Because of her great “choices,” MacKenzie is likely to accumulate wealth and achieve financial health over her lifetime. She and her parents belong to the roughly one in four American households we can call “thrivers.”
But too bad for Troy. Despite being just as bright as MacKenzie, he chose nonwhite parents who never married and live in a poor, highly segregated neighborhood with lousy public schools and few opportunities to be involved in music, sports and civic activities. Troy’s young, hard-working, conscientious mother was never able to start college. In order to manage the frequent ups and downs in her financial life, she has accumulated debts to family members and credit cards. She also lacks the know-how and networks to get Troy on a college-bound track, something his school fails to do as well. And Troy unwisely chose to finish high school just as the Great Recession was getting underway. So, finding any job, let alone a decent-paying one with benefits, eludes him.
Because of his bad “choices,” Troy is not likely to accumulate much wealth or feel financially healthy over his lifetime. He and his family belong to the roughly three in four American households we can call “strugglers.”
Research from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests that three demographic drivers—age/birth year, education and race/ethnicity—increasingly matter for building wealth and financial security. MacKenzie and her family’s efforts to build wealth are buoyed by these demographic tailwinds, while the lack of them creates headwinds that hamper Troy and his family’s efforts to succeed financially.
The meat is in the policy implications and some of the stats the first couple paragraphs were kind of fluff. Even then though it's all fed speak so it doesn't say much at all
"Although income has been the primary benchmark for safety net and tax benefits, our research suggests that age or birth year, race or ethnicity, and education must play a greater role in targeting scarce public resources. The U.S. has dedicated massive resources, ruled on issues such as desegregation and voting rights, reduced discrimination in housing and lending practices, built schools and universities, subsidized higher education for disadvantaged students and otherwise striven and often succeeded in helping less-educated and minority families move forward. College attendance rates have been steadily rising, and minorities now hold more elected offices than ever, for example. However, millions of these families remain economically vulnerable; in some ways, they are now even more fragile, given growing economic penalties on less-educated and minority families. Therefore, broad, ambitious efforts to invest in these families must not only continue but be strengthened."