You don’t have to be an economist to realize that prices for just about everything have gotten out of hand.
Just look at Washington, D.C., for instance. Rental prices in the Chocolate City have skyrocketed in the last few years. The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in D.C. is $2,400 a month, and you can forget about getting a second bedroom for any children you might have. On average, the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in D.C. is $3,200 a month, according to WTOP News.
Even in historically cheaper housing markets, costs have shot-up far past what’s considered affordable. And, Black Americans, in-particular, are feeling the heat.
An NPR poll from August found that while all U.S. households were suffering due to high rates of inflation over the summer, Black Americans were especially impacted.
At the time of the poll, roughly 55 percent of Black Americans were experiencing serious financial difficulties, compared to thirty-eight percent fo white Americans. Housing was also a major concern. Roughly 16 percent of Black renters said they had been evicted or had been threatened with eviction. Inflation is slightly better than last month, but prices for essentials, including housing, gas, and food, don’t seem to be returning to normal anytime soon.
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Issues like access to abortion access, which have traditionally been considered social issues, are also likely to have an economic impact on Black Americans, who are already grappling with high inflation rates. As Democratic nominee for the Georgia Governor’s Race Stacey Abrams pointed out on MSNBC earlier this week, “abortion is an economic issue.”
“You can’t divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child,” said Abrams on Morning Joe. “It’s only politicians who see it as simply another cultural conversation.”
This isn’t just conjecture from Abrams. Research shows that abortion access has been critical to improving women’s economic well-being, especially for Black women. Research from the Brookings Institute found that abortion legalization particularly improved Black women’s earning, education levels, labor force participation, and occupational prestige. As more states move to ban abortion in upcoming months, experts predict that economic impacts on Black women, in-particular, could be devastating.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Black Americans do rank inflation among their top-priorities. However, they were more likely to rank abortion as a motivation to head to the polls than all other voters.
As we head into November, the weight of inflation and encroaching restrictions on abortion access are sure to cast a tall shadow over what’s shaping up to be a contentious election season.