Money, Power & the American Dream – Why Poverty?

By Chadwick Roberson

why poverty park avenue

So many people are chasing what we call the American Dream, which is good fortune, prosperity and financial independence. This can obtained through hard work, dedication and passion to pursue your dreams. Despite being the land of opportunity, America still has an increasing large gap between the rich and the poor.

Over the last decade or so, the gap between the “have’s and the have-nots” has sky-rocketed. The question is…why? Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney created a documentary on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and have created unprecedented inequality in the United States.

Nowhere, Gibney asserts, is this more evident than on Park Avenue in New York. 740 Park in Manhattan is currently home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the country. Across the river, less than five miles away, Park Avenue runs through the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the United States. (Did you know that?)

In Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, Gibney states that while income disparity has always existed in the U.S., it has accelerated sharply over the last 40 years. As of 2010, the 400 richest Americans controlled more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the populace — 150 million people. In the film, Gibney explains why he believes upward mobility is increasingly out of reach for the poor. I beg of you, PLEASE, PLEASE, take the time to watch this video. You’ll be extremely surprised and taken aback.

One of the biggest initiatives with the National Urban League is economic empowerment for all. The sad part is, so many minorities are unaware of what’s going on around them and how others are taking advantage of their communities and neighborhoods. My question to you is, what are you doing to bridge the gap we’re seeing between the rich and poor? African Americans, Latinos and other minorities need to understand their rights and be able to achieve the same opportunities as those who live on Park Avenue. I truly believe this video will educate you, challenge you and frankly piss you off!

There have been so many YouTube “overnight sensations” regarding trivial topics or events. I wonder if we can push this video and spark dialogue regarding this issue that’s affecting the lives of so many people. I would love to hear your thoughts after you view this video.

Let’s empower communities and shorten this economic gap! Check out what the New York Urban League Young Professionals are doing around your community.

Please see the online copy of the 2013 State of Black America: Redeem the Dream. You’ll be very enlightened with this read.

Tweet, Facebook and gossip about this…it can change lives.

About the Author, Chadwick Roberson

chadwick-robersonChadwick Roberson is a Prime Brokerage Client Services Specialist in JP Morgan’s Investment Bank in New York. He serves as the primary contact for hedge funds and asset managers regarding their credit, rates and foreign exchange OTC trading business. He’s been a member of the New York Urban League Young Professionals since 2009. Prior to joining NYULYP, he was a member of the Black Executive Exchange Program (B.E.E.P)—the college arm of the National Urban League where he served as the Media Relations and Marketing Coordinator. His commitment to serving others and community involvement has blessed him with the opportunity to mentor young people from across the country.

Raised in Dallas, Texas he attended Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Chadwick is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Southern University College of Business.


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