Ceteris Non Parabus


According to the Bureau of the Census, for 1998, average per
capita income for white non-hispanic Americans was
substantially higher than that of Asian Americans,
African Americans, and Hispanic Americans, in that order.

White Non-Hispanic $ 20991
Asian Americans $ 18332
African Americans $ 12172
Hispanic Americans $ 10279

While it would be difficult to contend that there was no
difference among these groups, or that discrimination does
not play a role in that discrepancy, there are important
factors which reduce the differentiation and render
the argument quite less convincing. Indeed, there is almost
a negative relationship between these factors
and the direction of the scale this data suggests.

At least four vital variables can be examined.

1) Size of family
2) Cohort average age
3) Single parent families
4) Education level

In the United States, the number of members in families
among these groups runs in the opposite direction as the
declining scale of per capita income. The average
number of persons in white families is the smallest,
with that of Asian Americans being slightly higher,
followed in increasing order by black and then Hispanic
families. The same is true for the other three
characteristics mentioned above. The proportion of single
parent families runs on an opposing track, as do average
ages and educational levels. And each of them is an
important indicator of economic power and explain the
differences in great measure.

White families are the smallest in size, they have the
highest average age, lowest proportion of single parent
families, and highest educational levels. The fact that
these run in almost direct inverse character suggests that
if these were entered into the equation, the difference
indicated, if it would not disappear entirely, would be
tremendously reduced.

There, thus, is virtually no disparity of income based
on such factors as skin color. Black families are larger
and are much more likely to be one income (ie. single parent
families. The average age of black Americans is considerably
lower than it is for caucasian Americans, and the
educational level is lower as well. And when these factors
are considered, the argument of income disparity based in
discrimination fails utterly. And a similar situation is
applicable to Hispanic Americans. The fact that 'all things
are not equal' means that, in actuality, we are much more
equal than anyone generally acknowledges. This doesn't suggest
that discrimination or prejudice are not a problem in this
country. But it does suggest that it is not the kind of
of problem that it is portrayed as being.

If the purpose behind such data reporting is to suggest
problems for policies to address, then it may be that
policies which are based on such limited conceptualization
are going to do little good, if they do not in fact,
do great harn. It may be however that such data are intended
to prop up already conceived notions of policies to be
pursued.

The role of governance in this consideration is crucial.
Government neither can nor should do anything about the
size of the family nor the average age among each of these
groups. Moreover, it is government that has contributed
in its blundering to the problem of single parent families.
Further, where it is so extensively involved, in education,
it has been and continues to fail miserably. It is thus
largely responsible for much of the problem the Census Bureau
would have us see.

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