There's been a popular notion — even among some Black people — that the wealth difference between white and Black Americans could be closed if Black people collectively "got it together," Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes as part of our What Matters 2020 series.
Why it matters: The argument goes that Black Americans should focus more on education, family structure and home ownership, put money in Black-owned banks, start more Black-owned businesses, increase savings and investment and generally take personal responsibility the way other "model minorities" have.
Here are some of the most popular myths about the racial wealth gap's causes and solutions — and why each falls apart with a closer look:
1. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through education
On average, Black households in the U.S. with heads who have completed a college degree have lower net worth than white households headed by someone with less than a high school education.
2. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through personal responsibility
As noted in a report last year by the Cleveland Fed, the income gap between Black and white Americans is the result of "persistent systemic differences in economic opportunity," rather than a lack of responsibility.
3. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through home ownership
Many have suggested that a key to closing the racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans is to encourage more Black families to own homes.
4. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap with individual accomplishment
The increasing number of Black millionaires and billionaires and the success of people like former President Obama have led many to speculate that the racial wealth gap in the U.S. is closing.
5. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through increased savings
An oft-suggested reason for the massive wealth gap between Black and white families in the U.S. is that Black Americans simply don't save or invest enough.
6. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap by investing in Black-owned banks
Politicians and others have long suggested that if more Black families and businesses used Black-owned banks, it would help Black people overcome the racial wealth gap.
7. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship
Black Americans' attempts at entrepreneurship are often foiled by an initial lack of capital and an inability to obtain financing, especially through government programs.
8. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through financial literacy
The focus on financial literacy points to disproportionate use of services like payday lending and check cashing stores, with fees and interest payments much higher than traditional lending or banking options by Black Americans.
9. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap by emulating "model minorities"
A prevailing myth about the wealth gap between white and Black Americans is that it could be closed if Black people valued hard work and education like so-called model minorities, typically Asians and other recent U.S. immigrants.
10. The myth of closing the racial wealth gap through "stronger families"
Often the increased rate of Black single motherhood or "Black family disorganization" is referenced as a reason for the gap in wealth accumulation between Black and white Americans.
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The legal and legislative fight over how much insurance companies must pay for coronavirus-related losses is just starting, and it's likely to get uglier, Axios managing editor Jennifer Kingson writes.
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What’s at stake, according to an insurance industry trade group:
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Never call him a name. I’d really prefer not to talk about him at all. I stay focused on my job as governor. But when something rises to the level that I really disagree with, something that’s just so offensive or that directly hurts the people of Maryland, I stand up and say something. ...
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Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
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Citi Field during Mets practice yesterday. Photo: Kathy Willens/AP
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