ECONOMICS & Five Charts That Will Change The Way You Think About Racial Inequality

by Mark Travers, Forbes Magazine, 10/10/19.

Perhaps the best way to correct people’s misguided assumptions regarding racial economic inequality in America is to simply present them with the numbers. And, in this case, a picture might be worth more than a thousand words. 

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the average white family in the United States has $100. In those terms, how much money do you think a comparable black family has?

…The answer is less than $10. Most Americans guess upwards of $80. This is the crux of a new article appearing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Specifically, a team of psychologists led by Michael Kraus of Yale University examined the extent to which people underestimate the degree of racial economic inequality in the United States. Their results are alarming, to say the least. 

Key findings from their research are summarized in the five charts below. 

Race inequality

Figure 1. The chart above illustrates the extent to which Americans underestimate the racial wealth gap in the United States. (Data was collected using a nationally representative sample of 1,008 American adults.) Perceptions of black wealth when white wealth is set to $100 are shown by the diamonds within error bars. The actual ratio of black to white wealth is depicted by the diamonds toward the bottom of the chart. It is easy to see the arrant disconnect between perception and reality. It is also the case that most Americans think the racial wealth gap is decreasing over time when, in reality, it has remained relatively stable, and exceptionally unequal, for decades.

Figure 2. The graph above depicts perception (diamonds with error bars) and reality (diamonds) of the racial wealth divide for people of varying levels of education. In both cases, the wealth gap decreases as education level increases. Still, the degree of overestimation is enormous. For instance, most Americans assume that the wealth gap between white and black families with post-graduate educations is virtually negligible. The truth is that black families with post-graduate degrees are still only worth about 30 cents to every white families’ dollar.

Race and income

Figure 4. The chart above includes perceptions of income inequality for Latinx and Asian racial groups, as well as for blacks. Comparing perceptions (diamonds with error bars) to reality (diamonds), most Americans underestimate wealth inequality for all groups, but the misperception is largest for the black and Latinx groups.

Figure 5. What might cause the gross underestimation of racial economic inequality in the United States? While there are undoubtedly many factors at play, the researchers suggest that personal beliefs regarding the nature of success may contribute to the misperception. The chart above shows that people who believe in a “just world” (i.e., that people generally get what they deserve in life) are more likely overestimate the degree of economic equality between blacks and whites.

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EQUALITY & Gender: A Brief Introduction to the Differences Between Complementarians & Egalitarians #CBE

A Necessary Distinction: Trinity, Male and Female, and the Current Debate Over Authority: Part 2

by Bob Rakestraw, Christians for Biblical Equity, 11/18/16.

How is male-female authority involved in the controversy over subordination in the Trinity?

As alluded to in Part 1, there are two main groups within evangelicalism debating the issues of subordination (lesser authority) among the members of the Trinity and subordination among male-female relationships. Complementarians believe, among other things, that women should be under the authority of male leaders in their churches, and wives should be under the authority of male leaders (their husbands) in their marriages. Their main organization is the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). Two major scholars supporting their views are Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem.

Egalitarians believe, among other things, that women are to share leadership authority equally with men, in mutual submission, in the responsibilities of church and marriage. Their main organization is Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). Two major scholars supporting their views are Philip Barton Payne and Kevin Giles.

Both CBMW and CBE are led by serious Bible-believing evangelical Christians, and have fully orthodox statements of faith. Even though they disagree quite strongly on male-female issues, each believes they are basing their teachings on the Bible. (It is only right for me to state here that I am a member and supporter of CBE, and have been since their beginning in 1988. Before that, I had been a member of a similar organization for years.)

Following the emergence of the secular feminist movement in the 1960’s, some evangelical Christians began to rethink the traditional ideas of male-only leadership in churches and marriages, to see if these positions really were taught in the Bible. Such questioning in itself was, and is, a good thing, since current controversies often provide opportunities to examine one’s doctrines and practices to see if they are well-grounded.

When John Wesley, John Newton, and William Wilberforce challenged the prevailing practice of slavery (which was strongly supported from the Bible by many Christians), this led eventually to the abolition of slavery. Years ago, God’s people searched the Bible to see if the word of God supports such practices as putting the American flag on the church platform along with the Christian flag (should “for God and country” be the motto of Christ followers?) and the excluding of certain charismatic practices that were present in the first-century churches.

So also, many of God’s people are re-examining the issue of women’s subordination to men in churches and marriages. Some of these believers-actually many-are looking at the issues in full submission to the authority of the scriptures. They are not casting the Bible aside to follow the culture, as many others seem to be doing. Some are focusing more on women and church issues and some more on women and marriage issues, even though all know that both areas need careful thought and prayer to avoid the serious abuses of authority by men who have severely damaged many women over the years.

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CULTURE MATCHING & Why People Like to Work Alongside People Like Themselves

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Kellogg School of Management researcher Lauren A. Rivera found that management teams work best when there is a degree of cultural matching between participants. This implies that though team members come from different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, once they have forged a team with a similar mission and vision the result in a new team culture, which then affects selection of additional participants.

Churches that want to break down ethnic, racial and cultural barriers must be aware that some cultural matching will be required to help people work more effectively as teams. But, if reconciliation is a church’s goal (and I believe it should be) then cultural matching with emerging team cultures can assist in that process and should be designed to create a “reconciliation culture” in the new team.

Read the article below (and at the link) for more insights upon cultural matching.

Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms

by Lauren A. Rivera, American Sociological Review, 77(6) 999 –1022, 2012, pp. 999-1022.

This article presents culture as a vehicle of labor market sorting. Providing a case study of hiring in elite professional service firms, I investigate the often suggested but heretofore empirically unexamined hypothesis that cultural similarities between employers and job candidates matter for employers’ hiring decisions. Drawing from 120 interviews with employers as well as participant observation of a hiring committee, I argue that hiring is more than just a process of skills sorting; it is also a process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and firms. Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity. I unpack the interpersonal processes through which cultural similarities affected candidate evaluation in elite firms and provide the first empirical demonstration that shared culture—particularly in the form of lifestyle markers—matters for employer hiring. I conclude by discussing the implications for scholarship on culture, inequality, and labor markets.

cultural capital, culture, hiring, homophily, inequality, interpersonal evaluation, labor markets

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RACE & Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession



The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines.

The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010.


The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey.)

Leaving aside race and ethnicity, the net worth of American families overall — the difference between the values of their assets and liabilities — held steady during the economic recovery. The typical household had a net worth of $81,400 in 2013, according to the Fed’s survey — almost the same as what it was in 2010, when the median net worth of U.S. households was $82,300 (values expressed in 2013 dollars).


The stability in household wealth follows a dramatic drop during the Great Recession. From 2007 to 2010, the median net worth of American families decreased by 39.4%, from $135,700 to $82,300. Rapidly plunging house prices and a stock market crash were the immediate contributors to this shellacking.

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SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT & The Effects Of Income Inequality Start While You’re In The Womb

by Jessica Lerner, Fast Company Magazine, 5/22/14