No, Personal Responsibility Won’t Solve Inequality: New Study Dispels Common Myths Behind Racial Wealth Gap

Friday, April 20, 2018
The Root

Much has been reported about the racial wealth gap—but much is still misunderstood. A new report on the wealth gap focuses on the stubborn, pervasive myths that inform people’s understanding of America’s racial wealth disparity—and points readers in the direction of real solutions.

The report, “What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap” (pdf), highlights 10 common myths that shape people’s views of the racial wealth gap and dismantles them. These include well-meaning but misplaced solutions—like the belief that higher education, better jobs, homeownership, buying black or banking black, entrepreneurship, a greater emphasis on saving or greater personal responsibility would help close the deep wealth divide between black families and other Americans.

The study begins by noting that educational attainment has no impact on closing the wealth gap.

“At every level of educational attainment, black families’ median wealth is substantially lower than their white counterparts,” the report reads, observing that this is true even when comparing different levels of educational achievement. For example, a black household with a college-educated head has less wealth, on average, than a white household whose head didn’t even obtain a high school diploma.

Read the full article here.