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Asset and Wealth Building Policy Guide
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- Well Being In the Nation Network
There is a large wealth gap in the United States. Typical White households hold 10 times the wealth of typical Black households. Black families with kids have a single penny in wealth for every dollar that White families with kids have. And White high-school dropouts have on average higher net worth than Black college graduates. Even when they earn very high incomes, many Blacks end up with far less wealth than their White peers. That’s in part because Black workers tend to offer more financial support to relatives. It is also because Black kids are more likely to need big student loans to pay for college. All these things add up to less money in a savings account or in the stock market. The means there is less money to pass along to children.
Today’s racial wealth inequality is due to years of government policy. This gap is not from different actions and choices of Black and White individuals. For example, our tax system leads to racial wealth inequality. The U.S. doesn’t have significant taxes on inheritances, so White people’s wealth passes down through generations. The home-mortgage interest deduction also benefits White people who are more likely to own homes. The college-savings program also benefits White families who are more likely to save for and attend college. Beyond taxes, fines-and-fees policing, for instance, impact Black Americans more than Whites.
The below policies would help reduce the wealth gap between Black and White Americans.