By Angela Wills
Is the racial divide really that bad in America?
Results from a new study reveal that Black kids from wealthy communities still stand a greater chance of serving time in prison than poor white children.
According to reports from the Washington Post:
About 2.7 percent of the poorest white young people — those whose household wealth was in the poorest 10th of the distribution in 1985, when they were between 20 and 28 years old — ultimately went to prison. In the next 10th, 3.1 percent ultimately went to prison.
The households of young people in both of these groups had more debts than assets. In other words, their wealth was negative. All the same, their chances of being imprisoned were far less than those of black youth from much more affluent circumstances.
About 10 percent of affluent black youths in 1985 would eventually go to prison. Only the very wealthiest black youth — those whose household wealth in 1985 exceeded $69,000 in 2012 dollars — had a better chance of avoiding prison than the poorest white youth. Among black young people in this group, 2.4 percent were incarcerated.
Hispanic participants who were less affluent in 1985 were more likely to be eventually incarcerated than their white peers with similar wealth, but less likely than black participants.
There are several issues to be weighed when consideration is given as to ways in which these numbers can be changed or how these odds can be beaten. Money management is a major factor in this study, seeing as how there is a strong negative in the debt to assets ratio.
The fact that rich kids were likely born into the money makes it highly likely that they were busy enjoying the perks of rolling in the dough and not extremely focused on managing the dough at all.
Those kids who grew up poor likely witnessed their parents or caregivers struggling and working to make ends meet. Living paycheck to paycheck easily becomes the norm and the mental fatigue from it all makes it difficult for individuals to find ways to escape the negative dollar accounts.