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As the following chart demonstrates whites earning

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Unformatted text preview: average levels of wealth accumulation among groups. Blacks and whites who earn the same salaries today have significantly different wealth levels (capital assets, investments, savings, and so on). As the following chart demonstrates, whites earning between $50,001 and $75,000 have a wealth level that is two-and-one-half times as high as their black counterparts. Accumulated Wealth White ANNUAL MEDIAN INCOME Total Black $75,001 or more $50,001– $75,000 $35,001– $50,000 Source: Data from Dalton Conley, Being Black, Living in the Red (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 27. $15,001– $35,000 $15,000 or less $0 $50 $100 $150 $200 $250 $300 MEDIAN NET WORTH IN THOUSANDS 15 $350 What explains this difference? Significant numbers in the current generation of adult white Americans, along with their parents, grandparents, and other forebears: e benefited from access to good educational institutions; e had access to decent jobs and fair wages; e accumulated retirement benefits through company programs, union membership, and social security; e benefited from homeownership policies and programs that allowed them to buy property in rising neighborhoods. By contrast, significant numbers in the current generation of adults of color, along with their parents, grandparents, and other forbears: e came from a background of slavery or labor exploitation; e were limited by de jure or de facto segregation; e were generally confined to jobs in areas such as agricultural,...
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