Racism Literally Costs America $2 Trillion...Ready to Stop Payment?

What we know: Racism has left a vast legacy of violence. Bigotry in America has marginalized a diverse range of minority culture. It dashes the hopes of children.

What we didn't know: Bias based on race costs the United States a shade under $2 trillion a year.

A more complete accounting of the toll taken by race-based chauvinism has arrived in the form of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation study that shows fallout from racism slashing the country's wealth. The study, released in October, posits that an income gap resulting in part from racism costs the country $1.9 trillion dollars each year.

Read more: Racism Literally Costs America $2 Trillion...Ready to Stop Payment?

Why It's Harder to Move Up in America's Segregated Cities

Economic mobility – the ability to work hard and get ahead – has long been the cornerstone of the American Dream. But it's becoming harder and harder for Americans to pull themselves up the economic ladder.

An influential report this past summer from Harvard and Berkeley economists at The Equality of Opportunity Project found economic mobility varied widely across the country. Summarizing the key results of the study, the New York Times headline neatly explained: "In climbing income ladder, location matters." Children from post-industrial metros like San Jose, Seattle, or Boston were twice as likely jump from the bottom income quintile to the top as kids growing up in Sunbelt or Midwestern manufacturing cities.

But what accounts for the geographical variation? A new Pew Charitable Trusts study sheds some light. "Mobility and the Metropolis: How Communities Factor into Economic Mobility" by the University of California, Berkeley economist Bryan Graham and my New York University colleague Patrick Sharkey finds that the amount of economic integration – the degree to which poor, middle-class, and rich residents live in the same areas – was highly linked to levels of economic mobility.

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Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) pushes for policies and actions that promote equity and shared prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta. Through forums, research, and organizing efforts, PSE brings together the regional community to lift up and encourage just, sustainable, and civic practices for balanced growth and opportunity.

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