After Many Generations, Mexicans Still Not Prospering in SoCal

Steve Sailer writes: Screenshot 2016-05-07 17.07.13

We are supposed to imagine that the vast immigration from Mexico to America is an investment in our future. But in Greater Los Angeles, where the future already has happened, the median Mexican family has set aside $0.00 in liquid assets and $5,000 in nonliquid assets.

A publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco about the Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area (population 13 million, or pretty much everybody within a 90 minute drive of downtown LA) shows that Mexicans aren’t really working out.

The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles

Melany De La Cruz-Viesca
Zhenxiang Chen
Paul M. Ong
Darrick Hamilton
William A. Darity Jr.

A Joint Publication of Duke University, The New School, the University of California, Los Angeles and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development

… White households in Los Angeles have a median net worth of $355,000. In comparison, Mexicans and U.S. blacks have a median wealth of $3,500 and $4,000, respectively. Among nonwhite groups, Japanese ($592,000), Asian Indian ($460,000), and Chinese ($408,200) households had higher median wealth than whites. All other racial and ethnic groups had much lower median net worth than white households—African blacks ($72,000), other Latinos ($42,500), Koreans ($23,400), Vietnamese ($61,500), and Filipinos ($243,000).

 Racial and ethnic differences in net worth show the extreme financial vulnerability faced by some nonwhite households. U.S. black and Mexican households have 1 percent of the wealth of whites in Los Angeles—or one cent for every dollar of wealth held by the average white household in the metro area. Koreans hold 7 percent, other Latinos have 12 percent, and Vietnamese possess 17 percent of the wealth of white households.

 The median value of liquid assets for Mexicans and other Latinos is striking, zero dollars and only $7, respectively, whereas, the median value of liquid assets for white households was $110,000. This not only implies possible financial hardship in the long term, but it also makes short-term financial disruption much more likely.

 Japanese households had by far the highest median total value of assets at $595,000. Asian Indians ($460,000), Chinese ($408,500), and white households ($355,000) were also among those with high median values of total assets. Filipino and African black households fall in the middle of the distribution—$243,000 and $152,000 respectively. Median total asset values for all other racial and ethnic groups were significantly lower—U.S. black ($30,000), Mexican ($5,000), other Latino ($43,000), Korean ($28,400), and Vietnamese ($40,000) households. The data reveal an astounding racial wealth divide in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

 Mexicans were the least likely to be banked and most likely to lack financial savings. In the NASCC sample, Mexicans (47.1 percent), other Latinos (54.6 percent), U.S. blacks (68.1 percent), and Vietnamese (54.8 percent) are far less likely to own checking accounts than white (90.1 percent) and Japanese (93.3 percent) households. Mexicans, other Latinos, and Vietnamese also owned savings accounts at a lower rate than white households—39.8 percent of Mexicans, 44 percent of other Latinos, and 37.4 percent of Vietnamese owned a savings account compared with 71.9 percent of whites. Fifty-six percent of U.S. black and 57.8 percent of Korean households held a savings account.

 Wealth differentials across racial groups in the Los Angeles NASCC survey are far more pronounced than income differentials. White households (40.7 percent) were far more likely to hold assets in stocks, mutual funds, and investment trusts. Only 18 percent of African black, 21.5 percent of U.S. blacks, 7.6 percent of Mexicans, 7.3 percent of other Latinos, 23.6 percent of Korean, and 9.9 percent of Vietnamese owned stocks, mutual funds, or other investments or trusts. The percentage of Chinese, Japanese and Asian Indian that have these types of financial assets was much higher when compared with whites—48.8 percent, 60.8 percent, and 58.6 percent, respectively.

The racial and ethnic disparity is large across all asset types and even larger across private retirement assets. Sixty-four percent of white households have an IRA or private annuity compared with 8.2 percent of other Latino, 15 percent of Mexican, and 17.7 percent of Vietnamese households. Japanese, Filipino, African black, and Chinese households were also likely to own an IRA although at lower rates than whites—62.3 percent, 55.6 percent, 48.5 percent, and 48.3 percent, respectively. The nonwhite groups less likely to own an IRA included Koreans (27 percent), U.S. black households (37.9 percent), and Asian Indians (38.6 percent). The results suggest that many households, especially black, Latino, and some Asian ones, would have virtually no financial assets of their own at retirement if not for federal insurance provided by the Social Security program.

Emphasis mine.

Screenshot 2016-05-07 17.13.33


* Even George Lopez can tell you Mexicans are not prospering in Southern California. He said even though he is wealthy, he still gets mistaken for a lower class blue collar guy because not many affluent white collar Los Angelenos racially look like him. He used an example of when he was taking a walk in his upper class neighborhood and one of his White Gringo neighbors who just recently moved into the area, approached him and asked him if he paints houses and how much does he charge.

* He should have felt honored that someone took him for an honest worker.

An honest worker sells his skill for a reasonable market rate. This implies both self respect and knowing about one’s worth in the more general scheme of things i.e. being worldly.

Mastering a skill demonstrates that an individual has placed themselves in a subordinate position with respect to tradition and the Laws of Nature; has overcome their childish self-centeredness and allowed themselves to be influenced and guided by the way the world is and the way more experienced people have learned to do the world.

To have been regarded as such is to have been respected at the most fundamental level.

* Texas cultural nationalism is a (so far) successful response to diversity.

* I live in The Bay Area which has a large Filipino population. You will be surprised at how many Filipinos have high paying government jobs.

