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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 10:45 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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American Poverty is Moving from the Cities to the Suburbs

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American poverty is moving from the cities to the suburbs


The suburban poor are increasingly likely to be white or Hispanic

or many, the stereotypical image of American poverty still resembles the infamous Cabrini-Green Homes, a housing estate completed in 1962 near the heart of Chicago. It became overrun by gangs, drugs and violence. City police, in effect, ceded control. This popular conception of poverty remains largely urban, black and ghettoised. But the stereotype is outdated. The Cabrini-Green estate, which once housed 15,000 people, is no more. The city finished demolishing it in 2011. The new neighbourhood is peaceful, with low-slung apartments, a new school, playgrounds and green space aplenty, alongside wine shops and cross-fit gymnasiums for the millennial crowd. In 1981 Jane Byrne, then the city’s mayor, moved into a Cabrini-Green building on 1160 North Sedgwick Street to draw attention to high crime rates—only to turn tail and flee a mere three weeks later. Today that address is an attractive brick building overlooking an upmarket bakery and a Starbucks coffee shop.

To see the changing geography of American poverty, go instead to Harvey, a small suburban town of 26,000 just 20 miles (32 km) south of Chicago. Despite its proximity to a large city, median household income is an abysmal $24,343. After mismanagement and missed bond payments, the city’s finances are in freefall. One in four flats now sits vacant. Nearly 36% of its residents are classified as poor, higher than in many of the poorest counties in eastern Kentucky and the rest of Appalachia. Though Harvey was never rich, that is a drastic increase from the 22% poverty rate in 2000. And as politicians, journalists and sociologists continue to focus attention on the well-known urban ghettos on the city’s south and west sides, few are taking note of the worsening plight of places like Harvey or nearby Dolton, where concentrated poverty is now just as bad...

More here: https://www.economist.com/special-re...to-the-suburbs
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 10:55 PM
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I can speak for the LA area and say that the poor are shifting from South LA and East LA to the desert communities 50 - 75 miles from the city. We're heading to a more European style of income distribution
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Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 11:08 PM
LA21st LA21st is online now
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Its gonna be huge deal when Boyle Hts becomes gentrified. It's in the early stages and slower than expected...but it seems inevitable. Same goes for Westlake/Pico Union etc.
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Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 11:32 PM
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GreaterMontréal GreaterMontréal is offline
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Maybe that's the case in the US, but I think it may be related to transit, or rather, the lack of good transit for the suburbs. People want modern and fast transit. Commuter rail is not the pinnacle.
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Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 11:37 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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Originally Posted by GreaterMontréal View Post
Maybe that's the case in the US, but I think it may be related to transit, or rather, the lack of good transit for the suburbs. People want modern and fast transit. Commuter rail is not the pinnacle.
That's not it at all

It has entirely to do with the people who live in these communities and the politicians who represent them. This has zero to do with infrastructure and how "we don't have access to X, Y, and Z". That old excuse is meaningless when you have easier access to good paying jobs than 99% of the globe's population.

It's tragic and it's true.
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 2:35 PM
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As a resident of the Chicago Southland, I'm glad that at least someone is writing about this and that someone posted it.

I now get angry when I hear about "disinvestment" in the south and west sides of the city, while millions pour in each year in transportation and education infrastructure and a well-funded police, fire, and sanitation force. Go to Robbins and Dolton. Harvey isn't even that bad, it has a growing Latino and Pakistani population and actually still has a modest commercial tax base including a major CN railroad facility, a steel mill, a regional hospital partnered with the University of Chicago, and some others.

I get angry and doubt the motives of people expressing concern about inequities within the city limits because anyone who would spend time in the areas that are actually in a spiral of disinvestment would know that the true Illinois fiscal justice issue is the lack of sales tax revenue sharing - unlike income tax collections, a portion of which are distributed to municipalities on a per capita population basis, sales tax stays entirely within the jurisdication of the sale. This creates absurd disparities and involuntary transfers between jurisdictions - when you witness the fact that Robbins (nearly 100% black) residents need to shop and work at the Wal-mart in Crestwood (90% White) and thus pay for Crestwood's government while their own town crumbles and has no retail other than 2 gas stations and a dollar store, you get a new perspective on entrenched and systemic racism and recognize that the Chicago city SJWs are at best, sheltered and ignorant and full of shit.

