People need wealth to weather an emergency and to create economic opportunities for themselves and their families. Yet, wealth has always been very unequally distributed in the United States, especially by race and ethnicity. The racial wealth gap has in fact grown in recent years. Consequently, many African-Americans, Hispanics, and large parts of the Asian-American community have been increasingly economically vulnerable and losing out on opportunities for upward mobility.
The need for policy interventions to reduce the racial wealth gap has long been clear and has only grown since the Great Recession ended in 2009. But little has happened and is unlikely to happen in the near term. Worse, the current policy direction could actually widen the racial wealth gap, not shrink it.This article was originally published in Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.