When it comes to yearly average household income, Filipinos in The U.S punch well above their weight when you factor in that they tend to be a low IQ ethnic group.

* The one thing that does ring plausible is blacks having no money for their retirements. I have seen the way they blow their paychecks and the garbage they spend it on. That is a feature of poor impulse controls and no ability for delayed gratification.

* Regarding the Vietnamese, they don’t trust banks. Knew a woman that owned a Nail shop and had a little over a million distributed within her extended family. They also tended to buy land back home. Keyword being home.

They also have an attitude of why not game the gibsmedat system like the inferior ethnicities. If it’s not going to be them some black or Latin will happily take it.

Welcome to tribal America.

* Mexicans having no money for their retirement is plausible as well. Mexicans don’t exactly have the cheap frugal spending habits of Jews and the Scottish.

That is why you can have 20 Mexicans living under one roof all with jobs, dividing the rent among them and they are still living paycheck to paycheck.

* These statistics show the rather impressive degree that Southern California has expelled its low-end black population.

50% of black households in Southern California have more than $200 in their bank account and $30,000 in assets. 37.9% of black SoCal households even have IRAs! I can assure you that is not the case in most of the rest of the USA. Importantly, IRAs are not set up by employers, they are something people with strong future time orientation and sufficient intelligence to set them up and fund them do on their own.

A majority of Mexican households here do not have a single member with a bank account.

They still largely work, pay rent, etc so have to store at home and sometimes carry around lots of cash. This means they are much better robbery and burglary targets than whites and asians, who do not carry around much cash since they have credit and debit cards. And of course they are physically smaller and less likely to own a gun and less likely to call the police, both because of immigration issues and because many have outstanding warrants, most often for petty offenses.

* Here in San Francisco Hispanics make up only 15 percent of the population, but they make up 95 percent of San Franciscans who cash their checks at cash checking stores instead of banks, lol.

Seriously go to any cash checking store here and you will overwhelmingly see Latin American looking phenotypes and overwhelmingly hear Spanish being spoken.

“They still largely work, pay rent, etc so have to store at home and sometimes carry around lots of cash. This means they are much better robbery and burglary targets than whites and asians,”

Here in The Bay Area it is a lot more common for Blacks to rob Asians at gunpoint rather than Hispanics.

A lot of Hispanic men in The Bay Area are bad ass alpha males, especially the ones with lots of tattoos because of the gang culture here. They are the ones who riot when The Giants win the World Series.

Asians in The Bay Area are easier targets for robbery, especially since a lot of Han Chinese here are older than The 10 Commandments. The Bay Area attracts a lot dirt old as hell Han Chinamen.

Dindu Nuffins here love committing arm robbery against old Chinos.

* Of course, for any society, capital formation/savings/fixed investment etc, and the very closely related phenomenon of per capita income are the fundamental distinguishes between whether the state is lovely chocolate box whiteopia such as Switzerland – or a the world’s biggest outdoor cess-pit such as Bangladesh. The difference between chicken salad and chicken shit, as one Californian wag put it.

These appalling statistics – contra to the crap that The Economist peddles – seem to indicate that third world populations still act as third world populations once given first world opportunities.
What this presages for the future is obvious.

* There are some factors to keep in mind when looking at this set of data:

1. Population sizes are wildly different. For example, Mexicans are a whopping 32% of the L.A. MSA. Koreans are only 1%. I have not looked at the data in detail, but I suspect sampling accuracy is probably highly variable depending on population size.

2. Immigration (self-) selectivity also varies significantly. For example, immigrants from India tend to be highly selected for professional qualifications. Immigrants from Mexico are not. Korean immigrants of the past were more like Indian immigrants – mostly professionals and entrepreneurs. Today, South Korea is a first world country with one of the best “Human Development” indices (consistently top 20) in the world. Aside from academic immigrants, the bulk of the declining number of Korean immigrants are probably not the “best of the lot.” Highly qualified Koreans tend to stay put – there is little if any benefit for them to move to the United States.

3. The data are for the L.A. MSA only. With small populations such as Koreans, their stats will very wildly depending on geographic locations. My suspicion is that the L.A. probably contains a disproportionately high percentage of economically underperforming Korean population (e.g. seniors, “fresh off the boat,” etc.). I would bet that an economically more dynamic area, say, north of Dallas (Plano-Frisco) or Northern Virginia (Fairfax) has a much greater concentration of successful Koreans.

4. The national economic numbers of the various ethnic groups are probably very different. For example, the Manhattan Institute has been studying major immigrants groups and their assimilation rates for many years now. Its assimilation index has three components: economic, cultural, and civic. The economic portion is described by the study as follows:

Economic assimilation describes the extent to which immigrants, or groups of immigrants, make productive contributions to society indistinguishable in aggregate from the contributions of the native-born. Economic assimilation is low when immigrants cluster at certain points on the economic ladder—most notably, the low-skilled rungs—and high when their distribution on the economic ladder matches that of native-born Americans.

According to its 2013 report, the economic assimilation indices for some of the immigrant groups under discussion are as follow for the year 2011 (100 = perfect assimilation)

Chinese: 90
Filipinos: 100
Indians: 97
Japanese: 100
Koreans: 100
Mexicans: 65

Mexicans not only perform extremely poorly compared to Asian immigrants, but they also lag at or near the bottom among Hispanic immigrants. And given their very low upward mobility through the generations (they have extremely high dropout rates from colleges, for example), it’s not a surprise that their generational wealth transfer is likely extremely low.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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