[Black History Month\Racial Wealth Gap]
Rep. Beatty: “Right now, white household wealth is ten times more than that of Black households. Even more alarming is the fact that Black household wealth has dropped by a staggering 75 percent in the last three decades.”
In advance of Black History Month, Ohio Congresswoman Joyce Beatty is highlighting the importance of her recently introduced bill, the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Act, H.R. 5360.
If enacted, Beatty’s bill would require the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to collect data on race and wealth.
“Right now, white household wealth is ten times more than that of Black households. Even more alarming is the fact that Black household wealth has dropped by a staggering 75 percent in the last three decades,” Rep. Beatty said. “This persistent wealth gap has a tremendously negative financial impact on generations of families, as well as on our economy and global competitiveness.” She continued, “We need to change ‘history.’ My bill will do that by identifying potential legislative remedies, helping countless Americans and strengthening our economy at the same time.”
According to Prosperity Now, (a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income families improve their economic situation) the racial wealth gap is so wide that it will take 228 years for an African-American family to amass the average amount of wealth of a white family. Moreover, additional research has concluded that real gross domestic product (GDP) could be four to six percent higher if the wealth gap is closed, or a $2,900 to $4,300 increase in GDP per capita.
For a majority of working families, the most powerful wealth-building tools are homeownership and retirement savings. Unfortunately, current African-American homeownership is 29 points lower than the rate of white homeownership. In addition, African-American families have far less saved for retirement ($19,000 vs $130,000). The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Act would improve data collection by creating a clearinghouse for these and many other pertinent economic statistics for all communities of color.