The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

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otseng
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The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #1

Post by otseng »

From Market Watch:

The unrest in cities across the U.S. this week is just the latest manifestation of a struggle that will continue until the wealth gap between white people and black people is addressed, black economists said.

What is the wealth gap? It is the stark divide between how much capital white people and black people control.

By one estimate, the typical white family has wealth of $171,000. This is nearly ten times greater than the $17,150 for an average black family.

Put another way, the typical black household remains poorer than 80% of white households.

This stunning wealth gap between the races has persisted, in good times and bad, for the past 70 years. It did not get better after the civil rights era legislation was passed in the 1960s or during the Obama administration.

And it will continue to fuel unrest, economists said.

“As long as we have racial wealth gap, we’re going to have a problems with race,” said Patrick Mason, an economics professor at Florida State University.

“The wealth gap is one of the reasons there are protests today,” said Linwood Tauheed, a professor of economics at The University of Missouri-Kansas City and the president of the National Economics Association.

“I don’t necessarily want to use the phase it was the straw that broke the camels back...but we have lots of evidence that this economic system is not benefitting the majority of the population,“ he said.

“African Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are — that’s not new for us— but now you find young college students dissatisfied with their future.”

See: Protesters support Floyd, Black Lives Matter on 3 continents

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that African-Americans have a lack of income to buy necessary health care, food and medicine and are suffering in greater numbers than white Americans.

Since the 1960s, the wealth gap has been largely ignored by the economics profession, black economists say.

For years, black economists struggled in the American Economics Association to even study the subject of wealth disparity between the races, black economists said. Universities and think tanks also didn’t support the work.

Black economists formed their own association, the National Economics Association, in 1969 to study the economic situation of black Americans.

“It was very difficult for a black economist to present a paper at an AEA conference that was questioning whether mainstream economists were understanding the economic disparity between the white and black community,” Tauheed said.

So called “mainstream” economists were really interested in more efficiency. “The wage gap is a question of equity or how to expand the pie,” said Karl Boulware, an economics professor at Wesleyan University. “The best way to think of wealth is to think of it as power,” he said.

In a statement to her membership Friday, former Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen, who is the president of the AEA, said her organization has “only begun to understand racism and its impact on our profession and our discipline.”

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The causes

Black economists say one historical cause of the wage gap is slavery.

“I don’t want to offend anybody, and don’t want to be labeled a radical but the wealth gap has its roots in the starting of America,” said Samuel Myers, an economist at the University of Minnesota.

JIm Crow laws put in place shortly after the Civil War also kept black people impoverished.

A more recent and complex cause was the systemic exclusion of black people from the U.S. housing market beginning in the 1920. Housing is one of the main engines of accumulating wealth in America.

Restrictive covenants were put on houses that limited where black people could live, said Tauheed. These covenants, combined with discriminatory credit policies, kept black people from building wealth.

At the same time, government policies were put in place to assist whites to build wealth through housing.

For instance, in Minneapolis, where the current protests began after the death of George Floyd while being detained by police, white Americans first benefitted from the Homestead Act.

Then white soldiers coming home from World War II were given cheap loans to buy homes in the surrounding suburbs. These neighborhoods were off limits to black people, said Myers.

And the only prosperous black community in the city was razed to the ground to build a highway to St. Paul, he added.

“My feeling is until and unless white people acknowledge that their wealth holdings and therefore the wealth gap is attributable to unearned entitlements from public policy, then we’re not going to even have a conversation” about solutions to the wealth gap, Professor Myers said.

The solutions

Black economists think that reparations — the direct payment to descendents of former slaves — would narrow the wealth gap.

But they are under no illusion that this policy could be easily become law as blacks make up 12% of the population.

Reparations “run into conflict with the American mythology of how you get ahead, which says that it’s all individual effort,” said Professor Mason from Florida State.

Sen. Cory Booker, the black U.S. Senator from New Jersey, pushed for “baby bonds” during his brief run for the presidency last year. The accounts, presented at birth, would be seeded with $1,000 and receive up to $2,000 extra every year depending on family income. They could only be used once the child reached the age of 18, with the funds limited for paying college, a home, or to start a business.

