Inequality.org

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Wealth of 400 Billionaires = Wealth of All 41 Million African-Americans

The Dizzying Racial Wealth Divide

MLKs Nightmare

The billionaires that make up the “Forbes 400” list have as much wealth as the entire African-American population of the U.S., over 41 million people, according to a new analysis by Bob Lord of the Institute for Policy Studies. Lord calls it “Dr. King’s Nightmare.”

In the aftermath of the 2008 economic meltdown, wealth owned by households of color declined dramatically, as home values collapsed. The wealth of the richest 1 percent also declined in 2009, but rebounded quickly in subsequent years.

As Bob Lord writes in Other Words, “The net worth of just 400 billionaires, a group that could fit into a high school gym, is on par with the collective wealth of more than 14 million African- American households. Both groups possess some $2 trillion, about three percent of our national net worth of $77 trillion.”

The only U.S. African-American on the Forbes 400 list is Oprah Winfrey, who has a net worth of $2.9 billion, placing her 184th on the list. She is one of 7 Black billionaires in the whole world.

The U.S. has a persistent racial wealth divide, rooted in the legacy of discrimination in asset building, starting with slavery up to present day discrimination in mortgage lending.  The homeownership rate for whites is 73.3 percent, 43.1 percent for African-Americans, and 47.6 percent for Latinos.

But present-day inequality is the poisonous result of eroding net worth among African-American and Latino households and an exploding concentration of wealth in the top 1 percent, and within that, among the richest 400 billionaires.  The average net worth of the Forbes 400 richest rose $800 million to a record $5 billion in the last year.

African-Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but have only 2.7 percent of total wealth.  The median wealth for an African American household, according to a 2010 survey, is $4,900; for whites, it is $97,000.

If current trends continue, the Forbes 400 will soon have as much wealth as the entire Latino population of over 53 million people, 17 percent of the U.S. population.

  • cyncobalt

    And the wealth gap has increased under Pres. Obama, as well as the unemployment rate of African Americans. So who are you blaming?

    • Sierra

      Just because the President is Black doesn’t mean he doesn’t engage in anti-black policies.

      • Blake

        obama is the worse president in history

  • Chaddington

    41 million African Americans have the same wealth (2trillion) as 1.2 billion Indians (GDP 2 trillion). What’s your point?

    • Blake

      the majority of black wealth is actually tax payer money since they are freeloaders

      • Cucksmasher_14

        I would venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of the freeloader blacks have essentially zero wealth to speak of

  • Intaglio Oglothorpe

    The richest person in Africa is black and the current richest man in the world is a Mexican. Sounds racist to me.

  • Rupert_Murdoch68

    I don’t know what this jacka$$’s point is but to demean minorities because:

    Those same 400 Americans have more wealth than half of ALL Americans combined.
    “Let me say that again. 400 obscenely wealthy individuals, little
    Mubaraks, who have benefited in some way from the multitrillion dollar
    taxpayer bailout of 2008, now have more cash, stock and property than the combined assets of 155 million Americans, not just the 41 million Afro-Americans. So Collins, you racist piece of crap, take your column and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, and take your family with you.

  • Intaglio Oglothorpe

    The top 1%:
    America’s richest Indian tribe has 99.2 per cent unemployment — and it’s all voluntary, tribal leaders boast. There’s little need for any member of theShakopee Mdewakanton Tribe to work. Each adult in the 460-person American Indian nation receives more than $1million a year – for doing nothing.
    And I believe that rather than reparations tax policies should let them keep and spend every dime of that. Blacks should learn how to run a casino.

    • Cucksmasher_14

      Funny how the Daily Mail (in the UK) did the most in-depth reporting on this story.
      Funny how no one talks about Red Skin Privilege. The native aboriginals were here 10,000 years and they never figured out an igneous way to make wealth before Whites arrived and conquered the land.

