By: Joe Mauricio
The hit romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians.” which was released in theatres last August, offers a sliver insight into the varied economics and status among Asians, mostly through plot tension that shows Asians from different socio-economic groups in a relationship.
The select U.S. Census Bureau ranking of real median household income by race, which included Hispanics, put Asians at the top of the list earning $81,300 in 2017. Non-Hispanic whites earned $64,100, Hispanics $50,500 and Blacks $40,300.
The Crazy Rich Asians movie may feel a stereotype that Asians are affluent. “It’s a great movie,” Angela Beasinger, President of the Council of Asian Pacific Americans, said, “But when it comes to how crazy rich they are, I think most people know it’s just a movie drama.”
Beasinger, 45, immigrated to Michigan, from China more than 20 years ago. She is the president of her own consulting firm, We Act. Income disparity exists everywhere. There are going to be rich people and also poor people, too.
On November 10, 2018, we are celebrating the 24th annual Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame, honoring Filipinos of different professional backgrounds from all over America and our homeland, the Philippines. Yes, a showcase that we are excelling and sometimes on top of their chosen profession, as members of ethnic Asian groups.
Something disturbing is the new economic data about Asians in the USA–and the popular “Crazy Rich” media portrayals show that this racial group facing the greatest inequality, a problem, as experts said, that could thwart the kind of opportunity, mobility, and influence of this group.
According to an analysis of government data by the Pew Research Center, from 1970 to 2016, the distribution of income among Asians went from being one of the most equal among America’s major racial and ethnic groups.
An increase in income inequality matters because of the potential for social and economic consequences. People at the lower rungs of the income ladder nearly doubled. Asians displaced African Americans as America’s most economically divided racial group.
Asians, at the lower end of the economic ladder, may experience diminished economic opportunity and, as experienced, have less political influence.
The gap in the standard of living between Asians near the top and bottom of the income ladder nearly doubled. The change can be attributed to immigration, education, and the “Crazy Rich Asian” narrative emerging from Hollywood that portrays them as a privileged group rather than as part of the underclass. This is in the line that shows Asians are an extremely diverse group, and immigration plays an important role to Asians in this country.
In a classical sense, most people would tend to think, among racial and ethnic groups, that Asians are on par with white Americans and having relatively higher incomes. This report tells that policymakers need to think about what these categories mean individually.
And, to the Hall of Famers, past and present, continue to excel that we Filipinos (Asians) equally deserve equal pay.