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      07-26-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
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Wealth Inequality

We all know that wealth is pretty uneven in this country, but just HOW uneven it is between races completely shocked me.

I was also surprised to see that Asian wealth declined so much. Not really sure what can be done - with all the social welfare programs, affirmative action programs, etc that are present today, none of these seem to have any effect.

Are we targeting socioeconomic groups ineffectively? Is it an education issue? Are social welfare programs simply a waste of time? Discuss!


"Downturn widens racial wealth gap

The wealth gap is said to be the widest in nearly three decades
The wealth gap between American whites and minorities has grown wider during the recession, according to an analysis of US Census data.

It found the median wealth of white US households in 2009 was $113,149 (69,000), compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks.

This left whites with about 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics.

Those ratios compared with 7:1 for both groups back in 1995.

Asians also lost their top ranking to whites in median household wealth, more than halving from $168,103 in 2005 to $78,066 in 2009.

The report suggests Asian households were clustered in places such as California that were hit hard by the property market meltdown.

The study, compiled by the Pew Research Center from 2009 data, found the wealth gap was the widest it has been since the government began publishing such statistics by ethnicity in 1984, when the white-black ratio was roughly 12:1.

'Big declines'
The data analysis demonstrates that the economic recession, which plunged housing values and caused widespread unemployment, widened an existing racial wealth gap significantly.

In other findings:

About 35% of black households and 31% of Hispanic households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households
The share of wealth held by the top 10% of American households increased from 49% in 2005 to 56% in 2009
About 24% of all Hispanic and black households in 2009 had no assets other than a vehicle, compared with 6% of white households, a situation little changed since 2005
"What's pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African-Americans who bought homes in the last decade... are seeing big declines," Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specialises in income inequality, told the Associated Press news agency.

Between 2005 and 2009, the median net worth of Hispanic households dropped by 66% and that of black households by 53%, according to the report.

That contrasted with the median net worth of white households, which dropped by just 16%.

Before the recession, housing equity accounted for about 66% of the net worth of Hispanics and some 59% of black families. About 44% of the wealth of white families consisted of housing equity.

A geographic analysis of the study suggests a disproportionate share of Hispanics live in California, Nevada and Arizona, states which have experienced some of the steepest declines in US housing values.

Hispanics and blacks are the two largest minority groups in the US, making up 16% and 12% of the population respectively.

The figures reported in the Pew study are based on the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation, which surveyed 36,000 households on wealth from September to December 2009."
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      07-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #2

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It's happening because the people are becoming too dependent on the government to feed and clothe them. If you look up how much checks the government hands out an year you'll be even more shocked. The way things should be is the low class should work to become middle class and then eventually upper class. This terrible economy is shrinking the middle class and essentially wiping out what makes America so great. In effect, the middle class is becoming lower class. A majority of Asians I know don't believe money is everything so they don't mind living off of $50k an year. I don't know why this sudden decrease in their value of money.
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      08-13-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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this is directly related to education. Period.
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      08-14-2011, 02:22 AM   #4

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The direct link is property ownership. The majority of Wealth for most Americans prior to 2008 was the equity Americans had in their home.

Whites: Ownership of property dates back to the very beginning of the United States. And even though not everyone has inheirited property, enough have to skew the statistics upward. If you had significant home equity going into the housing crisis, you had a good chance of maintaining Wealth. Total up the property value of ALL the land that could only legally be owned by whites for decades in the early days of the United States, and this is the racial Wealth advantage that whites started out with in this country.

Blacks: Spent decades not being able to legally own property at all, so as a group they have less equity in property due to not having inheiritance at the same value as whites. Less equity going into the housing crisis means Wealth was nearly wiped out.

Asians and Hispanics: They are the latest US immigrants, with populations growing in the US the most in recent years. They also lack home equity as a group because of the relative short time of property ownership in the United States.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, as everyone is an individual. But the issue isn't about individuals, it is about total statistics across entire groups. But the statistics bare out in the macroeconomic level regardless of what any single individual experiences for themselves.
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      08-14-2011, 07:34 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by UltraRacer13 View Post
this is directly related to education. Period.
Precisely although lack of values are directly related. This country will let you do anything you like, accomplish what you will but it's on you to try. Children born of illiterates will just repeat the cycle of frustration. And it doesn't take money, it takes will. Libraries are free. Our federal entitlement programs mute excellence and perpetuate and grow the underclass. It's a true pity.
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