White privilege as economic reality: It would take African-Americans 228 years to reach the same level of wealth as whites

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Salon

"The black/white wealth gap is so extreme in the U.S. that whites who do not have a high school degree actually have more wealth than blacks who graduate college. Here, the tentacles of the near and far past — slavery and Jim and Jane Crow — combine with continuing racial discrimination in the banking, housing and labor markets of the present to maintain the black/white wealth gap. While the 228-year gap between black and white wealth gap may seem insurmountable, there are policy initiatives that could begin to close it. As Demos’ Sean McElwee explained at Salon in 2014, a “baby bond” program could create a wealth building opportunity for all Americans:

A baby bond is an endowment given to Americans at birth and maintained by the federal government until they are 18. The bond functions in a similar way to Social Security and can be sued to pay for college, buy a house or start a business. Hillary Clinton, in fact, briefly floated the possibility of a baby bond during her 2008 campaign, although the modest $5,000 sum she proposed is certainly smaller than ideal … Dr. Darrick Hamilton and Dr. William Darity Jr., leading proponents of  a baby bond, propose a progressive bond that caps at $50,000 for the lowest wealth quartile. Such a bond could close the racial wealth gap in three generations. Their proposal would be given to three-quarters of Americans (based on wealth eligibility). They estimate that such a program would cost $60 billion a year, about one-tenth of the 2014 defense budget."

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2016/08/21/white-privilege-as-economic-reality-it-would-take-african-americans-228-years-to-reach-the-same-level-of-wealth-as-whites/