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From: Mark Bridgeman (e-mail him)
Re: Edwin S. Rubenstein's Column: Upward Mobility Eludes Blacks—Is Immigration The Reason
Rubenstein mentions that household incomes now typically reflect that both spouses are working.
This is a mostly ignored fact in most discussions of long-term economic trends. My Mom did not work outside the home during most of her adult life as my father provided a comfortable family living with his salary.
Even accounting for today's generally higher consumption level, the median family relies on two incomes to make ends meet.
An additional note on income trends—black women's salaries have not risen as much as white women during 1974-2004. In the same three-decade period, as Rubenstein pointed out, the number of white women working outside the home has exploded.
I would bet you a soda pop that this is because, in 1974, more black women, of necessity, worked outside the home, generally in lower skill jobs. Data might be sparse on this because I suspect that many working blacks of an earlier era were "off the books".
Bridgeman is an engineer.