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The effects of poverty and pollution on economy - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: SUBURBAN POVERTY AND THE COST OF LIVING INDEX 1 Suburban Poverty and the Cost of Living Index Name Class Date Suburban Poverty and the Cost of Living Index Introduction Poverty is rising in communities that have up until this point been considered the paragon of success in the framework of the American identity…
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Download file to see previous pages Sometimes, it is even the electricity that is at a threat of becoming abandoned where affording the costs in an inefficiently constructed home in relationship to electricity usage. In the following paper, the theory of the Cost of Living Index, the nature of suburban life is evaluated. Overview McGirr (2012) has discovered that the poor largely are populating the suburbs as once lush and comfortable sub-divisions now sit in ruins with burnt out landscapes that are no longer manicured and groomed to meet a standard of presence in the ‘keeping up with the Joneses framework of suburban myth. McGirr (2012) writes that “Keeping up with the Joneses,” the midcentury caricature of suburban conformity, materialism and consumption has given way to a new suburban normal of making ends meet, with many formerly middle-class families in detached single-family homes struggling to pay mortgages and utility bills, and to repair aging cars”. The Joneses are no longer competing for the best products and consumer glut, but are competing for food, maintaining ownership of their homes at the barest level, and for being able to keep what they have rather than attain the next big thing. Poverty rates have not only climbed because of the current economic downturn. McGirr (2012) reports that in the previous eight years to 2008, poverty rates in suburbs had been climbing to 25% with 51 million households reporting incomes at less than 50% above the poverty line. This trend may be simply due to the larger numbers of people that have gravitated to the suburbs and with larger populations are showing larger percentages of poor. After the growth provided by Roosevelt’s New Deal, the number of people that moved to the suburbs was a result of an increase from 40% of the population owning homes in 1940 to 62% owning homes in 1960. The percentage of homes in the suburbs in 1910 was 7%, but by 1960 that had reached 23%. The development of the identity of the suburbanite is one of the stronger personalities that have dominated the American culture in the last sixty years. Modern suburbia is the cultural equivalent to a sense of the elite, the success of the American dream represented by home ownership, two cars in the driveway, and a lush yard surrounding a relatively upscale home. In 1962 as the development of the suburb had created a generation of suburban dwellers, “Michael Harrington argued in “The Other America” that poverty survived amid broad prosperity precisely because it was invisible to most Americans (McGirr, 2012). The suburbs not only provided a sense of the American dream, but it was a shield from all that was not working in the United Sates. Mc Girr (2012) goes on to quote Harrington as he developed his discussion. “Living out in the suburbs,” Harrington declared, in what now seems like quaint nostalgia, “it is easy to assume that ours is, indeed, an affluent society.” Americans, he suggested, no longer saw poverty just “on the other side of the tracks” in their towns and small cities, but as a distant problem of the inner city, glimpsed only fleetingly from commuter trains or highway traffic” (McGirr, 2012). McGirr (2012) writes that “The conceit that poverty is a problem suffered by other — often less deserving — people was an essential part of suburban self-identity that was reflected in its politics” ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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