Pitchroom

Neighborhood inequalities in America: Do you see them?

Though the market appears to be attempting a comeback, we want to highlight the continuing economic disparity in American cities. The economy in many neighborhoods across this country continues to stagnate (if not decline) and appears to do so along racial and socioeconomic lines.  Back in 2011, we reported on the growing economic inequalities, ” if wealth can be described as the thing that buys homes and gets our kids to college, nearly half of the American people are unable to do either as they have virtually no wealth at all.”

Has this changed at all in the past year? Just this week, the BBC took a current look at the startling incongruity of one neighborhood  in the city of St. Louis.

Back in September, Scott Simon reported on “The Corner,” made famous by David Simon of the critically acclaimed HBO hit “The Wire.”  This week we revisit the area to try to address this question of progression, economic recovery and what recovery means for some of our hardest hit communities.

Tell us, where has U.S. policy fallen short in addressing the growing wealth gap in our cities? Should city governments work within their communities to create economic opportunities? Or should this be an issue to discuss on the national stage?

Let us know on Facebook , Twitter, or in the comments below.

 

Comments

  • Fox

    I wonder who owns these properties.  Is it the cities or is it individuals waiting for a chance to acquire mass amounts of property at a low price in the hopes of getting public funds to redevelop in the future.

  • Glenn

    I think we are going to see less home ownership in America in the future. I have read  that someone in school today can expect to have 10-14 jobs at a minimum in there working careers. With that being said why would anyone especailly people  in the middle class or working class want to tie themselves to one geographical location. That is also is not taking into account the rising price of fuel and rising price of property taxes. I am not sure home ownership really in the best interest of most americans anymore>

  • jan

     Home ownership is in people’s best interest when you consider old age.  The vast majority of us aren’t going to be able to afford to pay well over half of the income on rent if we’re living on a fixed income; especially one that pays as little as social security does.

  • Glenn

    I love that term “fixed income” I am not retired but I sure do feel that my income is pretty fixed already! As far as affording rent when I am old, I guess I am shooting for senior housing, which at present time is pretty affordable. I do own my own home, well really the bank does or atleast a greater percentage of it then I do. But between taxes and energy costs  I am not sure I will be able to afford my house even without a mortage payment. Then one has to keep in mind up keep costs as well as repairs, as we get older so do ours houses.

  • Glenn

    I love that term “fixed income” I am not retired but I sure do feel that my income is pretty fixed already! As far as affording rent when I am old, I guess I am shooting for senior housing, which at present time is pretty affordable. I do own my own home, well really the bank does or atleast a greater percentage of it then I do. But between taxes and energy costs  I am not sure I will be able to afford my house even without a mortage payment. Then one has to keep in mind up keep costs as well as repairs, as we get older so do ours houses.

  • Deborah

    These are deep seated problems that took root up to 30-40 years ago. There are no easy answers as the prevailing thought is that of the young man on the corner that ” no one” cares. He doesn’t seem to understand he is a Young man who has plenty of life ahead of him. Some of these young men act like they won’t be around at 40. It’ s as though life is happening to them and they have no say in what happens. The first thing is to change that mind set, even with a criminal record (some of the richest people were and are criminals) they can achieve success, time is on their side. That would take not only job training but life training, a community based therapy setting that could open their eyes to their possibilities.

    And I agree with the commenter about some developer eventually buying all that real estate on the cheap and “gentrifying” the most desirable part. Yep happened in Brooklyn.

  • jan

    I keep looking at those statements they send out about how much I can expect for social security and believe me it is fixed to the extreme poverty level. 

    My real estate taxes aren’t that bad.  You’re going to have energy costs whether you buy or rent and I can plant a garden.  I can even put up a small greenhouse ahead of time to extend the season.  Lately, I’ve been looking into buying a solar grid/system to help with the energy costs.  Also something I couldn’t do if I only rented.  People need to stop only thinking short term/grab as you go.   

  • Private Private

    The problem as I see it is a math problem. We live in a country that runs on a system of money creation that applies interest. The interest that we pay out as a nation from this system of money creation creates a system where moeny is constantly being taken out of circulation to cover our nations interest. The solution, rather than change the system (revolutionary idea i know) is to create more magical money out of thin air. The perpetual interest that our country pays is a built in gaurantee of money shortages to someone or some community. Thats math. There is simple not enough money in the system to cover teh interest let alone the monetary monopoly of those who possess a huge portion of the money supply. NOTHING will change until ordinary americans ask themselves why they have no clue about how money is created, why this is not taught in school, and who gains from such an imbalance and disproportionate system. NOTHING.

  • jan

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A26402-2004Jun8?language=printer
    The line is not likely to make this week’s eulogies to Ronald
    Reagan, but when Vice President Cheney allegedly declared, “Reagan
    proved deficits don’t matter,” he summed up an enduring argument from
    the former president’s economic legacy.

    In late 2002, Cheney had summoned the Bush administration’s
    economic team to his office to discuss another round of tax cuts to
    stimulate the economy. Then-Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill pleaded
    that the government — already running a $158 billion deficit — was
    careering toward a fiscal crisis. But by O’Neill’s account of the
    meeting, Cheney silenced him by invoking his take on Reagan’s legacy.

  • BWS

    This and climate change are basically THE issues facing our country. And the 1% can deal with climate change way better than the rest of us! The ‘take’back America’ campaign begun by the Heritage Foundation in 1973 and not even thinly veiled in the Reagan years has worked. The very rich have basically taken back all the gains that Americans fought, and sometimes died, for. I am sickened when I hear working people smear unions, but think they are entitled to vacation time or overtime pay or expect unemployment insurance as a safety net. How did we let our knowledge of how this all works get so out of balance? Do we really want to see ourselves as rich and successful so much that we will associate ourselves with politicians and issues that serve only to suck away our resources and concentrate them in the the hands of the few? Yes, cover this now and often. It IS the news.