Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Paycheck To Paycheck To Poverty For Most Blacks & Hispanics
When facts such as those you're are about to read from a recent study on racial wealth gaps are revealed, sometimes they evoke cries of "race card" played by the indigent blaming a broken phantom crutch for their situation. The truth of the matter is the facts below are what they are because there is in fact race card playing by political groups, public decision makers, special interest groups, and covert racists that are responsible for creating the reality you're about to read about next.
Retirement savings aside, the disparities in liquid wealth between Blacks, Hispanics and Whites are shocking. Blacks hold a meager $25 and Latinos just $100 in liquid wealth, compared with $3,000 held by the typical White household. Liquid wealth being assets that can be quickly transitioned into cash.
These figures indicate an overwhelming number of Black and Latino households are living paycheck to paycheck, with no liquid assets (safety net) to address financial shocks or emergencies. These figures, confirm that the typical Black household would barely be able to feed a family of four for one day if forced to rely on liquid wealth reserves alone. Latino families would be hard pressed to last a week.
Void of liquidity, families fall into an immediate crisis when they experience any disruption in their income stream, it also reduces their ability to pursue options that could improve their economic position and allow them to rebound from a financial misfortune.
With such meager cash reserves, the ability to pursue a career change, start a business, or move to a new city for better economic opportunities are nonexistent for most in this economic situation. The necessity to survive negates opportunities to thrive.
Therefore, when the GOP refuses to extend unemployment benefits in a depressed job market, and double down by cutting SNAP benefits, they are showing us which demographic of our population they don't care about. That same demographic is forced to pursue predatory financial options. Everything from cashing a check to paying a bill is laden with heavy fees that further compound their already strapped financial situation.
It is unfair, it is dismal, and it is a reality in the world's richest country.