Bill Cosby Was Correct

Bill Cosby, in a speech he gave last year to the NAACP, said:

50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse? I want somebody to love me. And as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them. All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child, and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents. And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid — $500 sneakers — for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics.

Predictably, some people disagreed with his statement, but economist Alex Tabarrok took it upon himself to find out if Cosby was right, this is what he found:

I was curious so I went to Table 2100 of the Consumer Expenditure Survey and found the following for 2003:

Average income of whites and other races: $53,292.
Average income of blacks: $34,485.

The survey then lists expenditures on a wide variety of goods from eggs and fish to books and televisions; to do a proper comparison we would have to correct for income and other demographic variables but some figures just jump out at you, including this:

Expenditures on footwear by whites and other races: $274
Expenditures on footwear by blacks: $440.

Chalk one up for the good Dr. Cosby.

Arnold Kling has more.

4 Responses to “Bill Cosby Was Correct”


  • $274 by whites!?!…is that per month?

  • As controversial as Cosby’s opinions have been of late, he makes a strong point about what real empowerment is about.

    I’m not sure why he isn’t being lauded more as a grass roots, power-to-the-people, kind of speaker. Its not like he is talking about crazy stuff like a politician to win votes. How does he personally benefit from any of this?

    Seems more to flow out of an educated conviction & sense of returning the soul of a community back to its roots. Crazy how a generation agao, Cosby would have been a radical controversial outside of his community with this message of community empowerment, “don’t wait for the man to help you out” message. Instead he is seen as a radical within his community for saying what he is saying.

    Maybe Cosby is the barrio prophet-type that my friend Abner was talking about [read here]

  • P.S. What happened to the picture by the comments? My wife says I looked good…

  • I’m having gravatar problems, they should be up shortly. Btw, love the new nickname…LOL.

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