A Pew Center released today suggests that White wealth is 20 times that of African-Americans, and 18 times the size of Latino wealth, suggesting that economic racial disparity is worse now that it has been in a long time, and lending support to Rubén G. Rumbaut's claims about a growing "rainbow underclass." This seems to be more clearly the case following the Financial Meltdown. Kai Write at Colorlines writes:
"Certainly the recent explosion in the wealth gap is owing to the fact that the little wealth black and Latino families hold is disproportionately locked up in homes. White families are far more likely to have jobs with retirement accounts and investments in the stock market. Those black and Latino families that have wealth depend on the housing market for it.
But that’s still more symptom than root cause. Black and Latino families are also far more likely to live in places crawling with expensive, deceptive consumer lending of all sorts, from car loans to refinance mortgages. They are more likely to turn to that lending because they make less money and because they already hold less wealth to cushion themselves in tough times. It’s an ugly cycle: inequality across the economy creates demand for predatory credit to bridge the gap, which in turn worsens inequality."