Wed, 17 August 2016
“In the year 2043, white households will already be a cool $1 million richer than Black households.”
No wonder there has been such an obscene growth in the Black “prosperity” church ministry. Study after study has shown that it will take a miracle for Black people in the United States to ever close the gap with whites in household wealth – that is, under the system of capitalism. The latest report on just how impossible that dream is, is titled the Ever Growing Gap. It was conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Corporation for Enterprise Development, both located in Washington. Based on the steady erosion of Black and Latino household wealth compared to whites over the past 30 years, the authors project that it would take 228 years -- into the middle of the 23rd century -- for Black Americans to amass as much wealth as the median white household already possesses. Latinos are on a somewhat faster track; they would become as wealthy as present-day white families in the year 2097,.
Only 27 years from now, in the year 2043, when the U.S. Census Bureau projects that Blacks, Latinos and other people of color will outnumber white Anglos in the United States, white households will already be a cool $1 million richer than Black households, according to the new study.
Dedrick Asante Muhammed was one of the numbers crunchers. He was also instrumental in a 2004 “State of the Dream” report, that shocked and depressed Black folks with a prediction that Black parity in wealth with whites could not be achieved until the year 2099. This year’s study projects it will take almost a century and a half longer just for Black people to reach 2016 white wealth levels.
A 2010 study out of Brandeis University issued the most honest assessment of long term Black economic prospects in the USA, concluding that African Americans will NEVER gain wealth parity with Euro-Americans.
Parity = $1 Million Per Black Household
The numbers speak eloquently, and irrefutably. Unless this system is dismantled, root and branch, including a fundamental redistribution of wealth, Blacks will fall farther and farther behind whites -- and will be left in the dust by Latinos, as well. Dedrick Asante Muhammed and his colleagues have some suggestions for federal policy changes that might have some very marginal impact on the wealth gap – but not enough to make any real difference. The math is too formidable. To close the wealth gap between white and Black households within a reasonable amount of time – say, by the year 2043, when whites become a minority – the country would have to inject an extra one million dollars into each of the currently existing 16 million Black households, for a total cost of $16 trillion. That’s just a little bit less than the entire Gross Domestic Product of the United States, which is about $18 trillion dollars. If the United States wanted to bridge the wealth gap in 27 installments between now and the year 2043, they’d have to pump $600 billion extra a year into Black families’ pockets – which happens to be roughly the price tag of the annual U.S. military budget. So, Uncle Sam would have to give up his guns to pay Black folks a fraction of what is owed us. Sounds like a good deal to me – but I don’t think Washington will go for it.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.