Posted on 28 July 2011
By Mark Miller
New research finds an appalling 20 to one chasm in net worth between white and black Americans, and an 18 to one gap between whites and Hispanics. The Pew Research Center found that the net worth gap has widened during the Great Recession, mainly because the housing bust disproportionately cut into the wealth of African-Americans and Hispanics.
The housing crash hurt these households disproportionately because they tended not to have much in the way of other assets, especially when it came to retirement savings. So, the Pew report — an analysis of the comprehensive U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation for 2009 – points to a terribly important social problem we face today – and the yawning retirement security gap confronting minority households.
This is worth keeping in mind as Washington’s debt ceiling and deficit reduction circus continues — and as the politicians and policymakers continue their flirtation with dangerous cuts to programs that will be absolutely critical to minority households in the years ahead, namely Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.