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Thread: Shrinking middle class transforming communities nationwide, new study says

  1. #1
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    Shrinking middle class transforming communities nationwide, new study says

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...tudy-says.html

    Interesting snippet:

    "Wages for men since 1979 have not grown in real terms, Haskins said. That's not true for women."


    How are your communities being transformed by the shrinking middle class?

  2. #2
    Williamsmith
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    The canary in the mine, if you will, is public schools. Really can't think of too many more important than basic education but the deterioration of the public school infrastructure, the shrinking of the tax base, the mismanagement of public school pension funding, the incompetency of city budget managers, to name a few.....have put this great country way behind other developed nations.

    I live in a rural Pennsylvania county near the fourth largest city in the state. They are considering shutting down all the schools in their city and busing to suburban school districts. General Electric recently eliminated thousands of jobs blaming it on Obamas war on coal. These are middle income jobs that are not being replaced.

    One school district in my county has reported plans to furlough 50 teachers.

    If you don't live in what was the heart of industrialized United States, you can't imagine the devastation the economy is taking. Which is just one reason Trump appeals to many people in the rust belt. People around here like to get their hands dirty when they work, they know no other way. If they aren't working, well maybe they are just sitting around collecting unemployment and getting high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    The canary in the mine, if you will, is public schools. Really can't think of too many more important than basic education but the deterioration of the public school infrastructure, the shrinking of the tax base, the mismanagement of public school pension funding, the incompetency of city budget managers, to name a few.....have put this great country way behind other developed nations.

    I live in a rural Pennsylvania county near the fourth largest city in the state. They are considering shutting down all the schools in their city and busing to suburban school districts. General Electric recently eliminated thousands of jobs blaming it on Obamas war on coal. These are middle income jobs that are not being replaced.

    One school district in my county has reported plans to furlough 50 teachers.

    If you don't live in what was the heart of industrialized United States, you can't imagine the devastation the economy is taking. Which is just one reason Trump appeals to many people in the rust belt. People around here like to get their hands dirty when they work, they know no other way. If they aren't working, well maybe they are just sitting around collecting unemployment and getting high.
    There is plenty of room for them in the prison system.

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    My city has been drastically transformed during the past 5-7 years. Prior to that it was a solidly, middle class place with a high percentage of state workers and others who could afford a modest house within the city limits. One by one, these neighborhoods are turning over to residents with higher incomes - mostly transplants from other high income cities. Large swaths of downtown and central arterial roads are filling up with "luxury" 1 br apartments for those who can't afford to buy a house within the city. And people like us who have lived here for 30 years are forced to figure out where else to live when staring at both old age and a 10% annual rise in property taxes. Lots of societal changes going on for sure across the land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    My city has been drastically transformed during the past 5-7 years. Prior to that it was a solidly, middle class place with a high percentage of state workers and others who could afford a modest house within the city limits. One by one, these neighborhoods are turning over to residents with higher incomes - mostly transplants from other high income cities. Large swaths of downtown and central arterial roads are filling up with "luxury" 1 br apartments for those who can't afford to buy a house within the city. And people like us who have lived here for 30 years are forced to figure out where else to live when staring at both old age and a 10% annual rise in property taxes. Lots of societal changes going on for sure across the land.
    These state workers are lazy bums! They should innovate -- perhaps design some new smart phone app and make a billion dollars. Or they could invent a new gadget or device. They could at the very least go back to university for a STEM degree and then make lots of money and keep their modest home in the city.

    They need to get with the program!

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    pinkytoe, you could almost say the same thing about Indianapolis. Downtown has had s sudden explosion of high end apartment building which is causing other owners to renovate to get the big bucks. Then the people who lived in the lower cost units are forced out into the outer areas with transportation issues. Whole swaths of the area around the core where SF houses were are now gentrifying fast. In the last 15 years, I have seen the prices of condos increase 100 percent or more. None are being built as the land has become more desirable for more high density apartments. And we have seen some buy and tear downs.

    I am actually not sure what is really causing all of this. But I have not kept up on the high educational, hospital and technology firms who might be coming downtown. We have lost a huge number of manufacturing jobs but maybe while they are going, high end jobs are coming. Just lost 2,100 Carrier manuf. jobs to Mexico.

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    Yes, I feel like my school is on the front lines. The neighborhood has people who have lived here for generations, and now the younger people have to leave because they can't afford it. We have a LOT of new families with higher incomes. Meanwhile my supervisor went from having only one homeless kid in her group of schools (mine) to several homeless kids across her schools. (side note: not like anyone is talking to me about how I took care of my homeless family, just a bad review last year for arguing and refusing to drop her from the program).

    Just yesterday I saw one of those heartbreaking things, a parent put together something for the kindergartners after school and let everyone know, well everyone she knew. So a spanish speaking family was not informed and really wanted to come. They are not going through channels like the teacher or school, just throwing together good ideas insensitively. They had no idea the 5th graders were graduating and were asking me why there were so many people in the building. The newer affluent families all have really young kids but we still have lower income families here, some of them have been in the neighborhood a really long time. They really are shocked when I say our free and reduced lunch rate is still 67%. I have been doing this a few years and am getting a little tired.

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    I thought it was interesting that about half the displacement was in the upward direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I thought it was interesting that about half the displacement was in the upward direction.
    You would!

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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraliteAngler View Post
    You would!
    What can I tell you, I'm an optimist. If half the reason the middle class is shrinking is people getting richer, it's a good thing. Even if it detracts somewhat from the woe-is-me-the-game-is-rigged-and-we-need-a-revolution narrative.

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