  • Orlando coombs

    1percent of the population controls 96 percent of the wealth. That’s the real wealth gap. And its centuries in the making. Even most whites won’t unlock that wealth. Just get ya own wealth and it’s all good.

  • g2879

    The country needs ditch diggers too

  • [email protected]

    you could easily find 41 million white people that have less net worth than the 400 billionaires, and could probably pick a different 41 million whites and come up with same equation, and then do it again. that time of wealth is rare. but everyone in america has an equal opportunity to go get their’s. its up to the individual, you can get a 1000 and spend it on a new cell phone , a pair of jordans, or you can use to put yourself in a better position its up to you, you have to start somewhere and quit blaming others for them having more.

  • Gordon

    Your an idiot Chuck! What a lame comparison! Everything is racism! How easy it must be to get a job as a “Journalist”. I actually work for a living.

  • Apolo Kaggwa.

    Don’t forget that the Forbes 400 would not have been possible without the free labour of African slaves. Slavery was abolished by President Lincoln in 1863, but was followed by racial discrimination until recently, which means that African-Americans have not had enough time to accumulate wealth in the last 300 years, but that will change once they have enough capital to run their own companies like the Forbes 400 do today.

    • Blake

      get over it, blacks have every opportunity today, stop quoting garbage from 100’s of years ago that has no relevance today. had there never been slavery, blacks would still be poor because they are lazy, stupid and violent; like monkeys

      • Apolo Kaggwa

        Blaming the victim is easier than facing the consequences of one’s actions. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact that 300 years of free labour was a shot in the arm for this country, without which America might not have made the same progress from an agrarian society to an 18 trillion dollar economy it is today.
        Moreover, years of Jim Crow and institutionalized racial discrimination of the descendants of the African slaves here, cannot be ignored the put it mildly. If African-Americans had arrived here in a 707 Jet, with college expenses paid and had been put up in a brand new dormitory, and told that they are free to work for wages and do as they pleased, like I was, their lot would have been very different from what it is today.
        You need to understand that an enslaved body is an enslaved mind and that subjecting a human being to the horrors of racial discrimination and being denied the right to life itself have left permanent scars on the African-American psyche which cannot be simply waved aside by the adjectives you have presented here about them. Nor can they be erased in a few years of freedom since 1863, they have so far enjoyed in their country. It is absurd that instead of working to help them overcome the disadvantages that have been imposed upon them against their will, people like you have decided to wallow in the dark, groping for any strap to justify the harm inflicted on a people by your ancestors.

        • Blake

          seriously get over it. if anyone has the right to complain it’s the Jews. they were almost exterminated. do you hear them bitching and whining like the stupid niggers? no… Jewish people are very successful because they are responsible and take care of themselves and focus on family and education. niggers could learn a lot from the jews.

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            I am expecting you to argue that 300 years of free labour enjoyed by this country, has not contributed to the prosperity of America we see today. I am not here to compare African-Americans and Jews. My argument is that without the free labour of African slaves, America, including the Forbes 400, might not have made the same progress from an agrarian society to the prosperity enjoyed today. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to the topic at hand, you have decided to introduce issues that are irrelevant to what we are discussing. Do you have anything in your bag to contribute to the argument or not? If you do then you need to prove me wrong with facts and figures.

          • Blake

            you are aware that blacks started the slave trade right? it wasn’t just evil whitey. What i am saying is, slavery is done, finished, over. Blacks need to stop usiong that as an excuse as to why many blacks are criminals, lazy, drop out of high school, abandon their children etc. many other people were also slaves besides blacks, chinese were also. do you hear them complaining, rioting and looting? no. they are busy going to university and becoming doctors while blacks wait in line at the welfare office. democrats keep blacks down by making them dependent on the government.

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            I am not here to blame anybody for the American slavery nor am I brushing aside its permanent and lingering effect on the African-American. I am not here to compare them with anybody else either. Rather, I am simply stating an economic fact that America has benefited from the 300 years of free labour by African slaves and that it is a fact that cannot be overlooked when considering American prosperity today, including the Forbes 400. That is my argument. Again, I challenge you to prove me wrong with facts and figures.

