Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where are America's poor people going?

Over the past 12 years New York City's mayor has been creating policies making it very difficult for poor people to survive in New York City.  Rents have increased, jobs in the manufacturing industry have completely disappeared, taxes have increased and prices for common items (like food) have skyrocketed (risen sharply). It seems to have been this mayor's deliberate (chosen) policy to force more and more poor people out of the city.

One of the benefits of this is that the violent crime rate in New York City has dropped. (That's obvious - if you flood a city {fill a city} with wealthy people, there will be less violent crime.) The mayor and the police often take credit for the dropping crime rate, but it is a matter of economics and not police policy.  So a person might say, "Well, it's good for New York City that the crime rate is dropping. This is a good policy!"  Yet, it is becoming difficult for non-wealthy (non-rich) people to live here and where do the poor people go?  Can't something be done in New York City to help poor people live more meaningful lives instead of just pushing them out?

When I explain to my private students that poor people are being pushed out of New York City, they ask me where they go.  I didn't know until I read these two articles.



Vocabulary (for the first article):

a suburb - suburbs were created in America in the 1950s.  Basically they were smaller cities/towns, located outside of major cities, for middle class and upper middle class (primarily white) families.  Did you ever see Desperate Housewives?  Those women live in a suburb.  Within the past few years many wealthier people have been moving back into the cities of America (where the jobs are and where life is exciting) and poorer people have been moving out to the suburbs.

ill-equipped - the suburbs are ill-equipped means they are not ready and do not have the resources or services to help poor people

to handle the surge - a surge is a sudden increase of something.  The suburbs are not ready to deal with or provide help for the huge numbers of poor people who are coming into the suburbs: they cannot handle the surge.

affordable - at a reasonable price.

service sector jobs - these are jobs in which you provide a service.  In this case, since the poor will probably not have formal educational backgrounds, they might serve as clerks in stores or as waiters/waitresses.

housing vouchers - these are "vouchers" or forms that state that the government will provide some money for the person's housing costs.  A voucher is basically a type of money from the government.

housing prices plummeted - to plummet means to drop suddenly and sharply.  Skyrocket would be the opposite of plummet.

The myth of suburban prosperity has been a stubborn one - there is a myth, or false belief, that the suburbs are only for people who are wealthy (have a lot of money).  This is not true. Prosperity: If you prosper, you do well.  Prosperity means doing well, making money, living comfortably.

segregated - kept apart.  In many American cities poor people and rich people are segregated from each other.  Integrated is the opposite of segregated.

use to hand groceries to - grammar mistake --> used to

to skyrocket - to rise suddenly.  The opposite of plummet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.