Wealth Gap Continues to Increase

There has never been a question about whether a wealth gap was present in this country.  The racial wealth disparity that exists, gets discussed a lot, but solutions seem hard to come by.  People have wondered during the current recession did the numbers begin to change any.  The answer is no and the answer to why is pretty simple.  A recent Pew Study has shown that during the recession the wealth gap has grown to their highest levels in a quarter century.  This is even with there being a wealth decline across the board.  However, the losses for minorities has been so extreme that it takes away whatever gains (if any) that had been made.

Often times this discussion is around whites and blacks, but this report shows that it is much broader than that.  The wealth of Hispanics dropped 66%, while among blacks the number is 53%. While whites dropped by 16%. The reason for this is simple.  The majority of minorities wealth was wrapped up in housing.  When the housing market collapsed so did their wealth.  Whites have a more diverse pool of wealth so even while being hurt by the housing crash, the fact that the stock market recovered their loss of wealth was minimized.

What is troubling is that as federal and state budgets are being cut, so are the programs that are helping to keep minorities and poor of all races above water.  If we continue to make these cuts it will grow increasingly difficult for this group to build wealth and the gap will continue to widen.


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