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Racism In America Should Not Take Center Stage in the Global Fight Against White Supremacy

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 21, 2021 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/racism-america-not-center-stage-031749966.html

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 With roots in European-led colonization, race is now hard-wired into the structures and institutions of globalization. The Big Four of Accounting, the Magic Circle of Law, the Big Three of Management Consulting, rating agencies: all of these companies that have enormous global influence are headquartered in the West. Liberal narratives are created to justify their practices.


"If you don't understand what white supremacy is and how it works. Everything else will only confuse you." Mr Neely Fuller Jr..

Racism In America Should Not Take Center Stage in the Global Fight Against White Supremacy


 Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a Federal holiday, marking the day in 1865 when Black people in the U.S. gained freedom from slavery. Emancipation did not stop the repression of Black people, nor will this new gesture change much.

 

The bill was passed against the backdrop of the murder of George Floyd and the actions of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which brought this history of injustice to global attention. Yet the past year has seen a surge in the activities of white supremacist groups across the West, resulting in U.N. Secretary General Antonio Gutteres describing white supremacy as one of the biggest challenges facing the world.

 

Despite this global awakening to the problem, it is still unclear if Western nations have understood that the core driver of racial injustice—in their midst and globally—is the need to retain white global economic power at all costs. There is growing awareness that social structures have helped grow racist mindsets and behaviors among white communities, allowing them to benefit from a construct that places whites at the top of an economic, political and cultural pecking order. But dismantling these will not be easy, as they are the very same structures on which the modern world is built.

 

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The difficulty arises because race generally does not feature in mainstream discussions of global governance. Yet, it would be naïve to not understand that the racist views of Western leaders have factored into major decisions, including acts of aggression on others seen as inferior. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said “We think the price is worth it” after being asked if the death of half a million Iraqi children as a result of sanctions was acceptable.

 

Read more: How Activists in Eight Countries Are Fighting for Racial Justice

 

Given the intensity of the race discussion in the U.S., it is surprising that critical race theory (which describes how social structures and cultural norms help perpetuate white privilege) is not applied at a global level. Why is this the case? One possibility is that the usual analytical foci—like laws and institutions—are less defined globally. Many of these structures are also dominated by Western powers. Race is rarely mentioned, for example, in providing explanations as to why, even in the 21st century, leaders of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund must be nominated by the U.S. and Europe—an imbalance that has led to calls for a democratic reform of voting powers within both bodies.

 

There is poor understanding of how white privilege operates outside the U.S. and Europe. In fact, there is a danger in placing American race-based oppression at the center of global discussions on white supremacy. Let’s be explicit: racial oppression in the U.S. is the tip of the iceberg of a much deeper and more harmful global phenomenon of white privilege that has for too long been conveniently ignored. The application of critical race theory and other insights into structured discrimination would help unravel much about how white privilege operates on the world stage.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel during the G7 Leaders summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom on June 11, 2021.Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a photo with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel during the G7 Leaders summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom on June 11, 2021.Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Race explains the current tensions between the West and the Islamic world, and the West and China. (In 2019, the U.S. State Department director of policy planning, Kiron Skinner, said that challenging “the long-term threat” of China is difficult because the country is “not Caucasian.”;) It elevates, shapes, represses, subjugates and destroys to seek and preserve economic power. Yet there has been a real absence of an honest global examination of its role.

 

With roots in European-led colonization, race is now hard-wired into the structures and institutions of globalization. The Big Four of Accounting, the Magic Circle of Law, the Big Three of Management Consulting, rating agencies: all of these companies that have enormous global influence are headquartered in the West. Liberal narratives are created to justify their practices.

 

At sought-after schools, from Harvard to Oxford to Wharton, these narratives are fed to future business and government leaders from around the world, normalizing and institutionalizing power differences. Such values are then turned into institutions, regulations and laws that reinforce inequality.

 

At the apex sits the G7. Its meeting in London in June was a stark reminder of underlying Western assumptions. The group has no Arab, African or Asian representative besides Japan, and invoked a struggle between “Western democracy” and “authoritarian China,” calling again for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

 

Read more: Australia’s Travel Ban Sparks Debate on Race and Identity

 

A better world cannot be forged without unmasking and dismantling the global superstructure that perpetuates white, Western dominance. Recognizing white privilege is key to this process, as centuries of Western dominance have inured the world to it. This will be difficult and especially so for Western liberals and millennials who believe they are fighting the good fight by latching on to fashionable trends such as opposing racism in sports and movies or supporting BLM and associated movements. Accepting they are the beneficiaries of a global system of white privilege is a wholly different moral dilemma.

 

Ending white privilege can start only if we have a global debate about what has been a taboo subject in international relations and business. Western institutions should not see this as an attack on white people or something rooted in anti-white or anti-Western sentiments. It is necessary to expose white privilege everywhere, not just because it is an injustice, but because by working to dismantle it, we will be creating a post-Western world that is fairer, has less conflict, is more united and is better able to respond to the existential challenges facing humanity.


These 2 charts show how the racial wealth gap has gotten even wider over the years

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 12, 2021 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.businessinsider.com/charts-how-much-wealth-each-race-ethnicity-held-2020-2021-3Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

 "From the last quarter of 2019 to the last quarter of 2020, total household wealth of white Americans increased by $9.58 trillion to $103.40 trillion. Black Americans increased their total household wealth by $0.52 trillion, from $4.46 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $4.98 trillion in the last quarter of 2020." Self explanatory... By JJP




These 2 charts show how the racial wealth gap has gotten even wider over the years


 White Americans increased their wealth by $9.58 trillion from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.

Black Americans also increased their total household wealth, by $520 billion.

The data shows the wealth gap persisted in 2020 amid the pandemic.


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The systemic exclusion of Black Americans from employment, home ownership, and generational wealth is not a new story.

 

And the wealth gap between Black and white Americans has only persisted: In the fourth quarter of 2020, white households had a total net worth that was over 20 times that of total wealth held by Black households.

 

White Americans have held most of the total wealth since the end of 1989, the first year with available data from the Federal Reserve's Distributional Financial Accounts. This continued in 2020, when white wealth grew from the last quarter of 2019 to the last quarter of 2020 more than it did for Black or Hispanic Americans.

 

The following chart highlights aggregate household wealth by race and ethnicity over the past two decades:

 

 

From the last quarter of 2019 to the last quarter of 2020, total household wealth of white Americans increased by $9.58 trillion to $103.40 trillion. Black Americans increased their total household wealth by $0.52 trillion, from $4.46 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $4.98 trillion in the last quarter of 2020.

 

 


 

Aggregate wealth for Hispanic households increased by $0.26 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same time a year earlier, for a total of $2.89 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

 

The above chart shows the sum total of all wealth held by households in each racial and ethnic group, but those groups do not make up equal shares of the US population. To get a sense of the racial wealth gap at the level of individual families, we can also look at average household wealth in each group.

 

The following chart highlights total wealth by race and ethnicity per household over the past two decades using data from the

Federal Reserve

's Distributional Financial Accounts:

 

 

The chart similarly illustrates that wealth held per white household is much higher than the wealth held by Black and Hispanic households. Even before the pandemic, white households held more wealth.

 

 

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Those averages may look very high, but this is a side effect of the fact that wealth is often concentrated at the very top within each of the racial and ethnic groups above. Average values were much higher than the typical, or median, wealth among households in each racial or ethnic group.

 

Although smaller, the racial wealth gap still shows up when looking at the median household. The Federal Reserve wrote that based on 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, the most recent year available, white families had a median wealth of $188,200, compared to $24,100 for Black families, and $36,100 for Hispanic families.

 

That means, according to the Fed, a white family "has eight times the wealth of the typical Black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family."

 

A report from the Center for American Progress finds that these lower levels of wealth left the Black community more vulnerable to both the physical and fiscal risks of the pandemic. The report traces the Black-white wealth gap to a "discriminatory economic system that keeps Black households from achieving the American dream," which encompasses everything from housing market discrimination to labor market discrimination to exclusion from financial systems.

 

 


 

Not only was there an unequal wealth distribution in 2020, but recovery amid the pandemic seems to also be unequal when looking at recovery by race and ethnicity. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analyzed data from the last two quarters of 2020 to see how unemployment rates differed by race and ethnicity around the nation.

 

"While unemployment rates fell for all groups over the third and fourth quarters, Hispanic unemployment remained 60% higher than white unemployment, while Black unemployment rose from 60% higher to 90% higher," EPI wrote.

 

In fact, EPI found that in the third quarter of 2020, "there were no states where Black and white workers were equally likely to be unemployed." Although the unemployment rate for both Black and white Americans is lower than the rates seen last spring, the Black unemployment rate was 4.3 percentage points higher than the white unemployment rate in February 2021.


  

Wealth Gaps between White, Black and Hispanic Families in 2019

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 30, 2021 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2021/january/wealth-gaps-white-black-hispanic-families-2019

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


  Wealth Gaps between White, Black and Hispanic Families in 2019 

By Ana Hernández Kent, Senior Researcher, Institute for Economic Equity; and Lowell R. Ricketts, Data Scientist, Institute for Economic Equity

 

Education, family structure and generation status are related to how much wealth a household has. But regardless of which kinds of those characteristics they have, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic (of any race) families in the U.S. have large and persistent wealth gaps with non-Hispanic white families (hereafter, Black, Hispanic and white, respectively).

 

We analyzed 2019 data, the latest available from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF),1 on family wealth, or what a family owns minus what they owe. We based a family’s demographic characteristics on those of the survey respondent, who is generally the most financially knowledgeable person in the household.

 

We found:

 

More education was associated with more wealth for all the racial and ethnic groups considered. However, wide gaps remain at every education level, with Black and Hispanic families having less median family wealth than white families with the same education.

Black and Hispanic families are less likely than white families to own various types of assets (e.g., homes, businesses, financial and retirement assets) and have lower-valued assets when they do.

Stark inequities evident in various facets of Black and Hispanic families’ wealth and white family wealth point to historical barriers that continue to hamper Black and Hispanic wealth accumulation.

Examples of historical barriers include Black Americans’ exclusion from building wealth via the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act of 1935 and the G.I. Bill of 1944; redlining; and discrimination in the criminal justice system (e.g., incarceration and criminal debt).

 

Less has been documented about the underlying causes of the wealth gap between Hispanic and white families. More research is needed to determine if inequities and barriers similar to those faced by Black families have had an influence on the Hispanic/white gap.

 

Evidence suggests individual actions and marginal policy changes are unlikely to significantly narrow gaps related to systemic barriers like asset poverty, the legacy of wealth-stripping tactics in housing markets, and discriminatory practices. Instead, larger systemic changes (PDF) may be necessary to narrow gaps and increase Black and Hispanic wealth.

 

Most Black and Hispanic Families Are Less Wealthy than the Typical White Family

Using SCF data, we evaluated family wealth and found:

 

A typical (median) white family owned about $184,000 in family wealth;

A typical Black family owned $23,000; and

A typical Hispanic family owned $38,000.

The median wealth gap between Black and white families of 12 cents per $1 of white wealth is largely unchanged over the past 30 years, while the gap between Hispanic and white families, 21 cents per $1 of white wealth, slightly improved but remained large.

 

Black, Hispanic and white families had more wealth at the average—$143,000, $249,000 and $962,000, respectively—than at the median. These findings are a function of the wealth distribution within each racial and ethnic group: There are few very wealthy families, but their vast amount of wealth pulls the average up. For example, the figure below shows wealth at the 75th percentile, which is lower than the average, meaning most Black, Hispanic and white families have less than the group’s average. Because of this, we choose to compare medians (values at the middle of the distribution), as we believe these are more representative of a typical family’s experience.

 

Distribution of Family Wealth by Race and Ethnicity

NOTES: This graphic shows the relative size of family wealth for different racial and ethnic groups. From left to right, the 25th percentiles, 50th percentiles or medians, and 75th percentiles are shown. Also, wealth gaps in terms of Black and Hispanic families’ cents per every dollar of white family wealth are shown for each percentile group.

SOURCES: Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances and authors’ calculations.

 

The vast majority of Black (82%) and Hispanic (76%) families had less wealth than the typical white family at the median. In fact, the entire wealth distributions of Black and Hispanic families are shifted toward lower wealth, while the distribution of white families is more evenly dispersed, as seen in the figure below.

 

Distribution of Family Wealth by Race and Ethnicity

A larger share of white families have high wealth, whereas a larger share of Black and Hispanic families have low wealth. White families were more likely to be millionaires, and Black families more likely to have negative wealth, meaning their debts were greater than their assets.

 

Percentages of households who are millionaires:

 

White families—15%

Black families—2%

Hispanic families—3%

Percentages of families who were in debt:

 

Black families—18%

Hispanic families—12%

White families—8%

Comparing the Wealth of Families with Similar Characteristics

Wealth gaps are not just present at the aggregate. Looking across families while matching on various characteristics also shows that white families have more wealth than Black or Hispanic families. The following comparisons focus on one characteristic at a time and do not control for other variables (e.g., income).

 

Education

Though many may hope education is a “great equalizer,” college does not eliminate or substantially reduce racial or ethnic wealth gaps. For families of all races and ethnicities, higher educational attainment is generally associated with more accumulated wealth. However, education does not close racial wealth gaps—Black and Hispanic families have less median family wealth than white families with the same education.

 

The figure below shows that Black and Hispanic families with a bachelor’s degree have greater median wealth than Black or Hispanic families without one, but they have much less wealth than white families with a similar degree. Even the typical Black and Hispanic families whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree had less median wealth than the typical white family whose highest level of education was a high school degree.

 

Median Household Wealth by Race/Ethnicity and Education

Parental Education

Higher parental wealth affords various advantages for children, including helping finance higher education or a down payment on a mortgage. This head start makes it easier for those born with financial resources, who are disproportionately white, to get ahead. Using parental education as a proxy for wealth, we found that for white families higher parental education is associated with a higher wealth standing for the adult child survey respondent, as seen in the figure below. The relationship is less clear for Hispanic families and we found no relationship for Black families, signaling greater difficulty in passing advantages to the next generation.

 

Race Differences in Intergenerational Parental Education and Adult Child's Wealth

Family Structure

Family structure—marital status and whether a household has children—has complex associations with race, ethnicity and wealth. For example, while married couples' wealth is higher than nonmarried couples’ wealth, this association does not necessarily indicate that marriage builds wealth: Wealthier singles could be more likely to marry. The figure below compares families with the same family structure; wealth gaps remain—Hispanic and Black families typically have similar levels of wealth and less overall wealth than white families.

 

Distribution of Family Wealth by Race and Ethnicity

NOTES: Bands indicate 90% confidence intervals; overlapping bands indicate the groups are not significantly different from each other. The data point for partnered white families with minor children is overlapped by the data point for Hispanics.

SOURCES: Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances and authors’ calculations.

