by Daniel Cubias
As of right now, America still has a functioning economy. We’re not sure if we can pay all our bills, of course, and maybe China will just take ownership soon and have a fire sale on things we never use, like national parks and the state of North Dakota.
But for now, we’re still standing. That fact means different things to different people, however.
If you’re Latino, for example, you may wonder when you can stop obsessing about money and worrying about your social mobility. Well, unfortunately, the answer is… who knows?
As if to confirm our worst fears, as well as our creeping paranoia, a recent study revealed that the Great Recession hit Latinos harder than it did other ethnic groups. In fact, “Latino families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the country during the recession.”
How did this happen? Well, Latinos put more of their money into their homes, and as we all recall, the housing marketing spectacularly collapsed in 2008 and set off the whole economic cataclysm. As a result, “the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009.”
African-Americans and Asian-Americans also lost over 50 percent of their wealth. The Anglo-American majority, in contrast, lost a more reasonable 16 percent of their money.
Perhaps this is why “the wealth gap between white households and their black or Hispanic counterparts [is] the widest it has been since the government began publishing such data by ethnicity in 1984.”
Clearly, it’s not as if white people got together and yelled, “Let’s stick it to the minorities.” Well, maybe some members of the Tea Party yelled that, but the less said about them, the better.
No, there are historical reasons, ranging from the institutionalized racism of the past to the problems immigrants have getting started in America. But another factor is that many Latinos, perhaps new to the United States, invested in the so-called American Dream.
They bought houses, supposedly the safest way to build wealth and a symbol of putting down roots in their homeland. And then those houses swallowed up their money and lives like a ravenous python.
So is there any way for Latinos to get back on track? Alas, it looks grim.
As we all know, in recent years, the rich have gotten richer while the poor have gotten poorer. And because more rich people are white than Latino, the overall gap between the ethnicities has widened. However, this discrepancy, once within the realm of comprehension, has become more of a monstrous chasm.
One final bit of data should make this clear. The most recent statistics show that Hispanic families have an average of $6,325 in wealth. The average Anglo-American household, in contrast, has a net worth of $113,149.
To learn more about Daniel, visit Hispanic Fanatic.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.