Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.I'd file this under "no shit Sherlock" but I remember what the good folks over at Black Agenda Report have been saying for years:
. We can cherish the memory of 8 years of watching that pretty brown family in that big White House, along with unprecedented black unemployment, declining real wages, and the most drastic shrinkage of black family wealth since we began tracking and comparing black and white wealth. Who needs economic progress when millions can take down those old pictures of Martin, and the Kennedy boys, and replace them with the likeness of Barack and Michelle.Side note: I strenuously object to lumping "blacks" and "hispanics" together. First of all "hispanic" is a term that is applied to persons of various "races" including whites (yes, there are white "Hispanics"). If researchers want to include a category "black hispanics" or "Hispanics of African origins" or wish to lump "black Hispanics" with "blacks" that's one thing, but to include the likes of Mark Cuban and Mark Rubio into "black" is simply bad reporting. Stop that. In addition, for even better statistical reporting, "Blacks" ought to be broken down to "American born" as in those descended from slave trade era arrivals and recent immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. There are dynamics to those other communities that differ and impact finances among other things even though they may share similar "first sight" discriminatory practices. Anyway back to the story.
The Urban Institute study found that the racial wealth gap yawned during the recession, even as the income gap between white Americans and nonwhite Americans remained stable.What was that comment from Obama in regards to "targeting" African-American unemployment? I believe it was something Reaganesque like "Rising tides floats all boats" or "President of all America"? Ummmm...yeah...as Black Agenda Report says: "Such a nice thing to see the Obamas in the white house."
As of 2010, white families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that black and Hispanic families earned, a ratio that has remained roughly constant for the last 30 years. But when it comes to wealth — as measured by assets, like cash savings, homes and retirement accounts, minus debts, like mortgages and credit card balances — white families have far outpaced black and Hispanic ones. Before the recession, white families, on average, were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families, according to the Urban Institute’s analysis of Federal Reserve data. By 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy. The dollar value of that gap has grown, as well. By the most recent data, the average white family had about $632,000 in wealth, versus $98,000 for black families and $110,000 for Hispanic families.1) I believe that is a 12% difference between "Hispanic families" and black families. I don't know about you, but where I graduated from 12% is pretty significant difference as to not aggregate the groups "Blacks" and "Hispanics". 2) Notice that the wealth differences has stayed the same for roughly 30 years. So lets assume then that since Affirmative Action and so called "full cooperation" in the economy by African-Americans starts in the 1970s, it means that after the initial bump, on average African-Americans have grew ZERO wealth. That's interesting since supposedly African-Americans have more members in the "middle class" than at any other time in American history. I won't cover all the causes listed in the article since some of them are obvious. If you bought a house during the bubble with loans that were "too good to be true" well that's what happens when you don't do due diligence. However; here's an interesting point:
Black families also suffered bigger hits to their retirement savings, the Urban Institute found. On aggregate, the value of black families’ retirement accounts shrank 35 percent between 2007 and 2010, while white families’ accounts actually gained 9 percent over the same period. With lower earnings and higher unemployment rates leaving them with a thinner safety net to begin with, black families were more likely to take funds out of the market when it was depressed, leaving them out in the cold as the market recovered.Lets not add that many black households are headed by a single person which I've already shown has a huge impact on wealth particularly as it concerns African-American women. Also note that African-Americans are the only racial/ethnic group in which women have a higher level of employment than the men. No doubt that these two issues have a huge effect on wealth building and maintenance. But note that the report does not mention marriage and higher employment of African-American men as an obvious solution.
Dedrick Muhammad, the senior director of the economic department at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: “I don’t have a positive feeling about racial wealth inequality resolving itself with the recovery.”No shit Sherlock. So how about we stop stating the obvious and start talking about solutions. Businesses that employ locals. End of "show off" purchases that drain wealth. Early investment strategies and early marriage in order to pool resources and build wealth. You'd be surprised how much doing the last two would do to address the wealth gap.