 

Generation

Across generations, Black and Hispanic families consistently had less median wealth than white families. For example, white Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) owned $331,000 at the median, considerably more than Hispanic Boomers, with $141,000, and Black Boomers, with $45,000 at the median. Black millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) had very low levels of accumulated wealth, owning just $3,000 at the median. Hispanic millennials fared better, with $15,000, though not as well as white millennials, who had median wealth of $53,000.

 

The Types and Values of Families’ Assets

The disparities documented here are the latest data points capturing longstanding inequities. The next two figures below show the share of families within racial and ethnic groups that own various types of assets, and the typical value of those assets. Consistent with our findings on education and family structure, white families were both more likely to own various asset types and had higher asset values than Black and Hispanic families.

 

Ownership Participation among Different Racial and Ethnic Groups

Median Value of Assets Held by Different Racial and Ethnic Groups

Racial Wealth Gaps: Historical Roots and Systemic Barriers

Some of these inequities have roots in historical government-sponsored discriminatory policies, which, along with systemic barriers today (such as labor market discrimination), continue to hamper Black and Hispanic families’ wealth accumulation.2

Our findings also suggest that historic economic advantages enjoyed by white families continue to influence the wealth accumulation of their descendants. Intergenerational wealth transmission happens through various pathways. For example, for white families in particular, higher levels of parental education are related to higher family wealth.

 

White families are also more likely to have parents with a bachelor’s degree or higher who may be better positioned to invest in their children’s education—indirectly improving their prospects for economic success. Additionally, inheritances and in vivo transfers (i.e., gifts while the parents are living) are important drivers of wealth concentration.3 Thus, past economic imbalances can continue to affect current wealth gaps.

 

Our research suggests families will be better positioned to fully participate in the economy and realize their full economic potential when race is no longer predictive of starting points. Given the links to historical discrimination and systemic barriers, focusing solely on individual actions or marginal policy interventions (aimed at incremental change and treating symptoms) will likely not narrow these persistent racial and ethnic wealth gaps. Instead, solutions could focus on the root causes of wealth gaps and keep a historical perspective while expanding inclusive economic opportunities for all Americans.


3.5 million Black American households have a negative net worth, new study finds

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 30, 2021 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/18/business/black-wealth-mckinsey-study/index.html

Http:www.jerraldpresident.info//

  Watching the BET awards and Youtube guru's you'd thing Black people are BALLING! By JJP

  3.5 million Black American households have a negative net worth, new study finds


 

An estimated 19% of Black American families, roughly 3.5 million households, have a negative net worth because of a history of discriminatory policies from the government and private industry that has hindered their accumulation of wealth over time, according to a new McKinsey & Company study released Thursday.

Just 8% of White households have a negative net worth today by comparison, according to the global management consulting firm's comprehensive report on the economic state of Black America. An additional 4.3 million Black households have a net worth of less than $10,000, the study's authors said.

A contractor uses a saw to cut siding for a house under construction in Walnut Creek, California, US on June 17, 2021.

A contractor uses a saw to cut siding for a house under construction in Walnut Creek, California, US on June 17, 2021.

The analysis conducted earlier this year examines major occupational and economic gaps facing Black Americans. The study's authors said Black workers make up 12.9% of the nation's labor force, but earn only 9.6% of total US wages.

 

Disparities hurt broader economy

Employment disparities along racial lines have resulted in a $220 billion annual gap between the wages earned by Black Americans today and what they would be earning if their occupational numbers across business sectors were proportional to their percentage of the US population, the study noted.

"Achieving this scenario would boost total Black wages by 30% and draw approximately one million additional Black workers into employment," the study said.

Lead author Shelley Stewart III says addressing the major wealth disparities between Black and White households has larger implications for the living conditions of all Americans, the study found.

"The lack of participation [by Black Americans] economically has substantial dampening effects for the broader US economy," Stewart told CNN Business.

The study also quantifies how Black Americans, who make up about 13% of the US population, are concentrated in lower-wage occupations and underrepresented in higher-paying careers. Black workers represent just 5% of the nation's physicians and 4.5% of its software developers.

Yet roughly 35% of all US nursing assistants, an occupation with a median wage of just $23,000, and one-third of all security guards and school bus drivers are Black.

"The racial wage disparity is the product of both representational imbalances and pay gaps within occupational categories and it is a surprisingly concentrated phenomenon," the study authors wrote.

A bus driver for the Detroit city bus line DDOT poses for a portrait wearing a protective mask and gloves for protection in Detroit on March 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A bus driver for the Detroit city bus line DDOT poses for a portrait wearing a protective mask and gloves for protection in Detroit on March 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Double hurdle of sexism and racism

McKinsey says the advancement of Black women into higher-paying positions is critical to addressing these disparities due to the economic role many play in their families. They cite a September McKinsey analysis of 590 US corporations that determined only 58 Black women are promoted into manager roles for every 100 men of all races.

"Women of all races are less represented in leadership roles, but women of color face double hurdles of sexism and racism," the study authors wrote.

Stewart says these imbalances can't be solved by Black Americans alone. A combination of intervention from both the government and private industry are key.

"We have a particular moment, which unfortunately was prompted by the murder of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact of Covid 19 impact on Black Americans," he said, "to really re-examine that we approach racial justice through this frame of broader economic participation."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated how many Black Americans have a negative net worth. It is 3.5 million Black households. It also misstated the figure for White Americans. The study found that 8% of White American households have a negative net worth.


Exclusive: America's biggest banks detail 30 things they can do to combat racial inequality

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 30, 2021 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/28/business/banks-racial-inequality/index.ht

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  The privately owned banking system with implicit approval from the United States government. Created this incestuous housing market that devalues Black home ownership thru explicitly RACIST policies. Now say they can FIX the problem. Really? By JJP

  Exclusive: America's biggest banks detail 30 things they can do to combat racial inequality

New York (CNN Business)America's biggest banks insist they can and will do more to combat the nation's racial inequality crisis.

 

The trade group behind JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and dozens of other big banks is detailing 30 best practices lenders can take to ease inequality in Black communities.

The report from the Bank Policy Institute, shared exclusively with CNN Business, marks the first time the industry is laying out concrete ways to tackle these deep-seated challenges laid bare by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd.

Recommendations include publishing diversity and inclusion data, hiring more diverse wealth management personnel and exploring a "massive" industry-wide philanthropic investment in a particular sector or fund.

Democrats want JPMorgan to refund Covid-era overdraft fees — and scrap them forever

Democrats want JPMorgan to refund Covid-era overdraft fees — and scrap them forever

The report comes ahead of a hearing on Tuesday by a House of Representatives subcommittee examining the financial industry's commitments to economic and racial justice. Lawmakers plan to debate legislation that would require public companies to carry out a racial audit every two years.

"When you look at history, you see centuries of financial exclusion for Black Americans. It goes back to the founding of our country," Fabrice Emmanuel Coles, BPI's vice president of government affairs, told CNN Business.

Coles, who is scheduled to testify at Tuesday's hearing, said some banks have already been conducting these best practices, while others have not.

He acknowledged it will take time and considerable effort to chip away at racial inequality.

"It's going to take a village to drive sustainable change because of the residue of exclusion and discrimination," said Coles, who previously served as executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus and an aide to Democrats in Congress.

BPI represents 40 of the largest banks with US operations, including Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup (C) and PNC (PNC).

Tying exec pay to diversity

Yet critics of big banks would argue that the industry hasn't done enough to address inequality, including in its own backyard. A study published in March by the Committee for Better Banks called the industry out for a lack of diversity in its upper ranks and concluded that "racial bias runs deep" at banks.

The BPI report detailed multiple best practices aimed at improving diversity at banks.

3.5 million Black American households have a negative net worth, new study finds

3.5 million Black American households have a negative net worth, new study finds

For example, the report called on banks to establish a cross-functional taskforce to promote diversity and ensure diversity and inclusion leaders report directly to the CEO, or at least to other C-Suite executives.

Moreover, banks are being encouraged to track diversity, equity and inclusion data — and to publish the progress for review by the public. If numbers don't improve, BPI suggested senior management can be held "accountable" by linking progress to executive pay.

Joining forces on philanthropy

The BPI report also urged banks to continue to make charitable efforts aimed at reducing inequality. Specifically, it said banks should make sure philanthropy works closely with business units and to remove barriers to quick deployment of grant funds during the pandemic.

And the report hinted at an industry-wide investment. "Joining forces would allow for large-scale investments to be a powerful indication that the banking industry is committed to addressing pervasive inequality," the report said, adding that a possible model is the $300 million that National Basketball Association team owners have pledged to invest in a fund that addresses racial injustice.

Yet BPI stressed that philanthropy can't be a substitute for refining business practices to better serve overlooked communities or emphasizing diversity.

"Firms should not be satisfied to give money to Black causes, as important as that giving can be," the report said.

A $16 trillion problem

Wealth inequality is particularly glaring along racial lines. As of 2019, the median net worth of White households was $188,200, or nearly eight times that of Black families, according to the Federal Reserve.

BPI called for banks to diversify the ranks of private bankers, financial advisers and sales people and to target investments in funds run by firms with diverse leadership. The report also urged banks to spend money on marketing to reach new Black clients.

Exclusive: JPMorgan is calling for reforms to stop racial bias in housing

Exclusive: JPMorgan is calling for reforms to stop racial bias in housing

In addition to getting new diverse customers, BPI said banks need to do more to keep existing ones. The report noted that existing guidance from regulators often forces banks to close the accounts of customers with unpaid overdraft fees of 60 days or more and document this to a reporting agency.

"This unnecessary result can and should be avoided to ensure that banks are not driving customers away from formal banking relationships," the report said, adding that banks should work with regulators to weigh options here.

BPI also suggested banks should expand small-dollar lending products with "affordable and transparent" features as a safer alternative to payday products.

In other words, there is a growth opportunity for banks in working to address the needs of underserved, often minority, communities.

That's not to mention the fact that racial inequality is holding back America's economy. Failures to address the wide gaps between Black and White communities has cost the US economy up to $16 trillion over the past 20 years, according to an analysis published by Citigroup last fall.

Debating 'woke-ism'

At Tuesday's hearing, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are likely to be skeptical of these efforts by banks to address inequality.

Democrats have suggested banks need to do much more, including by hiring more diverse leaders and ending overdraft fees and other practices viewed as predatory. Democrats on the House subcommittee holding Tuesday's hearing noted that despite expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement last year, JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup all urged shareholders to reject racial-equity resolutions.

Her great-grandfather's business was destroyed in the Tulsa race massacre. His legacy lives on in her own shop

Her great-grandfather's business was destroyed in the Tulsa race massacre. His legacy lives on in her own shop

Republicans, on the other hand, have warned bankers not to politicize lending or weigh in on highly charged social issues such as voting rights.

"I am concerned about increasing pressure on banks to embrace 'woke-ism' and appease the far left's attacks on capitalism," Republican Senator Pat Toomey told big bank CEOs at a hearing late last month.

Industry executives insist they aren't caving to political pressure.

"Banks are just making business decisions," said BPI's Coles. "There isn't some kind of political-driven woke-ism at play."


Household net worth climbs to $136.9 trillion, thanks to big stock market gains

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 30, 2021 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/10/household-net-worth-climbs-to-136point9-trillion-thanks-to-big-stock-market-gains.html

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  The rich always get richer! Gangster Capitalism 101. By JJP

  Household net worth climbs to $136.9 trillion, thanks to big stock market gains


The net worth of U.S. households climbed to new heights as 2021 began and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic began to fade.

 

Thanks largely to a surge in the stock market, the total balance sheet for households and nonprofits rose to $136.9 trillion in the first quarter, a 3.8% gain from the end of 2020, according to Federal Reserve data released Thursday

 

Of that total, $3.2 trillion came from equity holdings, while $1 trillion was due to the continued escalation in real estate values. The S&P 500 gained 7% for the quarter as investors anticipated rising corporate earnings and accommodative fiscal and monetary policy while also placing speculative bets on so-called meme stocks.

 

From a historical perspective, household net worth has nearly doubled from its level of a decade ago as the nation was still escaping the throes of the Great Recession.

 

The increase left net worth as a share of disposable income at just under 700%, off the all-time high at the end of 2020 but still elevated in historical terms.

 

Household debt totaled $16.9 trillion for the quarter, growing at 6.5% rate that was the fastest pace going back to 2006.

 

The gain in household value came as the growth rate in total private and government debt slowed to 5.8% from 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and was much lower than in the first quarter of last year. That was when government spending pumped trillions into the economy and triggered debt growth at a 10.8% level, followed by a 25.6% increase in the second quarter.

 

Federal government debt increased 6.5% in the first quarter, well below the 10.9% rate in the last three months of 2020 but still enough to push the total debt level to just below $28 trillion at the end of the quarter. State and local government debt rose at a 3.8% rate, compared with 1.6% in the previous quarter.

 

After slowing considerably in the second half of 2020, business debt picked up again, rising at 4.4% pace.

 

 


Racial disparities in school-based disciplinary actions are associated with county-level rates of racial bias

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 3, 2021 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/17/8255

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


  Racial disparities in school-based disciplinary actions are associated with county-level rates of racial bias


 

Significance

Black students in the United States are subject to disciplinary action at rates much higher than their white counterparts. These disciplinary actions put students at higher risk for negative life outcomes, including involvement in the criminal justice system. Using federal data covering over 32 million students at nearly 96,000 schools, our research demonstrates that the disciplinary gap between black and white students across five types of disciplinary actions is associated with county-level rates of racial bias. Our work emphasizes the need for policy targeting racial disparities in education and psychological bias.

 

Abstract

There are substantial gaps in educational outcomes between black and white students in the United States. Recently, increased attention has focused on differences in the rates at which black and white students are disciplined, finding that black students are more likely to be seen as problematic and more likely to be punished than white students are for the same offense. Although these disparities suggest that racial biases are a contributor, no previous research has shown associations with psychological measurements of bias and disciplinary outcomes. We show that county-level estimates of racial bias, as measured using data from approximately 1.6 million visitors to the Project Implicit website, are associated with racial disciplinary disparities across approximately 96,000 schools in the United States, covering around 32 million white and black students. These associations do not extend to sexuality biases, showing the specificity of the effect. These findings suggest that acknowledging that racial biases and racial disparities in education go hand-in-hand may be an important step in resolving both of these social ills.

 

educationracial disparitiesschool disciplineracial biassocial psychology

In comparison with white Americans, black Americans exhibit poorer educational outcomes across a range of metrics. One outcome of particular concern is the gap in disciplinary actions (1, 2). Research using administrative datasets and longitudinal samples clearly show that black American students are far more likely to be suspended or expelled (3, 4) and, conditional on an office referral, more likely to receive stiffer punishments (5, 6). These disparities are particularly concerning as they are associated with long-term outcomes, including employment (7) and involvement in the criminal justice system (8).

