties; the annual budget of 1.4 million charter schools across the nation; pay the tuition at Howard University for 50 million students for an entire year; buy 854,000 community centers; purchase NBC, ESPN and CBS and still have $1 trillion left over.

I told you, we have a lot of money. Let’s learn how to properly put it into circulation.

Written by Charles Richardson