L-R: Thomas Shapiro, Cassandra Butts, Dr. William Spriggs, Meizhu Lui, and Eric Rodriguez discuss why many people of color and women have so few financial assets and are unable to reap the benefits of economic opportunity.
Wealth Inequality: The Dream Deferred
September 23, 2004
Wealth takes many forms, including cash in savings and checking accounts, stocks and bonds, pensions and 401(k) plans, and equity in property. Such assets allow families to make down payments on homes, save for retirement, start a business, or pay for education that can advance career opportunities. They provide a cushion in times of economic distress. Unfortunately, many Americans, especially people of color and women, have few financial assets and are unable to reap the benefits of economic opportunity.
• Audio: Wealth Inequality
• Transcript: Complete Transcript
|Meizhu Lui, Executive Director, United for a Fair Economy. “Hard work creates wealth. If that theory were true, then slaves and their descendants should be the richest people of all in this country.”||Eric Rodriguez, Director, Policy Analysis Center, National Council of La Raza. “From a Latino perspective, work is not the issue; there’s plenty of work and plenty of Latinos doing it. The question is really, “How are they building financial security?”||Thomas M. Shapiro, Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy, The Heller School For Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. “We can start to make a distinction politically and philosophically between what has been achieved in terms of the American dream and what has been handed down.”|
|Dr. William Spriggs, Most recently Executive Director, Institute for Opportunity & Equality, National Urban League “Inequality as opposed to adequacy is intractable because we’re not getting at the generational aspect of it. That’s what wealth is: years and years of accumulated income differences.”||Cassandra Q. Butts, Senior Vice President and Coordinator for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress. “If you look at the economic situation today, any objective analysis of what’s going on today indicates that, for people who live on the margins of our economy, it’s a very difficult situation.”|