Robert D. Putnam pointed out in his latest book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis that poor kids with very high grades and test scores are less likely to get a college degree than low-scoring rich kids-- so much for the egalitarianism of the American Dream-- and here's another damning addendum to that theme; the median white family headed by a high school drop-out has $7700 more net worth than the median black family headed by someone with some college education . . . the cause of paradoxical gap this is unknown in a specific sense, but there are certainly some factors to consider: discriminatory housing and loan policies, redlining, generational wealth, and prejudicial hiring are a few that come to mind, but the lesson is this:
you might believe that you are a free-agent, responsible for your choices and deserving of your granite countertops and big TV, but that's a simplistic view of things-- and if you're black and live in America and make the right choices, you're still probably earning less than a white high school drop-out, and if you're rich and live in America, then you have the luxury of being dumb, but if you're poor then intelligence won't necessarily lead you to a life of luxury.