37 thoughts on “Examining the Black-white wealth gap

  1. The existence of a wealth gap is certainly real, but the solutions offered, to hobble the ability of families to build wealth over generations, are ultimately destructive.

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    1. …”to hobble the ability of families to build wealth over generations,”

      Seeing as redlining of minority neighborhoods has been taking place for generations, the systemic racism of that practice has been more destructive than anything else you can come up with.

      Most of the wealth held by Americans is in their homes. When values are decreased based on race, the opportunity to build that wealth is taken away from them.

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      1. I agree that there have been past hobbles placed on Black families in accumulating wealth over generations, but that is not reason to drag down other families, including those Black families who have succeeded in spite of the hindrances against them.

        Further, it does not address the current problems of many Black families that preclude building wealth in the future.

        Solving the gap should be done by helping those at the bottom up, not by dragging down those at the top.

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        1. The end, or any future, state of a stable system, even societal or economic, depends on the initial state. So the solution is simple — a transient shock. There are 125 million households in the US. 1.25 million of those households have assets of $10M or more. Simply select some 150,000 black households and award them a $10M one-time advance tax credit, and provide financial management to guide business development and investments.

          If the system is truly nonracist then in 35 years, there will be a proportional number of 3rd generation black snots as there are 3rd generational white snots.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was thinking of something more instructive.

            Say an IRA like savings account for use to accumulate a down payment for a house, with a one-to-one match by the government up to 20% of the selling price for homes in that area.

            That would provide a powerful incentive to save and invest in a home.

            It might also be useful to match contributions to IRAs for low income savers.

            But whatever we do, simply throwing any amount of money without incentives toward wealth accumulating behavior will simply see it evaporate in one generation.

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        2. Hobbles? Really? That is diminishing the effects of systemic racism on Black American families to grow generational wealth. It is impossible for those families that have been the victim of redlining to overcome that. And you call it a “hobble”?

          It is an ever rising HURDLE that needs to be addressed and those responsible held accountable for basing decisions in banking (mortgages) strictly on race.

          There was a story recently where a Black woman was getting her house appraised for a refinance. The assessment came in at what she thought was low for comparable properties in the area. She removed all signs of a Black family residing there and had a second assessment conducted with a white friend posing as her brother. The new assessment came in at twice that of the original.

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        1. What blaming and name calling? I basically said that you downplayed the effects of systemic racism on the growth of generational wealth. And told a story I read last week about the reality of it.

          The solutions are simple. When those companies guilty of redlining, as an example, are discovered, they should be punished. The punishment should be noteworthy and publicized, not some backroom settlement deal with BDA’s all around. Stop the practice and it will go a long ways for three generations out to gain the wealth that should have been available three generations previous.

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  2. Assets minus liabilities equals net worth aka wealth. When you spend all of your income on expensive unnecessary consumables instead saving, you can’t build a portfolio of assets. BMWs, Cadillac Escalades, $1k tables at the club, $300 tennis shoes, etc are not good examples of necessities. Who buys that kind of stuff? We know. Blacks tend to live for the day, not save for the future and I see it every day at work. That is where any wealth gap exists. It’s spending habits. My black friend next door thinks so too.

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    1. While that is certainly true of a sizable segment of the Black population where the family has collapsed, it is not true of many intact Black families and it would not offend me at all to be of some help to those who are trying to build wealth.

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      1. I’m not offended to offer advise on how to accumulate wealth, it is up the to them to act on it. There are plenty of wealthy black people too so I am suspicious of this “wealth gap” narrative. Just like the phony gender “pay gap”, there are plenty of reasons for everything that are currently being blamed on racism…again…it’s a tired argument…

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          1. Seeing as how that narrative has been debunked over and over with proof provided over and over on this forum, it is now confirmed you truly DO believe in unicorns and fairy dust.

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          2. Debunked in THIS forum does not qualify as being actually debunked. It just means that some people are able to find studies that show the pay gaps don’t exists.

            Here is a little secret for you: The debunking you claim has been debunked, so therefore, you are still either disingenuous or stupid.

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  3. The Brookings article does a nice job of showing there is a difference in the distribution of wealth between white and black Americans. It does a poor job of explaining how that difference came to be.

    For example, Brookings argues that intergenerational wealth transfer is explanatory, but the assertion doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Slaves obviously had little wealth to pass on to their posterity, but the conditions of poverty have also changed over the same intergenerational transfer period. It can be argued that the financial consequences of slavery have been overtaken by events.

    More importantly, Brookings makes no effort at all to explain why anything needs to be done about the disparate distribution of wealth. Are we supposed to assume there is some sort of unfairness here? Are we supposed to assume that just because unfairness exists, something must be done about it?

