The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform
The racial wealth divide is greater today than it was nearly four decades ago and trends point to its continued widening. A new report, “Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide,” released by the Institute for Policy Studies and Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, takes stock of the problem and offers 10 bold solutions.
“For far too long we have tolerated the injustice of a violent, extractive and racially exploitive history that generated a wealth divide where the typical black family has only a dime for every dollar held by a typical white family,” said Darrick Hamilton, report co-author and executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. “This report demonstrates that there are at least 10 racially conscious steps already in the public domain that can reverse this trajectory and move us towards a more moral, just and inclusive economy.”
The solutions outlined in this report are designed to strike at the structural underpinnings holding the racial wealth divide in place while offering a warning against false solutions.
Ten solutions to bridge the racial wealth divide:
- Baby Bonds
- Guaranteed Employment and a Significantly Higher Minimum Wage
- Affordable Housing
- Medicare for All
- Postal Banking
- Higher Taxes for the Ultra-Wealthy
- Fixes to Upside-Down Tax Expenditures
- A Congressional Committee on Reparations
- Data Collection on Race and Wealth
- A Racial Wealth Analysis
This report comes in the wake of a previous study, Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1 Percent Widens the Racial Wealth Divide, and is intended to present a clear and actionable menu of public policies to address the racial wealth divide.
“If the past several decades are to teach us anything about race and wealth, it should be that the racial wealth divide will not be closed without a structural change to the status quo,” said Chuck Collins, co-author of the report, director of IPS’s Program on Inequality and co-editor of Inequality.org. “Individual behavioral action is not the answer to address structurally established barriers nor is the patient aspirant idea that this problem will fix itself.”
“We offer 10 bold solutions broken into three categories: Programs, Power and Process,” said report co-author Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, chief of Equity and Inclusion at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “They are presented in hopes of inspiring lawmakers, activists, organizers, academics, journalists and others to think boldly about collectively taking on this incredibly important challenge.”