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

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18587
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 146 times
Been thanked: 213 times
Contact:

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.”

Image

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.)

Zzyzx
Site Supporter
Posts: 25089
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Bible Belt USA
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 72 times

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

Post #11

Post by Zzyzx »

Here's an idea

What if a single, cheap, easy-to-administer, and race-neutral policy could help close the country’s chasmic racial wealth gap in less than a generation?

Reader, it exists. It is called a baby-bond program. For something like $80 billion a year—roughly 2 percent of the annual federal budget, less than a tenth of the annual cost of Social Security—the United States could not only end its most pernicious forms of poverty, reduce wealth inequality, improve social mobility, foster self-sufficiency among poor families, and increase family net worth en masse, but also put black and white families on more equal footing.

---

Baby bonds are simple. The government would create investment accounts for infants, giving babies born to poor families large seed grants and babies born to rich families small ones. The money would grow, and kids would gain access to it when they reached adulthood, to use for school, a down payment, or a start-up.

---

Government investment and the magic of compound interest would eliminate much of the racial wealth gap, perhaps 70 or 80 percent over time. Naomi Zewde of the City University of New York studied a hypothetical baby-bond program that would provide rich babies $200 in assets and poor babies $50,000 in assets, with infants born to middle-class families getting scaled amounts in between.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ket-newtab
.
Non-Theist

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

koko

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

Post #12

Post by koko »

As Jesus told the rich guy ''sell what you have and give to the poor". In a nation of professing Christians, all those elites need to obey their Bible. Problem solved today, tomorrow, and for ever.

User avatar
woodtick
Student
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:13 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 7 times

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

Post #13

Post by woodtick »

M
Last edited by woodtick on Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

koko

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

Post #14

Post by koko »

woodtick wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:17 pm My opinion is the race problem has more to do with crime than money.


white collar crime costs society far more than does street crime:



https://www.google.com/search?q=white+c ... e&ie=UTF-8



Yet, society is so much more tolerant of this type of crime. Small wonder why the Bible teaches that we must first have justice so that order can prevail ~ Isaiah 59:8.

User avatar
woodtick
Student
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:13 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 7 times

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

Post #15

Post by woodtick »

Last edited by woodtick on Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 4268
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 169 times

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

Post #16

Post by Mithrae »

Zzyzx wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm Baby bonds are simple. The government would create investment accounts for infants, giving babies born to poor families large seed grants and babies born to rich families small ones. The money would grow, and kids would gain access to it when they reached adulthood, to use for school, a down payment, or a start-up.

---

Government investment and the magic of compound interest would eliminate much of the racial wealth gap, perhaps 70 or 80 percent over time. Naomi Zewde of the City University of New York studied a hypothetical baby-bond program that would provide rich babies $200 in assets and poor babies $50,000 in assets, with infants born to middle-class families getting scaled amounts in between.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ket-newtab
Wouldn't this incentivize poor households to have even larger families, and disincentivize any attempts at saving for college etc. (and the good example/habits such efforts imply)?

koko

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

Post #17

Post by koko »

woodtick wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:46 pm [Replying to koko in post #14]
I've heard that one before but white collar crime has WHAT to do with racism?

Had you looked just a little more carefully at the previous link, you may have come across some reports like those which follow:


https://www.google.com/search?q=white+c ... e&ie=UTF-8


Part of the problem in our society today is the notion that only blacks and other minorities are criminals - such myths lead to racial and ethnic hate and social division. That the reason why jails are filled with these people is because they supposedly commit all the crime that takes place. In fact, they commit only a small percentage of the crimes. But police stupidly persist in selectively enforcing the laws on a racial basis against them while the real criminals (who are white according to the sources in the link) are screwing society from their perches in board rooms, country clubs, and golf courses. If the law were only enforced on a uniform basis, and if white collar crimes were enforced and punished on an equal footing as are all other crimes, the jails would have far fewer minorities. Instead, they would have many more privileged white suburbanites and this would greatly lessen the stereotypes of blacks and others are jail birds.

Enforce the law properly and we end the stereotypes. End the stereotypes and we significantly reduce racial division in society. End racial division and we have a more ordered and stable society.

User avatar
woodtick
Student
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:13 pm
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 7 times

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

Post #18

Post by woodtick »

Last edited by woodtick on Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Zzyzx
Site Supporter
Posts: 25089
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Bible Belt USA
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 72 times

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

Post #19

Post by Zzyzx »

Mithrae wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:32 pm Wouldn't this incentivize poor households to have even larger families, and disincentivize any attempts at saving for college etc. (and the good example/habits such efforts imply)?
How does a family save for kids' college on minimum wage (or low wage) jobs? A year of minimum wage (2000 hours at $7.25) = $14,500

Average cost per year US public college = $20,770

Most Americans [60%] don't have savings to cover a $1000 emergency
.
Non-Theist

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

koko

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

Post #20

Post by koko »

woodtick wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:54 pm [Replying to koko in post #17]
White collar crime isn't the same as violent crime. I can admit I have serious problems with black people. Before I went into the military 72-75, I didn't have a prejudiced bone in my body ...

If the Bible means anything to you, then you know you are required to love thy neighbor and to be at peace with all men. While people like you make certain complaints, blacks and others make just as many complaints about whites. You mentioned military service for example - my dad returned from fighting in the South Pacific during WW II. His brother also fought and was killed by fascists in Europe. When Dad tried to get a job as a dock worker in Brooklyn, NY he was told "No S......" (the slur word for Hispanics). He was willing to die for your freedom and for that of everyone else but was no more than a third class citizen for the rest of his life. Over the years I have been subjected to racial/ethnic discrimination from whites and remain a third class citizen despite having a college education and beyond that.

Despite all, I can honestly tell you that the majority of my friends (including the majority of women I've dated) were all white. Two wrongs will never make a right and prejudice against anyone will never solve any problem for anyone in society.

Let's stop all white collar crime, racial prejudice, all hate, all stereotypes. Let's work together to make this a better society and a better world.

Post Reply