The Racial Wealth Gap - The Racial Wealth Gap The Racial...

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The Racial Wealth Gap The Racial Wealth Gap Robert Munoz Sociology 001 Section 7637
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The Racial Wealth Gap The racial wealth gap, as with any discussion involving races here in the United States, has been a very touchy subject. For example, in the wake of the recent events of police officer involved shootings and African Americans, if you defend or try to justify a police officer’s actions, you are racist. If you are defending why there is a racial wealth gap between the white populace and the black populace, you are racist. Statistically speaking, the wealth gap between whites and blacks is cringing and unfortunately there are some historical policies and laws that assisted in increasing this gap and is doing it today as well. I however, believe that these numbers can be explained get a better understanding why it is so different and how this discussion relates to social imagination. In the past (and still going on today) there is a racial wealth gap that is horrendous. The statistics behind this will show you that we (the United States) have a problem with equal opportunity. I look at these statistics that show how divided we are in the wealth and income department between the races and I see that we have a long way to go to lessen the gap and to make America a great place to be. In 2007, the median white family household had a net worth of approximately $170,000 while the median black family household had a net worth of approximately $17,000 (Insight Center, 2009) That is ten times less that the average white family household net worth! These numbers are staggering to begin with. Net worth is completely different from income. Many people get this confused. Net worth includes all assets owned. This includes vehicles, homes and other items that are of value. In 2008, the Federal Poverty Level stated that you cannot live anywhere in the United states making less than approximately $21,000 dollars (Insight Center, 2009). In 2004, the asset
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The Racial Wealth Gap poverty level for African Americans was at 43.2% (2009). So, what does the government do for those families that cannot survive due to low income or having wealth below the poverty level? They create programs that “help” them get out of those situations. In this case, we have programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start and Welfare. Each program has its own eligibility requirements. The issue with it is that it requires you to be below the Federal Poverty Level. This means that you cannot make more than $21,000 dollars a year and cannot have assets that will assist you in living at the Federal Poverty Level for 3 months without income (Insight Center, 2009). These programs were created to assist those with low incomes and little assets build a future for them and their family but it seems to have backfired. Those utilizing the program feel forced to stay with the program because if they go over that threshold for receiving governmental assistance, they lose the benefits of the program. That means they can’t save and they can’t have assets that put them over the limit.
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