Saturday, February 14, 2015

What "The Nightly Show" Should Do

I had high hopes for "The Nightly Show," Comedy Central's replacement for "The Colbert Report" after "The Daily Show". Larry Wilmore was an excellent "Senior Black Correspondent" for Jon Stewart, and could make an excellent follow-on show, if his show has a different focus. Parts of the "Nightly" are good, but the bulk of it is a panel discussion among people who do not reliably have anything interesting - or even harder, funny - to say.

"The Daily Show" and "the Colbert Report" worked because they were scripted. The best part of The Nightly Show is the scripted bit at the beginning.  

Comedy Central should just pay the money and hire real comedy writers to produce a new thing: a black- (or non-white-) focused Daily Show.  

The one thing I didn't like about Colbert following Stewart was that they often wrote about the same events, and made the same jokes. Yet there is so much that is happening in the world that is not about white people - Wilmore would never run out of material.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Race Gap in Income Would Have Closed If the Race Gap in Family Structure Had Not Widened

A new study confirms what I have argued before:  most of the race gap today is really a family gap.

Black wages have grown, and the black middle class proportion has grown.  If that was all that had happened, the racial income gap would have been cut substantially - at least in half - in the past half century.

Instead, the gap has remained the same over all.

This is largely because the proportion of black children growing up in single parent families has grown from about 25% in 1965 to more than 70% today.  These families are poorer than their two-parent counterparts, and the children who grow up in them are handicapped in gaining economic security as they grow up and make families themselves.

I thank Claude Fischer's fine blog for bringing a new study by Deirdre Bloom on this point to our attention.