And anyone who spent time in these areas would see what happens when manufacturing folds up shop to move to Indiana (self-inflicted labor/enviro/tax regs by Chicago politicians), or often to Mexico or Asia - which is absolutely a thing that happened in dramatic fashion from roughly 2000 through 2012, and had nothing to do with the BS we're fed about how manufacturing job losses are only about automation, or something, and everything to do with trade policy. The whole "manufacturing job loss was just automation bro" is a stupid trope on it's face considering that the developed nations that have retained the most manufacturing employment (such as South Korea and Germany) have also invested the most in manufacturing automation... maybe the explanation held water for 1980s manufacturing job reductions but not for the past 20 years.
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 2:39 PM
3rd&Brown 3rd&Brown is offline
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Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
As a resident of the Chicago Southland, I'm glad that at least someone is writing about this and that someone posted it.

I now get angry when I hear about "disinvestment" in the south and west sides of the city, while millions pour in each year in transportation and education infrastructure and a well-funded police, fire, and sanitation force. Go to Robbins and Dolton. Harvey isn't even that bad, it has a growing Latino and Pakistani population and actually still has a modest commercial tax base including a major CN railroad facility, a steel mill, a regional hospital partnered with the University of Chicago, and some others.

I get angry and doubt the motives of people expressing concern about inequities within the city limits because anyone who would spend time in the areas that are actually in a spiral of disinvestment would know that the true Illinois fiscal justice issue is the lack of sales tax revenue sharing - unlike income tax collections, a portion of which are distributed to municipalities on a per capita population basis, sales tax stays entirely within the jurisdication of the sale. This creates absurd disparities and involuntary transfers between jurisdictions - when you witness the fact that Robbins (nearly 100% black) residents need to shop and work at the Wal-mart in Crestwood (90% White) and thus pay for Crestwood's government while their own town crumbles and has no retail other than 2 gas stations and a dollar store, you get a new perspective on entrenched and systemic racism and recognize that the Chicago city SJWs are at best, sheltered and ignorant and full of shit.

And anyone who spent time in these areas would see what happens when manufacturing folds up shop to move to Indiana (self-inflicted labor/enviro/tax regs by Chicago politicians), or often to Mexico or Asia - which is absolutely a thing that happened in dramatic fashion from roughly 2000 through 2012, and had nothing to do with the BS we're fed about how manufacturing job losses are only about automation, or something, and everything to do with trade policy. Which is a stupid trope on it's face considering that the developed nations that have retained the most manufacturing employment (such as South Korea and Germany) have also invested the most in manufacturing automation...
Holy Cow that's f*cked up. Does anywhere else do that?
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 4:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
I now get angry when I hear about "disinvestment" in the south and west sides of the city, while millions pour in each year in transportation and education infrastructure and a well-funded police, fire, and sanitation force. Go to Robbins and Dolton. Harvey isn't even that bad, it has a growing Latino and Pakistani population and actually still has a modest commercial tax base.
I don't know about Harvey, but Dolton is absolutely horrible. I did some work for Union Pacific there a few years ago, (they have a big facility there) and that area is a total mess. Same goes for Riverdale, Dixmoor, Posen. It's kind of incredible to think these communities are a few minutes away from very affluent and cosmopolitan communities.
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 8:26 PM
dave8721 dave8721 is online now
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The suburban poverty I think of looks more like this. Immigrant families living i 1 or 2 bedroom garden apartments in the burbs. Maybe the cheapest form of housing out there:
https://www.google.com/maps/@25.8830...7i13312!8i6656
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 10:44 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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The root cause of this is a reversion to the historical mean of how cities tend to organize themselves. It has never been the norm at any other point in human history for the center of the city to be the most impoverished and undervalued land. That is not logical for the obvious economies of agglomeration and other reasons that fundamentally make cities efficient. The only reason it occurred in the wake of WWII was the burst of capital made availble in the form of swords into plowshares suddenly making bulldozing whole neighborhoods or ramming freeways through urban cores possible.

