Big Spenders, Small Investors: Blacks Have Little to Show for Hard-Earned Dollars

Stacy M. Brown | 9/18/2013, 3 p.m.
If black America counted as an independent country, its wealth would rank 11th in the world. However, African-Americans continue to ...
Dorothy A. Brown (Courtesy photo)

Woulard, whose books include, the 2011, “Pawn Queen,” noted that the money spent tithing could buy as many as 93,333 homes valued at $150,000; pay for tuition up to $15,000 a year for 933,333 college students, and feed every homeless American for a year.

“It’s the best hustle on the planet. If you don’t get it here on earth, you’ll get it when you die and go to heaven,” Woulard said. “And, it just so happens that not one person in the history of this planet has died, went to heaven, and come back to tell everyone that it’s true.”

The vast majority of those contributing to the large spending statistics are hard working and mostly poor people who spend in relative small amounts and only on items that are readily available to them, said Jared Ball, an associate professor of Communication Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore and a radio host for WPFW 89.3 FM in Northwest Washington, D.C.

“Poverty is not the result of spending habits, but it is a well-structured planned outcome of an economic system which demands that it exist,” said Ball, 36.

“The objective reality that actually shapes our lives is in part due to misinformation and the conclusions reached by so many prominent thinkers in our world. Precisely at a time when black unemployment is worsening and predicted to reach even further epidemic levels, we also hear of research which suggests that black Americans think their lot is actually improving,” he said.

However, there remains one inescapable fact: when African Americans make money, they are quick to spend it, said Boyce Watkins, a Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University in New York.

“We don’t use money to invest or produce,” said Watkins, 42.” When we get our tax refund, we go straight to the store.”