After 25 years of blue policies, the wealth gap between whites on the one hand and African Americans and Hispanics on the other has barely budged. The WSJ reports on some depressing statistics:
White families are still more than twice as likely as Hispanic and black families to have wealth—assets minus liabilities—above the median U.S. level, according to a report by economists William Emmons, Bryan Noeth and Ray Boshara at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The report analyzes data from 1989 to 2013 taken from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. […]The St. Louis Fed researchers said it’s not differences in age or education levels that explain the racial and ethnic wealth disparities; these persist even if you’re looking at older and better-educated blacks, Hispanics and whites.
Part of the story here is the disproportionate effect the foreclosure crisis had on African Americans. Black families were in some cases stuck with riskier loans than whites, and when the crisis hit a lot of their wealth was wiped out. Since then, many blue cities with large minority populations have been hit particularly hard by financial problems. When Detroit, a majority African-American city long ruled by blue politicians, needed to raise money recently it foreclosed on tens of thousands of homes. Then there is the overall decline in clerical and some government jobs, which have long been a staple of African-American middle-class employment—a decline likely to continue, given the sorry finances of state and local governments across the nation.Despite the support that blue policies and institutions enjoy from minorities, and despite blue politicians’ claims that they care about reducing exactly this kind of disparity, the blue model has failed to dent the wealth gap—and minorities continue to pay the price.