          • Blake

            you can make up all the excuses in the world as to why blacks are lazy, uneducated and criminals. fact of the matter is the reason why these things are so is because of poor family structure. how long are blacks going to use the slavery excuse to justify their poor contribution to society? 100 years? 200 years? forever? there comes a time when people must just get over their past, take responsibility for themselves and get a good education. next you will say something stupid like “white privilege.” Asians in america make more money on average than whites, is there an “asian privilege” also? Also blacks are the most racist, hate filled people i have ever seen. they have whites because of the past, which i get, but to call whites racist when in fact the blacks are more racist is just stupid.

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            I am not in the habit of calling people names, nor am I going to join you in making accusations and excuses. I will not compare different segments of American society either. My argument is in plain English that America, including the Forbes 400, has benefited from the 300 years of free labour by African slaves, and that it is an economic fact that cannot be disregarded and must be taken into account when considering the prosperity enjoyed by this country today. That is my argument. This is the fourth time I am challenging you to come up with facts and figures to prove me wrong. I am still waiting.

          • Blake

            if we didn’t have slaves doing your so called “free labour” someone else would have done it.

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            It is not the “so called free labour” because it is an economic fact. Whether someone else could have done it is not the issue. The issue is that this country has benefited from 300 years of free labour by African slaves. That is my argument. You may disprove it with facts and figures if you can.

          • Blake

            300 years? so america became a country in 1767, technically your 300 years is still going considering america isn’t even 300 years old. you are saying slavery still exists in america?

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            American slavery began in the late 16th century, long before the 13 American colonies declared their independence in 1776. If slavery had not been abolished by President Lincoln in 1863, I would still be a slave today, working for no wages on a plantation somewhere in the south of this country. Let me remind you that today slavery is illegal in the United States of America.

          • Blake

            my goodness you are an idiot. nobody is denying that america benefited from free labour from blacks and other slaves (obviously they benefited.) This is 2015, get over slavery, get an education, get a job and stop bitching and complaining about injustices from over 100 years ago.

          • Apolo Kaggwa

            “Nobody is denying that america benefited from free labour from blacks and other slaves ( obviously they benefited )” That is the issue and line of my argument. So, the prosperity you see in America today, including the Forbes 400, is a culmination of centuries of toil and sacrifice from way back in precolonial times up till today, by all Americans, including the African slaves who laboured here for no wages for 300 years. Now that the descendants of the African slaves have been invited to the table to participate in this economy, they will be accumulating wealth by acquiring capital and running their own companies as the Forbes 400 do today.

          • Blake

            you are missing my point. blacks are not accumulating wealth, well some may be but a large portion of their population is uneducated, drops out of high school, lives a life of crime, has poor family structure. This has nothing to do with slavery, slavery has been abolished over 100 years ago. These effects are because of black culture and poor family structure. anyone and everyone, blacks included, from good families tend to be more successful and life. anyone and everyone, blacks included, from bad families tend to be less successful and black families tend to more often than other races be not good.

          • Apolo Kaggwa.

            I don’t know your source of information, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, well-educated Americans earn more income than others who are not. Not only that, the educated also make up most of the middle class, who are most likely than any other segment of the population, to become investors thereby acquiring assets and accumulating wealth as a result.

            In 1860 there were no black Americans in the middle class anywhere in this country. In fact by 1960, only 3% of black Americans had a college degree, yet by 2006, 20% of them had a bachelor’s degree; an increase of 4% in just 46 years, compared to o% increase for centuries before. Furthermore in 2010, the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that of the 14.7 million U.S black households, 38% of them were in the middle class earning between $35,000 and $100,000 a year.

