The deep and persistent racial wealth divide will not close without bold, structural reform. It has been created and held in place by public policies that have evolved with time including slavery, Jim Crow, red lining, mass incarceration, among many others. The racial wealth divide is greater today than it was nearly four decades ago and trends point to its continued widening
In this report, we offer ten bold solutions broken into three categories: Programs, Power, and Process. These solutions are designed to strike at the structural underpinnings holding the racial wealth divide in place while inspiring activists, organizers, academics, journalists, law makers, and others to think boldly about taking on this incredibly important challenge. You’ll also find a snapshot of the latest racial wealth divide data as outlined in our January 2019 report, Dreams Deferred, and a warning against false solutions.
Offered below are a number of promising solutions that could have a significant impact on reducing the racial wealth divide. Each is rooted in a public policy shift that can have a structural impact across society, not simply individual behavior changes. This is not an exhaustive or all-encompassing list, but rather a number of bold ideas that can have a systemic impact.
- Baby Bonds
- Guarantee Employment and Significantly Raise the Minimum Wage
- Invest in Affordable Housing
- Medicare for All
- Postal Banking
- Significantly Raise Taxes on the Ultra-Wealthy
- Turn Upside-Down Tax Expenditures Right-Side Up
- Congressional Committee on Reparations
- Improve Data Collection on Race and Wealth
- Racial Wealth Audit
- Between 1983 and 2016, the median black family saw their wealth drop by more than half after adjusting for inflation, compared to a 33 percent increase for the median white household.
- The Forbes 400 richest Americans own more wealth than all black households plus a quarter of Latinx households.
- Black families are about 20 times more likely to have zero or negative wealth (37 percent) than they are to have $1 million or more in assets (1.9 percent). Latinx families are 14 times more likely to have zero or negative wealth (32.8 percent) than they are to reach the millionaire threshold (2.3 percent). White families are equally likely to have zero or negative wealth (about 15 percent) as they are to be a millionaire (15 percent).