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    1. ” Are we supposed to assume there is some sort of unfairness here? Are we supposed to assume that just because unfairness exists, something must be done about it?”

      The answer to both of your questions is, unequivocally YES.

      You may not like it, but it is true. The unfairness has been obvious since long before the Jim Crow era allegedly ended. And the systems that have continued to be unfair to people need to be reformed. They can do it on their own or be forced into it. But the fairness doctrine needs to be put into place as it will benefit ALL.

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        1. The treatment of the “other” is a continuing issue, both systemically and individually. It goes against the ideals you posted with your “Liberty” link. There are no assumptions involved when people feel they are being treated unfairly based on race, ethnic background, religion, or just trying to be who they are.

          Until all peoples are treated fairly, and feel that they are being treated fairly, then there is still the need to do something about it. Be it through intervention (systems) or education (individual).

          You have to be taught to hate, Until that teaching changes, there will be no liberty or justice for ALL.

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        2. RE: “Until all peoples are treated fairly, and feel that they are being treated fairly, then there is still the need to do something about it.”

          Agreed. The question, then, becomes how to define fairness objectively and how to distinguish unfairness that is harmful from unfairness that isn’t. Here, for example, is it objectively fair that some people had wealthier ancestors than others? Are the decendents of poor people really harmed by the accident of their birth to the exclusion of other factors?

          I’d say Yes, and No.

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          1. You are leaving out the part I addressed with Don above. Some people have ancestors who were prevented from growing generational wealth through discrimination. The only accident of their birth is the color of their skin. Or in some cases, including my family, because of how we pray and where we worship.

            The other factors are irrelevant until the systemic issues are addressed.

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      1. Prove any “unfairness” exists today. Perception is not proof but only an unsupported opinion. Example “systemic racism” and CRT.

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        1. I related a story I heard/read last week about inequality in the assessment of houses between Black residences and white ones with all of the other comps being equal.

          It ain’t perception when a Black homeowner has an assessment done, feels it is lower than it should be based on publicly available information. Requests another one, but removes any and all signs that a Black family owns it, has a white friend pose as her brother present for the assessment and it comes back twice the original.

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          1. I think your story is bullshit. Homes are assessed by location, not race of owner. Besides, the black person should be very happy if true. Assessments are used to determine real estate taxes so the white person would pay TWICE the taxes.

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          2. Bank assessments are quite different form tax assessments. My home is valued by the city at around $280k. When I refinanced late last year the bank assessment was $330K+.
            So poo on “Assessments are used to determine real estate taxes so the white person would pay TWICE the taxes.

            As far as calling my story bullshit, I will find the link to it as well as a story from Marketplace on NPR

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  4. Adam, you are confusing an assessment with an appraisal. You get an APPRAISAL to refinance a loan. Get your story straight before trying to argue a point. Rolling my eyes….again…..

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    1. Phrasing to determine the VALUE of the home aside, anything that determines the value of a home for purchase or refinance is covered under the same basic ideas. The city ASSESSED value of the home determines the amount of tax paid. The bank APPRAISAL of a home determines what it is worth in the market. When homes are undervalued based on race, that is discrimination. PERIOD.

      Appraisals are the arbiter of race-based pricing. The story I shared shows this to be the case.

      And you can roll you eyes all you want. You have yet to show that discrimination does not exist. In fact, most times, your posts are further proof of it.

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      1. So you now know the difference. Yay, clap, clap, take a bow. Now prove your BS story is first even true, then prove its empirical and not anecdotal. First, there is no logical reason for an appraiser to value a house at 2 times prior appraised value based on race. Second, the appraiser would already know they already appraised that property. Third, if another appraiser was used, it is common for appraisals to be different and doesn’t prove the first appraiser was racist. I’m not buying the story but I know you desperately want systemic racism to be real. It isn’t!!! Now, you are the one obsessed with race but you call me racist? How quaint….

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      2. Btw, proving a negative is impossible. I can’t prove something that doesn’t exist…doesn’t exist. Its up to you to prove it exists with actual proof and not anecdotal left wing “news” stories. Rolling eyes….again…

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  5. So you now know the difference. Yay, clap, clap, take a bow. Now prove your BS story is first even true, then prove its empirical and not anecdotal. First, there is no logical reason for an appraiser to value a house at 2 times prior appraised value based on race. Second, the appraiser would already know they already appraised that property. Third, if another appraiser was used, it is common for appraisals to be different and doesn’t prove the first appraiser was racist. I’m not buying the story but I know you desperately want systemic racism to be real. It isn’t!!! Now, you are the one obsessed with race but you call me racist? How quaint….

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