Income inequality has been getting worse, which suggests that the wealthiest, typically meaning Whites, are getting wealthier. According to a new study, the imbalance will shift so far that median Black and Latino households will lose the little relative wealth they have by about the time people of color form a majority of households in the U.S.
By 2053, Black households will have a median wealth of zero. It will take Latino households another 20 years to drop to the same level, according to an analysis by non-profits Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) and the Institute for Policy Studies.
As I’ve mentioned before, income inequality often captures attention, but wealth inequality is even more insidious.
That wealth becomes the head start in a race, like setting putting someone on the putative starting line and another, on the 90 meter mark in a 100-meter dash. By talking almost completely about income inequality, the country essentially pretends that a problem made over decades can be addressed on a single year’s scale. It can’t mathematically work.
Talking of wealth inequality in terms of a footrace is unfair. The race is over in a matter of seconds; only a few if someone is that far down the line. Wealth inequality lasts generations — forever, for all practical considerations.