            Since the most common source of financing of new companies in this country are the business owners themselves, according to the Gallup-Wells Fargo Small Business Survey in March 2014, it is obvious that blacks acquiring capital at a significant rate since the 60s, when Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination, which had stymied their progress were rolled back as matter of public policy, will in increasing and significant numbers, be capable of investing their earned income in their own businesses, and deploying their assets to accumulate wealth as the Forbes 400 do today.

          • Sierra

            Blake you are hilarious. God bless your heart. Seriously though your bigotry is unfortunate. I’m black but I’m not on government aid, as a matter of fact I issue out food stamp benefits to poor whites Monday through Friday. If you want blacks to stop complaining you have to realize that there are blacks out there that do work, are educated and are on the other side of window in the welfare office issuing out benefits instead of receiving them.

          • Blake

            lol thanks for that laugh Sierra. As a black woman you know what i have said is true. and 33% of welfare recipients are black yet only 12% of the population.

      • Moses Snow White Leprosy

        You seem bitter because you share the same color as an albino with a small pinkish penis.

        • Blake

          good one… at the very least attempt to disprove what i said. don’t just partake in pathetic, liberal name calling.

      • jahson33

        Its true cave beast. Your wealth an all you talking about wouldnt even exist because white people are thr laziest people in mankind history an your fake ass american was never extended to black people you blew up every fucking community we ever built for ourselved independent of you. An now you all liberal or republican, rascist all serve the same purpose of support white supremacy. Rather you want to are not.Against black people oir women families an children. I tell you what JOIN THE WORLD COURTS. AN PAY OUR FOREFATHERS BLOOD AN SWEAT AN TEARS. An let us rebuild our motherland an in 50 yrs gaurantee . We will become the richest an cultural leaders of the world. Play game the game fair. It is easy to pick at the people in which you cheated in the beginning of the game. An still have not paid a dime for the worst holocaust in human history. GOD IS JUST AN LOOK AT THE CRUMBLING OF YOUR SYSTEM. YOU ALL HAVE BEEN TRICKED. THE BLACK PEOPLE OF AMERICA OR THE HEBREW CHILDREN THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF. AN YOU ALL LOVE TO HATE US. YET WITHOUT US YOU HAVE KNOW POWER. AN THE PLAGUES OF THE BIBLE IS UPON THIS COUNTRY AN BECAUSE YOUR HATE OF ME YE WILL NOT BE SAVED. PAY OUR REPATRIATIONS AN LET US GO MY FALSELY ACCUSED PRISONOR. AN THOSE THAT WILL LEAVE. AN BUILD FOR OUR PEOPLE JOBS FOR OUR PEOPLE. AN BLACK PEOPLE JOB LESS RATE IS SO HIGH BECAUSE REGULAR WHITE DONOT HIRE BLACK PEOPLE. WE QUALIFIED FOR THE POSITION. DEFINATELY WANT TRAIN. OUT THE QUESTION. YET YOU WILL DO ALL THAT AN SOME FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KILL YOU. AN IT DAM SURE AINT BLACK PEOPLE.

  • Blake

    The reason there are not many black billionaires is because blacks are stupid and lazy. Just compare africa and Europe. Why is one so affluent and prosperous and the other is a garbage hole? is it a coincidence? is Europe older than africa? is there “white privilege” in Europe?

  • FDRs Ghost

    US Gub’ment welfare policies, which majority of AfricAmers take advantage of, impede saving money and getting jobs. So of course those who choose welfare system instead if work, dont accumulate wealth.

  • FDRs Ghost

    The U S. Gubment (spoken with Jesse Jackson’s lisp) welfare policies, reward women for kicking the men out away from their children. Single parent familues dont save much money.

    • FDRs Ghost

      best way to increase Afric Amer. average wealth is eliminate all welfare programs. these programs dont allow more than $3000 in savings typically.

  • travis

    why is it always the government fault. i had a few friends that grew up in the projects. the ones that wanted to do something other then set around worked hard and got into collage. they made something of there lives. the ones that didnt just did not want to do it. i am not saying that white people or the government does not make it hard. how ever its still on the person