Prior to WWII these feats were impossible unless you sent an army a la Rome's sacking of Carthage to erase a city from the map. Conversion of the massive military industrial complex ramped up for the production of mechanized warfare during the war to civilian uses unleashed an age of unparallled ability to modify cities. This resulted in everything from urban renewal to white flight to the suburbs themselves. What is happening now is that those wounds are closing and the areas built overnight with those bulldozers are approaching peak depreciation in exactly the same way as urban neighborhoods had during the depression and WWII. Naturally the same processes of decay and disinvestment take hold and before you know it you've got a Dolton or Harvey or Maywood.

This is just the beginning too, what happens to areas littered with boomer era McMansions that Millenials are not interested in and couldn't afford if they wanted to? The market for these white elephants has all but dried up in Chicagoland. You can't move a McMansion in Barrington for even what it was worth in the doldurms of the recession. The prices have continued to collapse with no signs of respite since 2008. There's a lot of wealth in a place like Barrington, but you have to ask yourself where is the tipping point when people start abandoning it in droves as empty mansions become the norm in exactly the same way the mansions lining LSD in Rogers Park/Edgewater or MLK or Michigan Ave in Kenwood were abandoned post war? At what point to people start chopping these 8,000 SF homes into apartments and renting them out to lower income folks as was the exact fate of prewar urban mansions after white flight?

And it's not just housing, the massive sucking sound of the CBD draining jobs out of the burbs gets louder every year. Office buildings and entire corporate campuses in the suburbs are being demolished. The jobs that made living in the next greenfield out desireable are going away, they are moving downtown. All that's replacing them are low income menial businesses like call centers which aren't going to attract the middle and high earners that corporate HQ's once did. This is a serious sea change on the scale of white flight and suburbanization in the 1950-2000 era. This could be a trend into the middle part of this century. Yet no one seems to be discussing it or trying to come up with a plan to chanel or divert these processes.

To make matters worse the suburbs are a series of totally disparate municipalities. Dolton or Harvey don't have a Lincoln Park or Loop to lean on like Englewood or Lawndale had when times get tough. Once shit hits the fan in these small municipalities, they are on their own. There is no golden goose or favored quarter to milk for tax revenue to backstop the bleeding. My prediction is that we will start seeing annexation come back into favor in the not too distant future as the fortunes and resources of the city grow while smaller suburbs fail. At some point it makes more sense for the city to absorb areas incapable of surving on their own if only for the economies of scale the city can achieve when dealing with problems it has many decades of expierience handling.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 3:39 AM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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^ You are making lots of generalizations here. There is a struggle going on in suburban real estate, yes, but your ongoing prediction of some sort of death knell is starting to sound comical. You’ve obviously spent very little time exploring Chicago’s burbs and think of them in some theoretical way instead of the living, breathing mass of humanity that they are—and are nowhere within light years of dying.

You should stop by some of the numerous urban burbs on your way up to Wisconsin for a change. There is a hell of a lot to see here, and probably more and better prewar as well as dense urban infill building stock than you give it credit for.

I do agree with your point about towns like Dolton not benefiting from sharing with Chicago’s tax base.

But it’s a fat chance in hell that Chicago would annex these places. Chicago has enough deteriorating, crime infested neighborhoods as it is. There is absolutely nothing in it for Chicago.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 4:48 PM
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Looking at Toronto, there's a few different things going on.

First of all, the downtown core is where most of the growth in white collar jobs is happening.

There is still some job growth in the outer suburbs, especially since they're growing very fast, but a lot of that is construction/trades, warehousing, retail, schools and other public services. There is some office space being built in the suburbs, but much less than in downtown. And Toronto is still retaining a lot of manufacturing jobs, but it's not really gaining any new ones.

