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Black Americans Have Over One Trillion Spending Power; Can That be Redirected to Help Close the Wealth Gap? Experts Weigh In

Black Americans are estimated to have more than a trillion dollars in buying power in coming years, marking the highest amount of spendable cash they have ever wielded in U.S. history.

Still, that money won’t necessarily translate into an opportunity to build wealth, experts told Finurah, adding that building wealth isn’t solely about having dollars to spend year after year. It’s going to take sweeping federal policy combined with Black Americans investing in themselves in order to truly close the Black-White wealth gap, according to experts.  

Stock photo: Pexels

“The problem is so large and has lingered for so long that it will take sustained, large and targeted policy intervention from a federal government perspective,” said Christian Weller, a political economist and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

To place that figure into perspective, $1.7 trillion is about the gross domestic product of Mexico, according to McKinsey researchers. Most of the enhanced spending power will be concentrated in predominantly Black cities — including Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. 

Weller and other experts said many Americans incorrectly believe spending more money at Black-owned businesses will solve the wealth gap problem. It’s going to take more than just redirecting $1.7 trillion dollars to help generate more Black wealth, the experts said. Starting and supporting more Black businesses alone won’t do the trick because “if you’re a Black business owner, you’re starting from further behind than a white-owned company,” Weller said. 

Even if boosting Black businesses was the main cure, doing so effectively is just too monumental of a task, Weller said. 

Read full story at Finurah here.


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