America Ranked Near the Bottom — Again — In Wealth Inequality
(ATL Blackstar) In rich and powerful nations like the United States, many would assume that issues of poverty and unequal wealth distribution were simply nonexistent, right? Many would be wrong.
A new report released by the World Economic Forum on Jan. 16 showed that, while the U.S. is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, it’s also one of the most unequal, coming in at No. 23 out of 30 developed nations for inequality, according to the report.
The forum ranked the world’s developed countries using a benchmark called the “inclusive development index,” which factors in statistics on income, health, poverty and sustainability, the publication reported. However, when it came to the WEF’s “inclusion category” — which measures distribution of wealth, income and poverty levels — the U.S. performed the worst, highlighting its long-standing issues with wealth concentration.
The stark earnings gap between Black and white Americans also is a growing problem in the U.S., with the disparities widening year by year. A study from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research in 2016 showed that Black Americans and Latinos (both male and female) lagged behind in weekly wage earnings compared to their counterparts. For instance, Black and Hispanic workers had their weekly wages decrease in 2015, while workers of other races saw their weekly earnings nearly double.
When comparing Black and white economic wealth, study after study has shown that Black Americans fall behind in this area as well because they simply don’t earn as much. In 2016, researchers from the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Institute for Policy Studies examined the growing racial wealth gap and found that it would take the average Black family a lengthy 228 years just to accrue the wealth of today’s average white family. That’s because, over the past 30 years, the wealth of white families ballooned 84 percent — three times the rate of economic growth for Black households.