Home > Uncategorized > Racial wealth inequality in the U.S.

Racial wealth inequality in the U.S.

  1. culturalanalysis.net
    March 4, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Skipping Asians again, who have the highest per capita income of all ethnic groups.

  2. March 4, 2019 at 2:16 am

    Half the people in the united states are worth less than $122,000.

    Is it true that two people own as much as the bottom half? That would skewer some figures.

  3. Pinxten, Rik
    March 4, 2019 at 8:45 am

    What abiut Native Americans?

  4. dmf
    • Rob Reno
      March 6, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Leading economists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman were among the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society, the influential group of intellectuals whose advocacy of markets and hostility to government intervention proved highly effective in reshaping the policy landscape after 1980. Deregulation, financialization, dismantling of the welfare state, de-institutionalization of labor markets, reduction in corporate and progressive taxation, and the pursuit of hyper-globalization—the culprits behind rising inequalities—all seem to be rooted in conventional economic doctrines. The discipline’s focus on markets and incentives, methodological individualism, and mathematical formalism all seem to stand in the way of meaningful, larger-scale economic and social reform. In short, neoliberalism appears to be just another name for economics.

      The dead weight of neoliberal mainstream economuci is, hopefully on it’s way out. It won’t die without a fight.

      The new (or old renewed) is pluralistic and interdisciplinary:

      The participants—historians, political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, and economists—agreed that the prevailing neoliberal policy framework had failed society, resulting in monumental and growing inequality. All of us were horrified by the illiberal, nativist turn in our politics, fueled in part by these chasms. There was consensus around the need for a genuine alternative—a set of policies that were both effective and inclusive, responding to legitimate grievances without sowing deeper societal divisions.   

      • dmf
        March 6, 2019 at 9:04 pm

        ah the siren song of interdisciplinary, I once hoped for a degree of reflexivity among academics around the way in which they organize themselves but close to 3 decades later the silos are even more entrenched as resources dwindle.

      • Rob Reno
        March 6, 2019 at 10:00 pm

        Unfortunately, this is true across many domains. It is a never ending battle it seems. Over specialization can blind as well as enlighten.

      • dmf
        March 6, 2019 at 10:28 pm

        when folks can’t even get their own house (department, school, uni) in order (or even really raise it at the level of practice/management/organization as a problem to be solved, ie what are the incentives, what accountability,what feedback-loops, ends, etc and how to fix them) it does make me wonder why they think they have ways/means that others should adopt, brings new meaning to the accusation of merely academic…

      • Rob Reno
        March 6, 2019 at 10:34 pm

        I think it is a mixed bag. It depends on specific cases. It does occur in practice in specific contexts. Individuals can engage in cross-discipline reasearch and do at times with positive results. Medicine is one area this is happening.

      • dmf
        March 7, 2019 at 1:36 am

        sure but that doesn’t change a discipline, it’s happening in fields like cognitive/neuro science and biology in part because those fields are requiring more technology, more chemistry, and math and the like and so will carry over into applications of these fields, places where the line between bench science and engineering blur, does this have a parallel in macro-economics?

      • Rob Reno
        March 7, 2019 at 1:53 am

        I think you are right, at least over all, it does not carry over. I have seen what might be an interesting movement in that direction by authors like Kate Rawoth’s Doughnut Economics. But I am not sure how that relates to macro-economics as a whole or how this will change the profession (or if it will) over the long run. It seems in one sense things are in flux.

        These global crises have opened up a rare chance to rewrite the entire script and perform a new economic play. The place to begin is by revisiting the cast of characters featuring in the Circular Flow. It’s time to shake up macroeconomics—armed with nothing more than a pencil—by redrawing its most prized picture. (Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist” by Kate Raworth, http://a.co/eWRCQzj)

  5. Helen Sakho
    March 5, 2019 at 1:31 am

    One wonders just how meaningful any predictions really are in an era plagued with unpredictable fires and hurricanes not just in the US, but worldwide. The whole world is run by a bunch of fascistic oligarchs, who will do anything to stay so. The real losers are the rest of humanity that is hungry, homeless, dead or dying.