This idea is race-neutral and poor whites would benefit the most from such a program, Professor Myers noted.

“I don’t really think in the final analysis baby bonds are going to dramatically narrow the wealth gap but I’d be really happy if I’m wrong,” Myers said.
(Note: this post does not necessarily represent any views of any posters on this forum, but is posted to provide one person's perspective.)

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #2

Post by Zzyzx »

[Replying to otseng in post #1]

There is no doubt in my mind that wealth inequality is a MAJOR factor in current social upheaval. In fact, I consider it as class warfare -- underprivileged vs. privileged. Internecine warfare among the masses is promoted by those who profit from keeping the peasantry fighting each other rather than their true enemies -- the oppressive / oligarchic 'elite'

A thought: Calculate the amount of money given to the upper 10% (including banks, corporations, individuals) over the past decade and distribute an equal amount to the bottom 90% (inversely proportional to their income). Of course, we can afford it -- since we gave the same amount to the elite. To help ease the burden, penalize offshore diversion of income and apply a high tax rate to repatriated funds from offshore accounts. Take the balance needed from the military budget (we need not spend more than then next eleven nations combined).

To prevent inequality from returning, outlaw bribery (campaign contributions and favors), eliminate or radically reduce lobbying, set term limits, return to proportional tax rates characteristic of earlier decades, require complete transparency in all government agencies, activities, and politicians.

Of course, none of this is going to come about. The nation will continue to be 'By the elite, for the elite' as it always has been -- and will continue to decline into second-class status (while the peasants are encouraged to fight among themselves for the scraps left after the 'elite' take whatever they want).
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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #3

Post by AgnosticBoy »

[Replying to otseng in post #1]
Reparations “run into conflict with the American mythology of how you get ahead, which says that it’s all individual effort,” said Professor Mason from Florida State.

Sen. Cory Booker, the black U.S. Senator from New Jersey, pushed for “baby bonds” during his brief run for the presidency last year. The accounts, presented at birth, would be seeded with $1,000 and receive up to $2,000 extra every year depending on family income. They could only be used once the child reached the age of 18, with the funds limited for paying college, a home, or to start a business.
Well in a sense, aren't we already giving the poor money when it comes to social programs? That just increases dependence, another form of slavery to the government. KNOWLEDGE actually enables you perform a skill where you can make your own money, even more than the limited income you'd get from welfare.

Here's a thought... Instead of just throwing money at the problem, why don't we offer free continuing education. I know plenty of minorities who have gone from poverty to middle-class and even higher by simply getting an education.

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #4

Post by Zzyzx »

AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:56 am
Instead of just throwing money at the problem, why don't we offer free continuing education.
How, exactly, do you propose providing 'free continuing education' without 'throwing money at it'?

Wait. Won't sending 'minorities' for continuing education scare the heck out of conservatives who maintain that education tends to make people think and become liberals?

AND, won't educated 'minorities' take jobs away from 'us' (good guys)?
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If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #5

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:56 am
Instead of just throwing money at the problem, why don't we offer free continuing education.
How, exactly, do you propose providing 'free continuing education' without 'throwing money at it'?
Offering only money won't get you far compared to offering education and skill. Many people if offered a million would simply blow it and then they have no good income coming in to replace what's spent. So imagine the few dollars being offered for welfare and how that's spent up and you're now a slave or dependent on a corrupt government. In contrast, were I offered that amount I would first be looking to increase it significantly by investing, by getting a better education and profession, etc.
Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
Wait. Won't sending 'minorities' for continuing education scare the heck out of conservatives who maintain that education tends to make people think and become liberals?
I went to college, experienced a lot of liberal and atheist professors, and now I'm agnostic and independent. Many who stay stuck on liberalism and atheism are probably influenced by their professors. But me, I have no authority except logic and evidence. In fact, more and more are becoming independent.
Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
AND, won't educated 'minorities' take jobs away from 'us' (good guys)?
It's telling that you're injecting politics into this issue. Didn't you tell me previously that you are not partisan nor atheist? I'm skeptical of that based on some of your recent actions like using the race card against me among other things.

