Thursday, March 19, 2009

The GOP Urban Agenda: Financial Literacy by Akindele Akinyemi

The movement for silver rights through family, eduction and wealth creation is connected to the way we conduct our lifestyle. It is critical for urban conservatives in this day and time to examine the way business is being conducted across the Diaspora. We cannot begin to discuss freedom and justice unless we begin to look at things not just locally but globally.

Urban communities are faced with all types of situations that are detrimental to our community. Social conservatives discuss how abortion is the biggest factor affecting Black people in our community. I am not saying that abortion is not important at all because it is our responsibility to help build strong and viable families in our communities. However, education is a serious issue to the extent of it becoming a national security issue.

Therefore, in order for us to move our silver rights movement into a urban conservative framework we first must begin addressing some of the factors that has led us to poverty and create a solution to move us away from this dilemma that has plagued our community for decades.

When I talk about the root of poverty in the urban community I find two answers. From those who lean liberal they feel that the poverty and disparities in our community stems from systematic slavery and barriers placed against us to achieve social justice in our community. Conservatives, on the other hand, point to FDR's New Deal program that was further advanced by LBJ's War on Poverty programs.

Looking at this, from a urban conservative perspective, both factors that liberals and conservatives are pointing out can be attributed to the downfall of the urban family and community. So what we need to do is create a 21st Century agenda to solve problems.

A GOP urban agenda is necessary in this day and time. The world financial crisis is being played in the daily media. AIG is under fire for giving out million dollar bonuses. However, no one is talking about how the consumer has contributed to the financial crisis. Over 70% in the United States and 59% in Canada spend their money in areas where they should not be spending.

In K-12 educational arenas there should be financial literacy courses available to prepare our children to become accountable for the financial decision we make in our community. Current per-capita debt load is at a record high, the rate of personal bankruptcies is rising, use of fringe financial services is rising and savings rates for retirement and children's post secondary education remain too low.

Financial literacy entails developing skill sets people will use every day to make better decisions. I find it interesting that conservatives use talking points such as "free-market" and "limited government" without ever explaining financial literacy to help them understand what the benefits of a free market system. Again, if you plan on coming into our community you must begin to explain things in a matter where people will understand you.

We cannot get to educate the urban community on the free market without creating financial services that are accessible particularly to those who cannot afford a financial advisor.

In order for utilize financial literacy in K-12 education we must examine initiatives that must be co-ordinated locally and delivered nationally. In the context of an GOP Urban Agenda a committee must be formed to address, plan and execute these ideas to the locally and expand from one community to the next.

According to the latest polls in the country 60% of Americans say the economy is the #1 issue while moral issues are at 3%.

We need to get on the ball in promoting silver rights to help transform urban areas in our community.

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