 

As complex social phenomena, racial differences in disciplinary outcomes are multiply determined (2). However, racial bias is thought to be one such determinant. For instance, a controlled experiment using hypothetical vignettes found that in comparison with white students, teachers were more likely to view the same behavior from black students as being indicative of a long-term problem and deserving of suspension (9). Similarly, discipline data from an urban high school showed that black students were especially likely to be referred to the office for discipline on the basis of defiant behavior—a relatively subjective category of misbehavior in comparison with others they examined, including truancy or fighting (10). Overall, there is consistent evidence that black students’ behaviors are both perceived as more problematic and are punished more harshly compared with white students. However, to our knowledge, there has been no work assessing whether racial bias is directly associated with disciplinary disparities. Additionally, there has been no work assessing how community-level racial bias is associated with educational disparities.

 

Psychological measurements of racial bias typically occur through one of two ways. Either individuals are asked to self-report their relative attitudes toward different racial groups (i.e., “explicit bias”;) or via methods designed to assess automatic associations with people of different races. The “implicit biases” assessed by the latter technique are thought to reflect cognitive and affective response components that are difficult to control. Accordingly, implicit attitudes should overcome some of the social-desirability biases associated with self-report (11). Recently, researchers have begun aggregating these measures up to geographical regions such as counties or states, finding that regional-level measures of implicit and explicit racial bias are associated with racial disparities in key social outcomes, although the relative contributions are not consistent across studies (12⇓–14). For example, one study found that black Americans had reduced access to healthcare and increased rates of death due to circulatory disease in comparison with whites in counties with higher levels of explicit racial bias against blacks (12). They found no such associations for implicit racial bias. In contrast, other work found that the disproportionate use of lethal force by police on black Americans was associated with regional implicit biases but not with explicit biases (14). As such, it is important to assess both types of bias when seeking to understand the relationship between regional-level bias and behavioral outcomes.

 

Regional levels of bias could be associated with the size of racial student disciplinary disparities for a number of reasons. We highlight several that are likely to be driven by intergroup contact and/or sociopolitical power of the majority group. First, being in an area with elevated racial bias likely means encountering individuals who have negative feelings and beliefs about one’s group and whose actions within and/or outside of an educational setting could contribute to disciplinary disparities. For example, if teachers and administrators are biased, then they may be more likely to make decisions that are unfavorable to black students, such as deciding that a given misbehavior is worthy of disciplinary action. Similarly, if members of the community are biased, they may more readily perceive transgressions from black students than from white students. The consequences of such interactions may be especially likely to lead to disparate outcomes in high-bias regions when there is ample opportunity for these sorts of intergroup interactions to take place (i.e., intergroup contact is frequent). Second, the norms and structural factors that characterize regions higher in bias may constrain even those individuals who are not biased themselves into engaging in or suborning actions that negatively impact students of color (15, 16). For example, biased administrators or local voters may use their sociopolitical power to support policies that disproportionately punish students of color, such as zero-tolerance policies or implementation of random drug sweeps (17). Additionally, biases assessed at the regional level might reflect affordances of the local environment (e.g., confederate statues, biased media) that undergird these biases and prime behaviors that contribute to disciplinary disparities (18), especially insofar as these affordances reflect the attitudes of the sociopolitically powerful. Overall, these and other reasons, and the likely possibility that they work in concert to inform behavior (19), substantiate the possibility that there will be a relationship between regional bias and disciplinary outcomes.

 

Most previous research has focused on out-of-school suspensions—likely because they are the most frequently used and are regularly found to be associated with negative outcomes (20, 21). However, other disciplinary outcomes, although used less often, are also likely damaging to students (22). For instance, school arrests have been associated with increased risk of engaging in antisocial behavior (23) and of dropping out (8). In addition, although alternative forms of discipline (e.g., in-school suspension) are intended to insulate students from the negative consequences of exclusionary discipline, the criteria by which students are assigned the former kind of discipline often remain vulnerable to bias (24). As such, examining the presence and basis of disparities in the application of a wide range of disciplinary actions is warranted.


US Billionaire Wealth Surges to $584 Billion, or 20 Percent, Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

Posted by Jerrald J President on August 13, 2020 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

https://ips-dc.org/us-billionaire-wealth-584-billion-20-percent-pandemic/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


   Still believe in a rising tide lifting all BOATS. Over 50 million people filed for UNEMPLOYMENT during this PANDEMIC, while the richest 1% wealth increased $600 billion DOLLARS at the same damn time. Gangster Capitalism 101

By JJP

US Billionaire Wealth Surges to $584 Billion, or 20 Percent, Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

In just three months, the U.S. added 29 more billionaires while 45.5 million filed for unemployment.



 

Billionaire wealth surged over $584 billion as $6.5 trillion in household wealth vanishes during first Quarter.

 

As the Federal Reserve reported during the week of June 10th, more than $6.5 trillion in household wealth vanished during the first three months of this year as the pandemic tightened its hold on the global economy.

 

“This is the biggest economic shock in the U.S. and in the world, really, in living memory,” Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell told reporters on June 10th. “We went from the lowest level of unemployment in 50 years to the highest level in close to 90 years, and we did it in two months.”

 

Since March 18th, the US Billionaire class has seen their wealth increase by 20%, or $584 billion, since the rough beginning of the pandemic, as 45.5 million Americans filed for unemployment and the economy cratered, according to a new analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies – Program on Inequality (IPS), building on the IPS Billionaire Bonanza 2020 report.

 

Overall, between March 18—the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown, when most federal and state economic restrictions were in place—and June 17, the total net worth of the 640-plus U.S. billionaires jumped from $2.948 trillion to $3.531 trillion, based on the two groups’ analysis of Forbes data. Since March 18, the date Forbes released its annual report on billionaires’ wealth, the U.S. added 29 more billionaires, increasing from 614 to 643. During the same three months, over 45.5 million people filed for unemployment, according to the Department of Labor.

 

The top five billionaires—Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison—saw their wealth grow by a total of $101.7 billion, or 26%. They captured 17.4% of the total wealth growth of all 600-plus billionaires in the last three months. The fortunes of Bezos and Zuckerberg together grew by nearly $76 billion, or 13% of the $584 billion total.

 

 

Sources: All data analyzed by ATF and IPS is from Forbes and available here. March 18, 2020 data is from the Forbes World’s Billionaires List: The RIchest in 2020. June 17, 2020 data was taken from Forbes real-time estimates of worth that day.

 

“This orgy of wealth shows how fundamentally flawed our economic system is,” said Frank Clemente, ATF’s executive director. “In three months about 600 billionaires increased their wealth by far more than the nation’s governors say their states need in fiscal assistance to keep delivering services to 330 million residents. Their wealth increased twice as much as the federal government paid out in one-time checks to more than 150 million Americans. If this pandemic reveals anything, it’s how unequal our society has become and how drastically it must change.”

 

“The last thing U.S. society needs is more economic and racial polarization,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality and co-author of the Billionaire Bonanza 2020 report. “The surge in billionaire wealth and pandemic profiteering undermines the unity and solidarity that the American people will require to recover and grow together, not pull further apart.”

 

During the same approximate three-month period nearly 2.1 million Americans fell ill with the virus and about 118,000 died from it. Among other pandemic victims are 27 million Americans who may lose their employer-provided healthcare coverage. Low-wage workers, people of color and women have suffered disproportionately in the combined medical and economic crises. Billionaires are overwhelmingly white men.

 

Wealth growth of other select billionaires in the top 30 on the Forbes June 17 list is below.

 

 

List above includes 13 billionaires who are among the top 37 billionaires as of June 17, 2020. Sources: All data analyzed by ATF and IPS is from Forbes and available here. March 18, 2020 data is from the Forbes World’s Billionaires List: The RIchest in 2020. June 17, 2020 data was taken from Forbes real-time estimates of worth that day.

 

Remarkably, 12 billionaires more than doubled their wealth over the last three months. One of them, Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola Motor that is building semi-trucks powered by batteries and hydrogen, increased his wealth more than five times.

 

 

Sources: All data analyzed by ATF and IPS is from Forbes and available here. March 18, 2020 data is from the Forbes World’s Billionaires List: The RIchest in 2020. June 17, 2020 data was taken from Forbes real-time estimates of worth that day.

 

Decades of tax cuts for the rich have fueled the growth of billionaires and their wealth. Even in the midst of the greatest national emergency since World War II, tax handouts to the wealthy have continued—most recently in the form of the “Millionaire Giveaways” slipped into the CARES pandemic relief law enacted in late March.

 

The recently passed House HEROES Act would repeal this tax break that is giving an average tax cut of $1.6 million this year to 43,000 millionaires and billionaires, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. JCT estimates closing this loophole would raise $246 billion, a huge sum that could be used for pandemic relief.


What Is Behind the Persistence of the Racial Wealth Gap?

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 7, 2020 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroom-and-events/publications/economic-commentary/2019-economic-commentaries/ec-201903-what-is-behind-the-persistence-of-the-racial-wealth-gap.aspx

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  " In 2016, the average wealth of households with a head identifying as black was $140,000, while the corresponding level for white-headed households was $901,000, nearly 6.5 times greater". Yet I'm to believe white America pulled themselves by their BOOTSTRAPS? BS. This is what US government policy produced. By JJP

  What Is Behind the Persistence of the Racial Wealth Gap? 

Black households in the United States have, on average, considerably less wealth than white households. In 2016, the average wealth of households with a head identifying as black was $140,000, while the corresponding level for white-headed households was $901,000, nearly 6.5 times greater.1 The fact that blacks, on average, have considerably less wealth than whites is troubling, not just because it is an inequality of outcomes, but also because it strongly suggests inequality of opportunity. The economic opportunities provided by wealth range from insuring consumption against disruptions to a household’s disposable income (such as surprise medical expenditures or unemployment spells) to enabling access to housing, good public schools, and postsecondary education.

 

Given the importance of wealth and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States, economists have had a long-standing interest in the racial wealth gap. A focus of economic research has been on understanding which factors contribute to the racial wealth gap and by how much. In this Commentary, we review existing evidence and literature on the wealth gap between blacks and whites in the United States. We then present new research showing that although differences in savings rates, inheritances, and rates of return on investments have all been suspected as playing a large role in maintaining the racial wealth gap, the gap is primarily the result of a sizeable and persistent income gap.

 

The History of Racial Income and Wealth Gaps

The current racial wealth gap is the consequence of many decades of racial inequality that imposed barriers to wealth accumulation either through explicit prohibition during slavery or unequal treatment after emancipation. Examples of postemancipation barriers include legally mandated segregation in schools and housing, discrimination in the labor market, and redlining, which reduced access to capital in black neighborhoods.

 

And while the existence of a racial wealth gap may not be altogether surprising, it may be surprising how little the racial wealth gap has changed over the past half century, even after the passage of civil rights legislation. In fact, the 2016 wealth gap is roughly the same as it was in 1962, two years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). Average white wealth in 19622 was 7 times that of average black wealth. The persistence of the racial wealth gap can be seen in figure 1, which plots the distributions of wealth in 2016 dollars for black and white households in the years 1962 and 2016. While there has been growth in wealth over time for both racial groups (as evidenced by the rightward shift between the solid and dashed lines), notice that the dashed line corresponding to black households in 2016 is still to the left of the solid line for white households in 1962. Simply put, over the past 50 years, the distribution of black wealth has not even “caught up” to the distribution of white wealth in 1962.

 

 

Some of the similarity in wealth ratios between 1962 and 2016 relates to timing. The Great Recession had a larger impact on average black wealth than on white wealth. Figure 2 plots black wealth as a fraction of white wealth for different years of the SCF. There is a noticeable drop in the ratio after 2007, a dip that has not fully been undone even 10 years later. However, the wealth gap is far from closing even if we focus only on the years leading up to the Great Recession: The wealth ratio rose only from 14 percent to 22 percent between 1962 and 2007.

 

 

What Could Be Behind the Wealth Gap?

The wealth gap might simply be the result of a historical wealth gap that was so large it hasn’t yet had time to close. As we have seen from the 1962 data, black households were much poorer than white households at that time. Even if all racial discrimination had ended in the 1960s, these wealth differences would not have disappeared instantly. Wealth takes time to accumulate. However, it is possible that other factors have kept the wealth levels of blacks and whites from converging, and researchers have investigated the influence of several of these. Specifically, the possible obstacles to wealth equalization that have been studied are savings rates, inheritances, rates of return on investments, and income. If blacks and whites differ on any of these dimensions, it could explain the persistence of the wealth gap.

 

Differences in Rates of Return on Investments

If white households earn more from their savings than do black households, the different rates of return could contribute to the persistence of the wealth gap. Over time, initial differences in wealth would be compounded, assuming not all additional gains are consumed. Gittleman and Wolff (2004) examine three survey years of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), 1984, 1989, and 1994, and find little evidence that black households earned lower returns on the same assets as white households. However, they do find that the portfolios held by black households were more concentrated in low-average-return assets.

 

Table 1 displays the average share of asset types held across race and years from 1984 to 1994. First, we might compare the percentages of black and white households that hold each type of asset (columns 1 and 2). Notice that white households hold a larger fraction of each asset category than do black households. For example, 64 percent of white households hold home equity, while only 38 percent of black households have wealth in the form of home equity.

 

Table 1. Black and White Wealth Averages, 1984–1994

Percent holding asset Average percent of assets

White Black White Black

Home equity 64 38 31 49

Other real estate 21 7 17 9

Farm or business 13 2 17 9

Stock 32 8 13 5

Checking and savings 85 45 14 12

Vehicles 87 58 6 14

Other savings 26 14 5 9

Debt 49 44 3 6

Source: Maury Gittleman and Edward N. Wolff. 2004. “Racial Differences in Patterns of Wealth Accumulation.” The Journal of Human Resources, 39(1): 193–227.

Note: Gittleman and Wolff average data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics across the years 1984, 1989, and 1994.

 

 

Second, we might compare the types of assets black and white households hold (columns 3 and 4). This comparison shows that the assets of white households are more concentrated in real estate, business, and stocks. These assets tend to be riskier than the other categories, but they also provide a higher average return.

 

Table 2 displays the same information for 2015 and shows that, despite some improvement in the fractions of asset ownership by black households, the same portfolio imbalances exist in the recent data. One explanation for the higher concentration of low-average-return assets in black households’ portfolios could be those households’ lower wealth levels. Higher returns are associated with higher risk, and the less wealth a household has, the less risk it may be willing to take with its investments.

 

Table 2. Black and White Wealth Averages, 2015

Percent holding asset Average percent of assets

White Black White Black

Home equity 65 42 27 23

Other real estate 17 6 6 2

Farm or business 9 3 4 1

Stock 20 2 6 1

Checking and savings 86 56 15 10

Vehicles 87 76 20 32

Other savings 17 10 3 4

Debt 49 54 19 27

Source: Panel Study of Income Dynamics, 2015.

