The Wealth Gap Gets Wider

by Chris Sturr | March 24, 2009

From Meizhu Lui, former executive director of United for a Fair Economy (our next-door neighbors and partners in various projects, including publishing The Wealth Inequality Reader), in Monday’s Washington Post:

The chips are in.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve, in its Survey of Consumer Finances, takes a look at how U.S. households are doing and reports on our assets and liabilities. The euphoria of our gambling spree is over. In the harsh glare of morning, the hangover is tough. And the latest data are from 2007, so they don’t even capture the worst of the decline.

The net worth of the average American family is less than it was in 2001. We borrowed more for that trip to Vegas than we brought home. Everyone knows this now.

But here’s something being talked about much less: The gap between the wealth of white Americans and African Americans has grown. According to the Fed, for every dollar of wealth held by the typical white family, the African American family has only one dime. In 2004, it had 12 cents.

This is not just a gap. It’s a deepening canyon.

The overhyped political term “post-racial society” becomes patently absurd when looking at these economic numbers. …

Read the rest here.

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  1. I can appreciate that, for the time being, some in America are now/more conscious of racial issues. However, America has never been solely “black and white.” What about the “gender wealth gap”? Then, what about the wealth gap statistics for other minority groups like Native Americans?

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