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #6

Post by Zzyzx »

AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 am
Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:56 am
Instead of just throwing money at the problem, why don't we offer free continuing education.
How, exactly, do you propose providing 'free continuing education' without 'throwing money at it'?
Offering only money won't get you far compared to offering education and skill. Many people if offered a million would simply blow it and then they have no good income coming in to replace what's spent. So imagine the few dollars being offered for welfare and how that's spent up and you're now a slave or dependent on a corrupt government. In contrast, were I offered that amount I would first be looking to increase it significantly by investing, by getting a better education and profession, etc.
Thus, 'throwing money' at a problem refers only to money going to individuals, particularly minorities. It is not 'throwing money' if the project meets with your approval. Right?
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 am
Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
Wait. Won't sending 'minorities' for continuing education scare the heck out of conservatives who maintain that education tends to make people think and become liberals?
I went to college, experienced a lot of liberal and atheist professors, and now I'm agnostic and independent. Many who stay stuck on liberalism and atheism are probably influenced by their professors. But me, I have no authority except logic and evidence.
Is that somehow unique? One should consult opinions other than their own.
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 am
In fact, more and more are becoming independent.
Maybe more and more aren't 'stuck on liberalism and atheism' (influenced by their professors)?
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 am
Zzyzx wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:55 pm
AND, won't educated 'minorities' take jobs away from 'us' (good guys)?
It's telling that you're injecting politics into this issue.
Oh? Is reference to jobs and education a political statement? What ideology (or 'party') does it favor?
AgnosticBoy wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:25 am
Didn't you tell me previously that you are not partisan nor atheist? I'm skeptical of that based on some of your recent actions like using the race card against me among other things.
When faring poorly in debate, it is common practice to try personal remarks and imagined affronts.
.
Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #7

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Zzyzx wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:18 am
Thus, 'throwing money' at a problem refers only to money going to individuals, particularly minorities. It is not 'throwing money' if the project meets with your approval. Right?
I'm referring to offering money alone. Education is more than money. Perhaps the minorities who haven't made it out of poverty after decades of WELFARE would get my point. Or Perhaps even the minorities that used EDUCATION to get out of poverty can relate, as well.
Zzyzx wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:18 am
When faring poorly in debate, it is common practice to try personal remarks and imagined affronts.
It is strange that you would think that given the fact that the owner of this site responded to my complaint with a humbling response and a public apology. It would do some good if you learned from that.

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #8

Post by Aetixintro »

.
There may be another solution in reducing evil altogether. Reducing evil implies 2 consequences, reducing the importance of money and to be more kind and loving to one another in general, that is, reducing all sorts of hate among people, also racism.

PS: I do not support the use of race in terms of human beings, but racism has become such an important word for the hate against other people based on ethnicity, skin color and so.

:study: 8-)
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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #9

Post by bjs1 »

The wealthy gap is certainly a central issue of racism in America. Martin Luther King Jr. made it a central part of his message and even talked about it in his famous I Have a Dream speech. Removing the wealth gap is probably essential to end racial inequality in America.

The problem comes in finding a solution to the wealth gap. Historically just giving out money, such as reparations, has not worked long term. Baby bonds are an interesting idea worth considering in their own right, but would be unlikely to do much about the wealth gap specifically. “Investment in communities of color” is a common phrase right now, but as of yet it is more of a buzz word than a concrete plan.

Like racism itself, the wealth gap is a serious issue in America but I do not have any political solution for it.

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Re: The only way to truly solve the race problem in America is to narrow the wealth gap

Post #10

Post by koko »

I certainly agree that ending the wealth gap is one way to solve the race problem but would not necessarily agree that it is the only way to do so. Yes, we must end all foreign tax shelters and to bring back all the wealth owned by elitists like trump and which go untaxed every year. All that capital which has gone untaxed all these years must be used to end the nation's debt. Additionally there need to be changes in social attitudes as we discussed on other threads. Then there are the police reforms that we have discussed. Read the Book of Amos. Apply it. Combine all of these things, then we will correct the race problem.

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