 

 

While portfolio differences are real and impactful, these data suggest that portfolio differences are not the most significant factor contributing to the racial wealth gap. Gittleman and Wolff estimate that over 1984–1994 the wealth gap would have closed by only an additional 4 percentage points if black households had held the same portfolios as white households.

 

Differences in Intergenerational Transfers

Another mechanism that could explain the large gap between black and white wealth is inheritances. If white households had more wealth in the past than did black households and bequeathed their estates to their children, we should expect the wealth gap to persist for several generations.

 

The magnitudes of differences in inheritances have been found to be large. Avery and Rendall (2002) use the 1989 SCF to document that far fewer black households reported receiving an inheritance than whites and that, of those who did, the average value was about five times smaller than that of their white counterparts. Other studies find that differences in intergenerational transfers, like differences in returns, are not the largest driver of the racial wealth gap.3 Menchik and Jianakoplos (1997) estimate that between 10 percent and 20 percent of the racial wealth gap can be accounted for by inheritances, while Gittleman and Wolff (2004) find that if black households had the same inheritances as white households, the wealth gap would have closed by an additional 5 percentage points. However, differences in inheritances do not appear to drive the racial wealth gap simply because so few households, whether black or white, receive what could be considered “large” inheritances (Hendricks, 2001).

 

Differences in Labor Income

Returning to figure 2, notice that there is also a sizeable gap between the average income earned by white households and the average earned by black households: The ratio of labor income between black and white households is roughly 52 percent in 1962, and it reaches only 58 percent in 2007 before falling steeply after the Great Recession.

 

Early studies hypothesized that this income gap could be the principal factor responsible for keeping the wealth gap large (Terrell, 1971, Blau and Graham, 1990, Altonji and Doraszelski, 2005, Barsky et al., 2002). However, those studies generally concluded that the wealth gap was “too big” to be explained by the income gap (based on statistical methods that predict wealth as a function of observable characteristics). It seems difficult to imagine that the observed income gap could support such a large wealth gap: Whites’ having twice the income of blacks does not seem to imply that whites should have five to ten times the wealth of blacks.

 

A Different Approach

The studies cited above use statistical models to predict wealth based upon observable characteristics. The studies then decompose the drivers of the wealth gap by predicting the wealth of white households using the expected wealth equation for blacks.

 

Because the relationships between observable characteristics and wealth are estimated over short periods of time in those studies, they are likely underestimating the importance of initial conditions and income disparities for future wealth. However, the way these initial conditions and disparities interact with other factors over time—referred to as “dynamics”—is likely to matter a great deal. To see why, consider that current labor income (or a measure of several recent observations of labor income) may not be strongly related to the current amount of wealth a household owns. Typically, wealth takes a considerable amount of time to accumulate, and so it could be many years before a household has a high level of wealth even if it earns a high income now. Thus, the degree to which labor income should be related to wealth over a short time horizon is not clear.

 

In a recent research paper, we approach the problem from a different angle (Aliprantis et al., 2018a). We construct and calibrate an economic model of savings to understand the role each of the above mechanisms plays in maintaining the racial wealth gap. Our modeling approach is different from the previous literature because it accounts for dynamics. This approach contrasts with the statistical techniques typically employed in the literature, as these tend to represent a snapshot at one point in time.

 

In our model, households have many motivations for saving. They save for retirement and to leave an inheritance for their children; they save to insure against sudden fluctuations in their labor income; and they save to earn returns from the market. Households also save to insure their ability to consume if they live for an unexpectedly long time.

 

We first carefully calibrate our model, which means that we find parameters for our model such that the predictions it makes about each of the above mechanisms matches important statistics we observe in the data. Having made sure that our model makes reasonable predictions about the mechanisms believed to contribute to the wealth gap, we then allow our model to make predictions about the types of wealth gaps we should observe if one mechanism is changed at a time or if multiple mechanisms are changed together. We focus on the following questions: Are the observed racial income and wealth gaps compatible with each other? Which factors make the largest contribution to the racial wealth gap?

 

We answer these questions by starting black and white households in our model with the wealth observed in the 1962 data. From these initial conditions of high wealth inequality between racial groups, we then input into the model a labor income gap taken from the data, assuming that the income gap will close in the future at the rate observed between 1962 and 2007.

 

We find that one factor accounts for the racial wealth gap almost entirely by itself: the racial income gap. Our results stand in contrast to the results of earlier studies that focus on a single point in time and find that the wealth gap is too large for the income gap to explain. The reason that our study comes to a different conclusion is that it takes into account the dynamic nature of wealth accumulation.4

 

What do we mean when we say that the labor income gap can account for the racial wealth gap? First, our model predicts that income and wealth will have a relationship in the future like the one we observe today. Our model predicts that, starting from 1962, it would take 259 years for the ratio of black and white mean wealth to reach 0.90.

 

Second, changing the labor income gap in the model changes the wealth gap dramatically. For example, when we remove the labor income gap in our model, meaning black and white households immediately earn the same income from their labor from 1962 onward, the black-to-white wealth ratio reaches 90 percent by 2007.

 

Third, other factors we might have suspected as playing major roles in maintaining the racial wealth gap pale in comparison to the role of the labor income gap. For example, when our model makes predictions under a gap in returns to investment as large as the gap in labor income, we find little change. The same is true for equalizing the inheritance process.

 

Figure 3 decomposes the wealth gap at each point in time into its contributing factors as generated by our model. As one would expect, initial conditions play an important role early on. Regardless of the different factors we test, it takes time to undo the extreme racial wealth inequality present in 1962. Over time, however, the model puts less weight on the initial disparity for propagating the racial wealth gap and more weight on persistent systemic differences in economic opportunity. Our model predicts that by 1977 the gap in labor income is a larger contributor to the wealth gap than initial inequality, and by 1990 the labor income gap accounts for more than 80 percent of the wealth gap. The labor income gap remains the dominant factor until far in the future, when the racial wealth gap is nearly closed.

 

 


The Racial Wealth Gap in America: Asset Types Held by Race

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 7, 2020 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/racial-wealth-gap/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


  It's all always about RACE in America. By JJP

  The Racial Wealth Gap in America: Asset Types Held by Race

  The Racial Wealth Gap

People of color have faced economic inequality for generations, and the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has renewed discussions on these disparities.

 

Compared to White families, other races have lower levels of income and net worth. They are also less likely to hold assets of any type. In fact, 19% of Black families have zero or negative net worth, while only 9% of White households have no wealth.

 

Today’s chart uses data from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances to highlight the racial wealth gap, and the proportion of households that own different kinds of assets by racial group.

 

Asset Types Held By Race

The financial profile between racial groups varies widely. Below is the percentage of U.S. families with each type of asset, according to the most recent survey from 2016.

 

White Black Hispanic Other

Primary Residence 73% 45% 46% 54%

Vehicle 90% 73% 80% 80%

Retirement Accounts 60% 34% 30% 48%

Family-owned Business Equity 15% 7% 6% 13%

Publicly-traded Stocks 61% 31% 28% 47%

Vehicles are the most common asset across all racial groups, followed by a primary residence.

 

However, the level of equity—or home value less debts—families have in their houses differs by race. White families have equity of $215,800, whereas Black and Hispanic households have net housing wealth of $94,400 and $129,800 respectively.

 

In addition, White households are more likely to hold financial assets such as retirement accounts, family businesses, and stocks. These assets are instrumental in building wealth, and are prominent in the wealth composition of America’s richest families.

 

With fewer people of color holding these assets, they miss out on higher average returns than low-risk assets, as well as the power of compound interest. These portfolio differences are striking, but they are not the most important contributing factor in the racial wealth gap.

 

Demographic and Economic Variations

White households are also more likely to have demographic characteristics that are associated with wealth. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, they are:

 

Older, with more than half of households age 55 and up

More highly educated, with 51% having some type of degree

Less likely to have a single parent

More likely to have received an inheritance

For example, 39% of White heads of households have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 23% and 17% for Black and Hispanic household heads, respectively. However, education doesn’t fully explain the wealth inequities.

 

Racial Wealth Gap by Education

 

Enormous wealth disparities exist between families with the same education level. Even in cases where Black and Hispanic household heads have obtained a bachelor’s degree, their families’ median wealth of $68,000 and $78,000 respectively is still lower than the $98,000 median wealth for White families where the head has no bachelor’s degree.

 

After accounting for demographic factors, researchers still found there were considerable inequities. What, then, could be primarily responsible for the racial wealth gap?

 

The Income Gap

While previous research found that the wealth gap is “too big” to be explained by a difference in income, a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland offers a new perspective. Focusing on White and Black U.S. households only, researchers analyzed the dynamics of wealth accumulation over time, as opposed to previous studies that considered short time periods.

 

They found that income inequality was the primary contributor to the racial wealth gap. According to the model, if Black and White households had earned the same labor income from 1962 onwards, the Black-to-White wealth ratio would have reached 0.9 by 2007.

 

Moving forward, the study concludes that policy changes will likely have a positive impact if they address issues contributing to income gaps. This includes reducing racial discrimination in the labor market, and creating programs, such as mentorships, that improve environments for specific racial subgroups.


Fed?s $500B Municipal Bond Buying Could Leave Out Cities with Large Black Populations

Posted by Jerrald J President on April 16, 2020 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.ibtimes.com/feds-500b-municipal-bond-buying-could-leave-out-cities-large-black-populations-2959164

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  Did you really think America would  help BLACK AMERICANS? By JJP

  Fed’s $500B Municipal Bond Buying Could Leave Out Cities with Large Black Populations


 

KEY POINTS

The Fed will spend $500B purchasing municipal bonds

35 cities with the highest black population do not qualify for this program

Brookings notes this is an unintended consequence, not a racist intent

In an attempt to aid an economy rapidly collapsing under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve announced a move last week to purchase $500 billion worth of short-term bonds issued by states or counties with more than two million people, or cities with a population above one million. A Brookings Institution study of the plan reveals that it leaves out most cities with large black populations.

 

Researchers Aaron Klein and Camille Busette wrote that “None of the 35 most African American cities in America meets the Fed’s criteria for direct assistance.”

 

The researchers note that this seems to be unintentional, as the population requirements mean that just 10 cities and 15 counties in the United States have access to the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). This would force those 35 cities to try to receive aid through their state government, injecting a dose of politicking into a situation that demands rapid broad-based assistance.

 

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has designated an additional $600 billion in loans for small and medium businesses. Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY

 

There is a very strong correlation between cities with large black populations and their inability to access the MLF, as Brookings finds that for “every 10 percent more Black the city’s population, it is 10 percent less likely to qualify for the Fed’s program.” Additionally, the Fed is actually increasing the risk it is taking on with this municipal bond program, as the 10 largest cities in America have a lower average credit rating than the next largest 20 cities.

 

Brookings notes that the genesis for this dynamic lies in the Fed’s admirable desire to push aid to cities and states as quickly as possible, not any clear racist intent. Large metropolitan areas like Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Detroit do not qualify for this program, and zero cities or counties in Ohio, Florida or New Jersey (America’s densest state) reach the very high population bar set to qualify for access to the MLF.


Reparations, rebranded

Posted by Jerrald J President on February 27, 2020 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/24/reparations-south-carolina-clyburn/?arc404=true

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


  21st century Sambo/House Nigga AKA Representative Rep. James E. Clyburn of south Carolina. By JJP

Reparations, rebranded

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn proposed a race-neutral anti-poverty program a decade ago. Presidential candidates recast it as compensation for slavery.

 

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), right, discusses local issues with Gerald Wright, mayor of Denmark, S.C. The town has benefited from Clyburn’s 10-20-30 anti-poverty program and is applying for funding again to upgrade its water system. (Photos by Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post)

By Tracy Jan

FEBRUARY 24, 2020

DENMARK, S.C.

 

This is what one of the most powerful African Americans in Congress and some presidential candidates are calling a form of reparations: $315,000 in recent federal investments in a rural, predominantly black town where more than a third of the 3,000 residents live in poverty.

 

The school received new buses. An emergency medical center got an ultrasound machine and lifesaving equipment. And the mayor is expecting more federal dollars to overhaul the aging water system.

 

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose district encompasses eight of the state’s poorest counties, has long opposed cash payments to African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved. He believes it would be too difficult to determine who deserves to be compensated. But a race-neutral anti-poverty program he conceived a decade ago is now catching fire among candidates for the Democratic nomination as a way to provide practical restitution for slavery.

 

Several presidential hopefuls, including Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, have sought to rebrand Clyburn’s program as a vehicle for reparations, which remain politically contentious. Clyburn’s idea, with strong bipartisan support, was originally adopted in 2009 by just one federal agency.

 

But framing the program, which targets federal spending on certain high-poverty areas, as reparations has drawn criticism from African Americans living in poor urban neighborhoods — some in Clyburn’s own district — that do not qualify for the funding, as well as longtime advocates for reparations. The critique underlines the difficulty of finding a solution that would satisfy those demanding redress and also be politically viable.

 

“I think it’s good, unifying public policy. It’s not reparations,” said Ron Daniels, convener of the National African American Reparations Commission, who has been working with congressional Democrats on a bill to study reparations proposals.

 

 

Despite being rebranded as reparations, 10-20-30 program misses pockets of urban black poverty

 

The anti-poverty program allocates federal funding to persistently poor counties. It was designed to be race-neutral, but Democratic presidential hopefuls describe 10-20-30 as a form of reparations.

 

Greater black share of population

 

Counties eligible for 10-20-30 are often rural, like much of Appalachia and the southern Black Belt.

 

Detroit

 

Cleveland

 

Oakland

 

Columbia

 

Atlanta

 

Montgomery

 

Poor neighborhoods in cities like Columbia, Cleveland and Oakland are often not eligible for 10-20-30 because they sit within more-affluent counties.

 

Source: American Community Survey

 

ALYSSA FOWERS/THE WASHINGTON POST

 

Clyburn’s plan — known as “10-20-30” — allocates at least 10 percent of funding from any given federal program to counties where 20 percent of the population has lived below the poverty line for 30 years or more. It was originally intended to address entrenched poverty among all Americans, directing billions across the country, including to the swath of the rural South known as the “Black Belt” and predominantly white hamlets of Appalachia.

 

Of the 460 counties now considered eligible for the money, 18 percent are majority black and 58 percent are majority white, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

 

Amid the renewed debate about how to atone for slavery and centuries of systemic racism, Clyburn has embraced the rebranding of his program as a politically palatable form of reparations.

 

“I really believe that this whole issue of reparations ought to be studied and ought to be dealt with. But it ought to be dealt with in realistic terms,” Clyburn said during an hour-long drive from his district headquarters in Columbia, the state capital, to Denmark.

 

“I’m never going to individualize reparations. It needs to be applied institutionally, across the board,” he said. “It should be systemic, benefiting communities inhabited by those who have been neglected.”

 

Even if that includes white Americans?

 

“It’s not just about black people,” Clyburn said. “But it is also about black people.”

