Think about the price-tag of $1.1 trillion dollars.
If we were talking about countries, that would be the 16th biggest economy in the world, but it's not a country, it's the combined buying power of a group of people who are part of this country: African-Americans.
A recent study by the Nielsen Company predicts that African-American buying power will hit that $1.1 trillion number next year. "The black population is young, hip and highly influential. We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market," says Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a Vice President at Nielsen.
Companies spend $75 billion a year on advertising, but only three percent of that is in Black publications, and casting Black actors, and on Black TV and radio stations. Pearson-McNeil says, if you ignore this demographic, as many big companies have done, you do so at your own peril.
"If you want to market to those groups, then you should know what particular group buys your stuff," says Noel King, reporter for Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty desk. "Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries, footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, health care, and pensions."
Dr. Jared Ball, a professor at Morgan State University, has done some research into Black buying power, but says that $1.1 trillion doesn't mean everything is great for the Black community. "This phrase, 'buying power,' is used as a glossy euphemism for Black poverty for being the fault of Black spending habits, as opposed to a pre-determined need in our economic model. A lot of people pick up this phrase and hear these large numbers, and assume Black America is stronger than Black America actually is."
The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y., closed Friday afternoon so that cleaning crews from a company that specializes in disaster responses can scour the place after an outbreak of intestinal illness. Norovirus appears to be the culprit.
Stuck somewhere between economic policy and happy hour.
The website Quartz has a chart of how many hours it takes -- working minimum wage -- to afford a beer at a bar or restaurant in whatever country the work is being done. Check it out here.
Here in the U.S.A:
24 minutes per beer.
Russia (hey, Olympics):
1 1/2 hours per beer.
1 hour per beer.
13 1/2 hours per beer.
1/2 hour per beer.
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