Average net worth for single black women is $5.

As I described in my announcement speech and here, America has become a country of great inequality of economic power. (and, as a consequence, a country of inequality in political power, too.) However, I never would have guessed the findings of this article from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.

According to the findings of the study,

Among the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5.

Five dollars? The average median wealth of a single black female is the price of foot-long, Subway sandwich. Think of that. If the average single black female sold all she had and paid off all her debts, she would have $5.

Additionally, the study found that:

“. . . half of [black women] have a net worth of more than $100 and half have a net worth of less than $100,” Ms. Lui said. “So that gives you an idea of how far in debt some women of color are.”

Even more scary: “The most recent financial data was collected before the economic downturn, so the current numbers likely are worse now than at the time of the study.”

President Bush talked of an “ownership society.” With the right set of policies aimed at building wealth-building assets within the poor and working classes, Alabama can really show what a “ownership society” looks like.

That is why I believe inequitable taxes, such as grocery taxes, need to be lifted off the poor and working people of Alabama. I suggest we establish programs like  ASPIRE act which develop savings habits by dollar-for-dollar matches of the savings of children from lower-income families. I would encourage my fellow legislators to develop programs and incentives to allow actual workers to buy-out plants in their communities that are closing or moving. And why do we not try incentivizing lending to micro-sized business ventures of the poor and working classes. Additionally, we can do more to protect poor consumers and borrowers from unfair and deceptive trade and lending practices.


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