Unfortunately, many of us are in very similar situations to Mr. Gabler’s—but let us admit that we are doing this to ourselves as a nation as much as we are doing it to ourselves as individuals.
San Francisco, Calif.
“Financial impotence is an equal-opportunity malady, striking across every demo-graphic divide,” writes Neal Gabler …
It might be true that this can happen to anyone, but for minorities, it’s far, far more likely. It’s also true that in the event of a downturn—personal or marketwide—they fall harder, faster. They have fewer resources for digging themselves out of a hole, and they are unlikely to know anyone who is much better off who could spot them the needed cash …
Blacks and Hispanics continue to struggle economically. In 2013, the median white household had wealth that totaled more than $140,000; Hispanics had only about $14,000. And black Americans had $11,000 …
At the start of 2016, the homeownership rate for white Americans was 72 percent. For Hispanics it was 45 percent. For blacks it was 42 percent. Even for those minorities who are able to buy homes, the benefits are more muted than they are for white Americans. Why? Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods, which means that their homes don’t appreciate as much as they would if they were somewhere else. But when these families do move to mostly white neighborhoods, they nevertheless tend to suffer. In fact, research has shown that once more than 10 percent of a neighborhood becomes populated by black residents, property values begin to decline, largely in response to their presence.
A prime example of this inequality is the aftermath of the housing crisis. While whites were more likely to own homes, they were also more likely to own other assets. For black homeowners, however, houses accounted for a larger portion of their wealth. That means the recession gutted much of the black wealth there was.
Gillian B. White
Excerpt from a TheAtlantic.com article
Everyone knows that the U.S. middle class is in serious trouble; however, this article does not do the problem justice, because it is mostly about this one author who lives in the Hamptons, has two children, sent them to private schools and to elite schools of higher learning, and paid for his youngest daughter’s wedding to the point of using up his retirement savings. He complains about how tight his spending money is, despite the fact that, for the most part, his parents paid for his children’s education, and also despite the fact that he is well educated and has a decent income, a good profession, and many awards to his name. He thinks he deserves better.
I would sympathize, except his family is not living the lifestyle of the American middle class. They are living the lifestyle of the rich, and that lifestyle costs a lot of money. Is it any wonder that they are strapped for cash? Compare them with the real middle class, laboring in jobs that are being outsourced abroad or offered to others who will do them for much less. Compare them with those people who cannot afford to send their children to elite schools, so they must aspire only to community colleges or, if they’re lucky, to state colleges, the budgets for which are being reduced more and more. Compare them with those families who are either living in very modest homes or unable to even buy a home in the first place.