The Daily Need

Study reveals historic highs in the racial wealth gap

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released a study declaring that the housing market crash leading up to the economic recession widened the racial wealth gap between whites and minorities, particularly black and Hispanic Americans. Hispanics as a group faced the largest wealth decline during this period, with the median wealth of Hispanic households dropping by 66 percent. The Pew study, using data taken from U.S. census figures from 2005 to 2009, revealed that the current racial wealth gap caused by the recession is the widest it has been since the U.S. census began tracking data on wealth disparities in 1984.

At the Washington Examiner, political analyst Michael Barone writes:

Underneath these numbers are a lot of personal tragedies. And I think the nightmare experience of losing what seemed briefly to be significant wealth has the potential to reduce Hispanic immigration over the long haul.

MSNBC’s Sylvie Stein and Domenico Montanaro note that the trend seems to have had little impact on minorities in Obama’s support base:

Still, despite these data and Republicans, like Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney pointing out how minorities have been adversely affected in this economy, blacks and Hispanics appear firmly in Obama’s corner.

Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher issues a caveat about the figures:

Embedded in the wealth gap study is the fact that those median net worth figures for white households are horribly skewed by the fact that almost all of the richest people in America are white … The average white person isn’t actually doing twenty times better than the average black person.

Kai Wright at Colorlines magazine analyzes the more systemic causes of the wealth gap:

Black and Latino families are also far more likely to live in places crawling with expensive, deceptive consumer lending of all sorts, from car loans to refinance mortgages. They are more likely to turn to that lending because they make less money and because they already hold less wealth to cushion themselves in tough times. It’s an ugly cycle: inequality across the economy creates demand for predatory credit to bridge the gap, which in turn worsens inequality.

 
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Comments

  • Rebelgirl5050

    In part of the tv segment, it was stated that “wealth is: what is OWNED minus whats OWED”; and that the whites are sooo much better/wealthier than blacks or latinos. Well, where in the mix does the monetary help that the minorities receive fit in? Housing assistance/HUD payments, utility assistance, telephone assistance, food stamps, WIC, etc, etc, etc. If those are all paid for or some assistance EVERY month, are those items considered as ‘income’ for minorities??? I see it all the time working where i do; people come in asking for assistance, claiming to be so bad off, needing all kinds of assistance; and get upset if a check is not written on the spot; and they go to leave and get into a VERY nice, very new, car; 4-5 kids; nails/hair newly done, etc. People need to work! Not wait for government to take care of them; and them complain that they are not getting their ‘fair share’ -claiming its because of race!!! Work to take care of your self/family!

  • Leaguebus

    My son, a college student, is taking some time off from his studies. He finally found a job at $10 an hour. He has found out that he cannot pay all his bills on this money. He has $450 a month in college loans, his rent, and no car payment. He has had his Michigan taxes raised by at least $600 per year because of Republicans who feel the same way as you. This is a middle class kid who will finish college in a year or two. What about minorities who go to substandard public schools? He is not married, what about a family that lost a manufacturing job, we had over a million of them in Michigan a few years ago? There is nothing left but $10 an hour jobs. You need to have some compassion for people, through no fault of their own, cannot find a job that will support their family. As you can see from the current debt ceiling debate, there is a group that want to continue to cut taxes on the rich and pile them on the backs of the poor by cutting the so called entitlements that these people desperately need to live. These people have lost any wealth they had accumulated by predatory practices by the “haves”.

  • Leaguebus

    My son, a college student, is taking some time off from his studies. He finally found a job at $10 an hour. He has found out that he cannot pay all his bills on this money. He has $450 a month in college loans, his rent, and no car payment. He has had his Michigan taxes raised by at least $600 per year because of Republicans who feel the same way as you. This is a middle class kid who will finish college in a year or two. What about minorities who go to substandard public schools? He is not married, what about a family that lost a manufacturing job, we had over a million of them in Michigan a few years ago? There is nothing left but $10 an hour jobs. You need to have some compassion for people, through no fault of their own, cannot find a job that will support their family. As you can see from the current debt ceiling debate, there is a group that want to continue to cut taxes on the rich and pile them on the backs of the poor by cutting the so called entitlements that these people desperately need to live. These people have lost any wealth they had accumulated by predatory practices by the “haves”.

  • Just Sayin

    Honestly speaking, I believe the system is so broken; I feel
    they need to truly scrap the current paradigm and start afresh.

     

    Let me explain what I’m saying; you have two people who file
    for assistance (take your pick on what type or all—doesn’t matter to me), one
    person who has never worked a day in his/her life but you know that they are
    capable of doing so, and the other one who has worked most if not all of
    his/her adult life and has fallen on his/her luck (such as what has happened to
    the economy, job and home loss, etc.) and just need a little assistance because
    they are working and steady adding to the system, but just can’t make all of
    the ends meet.  Which one would you be
    inclined to assistance, the person that you have to support at a hundred
    percent or the person that you may only have to assist at a forty percent
    level?

     

    Personally, supporting the one at the forty percent level
    would take less out of my pocket, and perhaps leave some for someone else to be
    assisted.  Why would I want to assist the
    person that has not even given it an effort?

     

    So in essences, what I’m saying is that government has it
    all wrong; we never help those that has put into the system; the only thing
    these people ever hear is that you make over the threshold because maybe this
    person is making $10.00 an hour on a 40 hour job, but their rent is $600 (in a
    not-so good area), and not to mention utility bills, food, and vehicle
    maintenance to get back and forth to work every day to make the money.

     

    I think we fail our people that truly need the assistance; don’t
    get me wrong there are also some folks that has never worked or put into the
    system because they truly cannot.

  • guest

    I would think of the gap between the educated and uneducated or people with minimum skils. We cannot use the term minorities any longer since the minorities have become the majority. These groups represent the America today. Many non-English speaking people are in business today than ever before. Many residents here in the United States do not speak English well. Again the bilingual thing is also posing a problem when looking for hiring. Bilingual means one Foreign Language and an English Language.  Many bilingual candidates speak onl y one language, that is a Foreign Language but not English. That should change