Wealth Inequality: A Bleak Picture

By Shlomo Maital


   source: McKinsey Global

   Shocking episodes of police violence against African-Americans have again brought the ugly fact of racism in the United States to the fore.

   Underlying it, reflecting it, is the equally shocking chronic inequality of median family wealth between white and black. The graph above, from McKinsey, a global consulting company, shows that since 1992, the median white family has wealth from six to ten times greater than the median black family. The graph ends in 2016 – the wealth inequality has doubtless grown under Trump, because of the massive gift of wealth his tax cut gave, to already-wealthy whites.

   African-Americans are equally intelligent, equally hard-working (or more so), equally creative. So why can they not accumulate wealth?   Is it because they lack opportunities, in schooling, education, employment and political voice?   And why are they dying in large numbers, from COVID-19, well beyond their proportion (12-13%) in the population?

     The bitter irony between right-wing US cries of Make America Greater (was it ever, since the end of slavery?), and the terrible injustice of inequality, Make America Fairer, is registering, belatedly, on many Americans, as protests continue. Let’s hope enough of them remember this in 140 days exactly, on Tuesday November 3 – the presidential election.