A new study finds that Black families in the United States will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as white families already have in 2016.
The report released by Institute for Policy Studies and the Corporation for Enterprise Development examines the current economic policies that have worked against Black and Latino families for decades.
It cites the sordid history of “redlining” in American cities that allowed banks to deny applicants based on discriminatory practices -- ultimately, as Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it in his op-ed on reparations, “redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived."
Today the current trend suggests that in the next thirty years, while the average wealth of white households will increase by over $18,000 a year, Latino and Black households will only see a wealth increase of $2,250 and $750 per year, respectively.
The amount of time it will take Black families to build comparable wealth is simply staggering --particularly when juxtaposed to the 245 year history of slavery in the United States.
So how do we fix this imbalance?
The study offers three critical solutions, but namely, it calls for an audit of all federal policies “to understand the role current policies play in perpetuating the racial wealth divide.”
Secondly, it calls for tax reforms on “unfair, upside-down tax incentives” that favor and reward the wealthiest in this country.
Lastly, it urges policy makers to address the “distorted influence of concentrated wealth” while simultaneously re-investing in programs dedicated to generating wealth-building strategies for those with less opportunity.
In short, without these improvements to policy, “our vision for racial equity will be impossible to achieve if we continue perpetuating an economic system that fails to prioritize the ability of households of color…”
Read the full report here.
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