Blacks have reason for optimism with Trump this Black History Month
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When President Obama left office, there were 43.5 million people in America dependent on food stamps according to the Department of Agriculture. When he entered office, that number was around 32 million. It’s hard to imagine these statistics simply through facts.

I’ve seen anecdotal evidence that puts a human face on those statistics. In my family’s own property management business, we had one wonderful family living as a tenant in a property in New York City for ten years. They were a happy immigrant family with one child who had mental disabilities. Both the husband and wife worked hard to provide a life for their child.

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One day, a social worker met with her and asked her to leave her husband and quit her job so that she could move into a state-owned property rent-free. They said she would have full-time help for her child, maid service, and live in a brand-new building in New York City.

 

Thanks in large part to the pro-poverty administration developed under Obama, that family was broken apart. The wife left her husband and quit her job in order to move. The husband was without a wife. The property owner was without a tenant. Her employer is left without one employee. The former president’s pro-poverty agenda impacted a community of people who needed her to be active, thoughtful, and hopeful for the American Dream.

Unfortunately, the former president’s administration built a pathway that made the rich richer and the poor more dependent on the state. During just the first two years Obama’s “economic recovery,” according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7 percent rose by an estimated 28 percent, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93 percent dropped by 4 percent.

But for many in these underserviced areas and high population density areas, it is extremely possible and relatively easy to find a service or good to sell to make their own personal fortunes. As Martin Luther King Jr. has said in his infamous speech entitled Poverty of the Spirit, “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.” 

Many of the poor who suffered under Obama’s pro-poverty agenda have sent out a mandate with President Trump’s election. What those voters want is to allow small businesses and future entrepreneurs to thrive without the regulations that only help the privileged class.

Trump’s “New Deal for Black America,” which includes micro-loans - poverty assistance that can be converted into repayable, forgivable loans for business owners - is a step in the right direction. Trump has also talked about the burden that Dodd-Frank regulation imposed on small business owners in under serviced areas, ultimately making it impediment to improving residents’ quality of life.

Our country is currently at an economic precipice, and if small business growth isn’t a top priority, all Americans will lose. African Americans are acutely aware of the issue. That’s why they helped Trump to win the presidency as he voiced his desire for safer communities, and as he placed an emphasis on job creation. That’s also why Trump won a greater share of African American votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012. 

This Black History Month, we should all take some time to reflect on how pro-poverty government regulations and programs can impact the families, the employers, and our overall community. We can all work together to create businesses and enact legislation that eradicate poverty in our country with a free market and stronger, safer communities. 

Ebonique Ellis is CEO at Good Management & Investments, a company dedicated to offering affordable business consulting to clients focused on wealth creation. They currently offer Financial Education Classes at the Co-Lab Factory in Brooklyn, New York.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.