Financial literacy

5:43 pm January 7, 2014, by Rick Badie

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s a new year — time, perhaps, for a financial resolution or two. Today, executives for two nonprofit organizations write about the need to achieve and manage personal finances. And a client of a national credit score improvement program offered at Ebenezer Baptist Church shares her success story. To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Financial literacy a must for all

By John Hope Bryant

With 40 million unbanked and underbanked people across the nation, America reflects a tale of two nations: the haves and have-nots. In Atlanta, that disparity is particularly acute.

You have the most promising city for African-American entrepreneurship and small-business ownership in the nation. You also have areas such as Vine City which, according to the FDIC, is the fifth-most unbanked area in America. Given that 47 percent of all employers now pull a credit report, one could argue the question now is not whether you have a public record, but what’s the status of your credit.

I see the unbanked and financial illiteracy issue as the civil rights issue of this generation. This time the issue is class, not race. Today, more people don’t have a bank account than didn’t have the right to vote in 1962 (26 million). There are more poor whites in America than poor anyone else. To quote civil rights icon Andrew Young, “To live in a system of free enterprise, and to not understand the rules of free enterprise, is the very definition of slavery.”

Increasingly, whether you are black, white, red, brown or yellow, all anyone wants to see is more green. When you deal with the issue of class, you get race for free. One is wrapped up and incorporated within the other.

The lack of having 40 million Americans fully vested and invested in the broader economic system means America is holding back its own national economic prosperity. It’s Atlanta’s problem, too.

Read the full and original story here at the AJC.  Comment also on the article, and add your voice to the resetting of the American dream.

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