 

 

Clyburn, center, says farewell to teachers and staff at Denmark-Olar High School. The school recently received new buses funded by Clyburn’s 10-20-30 anti-poverty program.

Clyburn, 79, proposed his 10-20-30 formula following the Great Recession as a way to include historically neglected communities such as those in the Black Belt in the 2009 economic stimulus package.

 

A former high school history teacher, Clyburn said he was wary of history repeating itself: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to help the country recover from the Great Depression had largely neglected poor African American communities, he said.

 

“The New Deal was a raw deal for many of the communities I represent,” he said, citing the 1939 construction of two lakes to dam the Santee River and generate electricity.

 

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White landowners were compensated for their flooded farmland, he said, but black sharecroppers were forced to leave their homes and communities with little to no compensation. The grave of his late wife’s grandmother now rests at the bottom of one of the lakes.

 

And in the Jim Crow South, jobs created under the New Deal invariably went to whites, he said.

 

“The white folks benefited and black folks did not. We got crumbs,” Clyburn said. “How do you make up for all that stuff — to make sure these communities left out of the last recovery from the Great Depression don’t get left out of this one?”

 

And so, when President-elect Barack Obama convened his first meeting with congressional leaders amid the depths of the financial crisis, Clyburn proposed 10-20-30. Lawmakers initially applied the formula to just a few programs funded by the Agriculture Department. That initial $1.7 billion disbursed under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helped build water and wastewater infrastructure, expand community health centers and extend broadband service in rural areas around the country, according to a report by Clyburn’s office.

 

 

“I felt communities like this one, if we didn’t put in some safeguards, some guarantees, would get left out of the recovery,” Clyburn told teachers and administrators during his visit to Denmark-Olar High School last month. “Now fast-forward to this whole issue of reparations that’s been discussed in this campaign: Several of the candidates are saying they’d deal with it using the 10-20-30 formula. That is a way to deal with this whole issue.”

 

By 2017, Clyburn’s funding formula was expanded by Congress to programs managed by the Commerce and Treasury departments and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Clyburn said he was able to attract bipartisan support to expand the program during annual appropriations because two-thirds of the nearly 500 counties that qualified for the funds were represented by Republicans.

 

But other House colleagues — notably those representing black urban communities — pointed out that his formula overlooks low-income neighborhoods surrounded by wealthier demographics.

 

“I got hit upside the head for using countywide poverty levels,” Clyburn said.

 

Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), among others, lobbied him to include high-poverty census tracts such as the ones they represent in Cleveland and Oakland, as well as those in Clyburn’s own district in Columbia, he said.

 

Clyburn introduced a bill in 2018 with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to do just that. The proposed legislation, which has yet to make it out of committee, would also extend the formula to education, housing and other federal programs.

 

 

10-20-30 changes could benefit parts of Columbia, S.C.

 

High-poverty census tracts across the country could become eligible for federal anti-poverty funding under Rep. James Clyburn’s proposed legislation.

 

Each dot represents 10 people.

 

Black

 

White

 

These areas would remain

 

ineligible for 10-20-30 funding.

 

“Other” represents less than 10 percent of the population and includes residents who are Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, multiple races and other races.

 

Source: American Community Survey

 

ALYSSA FOWERS AND ARMAND EMAMDJOMEH/THE WASHINGTON POST

 

In South Carolina, adding high-poverty census tracts to the formula as Fudge and Lee propose would triple the number of African Americans living in 10-20-30 communities, The Post’s analysis found. The change would benefit whites even more, quadrupling their numbers in such areas.

 

Several candidates in the Democratic presidential race have embraced the bill.

 

Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.), who opposed reparations as “divisive” during his 2016 presidential run, pointed to Clyburn’s program when pressed on reparations during a CNN town hall last year as a way to “end institutional racism in this country” and “improve lives for those people who have been hurt from the legacy of slavery.”

 

Sen. Klobuchar (Minn.) told the New York Times editorial board that “investing in communities that have been in poverty” for decades could be a form of reparations. “Representative Clyburn has a bill that Cory leads in the Senate, and as president, this is something I would want to get done,” she said.

 

And while campaigning recently in Orangeburg, S.C., former vice president Joe Biden vowed to help pass Clyburn’s 10-20-30 initiative if elected, saying it “will go a long way to ending the legacy of systemic racism” — without specifically tying it to reparations.

 

Clyburn said he never thought to frame his funding formula as reparations until Sanders began casting it that way.

 

 

TOP: In South Carolina, the town of Denmark has received $315,000 in federal investments through Clyburn’s 10-20-30 formula. BOTTOM LEFT: A vacant home a few blocks from the Amtrak station in Denmark. Mayor Gerald Wright says the town’s top challenges include “just keeping people here” because of the lack of jobs. “We have a lot of vacant homes.” BOTTOM RIGHT: Kevin Odom, owner of Big Kev’s barbershop in Denmark, gives Tim Wright a haircut. “How does reparations apply to me? We need something for the youth, something for them to do,” Odom said. He said he would consider 10-20-30 a form of reparations, even if the funding also goes to white people.

His rural, black constituents are focused on getting clean water, broadband access, school buildings with roofs that don’t leak, he said — not on what he characterized as an “esoteric,” academic debate happening in Washington over reparations.

 

“The problem we’ve got, most Democrats, is that we get hung up on all these highfalutin phrases,” he said. “Reparations shouldn’t just be some intellectual discussion. You’ve got to make people see what it means to them in their everyday lives. 10-20-30 is simple for people to understand.”

 

In Denmark, black residents — a barber, a college student, a mother of three — said they had a difficult time envisioning how reparations would apply to their lives. Their priority, each said in separate interviews, is keeping children safe after school, away from the street violence plaguing their town.

 

“Reparations don’t matter,” said Courtney Broxton, a housekeeper walking with her 8-year-old son along the desolate main street, past a storefront plastered with Sanders campaign signs. “What matters is investments in this community.”

 

During a lunchtime visit to the Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center, which opened last spring after two rural hospitals shut down, Clyburn told hospital administrators that he had only recently begun to think of the $100,000 in federal grants the center received in the context of reparations.

 

He paraphrased 19th-century French diplomat Alexis de Tocqueville: The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.

 

 

“If you consider slavery a fault, how do you repair that fault?” Clyburn said. “Reparations are about repairing. 10-20-30 is a great way to repair a fault.”

 

Clyburn said he was slow to sign on to the three-decade-old House bill, introduced in 1989 by then-Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), to study reparations proposals — doing so most recently at his staff’s urging last spring. (The bill, H.R. 40, was numbered to reflect the “40 acres and a mule” that the U.S. government promised formerly enslaved people after the Civil War — and later rescinded.)

 

And he remains skeptical of the most commonly discussed remedy: cash compensation to African American descendants of slavery.

 

“There’s no way you’re going to be able to monetize reparations — you’d split families,” said Clyburn, recalling his late wife’s great-grandfather, who was white, and noting the difficulty of determining who would qualify for reparations given people of mixed-race heritage and the number of light-skinned African Americans who have lived “passing” as white.

 

“You set up some kind of a cash system and one of them people who’ve been passing can lay claim,” he said, even though they “have never suffered the indignities” of being black.

 

The “realistic” way to address reparations, he said, is to do so systemically by infusing resources into low-income communities like Denmark. Many of the country’s impoverished communities became poor and black by government design, he said.

 

“Race is the reason income is what it is,” he said. “This is by design. So attack the design.”

 

 

Clyburn visits an outdated computer lab at Denmark-Olar High School, which will use federal dollars obtained through the 10-20-30 formula to purchase new computers.

Daniels, the reparations advocate who helped manage Jesse L. Jackson’s 1988 presidential bid, which made the call for reparations a central plank, said he has been surprised that the debate has gained as much traction as it has in the 2020 Democratic campaign.

 

“The reparations conversation is happening in a way that I would not believe I would see in my lifetime,” said Daniels, 77.

 

The remedy, though, should be defined and administered by black people, he said: “A lot of people want to call everything reparations. But reparations should be race-specific because the injury was race-specific.”

 

William Darity Jr., a Duke University professor whose research focuses on the economics of reparations, said Clyburn’s funding formula “does not begin to qualify as a reparations program” because it does not ensure black wealth accumulation to address pervasive economic inequality.

 

“It’s a way of ducking the question,” he said.

 

A typical black family has only one-tenth the net worth of a typical white family, according to the Federal Reserve.

 

Darity, who has enlisted other black academics and activists in what he calls a “Reparations Planning Committee,” said a comprehensive reparations program should raise the black share of the nation’s wealth to the black share of the nation’s population. That will require increasing black wealth by at least $10 trillion, he said.

 

 

TOP: A man walks between buildings at the Gable Oaks Apartments in north Columbia, S.C. A man was recently shot and killed at the complex. BOTTOM LEFT: The Save-A-Lot grocery store recently closed in north Columbia’s Edgewood neighborhood, giving residents fewer options for buying fresh food. BOTTOM RIGHT: Ashley Page, who works with low-income communities as chair of the Columbia Food Policy Committee, stands outside her grandmother’s old apartment at Allen Benedict Court in north Columbia. The complex was shuttered last year after two residents died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In north Columbia, where the average life expectancy in one predominantly black neighborhood is 20 years shorter than in a white, wealthy area two miles away, black residents of the most impoverished communities say reparations, to them, represent equity in opportunity, and not being trapped in a system of dependence upon federal assistance. It’s investment in the future.

 

This is where one neighborhood of subsidized housing dead-ends into another, dubbed by the local newspaper in 2018 as the most violent block in the city.

 

 

At North Pointe Estates, where grandmothers are afraid to sit on their porches because of gunshots, residents say they would welcome greater government investment through Clyburn’s program in the absence of reparations.

 

For Tonya Isaac, a 40-year-old Sunday school teacher who spent her teen years in the subsidized housing complex and has lived there with her husband and children for the past 12 years, reparations cannot be disentangled from poverty and race.

 

 

TOP: Tonya Isaac leads a peace march last month through the Colony Apartments, a housing complex that neighbors hers, in response to an uptick in violence in north Columbia. BOTTOM LEFT: Isaac talks with her 9-year-old son, Stacey, one of her four children. She helps lead a group to empower young black women, including single mothers who’ve escaped domestic violence and homelessness. BOTTOM RIGHT: Her husband, Dana Isaac, volunteers as a coach in a neighborhood youth sports league. Her 73-year-old mother has lived in the complex for 25 years.

While she and her neighbors — nursing assistants, cooks, fast-food workers — receive government subsidies in the form of housing and food stamps, Isaac said the safety net does not lift anyone out of poverty. She makes $8.50 an hour working part time as a home health aide and said she risks losing her federal assistance if she earns more, even though working full time would not raise her family above the poverty line.

 

“You are kept at this level,” she said, her hand lowering to her waist.

 

But even if Clyburn were able to expand his program to invest in long-impoverished urban neighborhoods like hers, Isaac said, the extra federal dollars would come nowhere close to being considered reparations.

 

“There’s so much more to the 40 acres and a mule that should have been given, that still can be given,” Isaac said. “Reparations should be a way to give us a sense of ownership that was ripped away from us when they ripped us from our homelands.

 

“If my ancestors had a home on the fields they tilled, if we had that 40 acres that was promised, we would have a better sense of ownership as a people,” she said, “and our children wouldn’t feel like they’re still running for their lives.”


Haiti by the Numbers: 10 Years Later

Posted by Jerrald J President on February 26, 2020 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/10/haiti-by-the-numbers-10-years-later/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

Total foreign assistance disbursed in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, as of 2018: $11,581,637,407.32. That's $11.5 BILLION DOLLARS! Where did it go? By JJP

 

Haiti by the Numbers: 10 Years Later

by Jake Johnston


 

Photograph Source: Photo Marco Dormino/ The United Nations United Nations Development Programme – CC BY 2.0

 

Magnitude of earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010: 7.0

 

Years since an earthquake of that magnitude struck Haiti: 168

 

Number of aftershocks, over 4.5 magnitude, in the week after the initial tremor: 51

 

Total number of government ministry buildings, before the earthquake: 29

 

Number of government ministry buildings that stood after the earthquake: 1

 

Number of United Nations troops and police stationed in Haiti, at the time of the earthquake: 9,057

 

Date on which the United Nations voted to increase the number of troops by 4,000: January 19, 2010

 

Number of US military personnel sent to Haiti, or stationed on ships off Haiti’s shores, by the end of January 2010: 22,200

 

Number of US citizens evacuated from Haiti in 2010: over 16,000

 

Cost of the US military’s response to the earthquake: at least $461,000,000

 

Official death toll: 316,000

 

Estimated death toll, based on survey data: 46,190 to 84,961

 

Estimated value of damages and losses, in percent of Haiti’s 2009 GDP: 113

 

Amount pledged by donors for short- and long-term reconstruction at a March 2010 donor conference: $10.7 billion

 

Percent of $2.4 billion in donor provided humanitarian assistance that went to the Haitian government from 2010 to 2012: 0.9

 

Billions in humanitarian and reconstruction aid disbursed by donors from 2010 to 2012: $6.4

 

Percent of that which was disbursed directly to Haitian organizations, institutions or companies: less than 0.6 percent

 

Percent of US families that donated to earthquake relief efforts: 45 percent

 

Estimated amount of private money raised, predominantly by NGOs: $3.06 billion

 

Number of homes destroyed by the earthquake: 105,000

 

Number of homes damaged: 208,000

 

Estimated number of individuals displaced by the earthquake: 1.5 million

 

Number of individuals evicted from camps for the internally displaced, between June 2010 and March 2011: 230,000

 

Estimated number of individuals living in damaged or destroyed houses in 2011: 1,036,174

 

IDP camp population in December 2019: 33,000

 

Population of Canaan, an area about 15 kilometers outside of the capital, at time of earthquake: 0

 

Population of Canaan now: at least 300,000

 

Amount of money raised by the American Red Cross for Haiti: $486,000,000

 

Number of new houses built by American Red Cross (as of June 2015): 6

 

Number of new houses USAID planned to build after the earthquake: 15,000

 

Original estimated cost of those 15,000 houses: $59 million

 

Number of houses USAID actually built: 900

 

Miles from Port-au-Prince where the original housing construction site was planned: 8

 

Miles from Port-au-Prince where 750 of the 900 houses were actually built: 130

 

Projected average cost of the new houses: $8,000

 

Final average cost of the 750 houses built in Northern Haiti: $77,125

 

Number of those 750 houses originally built to earthquake standards: 0

 

Amount spent by US taxpayers to fix structural problems with the 750 houses: $21,237,888

 

Date by which the two main US contractors involved in housing construction were suspended from receiving US government contracts: March 25, 2015

 

Amount the two suspended contractors were fined: $0

 

Total USAID spending for Haiti since January 2010: $2,479,512,152

 

Percent of that amount that went to contractors inside the Beltway (Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia): 54.1 percent

 

