From the Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
Dismal Wealth Projections
“Since 1983, the respective wealth of Black and Latino families has plunged from $6,800 and $4,000 in 1983 to $1,700 and $2,000 in 2013. These figures exclude durable goods like automobiles and electronics, as these items depreciate quickly in value and do not hold the same liquidity, stability or appreciation of other financial assets like a savings account, a treasury bond or a home. By comparison, since 1983 the median wealth of White households has risen by nearly $15,000, reaching $116,800 in 2013. Put differently, in just over a generation, median Black and Latino households saw their already-low net worth decrease by 75% and 50%, respectively, while median White households saw their net worth increase by 14%. The result is a wealth divide between Black and Latino households and White households that now stands at over $115,000, a nearly 20% increase.” The Road To Zero Wealth How The Racial Wealth Divide Is Hollowing Out America’s Middle Class https://prosperitynow.org/files/PDFs/road_to_zero_wealth.pdf
Several weeks ago I was surfing the Web and stopped at a site I frequently visit https://www.blackagendareport.com and I saw an alarming banner about the declining wealth of African-Americans and Latinos in America. It predicted Black wealth would be zero by 2050. I filed it away in my mind and then last week I searched the Web to find the actual study. I found the site of the people who did the study but I also saw a report from Forbes that elaborated on their report https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2017/09/11/median-wealth-of-black-and-latino-families-could-hit-zero-before-the-centurys-end/#75e9ec3b50f6. Then I went to the original study and read it.
It is nothing we don’t already know, it just extrapolates our current economic decline to 2050 where they project wealth for African-Americans will be zero; that’s right zero, zip, nothing, nada!
People of color took a major hit during the 2008 recession losing billions of dollars of wealth in real estate, savings and other assets. The Wall Street engineered collapse was especially devastating for Blacks and Latinos. “The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010. The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey.)… A number of factors seem responsible for the widening of the wealth gaps during the economic recovery. As the Federal Reserve notes, the median income of minority households (blacks, Hispanics and other non-whites combined) fell 9% from its 2010 to 2013 surveys, compared with a decrease of 1% for non-Hispanic white households. Thus, minority households may not have replenished their savings as much as white households or they may have had to draw down their savings even more during the recovery.” Wealth Inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines since the end of the great recession. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/12/12/racial-wealth-gaps-great-recession/
What makes this data more disheartening is the fact that under a “Black” president Barack Obama, absolutely nothing was done to those who created the financial collapse! Not one Wall Street or Big Bank executive was indicted, arrested or prosecuted for what they did to destroy millions of lives! In fact Bu$h, Obama and now Trump have made the banksters sacrosanct and untouchable, they all placed key Wall Street insiders in their cabinets, pursued and are pursuing policies that will exacerbate the income gap. Yet we say nothing and continue to go for the flim-flam.
A New York Times report dated October 11, 2017 said this about an IMF report on Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy, “Over the past three decades, inequality within countries — including in the United States, China and India — has risen primarily because of the skyrocketing growth of incomes at the top. Some of this is a consequence of how economies are evolving, said Branko Milanovic, an economist at the City University of New York. New technologies are increasing the returns for the most educated, even as robots replace lower-earning workers. Globalization has allowed businesses to cast around the world for cheaper labor, while the decline of unions has left workers with less bargaining power. But the trend, at least in part, is also because of governments that have redistributed less wealth to poorer people through taxes and spending, the monetary fund suggested.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/us/politics/imf-tax-cuts.html
White people know what is happening, “In other words, the American-Dream idea that life should get easier and more prosperous as the natural course of progress is still embedded in our collective memory, even though the collective reality has changed: for the bottom 95%, life is typically getting harder and less prosperous as the cost of living rises, wages are stagnant and the demands on workers increase. Meanwhile, the asset bubbles inflated by central banks have enriched the top 10% of households, which own over 75% of all assets and take home over 50% of all household income.” The fading Scent of The American Dream http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_Fading_Scent_of_the_American_Dream/61288/0/38/38/Y/M.html
Unless we wake up and begin to grapple with the these trends and come together collectively as a people to confront, address and reverse them we will be in worse shape than our ancestors were when they came out of formal enslavement and the Jim Crow era.