U.S. CENSUS: MEDIAN WHITE HOUSEHOLD WORTH 20X MORE THAN BLACK COUNTERPART
IN 1995, the median white U.S. household was worth seven times as much as its typical black or Hispanic counterpart.
Today, the white-to-black household wealth ratio has widened to a jaw-dropping 20:1. The white-to-Hispanic ratio is a slightly less shocking 18:1.
That’s right, according to new Census data released by the Pew Research Center andreported by the Associated Press, the median white household in the United States is worth $113,149. The median wealth for a Hispanic household is $6,325. For blacks, the figure is a meager $5,677.
This is the widest gap since the Census began keeping track of such data in 1984. The ratio was 12:1 back then.
Something is very, very wrong in this country.
Yet conservatives want to dramatically slash government aid and services to the very people who need it most while refusing to close tax loopholes that allow corporations to grow richer by dubious means or raise taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans, who earn more than $200,000 per year. For comparative purposes, the bottom 20% of Americans earn, on average, a maximum of $18,500 per year.
“I am afraid that this pushes us back to what the Kerner Commission characterized as ‘two societies, separate and unequal,'” Roderick Harrison, former chief of racial statistics at the U.S. Census Bureau, told the AP, referring to the commission established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 to investigate the causes of the black uprisings that swept the nation that year. “The great difference is that the second society has now become both black and Hispanic,” he added.
Much of the gap can be attributed to stock and home ownership. Whites are more likely to have 401(k) plans, IRA or Keogh accounts and other stock holdings; such assets account for 28% of whites’ wealth, but just 19% of blacks’ and 15% of Hispanics’ wealth. The recent stock market recovery has buoyed whites’ wealth, while low stock ownership and high unemployment– nearly one in six U.S. blacks has no job— mean that blacks have fallen further behind.
Ironically, home ownership and the housing bust hurt Hispanics the most. They did very well during the housing boom, as many worked in the construction industry and many others bought homes in the states hardest hit by the housing market crash. Median Hispanic household wealth peaked at $18,359 in 2005, but plummeted a staggering 66% in 2009 alone.
Other shocking Census data:
– The overall wealth gap widened in America, with the richest 10% of households (those worth $598,435 or more) now holding 56% of the nation’s wealth (up from 49% in 2005).
– Asians are no longer the nation’s leaders in household wealth. Like Hispanics, many Asians live in California, which got slammed by the housing downturn. Median Asian wealth dropped from $168,103 in 2005 to $78,066 in 2009, a shocking drop. New immigrants from Asia, who are often poor, also contributed to this drop.
– More than one in three (35%) of black households and 3 in 10 (31%) of Hispanic households have zero or negative net worth, up from 29% and 23% respectively. For whites, the figure is 15%.
This shocking new data comes as the country faces a monumental budget crisis. President Barack Obama and congressional lawmakers are trying to come to an agreement that would avert a U.S. default on its financial obligations early next month. Conservatives want to slash trillions of dollars of spending on social programs like Medicare and Social Security that help the poor while refusing to even consider raising taxes on the rich or even closing tax loopholes that allow corporations, many of which are enjoying record profits this year.
Meanwhile, the global War on Terror has cost American taxpayers $1,226,199,500,000 since 2001, with annual Pentagon budgets exceeding $600,000,000,000 or more.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has decided, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations are people, money is free speech and, therefore, corporations are allowed to make unlimited campaign donations while you and I, real flesh-and-blood human beings, are limited to $2,400 donations.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media, controlled, of course, by the wealthiest Americans (and some not-so-Americans), demonizes the poor while fomenting fear among the masses that increasing taxes on the rich would somehow result in an even more dire economic situation for the poor saps at the bottom of the pile.
Meanwhile, another Wall Street bankster is Hoovering rails of Colombia’s finest and sipping Balvenie Cask 191 on his 130-foot Mangusta somewhere in the Hamptons.
Meanwhile, another homeless black war veteran is dying anonymously somewhere in some scorching alley in some crumbling Rust Belt city.
Wake up, America.
For your country’s sake, wake the fuck up.
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