”That brings us back to the election, and why it matters that this campaign season has failed to acknowledge the new geography of poverty.”
Ever the sentinel of suburban poverty in the United States, the The Brookings Institution spoke up earlier this month as a truly loony election rolls into autumn.
image: Jan Bucholz via Flickr/CC
We keep hearing about all this generalized American anger. Swathes of the population there are feeling filthy about the way things have turned out after decades of neoconservative nonsense from both sides of a two-party federal system. This generalized anger in turn explains the success of Mr. Orangeface Clownpants. Trump has been able to say pretty much any nasty-ass thing he wants to say and still get ahead because of the funk and fury the American voter has sunk into and seethes with respectively. Rage serves to peg in place political illiteracy these days. Hillary Clinton offers herself as the calming Mommy to the tantrum-throwing voter and so she benefits from the unfocused rage as well.
So, how about you Americans focus a little. Dare we even suggest an apoplectic unity on behalf of the children who will someday inherit your republic? A good starting point would be this kick in the head of a paper from March this year. Half of all children in America are in poverty or pretty damn near it. Half of them! What does the lackluster alumni of US federal political party leadership have to say about this topic during the weirdest of elections ever? Looks to be pretty much nothing.
Poverty and child health in the United States
(abstract & link to .pdf file)
Council on Community Pediatrics
Why facts don’t matter to Trump’s supporters
image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr/CC
The world economy soars into the trillions these days with much of the focus on cities, on real estate. We found reading this pair of items with our morning coffee in hand aided and abetted some understanding of the picture at high levels. Wow, just imagine two hundred and seventy billion dollars worth of anything, then try and imagine a quadrillion dollars worth!
Investment in urban land is on the rise. We need to know who owns our cities
Time to pay for the city we want
image: glassghost via Flickr/CC
America’s two great political gatherings present a distressing mixture of aesthetics seemingly lifted from rodeo clowns and science fiction conventions layered over something slick and carefully managed. If you think that generates dissonance, join the rest of us at the bar. Suitably reinforced, we might go along, like Guardian correspondent Chris Arnade, to a pair of Ohio communities around the corner from the Democratic National Convention. Parma is a former manufacturing town and Center is defined by its housing projects.
What do Donald Trump voters really crave? Respect. They want respect because they haven’t just lost economically, but also socially. But it’s dangerous territory: anger tainted with revenge and, sometimes, racism
The very week of the inspiring Panama Papers finds our own sprawling backyards revealed to also be the setting for dodgy financial relationships. How’s this for a great title: If It’s Broke, Fix It: a Report on the Money in Municipal Campaign Finances of 2014 (link here to 14-page .pdf file).
A strong piece in The Guardian asks readers to consider an underassessed socio-economic group. Please recommend this one to others trying to understand Donald Trump and the politics of decline and social disaster in the United States. Millions have fallen from a racial/class group that was once a staple presence in American politics into the kind of social difficulty known by millions of African Americans.
Canadians, you may include this on a reading list, one that aims to help you understand Ford Nation (and you maybe best get moving on that shit, folks).
image: Andrew via Flickr/CC
Canadian mayors are providing support for one of the potentially most interesting ideas available for combatting poverty and social difficulty. Leadersandlegacies.com features a growing list of articles regarding basic income that are shaped by the municipal perspective. In this month alone, mayors from every part of the country have spoken up for basic income. And that’s a good thing.
For the Conservatives, this federal election is looking messy. They may come up in the polls as time goes on but expect the economy to give the Cons serious migraines all the way. Don’t blame all of Canada’s economic woes on Tory neoconservative policy or the price of oil, though. No, the irrational pursuit of austerity was a major Liberal project as well. A piece in this week’s issue of The Tyee reminds of austerity’s bipartisan history.
image: Jennifer Kirkland via Flickr/CC