Percent of USAID spending that went directly to local Haitian companies or organizations: 2.6 percent

 

Amount disbursed to Chemonics International and Development Alternatives Incorporated: $473,992,419

 

Amount spent in 2012, on lobbying against USAID reforms, by the Coalition of International Development Companies (which includes Chemonics and DAI): $250,000

 

Amount allocated by USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support the Caracol Industrial Park, the international community’s flagship postquake project: $350 million

 

Date on which the industrial park was inaugurated: October 22, 2012

 

Number of jobs the State Department promised the new industrial park would create: 65,000

 

Total number of jobs at the industrial park, as of 2017: 10,214

 

Amount allocated by USAID to build a new port in support of the industrial park: $72 million

 

Date on which USAID abandoned its plans to support a new port in northern Haiti: May 2018

 

Minimum number of residents displaced by the construction of the Caracol Industrial Park: 400

 

Date on which those 400 residents reached an agreement with the IDB and Haitian government on corrective measures, including access to new land: December 8, 2018

 

Daily minimum wage, in Haitian gourdes, in 1990: 15

 

Daily minimum wage, in Haitian gourdes, in 2019 (adjusted for inflation, in 1990 gourdes): 9.6

 

Millions of dollars in textiles exported to the United States in 2009: $491

 

In 2019: $740

 

Year in which per capita GDP reached its pre-earthquake level: 2013

 

Average annual per capita GDP growth in the years since 2013: 0.1 percent

 

Exchange rate at time of earthquake (Haitian gourdes per US dollar): 40.5

 

Exchange rate today: 92

 

Inflation rate in 2009: 3.43

 

Inflation rate in 2019: 17.58

 

Number of United Nations missions in Haiti since the earthquake: 3

 

Total number of years that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) remained in country: 13

 

Number of Sri Lankan peacekeepers who abused children in a sex ring from 2004 to 2007: at least 134

 

Number of those peacekeepers removed from Haiti: 114

 

Number of those peacekeepers imprisoned: 0

 

Number of Haitians reporting children fathered by UN troops or other personnel: 265

 

Minimum number of allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of UN troops or other personnel in Haiti, from 2004 to 2016: 150

 

Date the first Haitian contracted cholera: October 19, 2010

 

Number of days it took the United Nations to admit responsibility for introducing cholera to Haiti: 2,129

 

Official number of cases registered since: 819,000

 

Official number of deaths: 9,789

 

Factor by which epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux believes this underestimates the death toll: 8

 

Cost of the 13-year MINUSTAH mission: $7,207,843,300

 

Fraction of that which donors spent in responding to the cholera outbreak: 1/10

 

Amount raised by the UN’s multidonor cholera trust fund: $10,615,595

 

Haiti’s ranking in the UN Human Development Index in 2009: 149

 

In most recent update: 169

 

Number of Haitians undernourished (three-year average from 2008 to 2010): 5 million

 

Number of Haitians undernourished (three-year average from 2016 to 2018): 5.4 million

 

Number of people in Haiti in need of “urgent food assistance” now: 3.7 million

 

Dollar amount of food imported by Haiti in 2009: $483.9 million

 

In 2018: $909.9 million

 

In 2019: $729.1 million

 

Dollar amount of food exported by Haiti in 2009: $28 million

 

In 2019: $20.7 million

 

Percent increase in rice consumption, 2009 to 2019: 40.7

 

Percent increase in local rice production, 2009 to 2019: 13.8

 

The cost, in 2010, of purchasing the entire local rice crop to use as food aid: about $70 million

 

Metric tons of food aid sent by USAID to Haiti in 2010: 152,960

 

Total cost: $161,792,300

 

Date on which former US president Bill Clinton apologized for undermining Haiti farmers for the benefit of rice producers in Arkansas: March 10, 2010

 

Local agricultural production, in metric tons, bought by the World Food Program for food assistance programs in Haiti, in 2018: over 700

 

Children who receive school meals from World Food Program in Haiti today: 275,000

 

Percent of those meals that contain local products: 15

 

Date on which Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Haiti’s Southern Peninsula: October 4, 2016

 

Number of years since a hurricane of similar magnitude struck Haiti: 62

 

Estimated percent of crops destroyed in the Grand’Anse region: 100 percent

 

Estimated percent of livestock killed in the same department: 85–90 percent

 

Estimated amount Haiti needed for reconstruction after the hurricane: $2.2 billion

 

Amount requested in a UN flash appeal for humanitarian funding: $139 million

 

Percent of flash appeal that was funded: 62.1 percent

 

Average UN humanitarian funding appeal for Haiti, 2011–2019: $200,961,058

 

Average percent funded: 44

 

Total foreign assistance disbursed in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, as of 2018: $11,581,637,407.32

 

Total amount of budget support provided by international donors: $282,503,604

 

Number of Haitian presidents since 2010 earthquake: 4

 

Percent of the 11,181 tally sheets of electoral results that were never counted or never received after the November 28, 2010 election: 12.2 percent

 

Date on which members of the international “Core Group” threatened then President Rene Preval with forced exile: November 28, 2010

 

Participation rate in that election: 22.8 percent

 

Date on which a draft OAS audit of the elections, which recommended changing the results, was leaked: January 10, 2011

 

Date on which then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Haiti to pressure the Preval government to change the results of the election: January 30, 2011

 

Date on which Michel Martelly, who had initially placed third and missed the runoff, was sworn in as president: May 14, 2011

 

Value of in-kind support that a USAID contractor provided to an organization linked to Martelly’s campaign to clean the streets of the capital before the inauguration: $98,928

 

Number of elections held in Martelly’s first four years in office: 0

 

Date on which the terms of the entire lower house and two-thirds of the Senate expired: January 12, 2015

 

Number of political parties that registered to participate in Haiti’s August 2015 legislative elections: 128

 

Number of candidates: 1,852

 

Number of seats up for grabs: 139

 

Percent of votes that were never counted due to irregularities, including fraud and violence: 25 percent

 

Date on which Haiti’s first-round presidential election was held: October 25, 2015

 

Number of candidates participating in the 2015 presidential election: 54

 

Date on which the planned second-round presidential election was indefinitely called off due to widespread irregularities: January 22, 2016

 

Number of untraceable votes in the October 25, 2015 election, according to an independent verification commission: 628,000

 

Date on which a new parliament was sworn in despite the election being canceled at the presidential level: January 11, 2016

 

Participation in the 2016 rerun presidential and partial legislative election: 18 percent

 

Number of elected senators arrested and extradited to the US to face drug trafficking charges before taking office: 1

 

Date on which Jovenel Moïse was inaugurated president: February 7, 2017

 

Number of votes received by Moïse: 590,927

 

Current Haitian population, estimate: 11 million

 

Average annual disbursement, through the Venezuela-led Petrocaribe program, 2011–2015: $270.8 million

 

Date on which former president Michel Martelly appointed the brother of his political party’s president to lead the agency that controls the Petrocaribe fund: February 3, 2015

 

Date on which Jovenel Moïse, Martelly’s chosen successor, registered as a presidential candidate: May 21, 2015

 

Date on which the government authorized $1 million in disbursements from its Petrocaribe account to Agritrans, a company owned by Jovenel Moïse: May 26, 2015

 

Minimum amount allocated to a project to build sports centers, run by former president Michel Martelly’s son: $27.7 million

 

Date on which Gilbert Mirambeau Jr., a Haitian filmmaker, Tweeted a photo of himself, blindfolded, holding a sign asking where the Petrocaribe money is: August 14, 2018

 

Percent of Haiti’s 10 departments that experienced massive demonstrations on October 17, 2018 asking where the Petrocaribe money is: 90 percent

 

Minimum number of Haitians killed by armed gangs and corrupt police on November 13, 2018 in the La Saline neighborhood of Port-au-Prince: 70

 

Date of the second mass mobilization demanding accountability for Petrocaribe corruption: November 18, 2018

 

Date on which Haiti’s Superior Court of Auditors released its first report on Petrocaribe: January 31, 2019

 

Date on which the second report was released: May 31, 2019

 

Number of pages in the second report: 612

 

Number of government officials or private sector actors imprisoned due to Petrocaribe corruption: 0

 

Number of foreign mercenaries arrested outside the Haitian central bank in February 2019: 7

 

Days those mercenaries remained in jail before US officials intervened and facilitated their flight back to the U.S.: 3

 

Total prison population: 10,905

 

Fraction of prison population that is still awaiting a trial: 3/4

 

Number of inmates in Port-au-Prince’s “national penitentiary”: 3,626

 

Number the prison was built to hold: 778

 

Number of Haitians killed during demonstrations since July 2018: 187

 

Percent who died from a bullet wound to the head: 22.5

 

Minimum number of civilian massacres: 5

 

Estimated number of individuals killed in those massacres: 127

 

Number of police officers killed in 2019: 44

 

Months that Haiti has not had a prime minister ratified by parliament: 10

 

Date on which Haiti broke longstanding diplomatic precedent and voted against Venezuela at the Organization of American States (OAS): January 10, 2019

 

Date on which President Donald Trump invited Jovenel Moïse to Mar-a-Lago to thank him for his vote: March 22, 2019

 

Number of US members of Congress who wrote to the State Department in March 2019 pushing for human rights and corruption accountability in Haiti: 106

 

Number of civil society and other organizations that signed a document in late 2019 calling for Moïses’s resignation and the formation of a transitional government: 107

 

Number of elections held under Jovenel Moïse: 0

 

Date on which the terms of the entire lower house and two-thirds of the senate expire: January 13, 2020


World's billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people

Posted by Jerrald J President on February 26, 2020 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/worlds-billionaires-have-more-wealth-than-4point6-billion-people-oxfam-report-today-2020-01-19/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  "The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade, thanks partly to government policies such as the 2017 U.S. tax overhaul, which cut taxes for America's rich and corporations, as well as the strong stock market". Still believe in the American Dream? By JJP

 

 

World's billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people

 

The world's 2,153 billionaires have as much wealth as 60% of the world's population, or 4.6 billion people, Oxfam says.

The number of billionaires has doubled in a decade as income and wealth inequality has widened, the anti-poverty group says.

The richest 22 men in the world — including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates — own more wealth than all the women in Africa, Oxfam found.

 

Wealth inequality is growing to bigger extremes, with the world's 2,153 billionaires now claiming as much wealth as 60% of the world's population, or 4.6 billion people, according to a new report from anti-poverty group Oxfam.

 

The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade, thanks partly to government policies such as the 2017 U.S. tax overhaul, which cut taxes for America's rich and corporations, as well as the strong stock market, the report noted. But that's creating a global economy where the ultra-rich are increasingly veering off from the rest of the world's population, Oxfam says.

 

Its report will be released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which begins Tuesday and draws many of the billionaire class that's singled out in the report. This year, 119 of the world's richest people — including Bridgewater Associates LP founder Ray Dalio, worth more than $16 billion — will be in attendance, representing a net worth of more than $500 billion, according to Bloomberg News. The conference's theme this year is "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World," and panels will include topics such as inequality and climate change.

 

Presenting Oxfam's annual report on the widening wealth disparities across the globe "is an opportunity to speak truth to power," said Oxfam America policy director Gawain Kripke in an interview. The reception in past years has been "mixed. There is interest in it, but also resistance and criticisms."

 

Since Oxfam started studying the dynamics of wealth inequality in 2011, the wealth concentration at the top has only intensified, Kripke said. That stems from dynamics such as stagnant wages for the typical worker, combined with the 2017 tax changes that slashed U.S. tax rates for the very rich and corporations.

 

For instance, average wages in the Group of Seven countries — developed economies including the U.S., Canada and Germany — rose 3% from 2011 to 2017, Oxfam said. But during that same period, stock dividends rose 31%, a trend that favors the wealthy given that the richest 1% own half of all stocks.

Examining women's unpaid work

 

This year's Oxfam report also examines the role of gender in income and wealth inequalities, given that women and girls provide much more unpaid work than men. Caring for family members, cooking and cleaning are tasks that are typically performed on an unpaid basis by women and girls, who effectively provide a subsidy of $10.8 trillion to the world's economy.

 

"We estimate in the U.S. that women are providing about $1.4 trillion dollars worth of labor in unpaid care and domestic work," or almost twice the federal defense budget, Kripke said. He added that the estimate is based on women earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which he said is likely a lowball figure given fewer and fewer workers in the U.S. today earn a wage that low.

 

Because the issue of women's unpaid work is largely ignored by policy makers, it's an often invisible element in income and wealth inequality, he added. "It doesn't count in GDP, but it's essential to a country's functioning," Kripke added. "That women provide such a large fraction of this means that women are disadvantaged by this situation."

 

About 4 of 10 women globally don't participate in the paid labor market because of the demands of this unpaid work, Oxfam said. By comparison, fewer than 1 in 10 men are in the same situation.

 

Huge wealth inequality isn't healthy for an economy because it can stifle growth for other income groups and lead to social unrest, Kripke said.


Racial and ethnic income gaps persist amid uneven growth in household incomes

Posted by Jerrald J President on January 9, 2020 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.epi.org/blog/racial-and-ethnic-income-gaps-persist-amid-uneven-growth-in-household-incomes/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


   As the world continues to turn Black citizens continue to fall further and further down the proverbial "RABBIT HOLE"! In 2012 black household income was $37k, today it's $41k. Wake up!!!!! By JJP

Racial and ethnic income gaps persist amid uneven growth in household incomes

Yesterday’s Census Bureau report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2018 shows that while there was a slowdown in overall median household income growth relative to 2017, income growth was uneven by race and ethnicity. Real median income increased 4.6% among Asian households (from $83,376 to $87,194), 1.8% among African American households (from $40,963 to $41,692), 1.1% among non-Hispanic white households (from $69,851 to $70,642), and only 0.1% among Hispanic households (from $51,390 to $51,450), as seen in Figure A. The only groups for which income growth was statistically significant were Asian and Hispanic households.

 

In 2018, the median black household earned just 59 cents for every dollar of income the median white household earned (unchanged from 2017), while the median Hispanic household earned just 73 cents (down from 74 cents).

