Prism: Understanding inflation, all of its causes, and who it affects the most

Prism, April 7, 2022, Understanding inflation, all of its causes, and who it affects the most

COVID-19 and inflation exacerbated existing inequalities, with inflation disproportionately affecting low-income workers and communities of color.

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, the chief of membership, policy, and equity at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said the rising costs are hitting people who have lower incomes the hardest.

“If you’re having greater increase in your groceries and greater increase in your gas, and the upcoming greater increase in your rent, that can financially break households that are living paycheck to paycheck with very little flexibility,” Asante-Muhammad said.

“We have pulled away a lot of the investments that were occurring into working-class families, ” Asante-Muhammad said. “It seems to me that a lot of the economic discussion is leading us into ways that we’re going to continue the ongoing racial wealth divide [and the] deep racial economic inequality which results in ongoing economic insecurity for most households of color.”

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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