Have you taken a look at the “help wanted” ads in the newspaper or online lately? Those ads seem to be divided into two sets: one for entry-level minimum-wage jobs with little prospect of advancement, and the other for those with college degrees and/or a wealth of experience. It is increasingly rare for one to get an entry-level job with a corporation wherein one can advance over decades and provide sufficient income for one’s retirement. Outside of federal, state, and local government careers, for the majority of those in the workforce today, the only retirement income they might get is Social Security, which itself might face insolvency after 2037.

Minorities, particularly those in the Black and Hispanic communities, are the most severely impacted by the lack of access to stable employment with prospects for advancement and retirement, and most find themselves bound in what is defined as the “poverty trap,” wherein the lack of economic means and lack of access to higher education and quality health care prevent the poor from being able to bootstrap themselves out of poverty.