We almost dropped our iPod into our breakfast bowl of organic, gluten-free corn flakes when we read this one: a Chicago Tribune opinion piece day-dreaming (death wishing?) for a Hurricane Katrina-style storm to wreck the city and “reset” it. Is this the level of public conversation as to how socioeconomic and political affairs are best handled in one of America’s greatest cities? Yikes.
Maybe the author of this doozy is just trying to be an asshole a la Donald Trump or a Ford Brother? That’s about the only hopeful angle we can come up with explaining this particular journalistic offering. While we note the author has subsequently apologized for their tone deaf writ of idiocy it hardly need be pointed out that once something is printed it cannot really be unprinted. And what was the Tribune thinking running such a thing in a metropolis already battered by climate change? The lethal heat waves of 1995 and 2012 were covered by them, no?
We direct you to the piece via this item on chicagoist.com.
Tribune columnist says Chicago could use a Hurricane Katrina
image: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons/CC
Not much is sweet about the donut mentioned in this blog posting, unless you are in the fortunate middle part. Greater Toronto residents will recognize many things in Chicago’s poverty pastry.
Chicago’s growing income donut
Chicago’s bloggers and mass media have been commenting on the analysis of 2011 census data from the federal government by an area non-profit called the Heartland Alliance. They’ve confirmed that suburban poverty is reason for concern and many Chicago area counties are part of this significant change.
Posted to 312 the chicagomag.com staff blog is an article from this summer with a link to a mapping tool that displays the progress of Chicago’s suburban poverty from 1980 to 2010: How poverty moved to Chicago’s suburbs
Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs
Face of US poverty: these days, more poor live in suburbs than in cities
Christian Science Monitor feature starts a look at the national picture of suburban poverty in Harvey, IL
Study shows minimum wage workers need to work 82 hours/week to afford rent
chicagoist.com posting with a link to study from National Low Income Housing Association
How poor we are: Chicago and the suburbs
Chicago is the World
image: CTA bus on Milwaukee Avenue in 1981 by H. Zychowski via Wikimedia Commons
US academic Scott Allard discusses suburban poverty on Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5. Scroll down for the piece which is accompanied by a second podcast from the Sun Times.
WBEZ Morning Shift 13 December 2012
Barely a month into the new year and we have new details on suburban poverty in Illinois in general & Chicago in particular.
1 in 5 in suburbs in or near poverty dailyherald.com
Report on Illinois Poverty Social Impact Research Center/Heartland Alliance
image: 1855 state map by JH Colton via Wikimedia Commons
Just as the smokestack and the skyscraper symbolized a particular kind of economic development so did the corporate campus. These were all the rage for decades, groupings of commercial buildings deployed amid greenery and reached mainly by car. The corporate campus was chosen by high technology industries in particular with the example of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington known internationally. The corporate campus first took root near the larger, older centres and were eventually replicated all over North America. They seem to have served their owners well enough in their day, allowing firms to secure, centralize and rationalize their operations on greenfield sites beyond busy and expensive cities. They were seen as a way to control real estate and operational costs and as enhancers of corporate culture and performance. Some were plunked down in urban areas, others are suburban with yet others built in the middle of nowhere. Now the business campus has come in for a timely rethink. The idea going forward seems to be not to fully segregate places of work from places of residence. This reduces transportation costs and stress for workers which also goes a little lighter on the environment. The result is healthier and easier for everyone.
NYT piece looking at planning efforts in Hartford, CT which add residential uses to a large corporate office corridor
Crain’s Special Report: Corporate campuses in twilight
photo: JonRidinger via Wikimedia Commons
Latest US numbers for job creation are actually pretty good according to mainstream media. Seen against the oft-mentioned-around-here 2010 US Census the Americans still have an ordeal ahead of them in regard to people and the economy. Here is a piece from Chicago with nothing missing from the picture of suburban poverty.
Lack of jobs leaves more suburban, middle class sliding into poverty
If you came by looking for some serious depth-of-treatment regarding suburban poverty you could do much worse than giving up ninety or so minutes to Scott W. Allard from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. He points out that suburban poverty is not just driven by outward movement of people but exists for its own local reasons as well. Professor Allard is working on a new book. We’re probably gonna read it.
Places in need
A report from public station WTTW profiles tough times in DuPage County, Illinois. An official describes poverty there as having “exploded.” Some 60,000 people in DuPage County meet US federal government criteria for being poor, an increase of some 185%. Those profiled in this piece represent the so-called “newly” poor. A teacher and a nurse, slipped from situations of relative privilege sadly demonstrate the findings of the 2010 US census. Mentioned here a number of times already the 2010 census will enter the American historical record as a profound document of social change and social difficulty. Will the suburbs ever bounce back? Or will they just turn into something else completely?
Chicago Tonight: Suburban Poverty 9:00
Photo credit: barmik via Wikimedia Commons