Tag Archives: United States

(60) Au contraire…

Copyright free image from Wikimedia

I was driving through Philly the other day and …blah, blah, blah, …poor people.

We thought it good form to find some content from the interwebs that contradicted our own take on the issue at hand lest we be judged smug, dismissive.  A semi-anonymous blog post from this summer fits the bill nicely and is linked to below.  It employs the relativity argument.  Not derived from Einstein’s view of the universe this is a technique beloved of those politically to the right.  A cross-comparison to global poverty is usually involved.  It is designed to shut down arguments about social policy in a developed country and is, in our experience, driven by fear, loathing and the lack of experience of life though it is usually presented as highly rational and objective.  Such positions on social matters remind us that the battle against poverty need be waged as much in middle and upper class brains as in government offices, clothing banks, soup kitchens and shelters.
Suburban poverty? The Burning Platform

(55) Unexpected Texas

When we started suburban-poverty.com we had no idea what we’d come across.  Texas has surprised us a little.  Perhaps because right wing presidential hopeful Perry hails from Texas the state is enjoying some extra profile in North American discourse.  It seems the economy is doing well in right wing terms: lots of new crap jobs, low taxes and so forth.  The state is also physically more or less on fire from one end to the other, has been a brutal series of global warming oranges and reds on the continental weather maps for some time now.  Here’s some more Texas consciousness for you:
Poverty in the suburbs looks different than urban models
Baptist Standard

(53) US 2010 census data

2010 Census data has come under analysis and it shows that the general US economy is not in the best of shape.  Curiously, the percentage rate of African American poverty is a just a tad lower than that for white Americans.  It’s hard to say off-the-cuff what this means but we see it’s enough to get this emerging downturn labelled in the mainstream media as ‘different this time’ and as a suburban recession/depression.
Welcome to the suburban depression CNBC

(48) Get me to a hospital!

America has think tanks.  It would be tough to count just how many there are.  Luckily, at least one or two are getting their collective brain power around suburban poverty.  This posting links to a research brief from the Center for Studying Health Care Change.  The brief looks at health care data for poorer suburban populations in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami, and Seattle.  It seems these populations rely on visits to hospital emergency departments and face barriers to service including transportation.  Many suburban poor it seems also travel to hospitals in older core areas that face this demand for service on top of local, urban demands.  This document adds thoughtful detail to what suburban poverty means in the United States.
Suburban poverty and the health care safety net

(47) No ride? No job!

Leaving core city areas for cheaper housing in the suburbs is one of the few strategies available to lower income people.  Thing is, when they get out to the suburbs public transit is scarce and car ownership sometimes mandatory.  The financial requirements of getting around,  especially reaching a workplace, could easily soak up any gains from the cheaper housing.

These two links are to short items on Wired blogs.  They mention a Brookings Institution report into the matter and a recent American civil rights conference which concluded that reasonable access to transportation is actually a human right.

Ever wait in snow up to your ankles for a bus at 5:30 in the morning?  Ever have the timing belt snap on a fifteen year old Honda Civic in an industrial park after getting off the afternoon shift?  If so, you know what it’s all about.

No public transit? No job…
Transportation as a civil rights issue