Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's missed by people who only see race: the growing household wealth gap

From The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less - NYTimes.com: "The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially."

While it's true that for many historical reasons, class in the US is racially disproportionate, the reality today is simple. The net wealth of Obama, Herman Cain, Oprah, and every rich black person increased along with that of rich whites and Asians. The net wealth of poor and middle-class whites, blacks, and Asians decreased. What appears to be an economic racial problem requires a class-based solution, as Martin Luther King noted in his support of Universal Basic Income.