The Washington Post: Baby bonds? Reparations? There’s no quick fix for racial wealth gap

The Washington Post, April 1, 2022, Baby bonds? Reparations? There’s no quick fix for racial wealth gap

The median White family has 10 times the wealth of the median Black family, according to a report, “The economic impact of closing the wealth gap,” by McKinsey & Co., a management consultant. And Black Americans can expect to earn $1 million less than White Americans in their lifetime. Prosperity Now, a nonprofit advocacy group, said in a report that the median net worth of Black families will be zero in 2053 if nothing is done.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of improving financial literacy in the Black community: the “Baby Bonds” proposal that has been introduced in Congress, housing programs that would reduce the gap between Black and White homeownership and guaranteed income programs that have proven to be hugely successful. And, probably the most controversial of them all, reparations.

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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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