Brandeis University's Institute on Assets and Social Policy has released a study on the increasing race/wealth gap in the U.S. [link=http://iasp.brandeis.edu/whatsnew/index.html]The Racial Wealth Gap Increases Fourfold [/link] Assessing the wealth holdings of the same families for 23 years (1984-2007) shows that the wealth gap between whites and African Americans increased more than 4 times, from $20,000 in 1984 to $95,000 in 2003. This gap persisted for African Americans and white families in the same income range. For example, middle-income white households had greater gains in financial assets than high-income African Americans; by 2007, they had accumulated $74,000, whereas the average high-income African American family owned only $18,000. At least 25% of all African American families had no assets to turn to in times of economic hardship. This is heartwarming news for the evolution of our post racial society: What Happened in the Past 25 Years? The racial wealth gap results from historical and contemporary factors but the disturbing fourfold increase in such a short time reflects public policies, such as tax cuts on investment income and inheritances which benefit the wealthiest, and redistribute wealth and opportunities. Tax deductions for home mortgages, retirement accounts, and college savings all disproportionately benefit higher income families. At the same time, evidence from multiple sources demonstrates the powerful role of persistent discrimination in housing, credit, and labor markets. For example, African Americans and Hispanics were at least twice as likely to receive high-cost home mortgages as whites with similar incomes. These reckless high-cost loans unnecessarily impeded wealth building in minority communities and triggered the foreclosure crisis that is wiping out the largest source of wealth for minorities. In other words, the widening wealth gap coincides neatly with the cresting and long demise of affirmative action programs and progressive taxation.