At first blush, it may seem like civil forfeiture is different than the usual methods of justice: targeting poor people who have nothing and placing them in jail. As hard as state and federal governments may try, you can't take nothing from nothing so indigent populations are impervious to forfeiture schemes.
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As the 2016 election approaches, the debate among the intelligentsia appears like it will center around the question of inequality. While income is distributed unequally in the country, what few people know is how much more unequally wealth, financial assets and inheritances are distributed. As the chart below shows, income is only part of the problem.
We all hope to retire someday -- the freedom to do more of what we want to do and less of what we have to do. But that kind of freedom comes with a price, right? Won't you need millions in assets and a six-figure annual income? Nope. You'll probably need a lot less in assets and income than you think.
In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe "poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything." In reality, most of America's poor work hard, often in two or more jobs. The real non-workers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing. In fact, we're on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history. The wealth is coming from those who over the last three decades earned huge amounts on Wall Street, in corporate boardrooms, or as high-tech entrepreneurs. It's going to their children, who did nothing except be born into the right family.
There are families in America who feel they have done all the "right things." They have played by the rules and worked hard but they aren't getting ahead financially. They have many things in common but the thing that is most striking is their racial make-up; they are mostly African-American and Latino.
Tomorrow, thousands of Year Up students and staff in eight of our cities will take part in our annual Walk for Opportunity. They are rallying to raise public awareness about the massive pool of untapped talent that our young adults represent, and the economic necessity of closing the Opportunity Divide.