  6. Ken Zimmerman
    March 21, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and the other “founders” of the Mont Pelerin Society = a group of middle-aged, never-worked-a-day-in-their-lives, most never experiencing any sort of passion in their lives, resentful of anyone who had to work for a living (working class), and enamored by the rich and powerful. And anyone seriously believes these people can create the plan to make society a good deal for everyone? I’d say ridiculous, if that were not too feeble a word. They had little experience even with those parts of human life they bumped into. So, their stunningly bad notions were supported by large corporations and banks around the world. And by the rich and powerful in many nations. Because of the quality of their thought? Because of the grace and wit of their thought? Because of the embrace of humanity in their thought? No! Because their thought defended not just the place in society of these corporations, etc. but their ultimate and final power over every society ever created and ever to be created by humans. This leads to a simple question for Sapiens. Is culture to serve the rich and powerful, or is it to serve every member of every society? It’s time Sapiens makes a choice. Otherwise, it loses the ability to even ask the question.

    For me the Mont Pelerin Society and those who populated it bring to mind 10-12-year-old children on a playing field they’ve created themselves (as a cooperative group) after no small and contentious effort to play a game whose rules they’ve yet to create. Then standing around on the field bouncing around rules about each player depends on no other, there really are no teams, just voluntary combinations (temporary and uncertain) and the time limit and ways to score will be decided as the game (remaining undefined) is played. And if there is an argument the player with the loudest voice and most threatening disposition will resolve it, as s/he sees fit. It’s capitalism. Neither pure, nor simple, nor workable, and certainly not helpful for most of the species that creates it.

    Many have suggested ways to fix neoliberalism. Let’s face it, neoliberalism cannot be repaired. It must be discarded. Its doctrines oppose all that historians have described about our species. Its doctrines deny the knowledge the social sciences have created about our species. Its doctrines attack civility, good manners, helping our fellows, and governing ourselves. Neoliberalism is a farce, but not one that entertains. So, let’s treat neoliberalism like the farce it is. Even if it’s not funny laugh anyway. Laugh at every spokesperson for neoliberalism, every journalist who praises neoliberalism, every politician who sells out to neoliberalism, every petty despot who latches onto neoliberalism, and every “artist” or “person of letters” who gives neoliberalism cover. Mark Twain is right when he says,

    “Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them — and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug,–push it a little– crowd it a little–weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.
    – “The Chronicle of Young Satan,” Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts

    • Robert Locke
      March 21, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      Be careful, Ken, what you say about the Mont Pelerin Society, Wilhelm Röpke was its President, 1961–1962, Ludwig Ehard a member, and they were involved with many others in creating Germany’s social-market economy after WWII. Respecting free markets never meant that the society in which they operate was of no importance. On the contrary, Ropke said that free markets succeed in societies with a large middle class, and it was the obligation of government to pursue policies that would create the right social conditions in which free markets could thrive. (I misdirected this comment to Peter Radford at first, so apologies)

      • Ken Zimmerman
        March 22, 2019 at 2:50 am

        Robert, not being an academic I can only guess why Röpke and Ehard were involved with the Mont Pelerin Society. I know the Society discussed other options apart from neoliberalism but became a powerful voice in promoting neoliberalism. I also know that Röpke consider ordoliberalism an alternative to neoliberalism. Röpke showed an interest in both socialism and the Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises. But the ideas implemented to rebuild Germany after WWII by Röpke and his allies (Walter Eucken, Franz Böhm, Alfred Müller-Armack, Alexander Rüstow and Ludwig Ehard) diverged from those of von Mises. These men formed the school of ordoliberalism and advocated free trade but with more central bank and state influence than Austrian School economists allowed. Röpke and the ordoliberals concluded that free markets’ praised efficiency and affluence can create social and spiritual penalties. In consequence, they envisioned a positive and more extensive role for the state, as rule maker, enforcer of competition, and provider of basic social security. So, yes Röpke and Ehard were involved with Mont Pelerin, but it wasn’t to promote neoliberalism.

