Politic365

 
 


Policy

10:00pm April 10, 2012

Idea Theft and Black Unemployment

black-computers-skills-gap

Black unemployment is a symptom of persistent racial discrimination and skills gaps, but competition and trade policies play a role in unemployment that policy makers too often overlook.  Information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) theft is a significant threat to U.S. companies’ ability to generate revenue and thus, jobs.

Recently, U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, along with a bipartisan group of 14 other Committee members, wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to assist 36 state attorneys general in confronting the growing problem of IT and IP theft from U.S. companies by foreign and other manufacturers.

Some have noted that many African-Americans are already grappling with a silent economic depression.  While the nation’s employment picture has slowly improved over recent months to an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in February 2012, the unemployment rate of African-Americans still stands at 14.1 percent, which is up from 13.6 percent in January.  This is significantly higher than the Great Recession peak overall unemployment rate of 10.2% in October of 2009.

The fates of African-Americans have been tied to the manufacturing sector since the end of World War II.  John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer of the Center for Economic and Policy Research have noted that manufacturing jobs “built the black middle class after World War II.”  However, between 1979 and 2007, the share of African-Americans working in manufacturing fell from 23.9 percent to 9.8 percent.  During the Great Recession’s incipient stages between December 2007 and December 2009, the manufacturing sector experienced a 14.6 percent decline in employment–among 13 other service sector industries, only construction experienced a steeper decline in jobs during that period. African-Americans were among those workers who were hardest hit during this period and are now under-represented in manufacturing.

Improving African-American unemployment trends will require a multi-agency effort.  The Department of Labor and other agencies have already granted a consortium of 10 South Carolina educational  institutions—including Denmark Technical College (an HBCU)—$20 million to develop 37 new online courses in emerging jobs in manufacturing and other key sectors.  While this approach addresses skills gaps, the FTC can do its part by addressing IT and IP theft and ensuring the competitive landscape remains conducive to job growth.



About the Author

Joseph Miller
Joseph Miller
Joseph Miller, Esq. is Deputy Director and Senior Policy Director of the Media and Technology Institute at the Joint Center for Political Studies.




 
 

 
walmart-minimum-wage-increase

Walmart Wage Increase Likely to Start New Trend Toward Pay Equity

Better schedules, more training, and a wage increase up to $10.00 per hour – that’s what Walmart workers can expect beginning on April 1. Last month, the world’s largest retailer announced that it was raising...
by Kristal High
1

 
 
new-black-panthers-600x350

Open Carry Gun Laws Won’t Work for Black People Until Racial Bias Abates

Earlier this year, video went viral of a 62-year-old Black grandfather being chocked and tackled by three White men in Florida, an open carry gun state, after one of them saw a gun in his waistband and assumed he was a criminal...
by Brandon Patterson
2

 
 
american-muslim-black-community

An Open Letter from a Black Man to the Muslim Community

Dear Muslim Americans, I stand with you. I hear you and I stand with you because I know. I know what it’s like to feel rejected, to be hated.  I know what it’s like to feel unsafe, like a target.  To wonder if you or some...
by Brandon Patterson
1

 

Advertisement
 
congressional-black-caucus

CBC: Continuing the Legacy of Advocacy and Change

“The CBC was formed in 1971 because its founders understood that Black lives matter.  Black boys matter.  Black girls matter.  The Black family matters.  The Black church matters.  Black America in its totality matters....
by Charlyn Stanberry
2

 
 
SolarPowerPlantSerpa

Duke Energy Spearheading Solar Expansion in North, South Carolina

The Southeast is rapidly becoming a hot bed for solar expansion, and Duke Energy is leading the charge.  The company already owns or purchases 600 MW of solar capacity in North Carolina, and today announced that it is seeking ...
by Charlyn Stanberry
3

 




2 Comments


  1. Well put. Protection of IP ownership is fundamental to overall economic stability, but particularly important to ensuring that the benefits of ideas flow to emerging creators. The $1 bil sale of Instagram for FB is an example just down the road for groups of minority entrepreneurs entering the pipeline. This is not just a big biz issue, but directly related to the robbing of value from across the economy.

    Jason Llorenz, HTTP @hispanicttp


  2. [...] The following article by Joseph Miller originally appeared on Politic365. [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>