The Widening Racial Gap on Jobs and Wealth

The unprecedented diversity of the 2020 Democratic presidential field has already accomplished something significant: it has shone a much-needed spotlight on the stunning disparities in black and white household wealth in America. The median white household, for instance, enjoys ten times the wealth of the median black household, and as many as one in five black households holds zero or negative net wealth.

Candidates have proposed a range of remedies to close this yawning racial wealth gap. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a $7 billion “Small Business Equity Fund” to help black entrepreneurs access capital; Pete Buttigeig wants to invest $25 billion in historically black colleges and universities; Cory Booker has suggested granting every American a $1,000 “baby bond” at birth; and other candidates have expressed support for reparations, even if it’s not entirely clear how they would carry them out.

Washington Monthly