Nearly a week was required just to get a basic description together of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005. Assessing Hurricane Harvey won’t be any easier. If Katrina is the template we know that lower income and racialized groups will be bearing the brunt of this, big time.
An item from Thursday’s Washington Post is a good starting point regarding this multi-layered event and its consequences.
Media largely blind to Harvey’s devastating impact on poor Communities.” Hurricanes don’t care if you’re rich, poor, white, or black—but that doesn’t mean that every person is equally vulnerable to a storm.”
Houston’s human catastrophe started long before the Storm. Decades of neglect, inequality, and disenfranchisement mean that all Houstonians, but especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have been left utterly undefended
Consider how inappropriate regional development makes Houston so vulnerable.
See also: (1207) Hurricane Harvey
image: screenshot of newsreel from Texas Archives holdings
Kudos to Vox for showing interest in the idea of a universal basic income. This particular feature covers a Roosevelt Institute report into the impressive leveraging effects that could accompany the implementation of a UBI in the United States. We’re talking trillions.
Is it just us or is there something ominous about the content at the link below? For working people in Canada the jacking up of rents that has gone along with the real estate bubble is akin to a substance toxic indeed.
Something’s happening in Canadian real estate that hasn’t been seen in 47 years
image: Tom Woodward via Flickr/CC
Dearest to our heart among the arguments for basic income is the one in which it could lift much of the big dollar horrors of poverty.
Universal basic income as the social vaccine of the 21st Century. Can the savings of basic income exceed the costs?
Scott Santens on medium.com
image: RPM via Flickr/CC
This item goes a little hard on the big thrift chain. We do agree about the price of the goods on offer at the thrifts. Thrift is part of the solution and part of the problem in a world of massive resource flows and materials consumption.
Selling the poor: the politics of Value Village
image: Batara via Flickr/CC
Busting four common myths about the suburbs
image: Gord McKenna via Flickr/CC
Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th. We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire. People in authority need to go to jail.
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to. Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies. The local government body responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand. Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years. Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high
(83) 1 Millionth Tower
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC
May Day perhaps offers us a moment or two for thinking about the future of work and wages in years to come.
The next big thing in construction robotics is building big.
Automation has revolutionized factory work. Now researchers have their sights set on construction
Domino’s turns to robots to deliver pizza
Oh dear, we admit we’ve dodged directly addressing gentrification at suburban-poverty.com for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s more often attached to the core of a given city than its suburbs. Also, the g-word seems to shut conversation down because of its controversial dimension. These two items might help us unpack things, at least a bit.
Gentrification and the suburbs. Tear-downs and McMansions in inner ring suburban neighbourhoods
Simon Fraser University Urban Studies talk
Beware the vibrant, emerging, misleading language of gentrification
(see other items under left hand link gentrification)
image: What What via Flickr/CC