Smith: Where are the jobs? The Obama administration and black unemployment

Smith: Where are the jobs? The Obama administration and black unemployment

July 15th, 2013 in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Robin Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Recently, I was doing one of my favorite things: reading. An article titled, "Obama will make blacks vote Republican" set the hook.

I began reading text written by Larry Elder, a self-described Republitarian who is a best-selling author and a talk radio host on KABC. I later learned he has Chattanooga connections.

This article and others archived at show how much he was influenced by his hard-working dad, one of the first black Marines.

Randolph Elder, the inspiration behind Larry's latest book, "Dear Father, Dear Son" and his mom shared common beliefs about dependency on government despite political differences. Larry Elder's personal bio states, "My Democrat mom and Republican father did agree on one thing: that government welfare made it 'too easy' for the able-bodied to 'get on the county.' And my Dad always said, 'If you try to get something for nothing, you end up with nothing for something.'"

Elder's claim that President Barack Obama would make blacks turn to the Republican Party is based on the harmful, current policies eroding wealth, opportunity and personal responsibility.

"Four years into Obama's recovery, many blacks are asking, 'So, where are the jobs?'"

Elder continued.

"When Obama entered office, the black unemployment rate was 12.7 percent. As of August 2011, it still stood at 16.5 percent."

Elder includes a quote from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus serving in 2011: "If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House."

Elder notes "the median income of black households declined more than twice as much as the income of white households under Obama's tenure. Blacks have lost their homes at a higher rate than whites. By taxing the 'rich,' placing health care under federal oversight and spending $1 trillion on 'stimulus,' Obama's policies have produced the worst recovery on record."

I read back through other opinion pieces by Larry Elder. I found consistency in his beliefs and principles ... a trait becoming extinct these days.

In a 2012 essay, "The Monolithic Black Vote -- And My Republican Dad," Elder explained, "Lower taxes, less government spending on domestic programs and fewer regulations mean a better economy for everybody. These were the policies of the '80s under Reagan."

He rhetorically poses, "The results for minorities? In late 1982, Reagan's second year in office, the unemployment rate for blacks was 20.4 percent. By 1989, after his last year in office, the unemployment rate had fallen to 11.4 percent -- a 9 percent drop. In late 1982, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 15.3 percent. By 1989, it had fallen to 8 percent -- a drop of over 7 percentage points. White unemployment, by contrast, fell 'only' 4 percentage points."

Capturing discussions between his mom and dad, Elder recalled his Republican father declaring, "No poor person ever gave me a job," Meanwhile, his Democrat mom supported taxing "the rich folks who can afford it."

A third article authored by Larry Elder, "America's Enemies Are Colorblind," discussed the absolute hatred of our nation's enemies, whether foreign or domestic, with no regard to race.

Larry Elder's writings demonstrate that over-taxation steals from family budgets and small businesses; rejection of school choice traps children of all ethnicities in failing schools; rewarding fatherless homes through government subsidy explains an illegitimacy rate in the black community that has exploded from 25 percent in 1965 to 73 percent in 2012.

America's enemies are, indeed, colorblind and too frequently exist as government policy.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.