Dating from 2006 but still worth a mention for our purposes is this working paper from the research division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Yeah, you guessed it, the more cities sprawl, the worse the income inequality gets. We are glad you have been paying attention…
One of the principal authors of Brookings Institution material on suburban poverty, Elizabeth Kneebone, wrote the piece Poverty In New England: It’s a Suburban Thing for an online publication belonging to the Boston Federal Reserve Bank last year. Normally we wouldn’t expect to find them particularly in touch with the realities of poverty so perhaps this indicates the seriousness of the matter? We’ve been hearing talk about recovery from the United States but the reality might be no more than election-related palaver and gasoline prices are on the rise again. The latter is now fully associated with recessionary activity and the continued blooming of suburban poverty. Poverty In New England
More new terminology for social exclusion and social difficulty derived from developments seen in the last US census. Under conventional thinking about markets, employment, investment, and standards of living the near poor would only be there temporarily. Given the sheer scale of disaster in the US and global economies it is hard to see that as anything other than magical thinking. Time to start building resilient communities. Time for responding to reality rather than mythology or politics. It may be that there is a new 21st century technological schema waiting in the wings, a miraculous arrangement of far out science fictions of clean energy and easy money. What comfort that may be to the near poor in the face of any more bad news in terms of gas prices, employment, international conflict remains to be seen, it may make Christmas all the more poignant this year! Older, Suburban and Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle the CensusNYT
Much of this blog sees the matter of suburban poverty through the lens of a middle class experiencing something of a demolition job on its standards and expectations. This article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review focuses on a working class just barely getting by before the Great Recession hit. Poverty has taken root in suburbs
On, of all days, Remembrance Day, we came across a chart of the unemployment rate for US veterans under the age of 34 (i.e. Iraq & Afghanistan). The chart is from Business Week online but suburban-poverty.com came across it on a blog called Global Guerrillas. The latter concerns itself with geopolitical developments and the future of armed conflict. How do we connect all that to suburban poverty?
The author at Global Guerrillas finds much to ponder as to how this unemployment may influence domestic conditions in the United States. Is there reason to think these unemployed individuals may act in ways that are genuinely threatening to civil society? Will they be exploited in a semiparalyzed, financially discombobulated political arena also increasingly full of incoherence and vehemence? Even those only moderately literate in history find the mind racing to compare this prospect to the story of Weimar Germany, the short lived parliamentary republic (1919-1933) in which German totalitariansim was born. Add Global Guerrillas to your blog reading list as you watch this part of the way things are developing in the United States. Global Guerrillas: Resilient communities and networked economies. Open source insurgency and systems disruption.
While consuming an overpriced coffee product this morning we accidentally read part of today’s Globe & Mail. It was left behind on a table in a Barstuck’s coffee shop in Toronto’s financial district. The usual doom-and-gloom and consumerism filled the paper but we were heartened to see one article: a double pager with no ads about food bank use in every province. Maps and graphics made for factually solid reading. At suburban-poverty.com we are torn by media coverage of poverty. We are glad to see it and we hate to see it.
Ironically, we were on our way to Metropolitan United Church Community Services where participation in the Out-of-the-Cold program is under way. Thusly aligning the reality of the Globe piece with our own, however fleetingly. Curiously, we were chatting with several of suburban-poverty.com’s board of governors the other day and we remarked that when we were in Grade 8 there were no food banks, but there was this Prime Minister named Mulroney…
Here’s a recent feature from the Toronto Star about inequality. Written by J David Hulchanski, a university of Toronto social work academic, it notably takes up the language of the occupy movement. That movement may fade a little as winter weather sets in but suburban-poverty.com feels it is now a full contributor to the general discourse in the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada it is not as developed. Mixed feelings about the banks do exist here but there is a genuine sense that the regulatory environment and the corporate culture in banks here deserve some moral credit for keeping us a little more secure than elsewhere.
Don’t get us wrong, the fact Canadian banks didn’t deliver us unto a foreclosure crisis or help themselves to even more of our money in the form of direct bailouts should probably not be viewed as a major favour. That goes double when you consider two more things. Firstly, “our” banks have been drawing on a major piece of real estate, the second largest country in the world for two hundred years so they can afford to be well regulated and like it along the way. Second, we bail them out indirectly every day in the form of transaction fees. Suburban-poverty.com’s treasurer was aghast the other day to have an ATM screen inform him of a new $1 charge for printing a statement the size of a modest convenience store receipt. All those “tips” add up, people.
Hulchanski’s article elaborates on an established concept, the emergence of three cities in the Greater Toronto Area. Basically it’s about the death of the middle class. Statistics, a graph and a map indicate the reality of suburban poverty in the fifth largest city in North America, Canada’s business capital and a vast area increasingly defined by, and living off of the avails of, suburban sprawl. The 99% know all about inequality
[statistics for 1970 & 2005 – projections for 2025]