Wealth Inequality Essay

423 Words2 Pages
Inequality in the accumulation of wealth in the U.S.’s black population stretches back to times of slavery and lack of reparations for their group’s enslavement to the Social Security Act and the Federal Housing Act (GIB 1). Racial discrimination lurks in the U.S.’s housing market from its very conception after WWII, when GIs began to return home in search of a new home (RTPI). Although, the Federal Housing Administration by no means a starting point for the cause of wealth inequality, it certainly exacerbated the gap. White suburbs like “Levittown” created a white exclusive ideal neighborhood which devalued black and other nonwhite homeowners. Housing discrimination prevented blacks and nonwhites from accumulating wealth like whites would…show more content…
Dalton Conley argues for the use of net wealth over net income as a measure of class because at similar levels of wealth, stereotypical racial outcomes nearly vanish (GIB 1). As a result of the undue priority on income over wealth, many community betterment programs for blacks and nonwhites only focus on job creation, which does nothing to address asset-accumulation obstacles (GIB 3-4). Darrick Hamilton and William Darity Jr. discuss the justifications for the black-white wealth gap as two narratives: “blacks are less frugal when it comes to savings” and “inferior management of assets owned by blacks has resulted in lower portfolio returns” both of which are disproven (RWI 10-11). Historically conscious wealth redistribution would attempt to make up for the “250 years of unrequited toil” (GIB 4) and all transgressions that followed. Progressive wealth taxes, “baby bonds”, and asset building programs would begin to close the widening gap in wealth. Colorblindness threatens to prevent positive policy change; whites have fought affirmative action programs with egalitarian rhetoric as well as reaping the benefits of a racist system without personally acting against blacks or
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