Monday, June 06, 2016

LATINO POWER - Today's U.S. Economics

"The growing economic power of Latinos" PBS NewsHour 5/30/2016


SUMMARY:  While much of the rhetoric regarding Latinos this election cycle has focused on the divisive issue of immigration, a bipartisan group is out to change the narrative.  The Latino Donor Collaborative aims to emphasize the growing economic power of Latino-Americans, and the potent political force they can become.  John Yang talks to co-founders Henry Cisneros and Sal Trujillo for more.

JOHN YANG (NewsHour):  Much of the focus on Latinos throughout this election cycle has centered on the divisive and often heated questions about immigration and its effects.

But now a bipartisan non-profit group is trying to change that.  The Latino Donor Collective (sic), as it’s known, wants to emphasize the growing economic power of Latinos and the potential force they can become.

I spoke with its co-founders, Democrat Henry Cisneros and Republican businessman Sol Trujillo.  Cisneros was housing secretary in the Clinton administration.

Gentlemen, thanks for being with us.

Mr. Cisneros, I would like to start with you.

The two of you wrote an essay for The Wall Street Journal, and you said that you have been watching this presidential campaign unfold at first with disappointment, then with concern and now with real alarm.  What is alarming you?

HENRY CISNEROS, Former Secretary of Housing:  Well, what alarms me is that the rhetoric about Latinos seems to be giving people permission to denigrate this population, to diminish its place in American life.  And that’s just wrong.

This is a population of 55 million people, growing to 100 million people.  It is essential to the American future.  It is already making a major contribution in many areas of American life; from religion, to politics, to entrepreneurship, and to corporate business, and as consumers.

And one of the most important areas is in its contribution to the American economy, what Sol has come to call the mainstream economy, the mainstream American economy, the next American economy.  And it’s just wrong to categorize a people somehow as — using phrases related to rapists and murderers and freeloaders, et cetera, to characterize an entire population.

And someone needs to stand up and say, let’s talk about the truth of this population.  And it’s role in American life.

JOHN YANG:  Mr. Trujillo, why are the politicians missing this?  What aren’t they getting?

SOL TRUJILLO, Republican Businessman:  No one talking how we drive growth, how we’re creating jobs, what’s creating jobs, what is our upside in terms of the economy.

And is where today we have a new mainstream economy driven predominantly by Latinos in growth.  Let me give you some quick statistics.  There’s about a trillion-and-a-half dollars of spend[ing] by Latinos in this country today, growing at $80 billion to $90 billion per year.

On top that, let’s talk about job creation and what are drivers of domestic GDP growth.  Think about housing.  Think about home purchases.  Over the last decade, 51 percent of all new home mortgages taken out in the United States of America have been taken out by Latino families.

When you look at entrepreneurship, in the last half-decade, 86 percent of all new business formations in the United States, based upon a recent Hoover study commissioned through the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, shows that Latinos were creating 86 percent of all new business formations.

Without Latinos in the mix, we as a nation would have had net negative business formations.  And I can go on with more data, John.  But, as an American, as somebody that cares about our economy, which all of us at the Latino Donor Collaborative do, we want to make sure that this story is understood, rather than mischaracterizations, incorrect facts, which will mislead policy decisions that could be very damaging to our economy.

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