Biden Campaign Claim That They Helped Close Racial Wealth Gap By 60% Bizarre, Untrue

In President Joe Biden’s bid to appeal to Black voters, he highlighted his administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the economy. During a speech at Mother Emanuel AME Church earlier in the year in Charleston, South Carolina, Biden claimed that under his administration, the racial wealth gap had reached its lowest point in 20 years, WRAL reported.

“We’re growing back Black wealth, but we have a lot more to do,” Biden stated on Jan. 8. “The racial wealth gap is the smallest it’s been in 20 years, under my watch. More Black small businesses are starting up than in decades. Opening a new business is the ultimate act of hope.”

However, these claims have sparked criticism, particularly from Duke University economist and reparations scholar, Dr. William “Sandy” Darity. Dr. Darity has called Biden’s statements bizarre and untrue, arguing that the administration’s portrayal of economic progress for Black Americans is misleading.

He tweeted, “The claim from the Biden-Harris camp that they closed the racial wealth gap by 60% is both bizarre and untrue.”

The tweet included a PDF of a paper he co-wrote entitled “Setting the Record Straight on Racial Wealth Inequality.” The co-authors were Fenaba Addo of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Samuel L. Myers Jr. of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

When pressed for evidence to support Biden’s claims, a White House spokesperson pointed to a Federal Reserve chart showing the wealth ratio between white and nonwhite families. According to this measure, the ratio of wealth between white and Black families did narrow slightly in 2022, reaching its smallest point since 2001, according to U.S. News & World Report.

However, this metric alone does not provide a comprehensive picture. The same Federal Reserve report indicates that the absolute dollar difference in median wealth between white and nonwhite families actually widened in 2022. By this measure, the racial wealth gap remains substantial and even grew during the period in question.

Dr. Darity and other economists emphasize that both relative and absolute measures are crucial in assessing the racial wealth gap. Despite a modest narrowing in the wealth ratio, the median wealth for white families in 2022 was more than six times that of Black families. For every $100 held by the average white family, the average Black family had $15.75. The median wealth for white families was $285,000 compared to just under $45,000 for Black families.

During the covid-19 pandemic, while wealth for all racial groups increased due to government benefits, significant disparities persisted. Black families experienced a 61 percent increase in wealth from 2019 to 2022, but this still trailed behind the gains made by white families. The uneven increases resulted in the wealth gap between white and Black families expanding by about $50,000.

William “Sandy” Darity, Photo Duke University website/President Joe Biden, (AP/Meg Kinnard)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button