The inner city is largely quite gentrified, with just a few low income pockets (much of them public housing). Once you get to around 6-7 miles from downtown though, you start getting more low income areas, mainly in the unfavored quadrants (NE and NW), with the highest proportion of low income areas around 10-13 miles, and continuing to about 15 miles. The residents increasingly work in the suburbs as you get to the 12-15 mile mark or so. They're still not uniformly low income like it can be in the US though, the SFH housing is still pretty blue-collar middle class and retirees, but there's a fair bit of housing projects and old highrises that are low income. In the favored quadrants though, it's still pretty upper-middle class (Bayview Village, Port Credit).

Then you get the outer suburbs with 80s-10s housing stock. They're more SFH dominated, with some condos, but not much public housing or rental apartments. Commuter rail service is often better than in the inner-middle ring suburbs, or at least comparable, and because there's fewer low income households, they're quite desirable among white collar families that work downtown but can't afford a 3-5 bedroom home there. For the professionals that work in the suburbs, they're also most likely going to live there. There are some lower-middle class pockets though, where large household sizes, renting out basements, etc can make the homes more affordable, mainly in Milliken and Brampton, but also to a lesser extent Ajax, Maple, Erin Mills, East Credit and Uptown Mississauga.

Commuter rail is only useful if you work in the CBD, the retail jobs in the inner city that are a few miles from downtown aren't really accessible from the outer suburbs, so the lower-middle class households living in the suburbs are unlikely to work downtown, they mostly work in the suburbs, much of them in the service sector supporting the white collar suburbanites.

I think the situation in Toronto is actually relatively stable now. The core is still getting lots of job growth and condos, so it'll continue to need lower wage workers to support that, and they'll most likely be living in those areas around 6-10 miles from downtown. Commuter rail is also being improved/expanded, since there's not enough housing in central Toronto for all the job growth, so there will continue to be professionals working in the outer suburbs to make up for the fact that there's not as much office space being built in the outer suburbs as 10-20 years ago. And the low-wage workers who support the upper-middle class suburbanites will find homes in condos or neighbourhoods like NE Brampton that are further from commuter rail or suburban office parks.

You aren't going to see a complete segregation though imo, because the outer suburbs of Toronto are too far to commute to central Toronto jobs more than 1-2 miles from Union Station (especially with congestion), and high income areas still need low income workers to serve them.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 5:35 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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What boundaries are you using for these "quadrants"?
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 8:02 PM
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What boundaries are you using for these "quadrants"?
I think using the prevalence of crowded housing is a pretty good measure.


NW quadrant would include York, SW North York, Emery, Jane-Finch, Rexdale, Dixon, Malton. NE quadrant would include Crescent Town, Flemingdon, Thorncliffe, Eglinton East, West Hill, Malvern, Morningside, Dorset Park.

Brampton is like the suburban extension of the NW quadrant, more middle class but with ties to the NW quadrant. For the NE quadrant, Milliken and especially North Ajax are both kind of like more middle class suburban extensions of it. Burnhamthorpe and Cooksville in Mississauga, and the Bathurst St corridor of North York are also fairly poor but smaller more isolated clusters.

Using income measures, Milliken would be the poorest part of the Toronto area, but I think there's enough Chinese immigrants there relying on overseas income or savings that they aren't quite as poorly off as the Canadian tax records would suggest. It's still not a wealthy area, and there are still lower income families there, the truly wealthy Chinese with overseas wealth are more likely to live in places like Bayview Village, Richmond Hill, maybe even SE Oakville and the Bridle Path, as well as parts of downtown, but I'd say Milliken is still not quite as poor as Jane-Finch, Rexdale, West Hill, Crescent Town, Jane-Lawrence, etc.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 9:24 PM
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Chinese - and I suspect Iranians and maybe Koreans as well - are wealthier than Census income figures suggest. But yes there are lots of working class Chinese in north Scarborough.