 

FIGURE A

Real median household income, by race and ethnicity, 2000–2018

Year White Black Hispanic Asian White-imputed Black-imputed Hispanic-imputed Asian-imputed White Black Hispanic Asian White Black Hispanic Asian

2000 $66,712 $43,380 $48,500 $69,069 $44,614 $46,989

2001 $65,835 $41,899 $47,721 $68,161 $43,091 $46,234

2002 $65,646 $40,839 $46,334 $73,660 $67,965 $42,001 $44,890 $79,501

2003 $65,388 $40,633 $45,160 $76,231 $67,698 $41,789 $43,753 $82,276

2004 $65,178 $40,292 $45,670 $76,631 $67,481 $41,438 $44,247 $82,708

2005 $65,458 $39,898 $46,360 $76,873 $67,771 $41,033 $43,846 $84,991

2006 $65,449 $40,116 $47,169 $78,291 $67,762 $41,257 $45,699 $86,560

2007 $66,676 $41,388 $46,958 $78,343 $69,032 $42,565 $45,495 $86,616

2008 $64,923 $40,154 $44,326 $74,913 $67,217 $41,296 $42,945 $82,824

2009 $63,895 $38,423 $44,628 $74,982 $66,153 $39,516 $43,238 $82,901

2010 $62,857 $37,114 $43,433 $72,402 $65,078 $38,170 $42,080 $80,048

2011 $62,001 $36,215 $43,217 $71,139 $64,192 $37,245 $41,870 $78,653

2012 $62,465 $36,945 $42,738 $73,415 $64,672 $37,996 $41,406 $81,169

2013 $62,915 $37,547 $44,228 $70,687 $65,138 $38,615 $42,850 $78,153 $65,138 $38,615 $42,850 $78,153

2014 $63,976 $37,854 $45,114 $78,883 $63,976 $37,854 $45,114 $78,883

2015 $66,721 $39,440 $47,852 $81,788 $66,721 $39,440 $47,852 $81,788

2016 $68,059 $41,924 $49,887 $85,210 $68,059 $41,924 $49,887 $85,210

2017 $69,806 $41,584 $51,717 $83,314 $69,806 $41,584 $51,717 $83,314 $69,851 $40,963 $51,390 $83,376

2018 $70,642 $41,692 $51,450 $87,1944

Note: Because of a redesign in the CPS ASEC income questions in 2013, we imputed the historical series using the ratio of the old and new method in 2013. Solid lines are actual CPS ASEC data; dashed lines denote historical values imputed by applying the new methodology to past income trends. The break in the series in 2017 represents data from both the legacy CPS ASEC processing system and the updated CPS ASEC processing system. White refers to non-Hispanic whites, black refers to blacks alone or in combination, Asian refers to Asians alone, and Hispanic refers to Hispanics of any race. Comparable data are not available prior to 2002 for Asians. Shaded areas denote recessions.

 

Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Poverty Tables (Table H-5 and H-9)

 

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Based on EPI’s imputed historical income values (see the note under Figure A for an explanation), 11 years after the start of the Great Recession in 2007, only African American households remained below their pre-recession median income. Compared with household incomes in 2007, median household incomes in 2018 were down 2.1 percent for African American households, but up 0.7% for Asian households, 2.3% for non-Hispanic white households, and 13.1% for Hispanic households. Asian households continued to have the highest median income, despite large income losses in the wake of the recession.

 

The 2018 poverty rates also reflect the patterns of income growth between 2017 and 2018. As seen in Figure B, poverty rates for all groups were down slightly or unchanged, but remained highest among African Americans (20.7%, down 1.0 percentage point), followed by Hispanics (17.6%, down 0.7 percentage points), Asians (10.1%, up 0.4 percentage points), and whites (8.1%, down 0.4 percentage points). African American and Hispanic children continued to face the highest poverty rates—28.5% of African Americans and 23.7% of Hispanics under age 18 lived below the poverty level in 2018. African American children were more than three times as likely to be in poverty as white children (8.9%).

 

FIGURE B

Overall poverty rate and poverty rate of those under age 18, by race and ethnicity, 2013–2018

Overall 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

White 10.0% 10.1% 9.1% 8.8% 8.5% 8.1%

Black 25.3% 26.0% 23.9% 21.8% 21.7% 20.7%

Hispanic 24.7% 23.6% 21.4% 19.4% 18.3% 17.6%

Asian 13.1% 12.0% 11.4% 10.1% 9.7% 10.1%

White 13.4% 12.3% 12.1% 10.8% 10.2% 8.9%

Black 33.4% 36.0% 31.6% 29.7% 29.7% 28.5%

Hispanic 33.0% 31.9% 28.9% 26.6% 25.0% 23.7%

Asian 14.7% 14.0% 12.3% 11.1% 10.4% 11.3%

M), an alternative to the long-running official poverty measure, provides an even more accurate measure of a household’s economic vulnerability. While the official poverty rate captures only before-tax cash income, the SPM accounts for various noncash benefits and tax credits. The SPM also allows for geographic variability in what constitutes poverty based on differences in the cost of living. According to the 2018 SPM, the official poverty measure understates poverty among Hispanics (the 2018 SPM rate is 21.2% vs. 17.6% by the official poverty measure) and among Asians (14.0% vs. 10.1%), while the measures produce relatively similar rates for whites (8.8% vs. 8.1%) and for African Americans (21.0% vs. 20.7%).


This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry

Posted by Jerrald J President on December 16, 2019 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/business/jpmorgan-banking-racism.html

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

 Are you truly surprised by this so-called revelaton? The 2007-2008 Financial crisis illuminated their treacherous behavior/racist behavior towards BLACK MEN & WOMEN! By JJP

 

This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry

A JPMorgan employee and a customer secretly recorded their conversations with bank employees.

Jimmy Kennedy earned $13 million during his nine-year career as a player in the National Football League. He was the kind of person most banks would be happy to have as a client.

 

But when Mr. Kennedy tried to become a “private client” at JPMorgan Chase, an elite designation that would earn him travel discounts, exclusive event invitations and better deals on loans, he kept getting the runaround.

 

At first, he didn’t understand why. Then, last fall, he showed up at his local JPMorgan branch in Arizona, and an employee offered an explanation.

 

JPMORGAN CHASEJamie Dimon, the chief executive of the banking giant, said it needed to do more to tackle racism.

“You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American,” the employee, Charles Belton, who is black, told Mr. Kennedy. “We’re in Arizona. I don’t have to tell you about what the demographics are in Arizona. They don’t see people like you a lot.” Mr. Kennedy recorded the conversation and shared it with The New York Times.

 

en baked into the American banking system. There are few black executives in the upper echelons of most financial institutions. Leading banks have recently paid restitution to black employees for isolating them from white peers, placing them in the poorest branches and cutting them off from career opportunities. Black customers are sometimes profiled, viewed with suspicion just for entering a bank and questioned over the most basic transactions.

 

This year, researchers for the National Bureau of Economic Research found that black mortgage borrowers were charged higher interest rates than white borrowers and were denied mortgages that would have been approved for white applicants.

 

Banks, including JPMorgan, say they are committed to eradicating the legacy of racism. And they insist that any lingering side effects simply reflect stubborn socioeconomic imbalances in society as a whole, not racial bias among their employees.

 

What recently transpired inside a cluster of JPMorgan branches in the Phoenix area suggests that is not true.

 

Mr. Kennedy was told he was essentially too black. His financial adviser, Ricardo Peters, complained that he, too, was a victim of racial discrimination. What makes their cases extraordinary is not that the two men say they faced discrimination. It is that they recorded their interactions with bank employees, preserving a record of what white executives otherwise might have dismissed as figments of the aggrieved parties’ imaginations.

 

Patricia Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman, defended the bank’s overall treatment of Mr. Peters and Mr. Kennedy. She said that the bank hadn’t been aware of all of the audio recordings and that “in light of some new information brought to us by The New York Times,” the company put one of its executive directors on administrative leave while the bank investigates his conduct.

 

The Back of the Branch

Mr. Peters started his career at JPMorgan as a salesman in the bank’s credit cards division. After about eight years in various roles, he was promoted to a financial adviser position in Phoenix in 2016. His job was to help bank customers prudently invest their money.

 

Mr. Peters had won numerous performance awards at the bank, but things soon started going wrong for him.

 

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Mr. Peters won numerous awards from his employer, JPMorgan.Credit...Ash Ponders for The New York Times

He was working in a JPMorgan branch in the affluent Sun City West area of Phoenix. He sought a promotion to become a private client adviser, a job that would have let him work with wealthier and more lucrative clients.

 

The promotion never came. Instead, Mr. Peters was moved out of an office at the heart of the branch where he worked with other financial advisers and was relegated to a windowless room in the back.

 

In April 2017, one of his bosses, Frank Venniro, told Mr. Peters that another manager had accused him of taking customers’ files home at night, a violation of the bank’s code of conduct. Mr. Peters denied it, and Mr. Venniro accepted that he was telling the truth, according to a recording of the conversation. But, he added, Mr. Peters needed to be more cognizant of how his colleagues perceived him.

 

Mr. Peters was left with the impression that his managers, who were white, were predisposed to view him suspiciously. Could he prove it? No. What happened next was clearer.

 

Mr. Peters complained to Mr. Venniro that another financial adviser was trying to steal a prospective client: a woman who had just received a $372,000 wrongful death settlement after her son died. She was black.

 

Mr. Venniro told Mr. Peters that there was no point in his intervening in the dispute, because the woman was not a worthwhile client. “You’ve got somebody who’s coming from Section 8, never had a nickel to spend, and now she’s got $400,000,” Mr. Venniro said, referring to the federal program that provides vouchers to help with housing costs and whose title is sometimes used as a racial slur. “What do you think’s going to happen with that money? It’s gone.”

 

“But I thought that’s why we get involved,” Mr. Peters protested.

 

Mr. Venniro said no. “You’re not investing a dime for this lady,” he said. He knew from experience that she would quickly burn through the money. “It happens every single time.”

 

When Mr. Peters tried to argue, Mr. Venniro interjected. “This is not money she respects,” he said. “She didn’t earn it.”

 

Ms. Wexler, the bank spokeswoman, said that Mr. Venniro was put on leave after inquiries from The Times and that he resigned last Thursday. “Our employee used extraordinarily bad judgment and was wrong to suggest we couldn’t help a customer,” she said. She said Mr. Venniro knew the client was in subsidized housing but didn’t know her race.

 

Marching Orders

In February 2018, Mr. Peters was transferred from the Sun City West branch to a JPMorgan branch in a less wealthy neighborhood. He perceived it as another example of managers, including Mr. Venniro, mistreating him because he was black.

 

One day, Mr. Peters met Mr. Kennedy, then 38. Mr. Kennedy had played for five N.F.L. teams as a defensive tackle. In 2011, he had joined the New York Giants — a homecoming that, The Times wrote at the time, was notable because of his impoverished childhood in Yonkers, N.Y. That season, Mr. Kennedy and the Giants won the Super Bowl.

 

Mr. Kennedy retired and later moved to Phoenix. JPMorgan bankers had been courting his business, but he hadn’t liked the financial advisers the bank had proposed to manage his investments. Then he met Mr. Peters. “The chemistry was just so real because he knew exactly what I needed to do,” Mr. Kennedy said in an interview.

 

In the summer of 2018, Mr. Kennedy gradually moved $800,000 to the bank. Mr. Peters and a colleague promised he would get “private client” status, which was reserved for accounts with more than $250,000.

 

Landing a wealthy client like Mr. Kennedy was a big win for Mr. Peters, but he was anxious about being targeted by his superiors. On Aug. 24, he filed a formal complaint with the bank. He said he had alerted Mr. Venniro “that I feel that I am being treated differently because of my race and color of my skin” and that Mr. Venniro had suggested that the solution was for him to work in the less-wealthy branch.

 

Less than two weeks later, JPMorgan agreed to pay $24 million to end a class-action lawsuit brought by other black employees who said the company had discriminated against them — in some cases by isolating them from colleagues and dumping them in poorer branches.

 

On Oct. 5, Mr. Venniro took Mr. Peters to a meeting room and said he was being fired. Mr. Venniro said he didn’t know why. “I’m just given marching orders,” Mr. Venniro told him, according to a recording of the conversation.

 

Mr. Peters filed a discrimination claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the civil rights division of the Arizona attorney general’s office, accusing JPMorgan of racial discrimination. JPMorgan denied that and said Mr. Peters was fired for improperly assigning credit for a new client to an employee who managers didn’t think deserved it.

 

“We stand by our decision to terminate Peters,” Ms. Wexler, the spokeswoman, said. “The facts are indisputable.”

 

Mr. Peters disputed the facts. He said that he had given credit to the correct employee. He said the bank was using a mundane internal dispute as an excuse to fire him. He has since started his own investment advisory firm in Arizona.

 

‘If This Dude Gets Upset’

Mr. Peters’s termination left Mr. Kennedy in the lurch. A number of his transactions were frozen or not carried out. In one case, $92,000 of Mr. Kennedy’s money that was supposed to go into a new investment product ended up in a holding account, inaccessible to Mr. Kennedy. (Ms. Wexler said the problems were caused by administrative errors.)

 

JPMorgan assigned him a new financial adviser, Mr. Belton. He struck Mr. Kennedy as inexperienced. He was black, and Mr. Kennedy felt that was the only reason they’d been paired. Mr. Kennedy said he began recording their conversations so he could get feedback from other people about Mr. Belton’s financial recommendations.

 

Mr. Kennedy had been under the impression that he had been granted the coveted “private client” status that Mr. Peters had promised. When Mr. Kennedy learned that was not the case, he complained to Mr. Belton — and then to Mr. Venniro.

 

Mr. Belton warned Mr. Kennedy not to talk to Mr. Venniro again. In two secretly recorded conversations in October last year, he asked Mr. Kennedy to think about the impression he left on people at the bank. He pointed out that Mr. Kennedy was a big black man in Arizona. And he said that Mr. Venniro had been afraid to tell Mr. Kennedy that his application to become a private client had been deleted when Mr. Peters was fired.

 

A few days later, Mr. Kennedy went back to the branch, and the conversation returned to the question of why the bank refused to grant Mr. Kennedy the status and perks of being a private client.

 

Mr. Belton said that bank employees were scared of dealing with him and that therefore Mr. Kennedy would be better off interacting only with Mr. Belton.

 

“They’re not going to say this, but I don’t have the same level of intimidation that they have — you know what I’m saying? — not only being a former athlete but also being two black men,” Mr. Belton said. Referring to Mr. Venniro, he added, “You sit in front of him, you’re like three times his size — you feel what I’m saying? — he already probably has his perception of how these interactions could go.”

 

Moments later, he said: “We’ve seen people that are not of your stature get irate, and it’s like, ‘Well, if this dude gets upset, like what’s going to happen to me?’”

 

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Mr. Kennedy asked if Mr. Belton was saying that Mr. Venniro was racist. “I don’t think any person at that level is dumb enough for it to be that blatant,” Mr. Belton replied. “I don’t have any reason to believe blatantly that he’s that way. You feel what I’m saying? Now, whether there’s some covert action? To be honest? I always err on the side of thinking that. You know, people that are not us probably have some form of prejudice toward us.”

 

Mr. Kennedy pulled most of his money out of JPMorgan and filed a grievance with an industry watchdog, and in June the bank sent him a letter trying to put an end to his complaining.

 

“You stated that Mr. Belton informed you that our firm was prejudiced against you and intimidated by you because of your race,” the letter said. “We found no evidence to substantiate your allegations.”

An earlier version of this article mischaracterized comments by a JPMorgan spokeswoman about the bank's handling of accusations from a customer and an employee. She defended the overall treatment of Mr. Peters and Mr. Kennedy; she did not deny that the bank had discriminated against them.