        I stand by my comments about the immaturity of the members of the Mont Pelerin Society. Mature persons would not conclude that anyone, let alone themselves could design a perfect economic system, i.e., neoliberalism. The creators of ordoliberalism certainly did not display this utopianism.

      • Robert Locke
        March 22, 2019 at 8:55 am

        Perhaps it is a cultural thing; in central Europe, where state intervention in the regulation of society was (more) readily accepted, it might be expected that free market advocates would accept social goals and government involvement, but in the US, where the government has been the enemy from the country’s outset (in opposition to King George III’s depoticism) they would not, with the neoliberal consequences we both deplore.

      • Ken Zimmerman
        March 22, 2019 at 12:11 pm

        Robert, yes, it’s a “cultural thing.” The first inhabitants of North America were Asians who we believe came over the Bering land bridge about 20,000 years ago. Apart from the “indigenous” arrivals from Asia, the USA is a nation composed mostly of recent immigrants (in terms of most European countries during most of USA history). The variety of these immigrants and the reasons they immigrated is extremely diverse. Some (British and French) came as colonizers. Some came as religious refugees (e.g., Puritans, Calvinists, Quakers). And there is great variability in both the radicalism (in terms of standard, mostly Protestant Christianity) and willingness to assimilate of the religious immigrants. Some came running from poverty. Some came as political refugees (mostly from British courts and penal system). Some came to join families already in the USA. Some came as “business persons” hoping to find fortune in the USA. Some came to establish plantations and continue slavery after the British outlawed the practice. Others, like Alexander Hamilton came seeking political freedom. And the list goes on. Those who eventually drafted the Declaration of Independence did not want separation from Great Britain. They wanted their rights as British subjects. When it became clear that was not going to be granted, they chose to separate as a “sort of” representative democracy. Most did not believe the average American has the abilities or temperament to govern the country. So, for nearly 200 years voting, holding government office, and sitting on public purpose groups like juries was restricted in all parts of the USA. The restrictions were most unbending in the South, as was a malevolent racism against African Americans. As supporters and adherents to slavery and later legalized indentured unending servitude of African Americans, and fearful of uprisings among these same African Americans white southern (and somewhat less so Americans in other parts of the country) could not and would not support any other position. After a while these Southerners shifted to prejudice and discrimination against any “dark” immigrants to America. This is embedded in American culture for over 400 years. It’s illustrative to note that the USA’s neighbor to the North, Canada has nothing like this in its culture. Amazing how neighbors can be so different. But these neighbors have very different histories.

        As to government being the enemy that’s certainly the case for many of the more radical religious groups in the USA, such as Mormons and Puritans. But for very different reasons. Mormons wanted to be self-governing within the USA. No nation could or would tolerate this. Puritans, on the other hand wanted to reform America and its government, to purify it to become genuinely Christian. But they saw no need to allow a vote on such changes.

        I could go on. The point is, however that the USA has been a giant sausage machine since its inception. Basic agreements on basic questions like freedom, voting rights, citizenship, religion and government, civil rights, etc. have been reached and breached dozens of times in USA history. Making agreements on the basics of government, public vs. private actions and rights permanent continues to elude the USA. Part of this is caused by the way the nation’s government was initially designed, e.g., protecting all minority rights, while also empowering states to be nearly equal to the national government, the division of the legislature into two bodies, only one popularly elected to represent all citizens, the lack of clarity in creating USA citizens, and the unbelievably unclear language in some parts of the Constitution. With Brexit I believe the UK is experiencing similar chaos with little understanding of how to fix it. Germany and France may soon be in a similar situation if right-wing groups there manage to frighten people in those nation enough. Nation building is difficult, but any younger American historian will tell you that those who created the USA did a poor job of defining what they wanted and how to get it and keep it.

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