Monday, May 20, 2013

a new book release from the people who brought you the Obamamandian Candidate....,

brookings | On May 20, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will host an event marking the release of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, co-authored by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube. They, along with some of the nation’s leading anti-poverty experts, including Luis UbiƱas, president of the Ford Foundation, and Bill Shore, founder and CEO of Share our Strength, will join leading local innovators from across the country to discuss a new metropolitan opportunity agenda for addressing suburban poverty, how federal and state policymakers can deploy limited resources to address a growing challenge, and why building on local solutions holds great promise.

It has been nearly a half century since President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty, setting in motion development of America’s modern safety net. Back in the 1960s, tackling poverty “in place” meant focusing resources in the inner city and in isolated rural areas. The suburbs were home to middle- and upper-class families—affluent commuters and homeowners who did not want to raise kids in the city. But the America of 2012 is a very different place. Poverty is no longer just an urban or rural problem but increasingly a suburban one as well.

In Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube take on the new reality of metropolitan poverty and opportunity in America. For decades, suburbs added poor residents at a faster pace than cities, so that suburbia is now home to more poor residents than central cities, composing over a third of the nation’s total poor population. Unfortunately, the antipoverty infrastructure built over the past several decades does not fit this rapidly changing geography. The solution no longer fits the problem. Kneebone and Berube explain the source and impact of these important developments; moreover, they present innovative ideas on addressing them.

The spread of suburban poverty has many causes, including job sprawl, shifts in affordable housing, population dynamics, immigration, and a struggling economy. As the authors explain in Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, it raises a number of daunting challenges, such as the need for more (and better) transportation options, services, and financial resources. But necessity also produces opportunity—in this case, the opportunity to rethink and modernize services, structures, and procedures so that they better reflect and address new demands. This book embraces that opportunity.

The authors put forward a series of workable recommendations for public, private, and nonprofit leaders seeking to modernize poverty alleviation and community development strategies and connect residents with economic opportunity. They describe and evaluate ongoing efforts in metro areas where local leaders are learning how to do more with less and adjusting their approaches to address the metropolitan scale of poverty—for example, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, using data and technology in innovative ways, and integrating services and service delivery. Kneebone and Berube combine clear prose, original thinking, and illustrative graphics in Confronting Suburban Poverty in America to paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it.


umbrarchist said...

Are they going to talk about mandatory accounting in the schools and planned obsolescence? Those are related for computing how much Americans have lost on the depreciation of automobiles in the last 40 years.

But then our genius economists don't discuss that. Duh, what's NDP? What happened to Demand Side Depreciation?

CNu said...

Umbra, what does any of that have to do with the topic of this post? What do you suppose the topic of this post is, and, what is your general take on today's gist? Thanks.

umbrarchist said...

Can the suburbs function without cars? Aren't automobiles responsible for the existence of the suburbs?

So how much poverty today can be attributed to the last 50 years of economic stupidity with trashmobiles? And Americans have not gotten over the idiotic infatuation.

CNu said...

Suburbs function superbly with commuter rail.

Sprawl would've happened whether cars were built to last, or not.

The magnificent ambersons was written in 1918 - quite some time before the advent of sprawl.

It actually makes more sense to implicate industrialization and the Great Migration as root causes of early sub-urbanization with consequent sprawl outside of and around pre-existing urban cores.

umbrarchist said...

My very first electronics job was with Panasonic. I could get to the suburb by rail. But the job was still two miles from the station, they didn't have buses. So I could walk or pay a taxi. Of course I eventually bought a car.

Sprawl is relative. What were American cities like before 1908 when Ford introduced the Model-T? But Ford did not give us planned obsolescence.

What data do we have on total automobile depreciation since 1950? How much could it have been reduced and what would have been done with the money instead?

If those homes in the suburbs were all paid for then how much of a poverty problem would there be now? Pay off mortgages instead interest on depreciation for 50 years and that probably would amount to significant NET WORTH.

BTx said...

Umb - Actually what is happening in a number of suburbs is localized urbanization. I live in the Northern Virginia area where "cities" are growing up around the transit stations, including offices, and living premises. So - not only are the cities becoming less poor, we have suburban gentrification of old neighborhoods. And yes - you can live in most of these new "neighborhoods" without a car.

Everything mentioned in the liked article has been built in the area discussed.

The local city bus station also serves localized bus service serving less populous routes -

Further the next generation of the Subway system doesn't spoke into the city - it is between major suburban areas -

The only "fantasy" on this map is the Gold Line pictured.

So - in terms of Suburban poverty, what is developing is pockets away from the transit stations, in "forgotten" areas of older neighborhoods or areas with large numbers of low rise apartments - also not serviced by the major public transportation system other than by bus.

So, poverty today is a whole different animal.

Ed Dunn said...

I think umbrarchist has a valid point - in the book "Why the Middle Class is Going Broke" they fault automobiles as the biggest driver of poverty. Let's not forget when gas hit $5/gallon in some places - that was the wake up call that living and commuting 30 miles each way to a city center may not be that great of an idea.

The poor is moving out to the suburbs because of the real estate bubble bust making these underwater homes desperate to rent out for cheap. Also, these areas are heavily reliant on cars and do not have adequate public transportation solutions.

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CNu said...

Ed, when I searched for this title, this is the book I came back with

Do you have a link to the book you've called out which makes this automotive contention?

It's not like the thought hasn't occurred hereabouts too but on reflection, it seems like a significant oversimplification. I have a good friend and mentor now operating at an undisclosed location who is working in his hometown with folks that are being systematically herded out of their historic footholds in the city center and out into the boonies because it's part of a plan to capture and exploit the massive undervaluation of that urban core real estate.

That low information and poorly organized folk can be easily induced to give up something of value in return for a bad deal or boondoggle is really just capitalism and human livestock management at their finest, no?

Constructive_Feedback said...


Regardless of where this "The Least of These" migrate to do you see a change in their theories for uplift and the channel they invest in for their uplift?

The real question is · What is the agent that protects the least of these from investing into schemes the that provoke them to move in the name of opportunity, often with the words "X is becoming a blue state or city" but ultimately falling to develop them as promised

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