Report: Nearly half of American workers have low-wage jobs

Posted by Jerrald J President on December 6, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.knoe.com/content/news/Report-Nearly-half-of-American-workers-have-low-wage-jobs-565741211.html

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

  44% of American workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000. Men Lie, Women Lie Numbers Don't! By JJP

 

Report: Nearly half of American workers have low-wage jobs

By Matthew Segura | Posted: Tue 12:41 PM, Dec 03, 2019 | Updated: Tue 12:58 PM, Dec 03, 2019

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A new report indicates that nearly half the working American population has a problem.

 

According to a Brookings Institution analysis, unemployment may be down, but there aren't enough good jobs to go around.

 

They say 44% of American workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000.

 

The report says their median hourly wages are $10.22. That's higher than the federal minimum wage which sits at $7.25. The minimum wage in Louisiana is also $7.25.

 

That's nearly half of the American workforce who don't make what's considered a living wage. According to MIT, a living wage for a single person in Louisiana is $11.28. The poverty wage for a single adult with two children is $9.99.

 

This isn't just a problem for workers who are young or inexperienced, according to the report. The low-wage workforce is primarily made up of post-college age adults and older Americans.

 

 

56% of them are ages 25-50. 19% of them are ages 51-65.

 

23% of low-wage workers have an associate's degree or more. Add in the number of workers who are in school or have some college education and that number jumps to 48%.

 

Job Quality Index data appears to back up the analysis. It assesses job quality in the United States and measures the "direction and degree of change in high-to-low job composition."

 

While the JQI chart shows increases and declines in job quality since its inception in 1990, the trend has generally been a downward one. According to the index, job quality has declined by 14.3% since 1990. The index most recently began to trend upward in 2012 but started to drop again in 2017. You can see it here.

 

Most workers appear to feel it. A CBS report in October said 6 in 10 workers rate their job quality as "mediocre to bad."


Almost half of all Americans work in low-wage jobs

Posted by Jerrald J President on December 6, 2019 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-wage-2019-almost-half-of-all-americans-work-in-low-wage-jobs/

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//


  Surprise, Surprise, Surprise welcome to the real AMERICA! By JJP

Almost half of all Americans work in low-wage jobs

BY AIMEE PICCHI

 

DECEMBER 2, 2019 / 1:04 PM / MONEYWATCH

 

 

Almost half of U.S. workers between ages 18 to 64 are employed in low-wage jobs, the Brookings Institution found.

Low-wage jobs are pervasive, representing between one-third to two-thirds of all jobs in the country's almost 400 metropolitan areas.

Smaller cities in the South and West tend to have the highest share, such as Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Jacksonville, North Carolina, where more than 6 in 10 workers are in low-wage work.

America's unemployment rate is at a half-century low, but it also has a job-quality problem that affects nearly half the population, with a study finding 44% of U.S. workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000.

 

 

Contrary to popular opinion, these workers aren't teenagers or young adults just starting their careers, write Martha Ross and Nicole Bateman of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, which conducted the analysis.

 

Most of the 53 million Americans working in low-wage jobs are adults in their prime working years, or between about 25 to 54, they noted. Their median hourly wage is $10.22 per hour — that's above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour but well below what's considered the living wage for many regions.

Even though the economy is adding more jobs, there's increasing evidence that many of those new positions don't offer the kind of wages and benefits required to get ahead. A new measure called the Job Quality Index recently found there is now a growing number of low-paying jobs relative to employment with above-average pay.

 

For the U.S. overall, median household income is $66,465, according to Sentier Research, with roughly half of families earning less than that amount.

 

Workers aren't shy about expressing their frustrations, with about 6 of 10 workers saying their jobs are mediocre to downright bad, according to a recent Gallup job-quality survey. For instance, 1 in 5 workers told Gallup their benefits are worse now than five years ago.

 

"Not enough jobs paying decent wages"

Low-wage jobs represent between one-third to two-thirds of all jobs in the country's almost 400 metropolitan areas, Brookings found. Smaller cities in the South and West tend to have the highest share, such as Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Jacksonville, North Carolina, where more than 60% of workers are low-wage.

 

But not only small cities in the South and West have a high proportion of low-paid jobs, the Brookings authors noted.

 

"Places with some of the highest wages and most productive economies are home to large numbers of low-wage workers: nearly one million in the Washington, D.C., region, 700,000 each in Boston and San Francisco, and 560,000 in Seattle," Ross and Bateman wrote.

 

 

But, they added, the issue can't entirely be addressed by improving workers' skills, since low-wage jobs reflect the strength of a local economy. Recent research suggests "there simply are not enough jobs paying decent wages for people without college degrees (who make up the majority of the labor force) to escape low-wage work," they wrote.

 

 

In other words, even if low-wage workers undergo job training and learn new skills, they're not guaranteed to find good-paying jobs anywhere near where they currently live.

 

So what makes a good job? Simply put, middle-class wages and benefits like health insurance, according to previous research from Brookings. But only about 30 million Americans have good jobs by that definition — and most of those are held by workers with college degrees, it found.

 

The reality is that Americans are working but aren't earning enough to gain stable economic footings. As Ross and Bateman noted, "Nearly half of all workers earn wages that are not enough, on their own, to promote economic security."


The $4 trillion force propelling US stocks to record highs

Posted by Jerrald J President on December 4, 2019 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/22/investing/stocks-market-fed-overnight-lending-rescue/index.html

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

 Yet we wonder why we're BROKE, the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank is creating money out of thin air. Giving this new money to it's friends at ZERO interest, which allows their buddies to buy up everything in their path. Please don't say they kept this a SECRET! By JJP

 

The $4 trillion force propelling US stocks to record highs

 

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: The front of the New York Stock Exchange is viewed on February 3, 2012 in New York City. Following a positive report on U.S. employment numbers, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 140 points in afternoon trading. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York (CNN Business)The Federal Reserve's rescue of the overnight lending market appears to be having an unintended side effect: it's juicing the stock market.

 

The September spike in overnight lending rates revealed that the plumbing of the financial markets was broken. Banks and other financial institutions simply didn't have enough cash. The Fed, acting as a plumber, started pumping in lots of cash to ease the crunch.

Markets view any increase in the size of the Fed's balance sheet as QE and the $250B increase in just two months is no doubt helping to lift stock prices."

 

In addition to temporary cash injections, the Fed reversed course by promising to purchase bonds — a ton of them. After months of shrinking its balance sheet, the Fed vowed to buy $60 billion worth of Treasury bills per month through the spring of 2020.

As a result, the Fed's balance sheet has swelled by $286 billion since early September, to $4.05 trillion.

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Despite the similarities to quantitative easing, the Fed has stressed its current actions are not a return of that 2008 crisis-era bond-buying program, which was aimed at stimulating the economy and boosting markets. The Fed says what it's doing now is purely a technical fix.

The fix has worked: Borrowing costs in this critical corner of Wall Street are now back in line.

But there is a growing realization that the Fed's bond purchases are supporting stocks, even if that wasn't the goal.

"I don't even think it's debatable," said Danielle DiMartino Booth, a former Fed official who is now CEO of Quill Intelligence. "It's patently obvious that the Fed's interventions into the market is having a huge effect on the stock market."

Michael Wilson, Morgan Stanley's chief investment officer, agrees. Wilson told clients in a note this week that the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet is "helping further loosen financial conditions in an effort to boost growth."

 

Of course, the recent march to record highs on Wall Street was hardly just about the Fed's balance sheet.

US stocks, at least up until the past few days, have been riding high on hopes for a preliminary trade agreement between the United States and China. Such a deal, which so far has proved elusive, would remove the biggest risk facing the economy.

At the same time, recession fears have eased amidst encouraging economic reports that suggest the economic expansion could endure.

And the Fed's recent string of rate cuts — the central bank lowered rates at three straight meetings — is also playing a role.

'Just semantics'

The sudden surge in the Fed's balance sheet has captured Wall Street's attention.

Part of the impact could be psychological: Some investors have been conditioned to buy stocks when the Fed is growing its balance sheet. Such a strategy worked well when stocks soared during the first three iterations of quantitative easing, known as QE1, QE2 and QE3.

"Whether it should be considered QE4 or not, in the eyes of the market it's just semantics," Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, wrote in a recent note to clients. "Markets view any increase in the size of the Fed's balance sheet as QE and the $250B increase in just two months is no doubt helping to lift stock prices."

Powell has repeatedly pushed back against the argument that this is a stealth-version of QE by pointing out significant differences.

For one thing, the intent is different this time. After the 2008 crisis, the Fed gobbled up assets to push down borrowing costs and increase confidence in markets. Now, the Fed is focused squarely on easing the cash crunch that emerged in the overnight lending market, which allows banks, hedge funds and other financial players to cheaply and easily borrow for brief periods.

For another, the Fed isn't even buying the same assets this time. During QE, the central bank purchased long-term Treasuries, which have a direct impact on mortgages, car loans and other forms of credit. Today, it's focused on short-term bonds known as T-bills.

"Our Treasury bill purchases should not be confused with the large-scale asset purchase programs that we deployed after the financial crisis," Powell told reporters during a press conference last month. He added that today's moves "should not materially affect demand and supply for longer-term securities or financial conditions more broadly."

'Double-shot of liquidity'

Nonetheless, financial conditions have become extremely bullish.

The Dow has climbed about 1,300 points, or 5%, since the Fed announced on October 11 it would start buying T-bills. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index of market sentiment recently hit "extreme greed."

And beyond the psychological impact, the Fed's balance sheet expansion is having several important impacts.

Fed liquidity is boosting the bond market, making it easier for companies to borrow cash that can be used for share buybacks. Those share repurchases help boost demand for stocks while simultaneously boosting per-share earnings.

"It's a double-shot of liquidity straight into the veins of the stock market," said Quill's Booth.

In addition, the T-bill purchases reduced returns on short-term government bonds, making stocks look more attractive by comparison.

"That is pushing investors with short-term horizons towards the stock market," said Philip Marey, senior US strategist at Rabobank. "It is contributing to a stronger stock market."

The great Fed experiment

Analysts say the Fed's balance sheet expansion has also helped to reinvert the yield curve, the gap between short and long-term bonds. That is a huge positive because investors were spooked when the yield curve flipped upside down earlier this year. Historically, that has been an ominous sign about the economy. The steeper yield curve, by contrast, is likely encouraging risk-taking behavior.

"We view the Fed's purchase program as integral to the promotion of easy financial conditions and supportive of asset prices," Ralph Axel, senior US rates strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a note to clients.

The decision by the Fed to ramp up the size of its balance sheet was a tacit admission that the central bank erred by shrinking its balance sheet, and unintentionally sucking out too much cash. That left markets exposed to a liquidity crunch.

Now, the Fed is fiddling with the dials, trying to determine precisely how much cash is needed to keep the system operating smoothly.

The entire episode is a reminder of how, behind the scenes, modern central banking is very much an experiment. And experiments often bring about unintended side effects.


The staggering amount of wealth held by the Forbes 400 more than doubled over the last decade. But their tax rates actually dropped.

Posted by Jerrald J President on December 4, 2019 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

https://www.businessinsider.com/forbes-400-wealth-doubled-last-decade-as-tax-rate-fell-2019-11

Http://www.jerraldpresident.info//

 

400 US citizens — or roughly 0.00025% of the American population have more wealth than 184 Million american citizens.

Wealth owned by the Forbes 400 in 2009: $1.27 trillion (2.7% of total US wealth). Their tax rate: ~27% of income.

 

Wealth owned by the Forbes 400 in 2019: $2.96 trillion (3.3% of total US wealth). Tax rate: ~23% of income


 

The staggering amount of wealth held by the Forbes 400 more than doubled over the last decade. But their tax rates actually dropped.

The share of wealth held by the Forbes 400 more than doubled from $1.27 trillion in 2009 to nearly $3 trillion this year.

That marks a significant increase encouraged by a combination of sliding tax rates, stock market growth, and the economic recovery, according to Gabriel Zucman, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Zucman, an economist who has consulted with the Warren and Sanders campaigns, noted the staggering amount of wealth that the richest 400 US citizens — or roughly 0.00025% of the American population — built up over the last decade.

The amount of taxable income for the wealthiest group of US citizens dropped from 27% in 2009 to around 23% this year, the first time they were effectively taxed lower than the nation's working class, Business Insider reported last month.

Some economists have argued that the relatively small tax burdens of the wealthy are the product of decisions made by American lawmakers, whether directly or through congressional gridlock.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The share of wealth held by the Forbes 400 more than doubled from $1.27 trillion in 2009 to nearly $3 trillion this year. That marks a significant increase encouraged by a combination of sliding tax rates, stock market growth, and the economic recovery, according to Gabriel Zucman, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

Zucman, an economist who has consulted with the Warren and Sanders campaigns, noted the staggering amount of wealth that the richest 400 US citizens — or roughly 0.00025% of the American population — has built up over the last decade in a Sunday tweet.

 

Wealth owned by the Forbes 400 in 2009: $1.27 trillion (2.7% of total US wealth). Their tax rate: ~27% of income.

 

Wealth owned by the Forbes 400 in 2019: $2.96 trillion (3.3% of total US wealth). Tax rate: ~23% of income

The amount of taxable income for the wealthiest group of US citizens dropped from 27% in 2009 to around 23% this year, the first time they were effectively taxed lower than the nation's working class, Business Insider reported last month.

 

The drop reflected changes in federal income tax as well as state and local levies, but particularly corporate taxes, Zucman said in an email to Business Insider.

 

trump tax bill

U.S. President Donald Trump displays his signature after signing the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul plan along with a short-term government spending bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A blend of factors which included the rapid growth of the stock market, the nation's economic recovery after the Great Recession, the unfettered growth of large corporations, and declining tax rates fostered a favorable environment for a surge in the wealth held by the Forbes 400, Zucman said.

 

 

Meanwhile, the tax rate that the bottom 50% of American taxpayers pay hasn't budged much over time.

 

Zucman and Emmanuel Saez — another economist at the University of California he's partnered with — have argued that the relatively small tax burdens of the wealthy are the product of decisions made by American lawmakers, whether directly or through congressional gridlock. Tax avoidance has also become more common.

 

Congress has cut taxes on capital gains and estates over the years. And the top income tax rates were slashed six times since 1980, some with the support of Democrats, The Washington Post reported. In 2010, President Obama delayed ending the George W. Bush tax cuts by two years, and Congress allowed it to expire in 2013.

 

President Trump's 2017 Republican tax cuts largely benefited wealthy citizens and corporations, experts say. They axed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, while also reducing the top rates for individuals.

 

 

Many economists say that decades of income tax cuts in particular have led to the increasing concentration of wealth atop the economic pyramid and contributed to the accelerating inequality within US society, now at a record high according to the Census Bureau.



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