Can Biden Shrink the Black-White Wealth Gap Without Canceling Loan Debt?

Inside Higher Ed

Alexis Gravely
June 2, 2021
President Biden has released a plan to tackle racial wealth disparities in the United States, but he excluded the cancellation of student loan debt, which experts argue is one of the biggest parts of the problem.
President Biden has announced a plan intended to help narrow the racial wealth gap, but it doesn’t include any cancellation of student loan debt — which some are arguing is necessary to make meaningful steps toward closing the wealth divide.
The plan, which Biden unveiled Tuesday on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, includes a total of $25 billion in community revitalization and transportation infrastructure and $31 billion in programs for small businesses, among billions more dollars to “reinvest in failed communities that have been left behind by failed policies.” The administration’s proposals are aimed to shrink the wealth disparities between Black and white households — the median wealth for a Black family is about 13 cents for every dollar in wealth held by white families, according to the administration.
But omitting student loan debt cancellation from the actions the administration wants to take won’t do enough to address the wealth gap, NAACP president Derrick Johnson told The Washington Post.