Breaking Brown

August 17, 2015

From 1992 to 2013, the Median Net Worth of Blacks Who Finished College Dropped Nearly 56%

From 1992 to 2013, the Median Net Worth of Blacks Who Finished College Dropped Nearly 56%

For years blacks have been incessantly told that the U.S. is a meritocracy where hard work is rewarded. As it turns out, hard work is rewarded, but the rewards are better for some than others.

Regarding getting a college degree, there are benefits, but Asians and whites see more benefits from a degree than blacks or Hispanics, according to a new study.

“The long-term trend is shockingly clear,” William R. Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and one of the authors of the report, told the New York Times. “White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately.”

According to the report, getting a degree does not equal a  “level playing field” for black or Hispanic graduates.

Blacks and Hispanic graduates earn more than their nongraduate black and Hispanic peers, but they also suffer disproportionately:

Economists emphasize that college-educated blacks and Hispanics over all earn significantly more and are in a better position to accumulate wealth than blacks and Hispanics who do not get degrees. Graduates’ median family income in 2013 was at least twice as high, and their median family wealth (which includes resources like a home, car and retirement account) was 3.5 to 4 times greater than that of nongraduates.

But while these college grads had more assets, they suffered disproportionately during periods of financial trouble.

From 1992 to 2013, the median net worth of blacks who finished college dropped nearly 56 percent (adjusted for inflation). By comparison, the median net worth of whites with college degrees rose about 86 percent over the same period, which included three recessions — including the severe downturn of 2007 through 2009, with its devastating effect on home prices in many parts of the country. Asian graduates did even better, gaining nearly 90 percent.

The point, it seems, is that college, while guarantying financial security for whites, doesn’t present the same guarantee for blacks or Hispanics.

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6 thoughts on “From 1992 to 2013, the Median Net Worth of Blacks Who Finished College Dropped Nearly 56%

  1. HANNIBAL the VICTOR says:

    Many college educated blacks suffer from the same financial illiteracy of the black underclass. A college degree doesnt automatically mean you will make good decisions with your money. Black folks should listen to people like Dave Ramsey or read  a book titled:  THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR.

  2. Johnw11 says:

    This is a very serious problem and represents one of the most not discussed enough effects of systematic racism on the well-being of African Americans over the past half century, as the “pacification” gains of the 1960s and early 1970s have been steadily withdrawn. While this problem has long been noted in the domains of the social science journals (read by only a few people, and cared about by even fewer), and even an occasional media article, with the exception of the National Urban League’s annual reports on the economic state of Black America, it is rarely talked about, even by the Urban League itself in a policy effecting way — especially since 2009. This failure has facilitated an information vacuum where in right-wing demagogues and their “Black conservative” servants have field days (often unchallenged) about how the problems of Blacks are not rooted in racism, but the “Blacks own lack of personal responsibility.” 
    In this study, however, as well as many others, we see clearly that even when Blacks are responsible (attaining college degrees) they are denied the rewards afforded others for behaving according to that societal prescription. Indeed, income disparities are the foundation of wealth disparities.
    If anything is clear to me, it is that in order to address this problem, Blacks must demand public policies that get to the root of the problem. But that requires leadership that Blacks don’t currently have. For example, when public policies were / are causing, or refusing to address the problems of employment, wage (income) and wealth disparities, and implementing policies of both income deprivation and its twin mass incarceration resulting in over 1.5 million Black men being “missing” from society as of 2015, Black leadership was / is ignoring these genocidal developments and focusing the balance of its attention to trivia such as the “Confederate flag” and use of the so-called “N-word.” Some even lie and run interference in support of these unfair economic policies and social practices, while rambling about racism this and that, especially when the policies are implemented by one of their own class — a Black elite, “first” or “second” this or that.
    Moreover, it is going to take great mass re-education campaigns to undue the damage done to much of the Black psyche by the pushers of personality cult-worship and victim blaming at the behest of racism. Knowingly — and sometimes unknowingly, but always self-destructively — many Blacks have been conditioned to IMMEDIATELY, as an automatic response, blame Blacks themselves for the ravishes of racism / white supremacist subjugation.
    While much of this self-blame behavior is rooted in President Nixon’s feint “Black Capitalism” con-game of the early 1970s, as an “entryist” move into the Black self-reliance movement of that era in order to sway Black votes. Frankly, a great amount of it in present day observations is rooted in ignorance; a failure to not only understand the reality of socio-economic systemization as relates to racism, but also a lack of knowledge of African Americans’ own socio-economic coping behavior.
    For example, some argue with the full conviction of their ignorance that the problem with Blacks not being paid fair wages equal to others is because Blacks don’t have “financial literacy.” While such a fatuous accusation will play well on Fox News and conservative talk radio, in the objective world of ideas, we ask — what does Blacks’ financial literacy have to do with Blacks not being paid fair wages?
    Additionally, we who are conversant with the literature know full well that the claim of Blacks not having financial literacy is as false as an unconditioned step- dancing rabbit. In their paper “Race, Wealth, and Intergenerational Poverty,” Darrick Hamilton and William Darity, Jr. (2009) dispels that stereotype and argue that not only do Blacks have financial literacy, but “save” as much as anyone else. To reinforce their deconstruction of the Blacks don’t “save” stereotype, they cite studies as far back as 1935 that show there is no difference in the “saving” behavior and spending habits of Blacks and whites of comparable incomes.
    The problem, as has been scientifically validated, is not Blacks, but racism that exploits and stifles Blacks. Blacks don’t have as much wealth as whites because Blacks are denied economic equality, even when earned by making the sacrifices inherent in attaining higher education and credentialing.
    Perhaps the first step in overcoming this problem will be made when Blacks stop being mouth-pieces for their own exploitation, and ultimately — their own demise.
    No group delusively believing — repeating after their exploiter — that its exploitation is due to its own character flaws will ever move to end its exploitation. Such is psychologically improbable.
    Thanks a million to Ms Carnell for shedding light on this important issue.

  3. Rick Manigault says:

    Johnw11 One line stands out as the most important truth. 

    “Black leadership was / is ignoring these genocidal developments and focusing the balance of its attention to trivia such as the “Confederate flag” and use of the so-called “N-word.””

  4. Rick Manigault says:

    HANNIBAL the VICTOR Me and most of my friends graduated from 4 year universities and were discouraged from persuing financial  understanding. The religion of working a square job for a salary makes you a part of the black underclass.

  5. HANNIBAL the VICTOR says:

    Rick Manigault The religon of making irresponsible decisions with the money we  DO  have is whats wrong with black folks. The ability to delay gratification doesnt have to be taught in a classroom. These “educated ” blacks go out and get  $80,000 a year jobs and live like they make $120,000 a year. Thats not racism , thats  a personal problem.

  6. Rick Manigault says:

    HANNIBAL the VICTOR Delayed gratification is key.

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