Using income as a proxy for class is problematic for immigrants in Toronto (and Vancouver). First generation Chinese immigrants actually have poverty rates similar to Black immigrants but they're pretty much at par with Canadian average in the second generation. In Toronto Black immigrant communities (both Caribbean and East African) are overwhelmingly working class. Poverty rates are the same regardless of generations in Canada.

Last edited by Docere; Oct 5, 2019 at 9:46 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Chinese - and I suspect Iranians and maybe Koreans as well - are wealthier than Census income figures suggest. But yes there are lots of working class Chinese in north Scarborough.

Using income as a proxy for class is problematic for immigrants in Toronto (and Vancouver). First generation Chinese immigrants actually have poverty rates similar to Black immigrants but they're pretty much at par with Canadian average in the second generation. In Toronto Black immigrant communities (both Caribbean and East African) are overwhelmingly working class. Poverty rates are the same regardless of generations in Canada.
Is this like in NYC?
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 12:55 AM
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Is this like in NYC?
Asians in Queens are significantly poorer than African Americans in Queens. Not sure if this is true citywide, but they're probably pretty close. NYC is a bit of an outlier in the U.S. in that A. There's a huge lower income Asian population and B. That population is concentrated in traditional, still-expanding urban ethnic enclaves. Not just the Brooklyn-Queens Chinatowns and the Queens Koreatowns but very working class Bangladeshi, Pakistani and SE Asian areas.

Of course there are some higher-income, professional, Asian ethnoburbs in NJ and LI, but the region's Asian population is still pretty concentrated in the regional core. And a lot of the "suburban" Asian population is in urban working or middle class suburbs like Jersey City, Edison, Fort Lee and Palisades Park. Really only Central Jersey around Princeton has heavily Asian McMansion suburbia.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 4:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Chinese - and I suspect Iranians and maybe Koreans as well - are wealthier than Census income figures suggest. But yes there are lots of working class Chinese in north Scarborough.

Using income as a proxy for class is problematic for immigrants in Toronto (and Vancouver). First generation Chinese immigrants actually have poverty rates similar to Black immigrants but they're pretty much at par with Canadian average in the second generation. In Toronto Black immigrant communities (both Caribbean and East African) are overwhelmingly working class. Poverty rates are the same regardless of generations in Canada.
Yeah, that's why I used housing crowding instead of income for the map, which is based on whether bedrooms are shared by members of households in ways that exceed Canadian/American norms, like adults over 18 (non-couple) sharing bedrooms or children over 5 sharing bedrooms with opposite gender children, or children sharing bedrooms with parents.

North Scarborough and the adjacent parts of Markham (around Denison St) have a few characteristics that hint at them being disadvantaged though.

1. Low rates of post-secondary education (Age 25-64), even lower than South/Central Scarborough, Malvern and Malton. Only South Oshawa and NW Toronto are comparable. Unlike with South Oshawa and NW Toronto, many of these don't even have high school diplomas.
2. Very low knowledge of official languages, around 30% speak neither English nor French, the worst in the GTA by far.
3. Very high rates of carpooling (highest in the GTA). This could suggest either inability to get a drivers license or to afford a car combined with mediocre transit.
4. Low workforce participation rates (among the lowest in the GTA). Not surprising since lack of language fluency, degrees or diplomas makes you rather unemployable.
5. Low average individual income, partly due to low participation rates but even for those that are employed full-time, they're quite low, comparable to Malton.

Characteristics that make them less disadvantaged
1. Moderate rate of single-parent families. There's more than in upper-middle class areas, but not as many as in South-Central Scarborough, NW Toronto, Brampton or South Oshawa.
2. Low rates of housing in need of repair. Probably in part because the housing is still relatively new, since this is a problem facing many pre-1970 neighbourhoods, including relatively well to do areas.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 5:02 AM
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I would guess Willowdale and Richmond Hill are where incomes are most out of sync with other indicators (housing values, educational attainment, professional occupations etc.)
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2019, 7:18 AM
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This has been happening to Detroit's inner burbs for decades.
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