Troubled by urban poverty and inequality: Edward M. Miggins

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Capitalism, Socio, The People's History
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Occupy Wall Street has initiated a national debate about poverty and inequality that resembles the political turmoil of the Gilded Age of the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Can democracy and the nation’s economic health continue to survive severe disparities of income and well-being? Central cities, like Cleveland, reflect the downward spiral of income for working-class and minority families. More than 40 percent of its households live in poverty.

Norm Krumholz, a former city planner for Cleveland, advocated “equity planning” to help poor residents. As a professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University, he found that, in the Central neighborhood, the original home for many immigrants and black migrants, the median family income was $4,280 in 1980. Seventy percent of its households were single-parent families on welfare. Only 4.3 percent of the neighborhood’s houses were owner-occupied, in contrast to 44 percent citywide. Sixty-two percent of adults over 25 had not finished high school. Violent crime was the highest in the city. Twenty percent of the area’s public housing was vacant. Conditions were worse than in the Hough neighborhood before its riot of 1966.

via Troubled by urban poverty and inequality: Edward M. Miggins | cleveland.com.

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