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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 09:29 PM
Original message
Middle-Class Neighborhoods Shrinking, Report Finds
Source: NY Times

The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the countrys 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle.

In 2007, the last year captured by the data, 44 percent of families lived in neighborhoods the study defined as middle-income, down from 65 percent of families in 1970. At the same time, a third of American families lived in areas of either affluence or poverty, up from just 15 percent of families in 1970.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/us/middle-class-areas-shrink-as-income-gap-grows-report-finds.html
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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. file this with 'the sun rises in the east', and 'playing in busy traffic lowers life expectancy'
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. I am surprised that many of my neighbors in this retirement community
are carrying so much mortgage debt. Between HOA fees, property taxes, insurance and their mortgage payments, they can't keep up and are being foreclosed on. Medical bills and reverse mortgages have doomed a good share of them. 2 of my neighbors/friends are moving back to the midwest to live with their kids. We talked in general about finances and they said they thought they had enough if they watched it. Two trips to the hospital for 5 day stays ended that. Sad to see people in their 70's go down this way.
Part of it was greed. When they bought their houses in 2002, houses in this area were going up 15% a year, so they bought the best. They took out seconds to finance trips, etc. now the houses are worth 30% less that the original price.
My point is, it's not just the young and middle age families that are having a tough go.
I get into 1 or 2 discussions a month with older people who are seriously considering suicide for the life insurance money, so their spouse can live with some dignity...it is sad. I also talk with 20 people a month who tell me they are glad they are old.
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Still Blue in PDX Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. The only reason I'm not suicidal is because my husband couldn't get along without my income.
I hate my life and I hate my job. My kids are grown. They would be sad if I wasn't here, but they would get over it eventually. My dog would probably miss me most.

I'm the one working though, and every two weeks BofA takes their cut directly from my paycheck. It's really depressing when you can't afford suicide. I don't think I'm slick enough to fool the life insurance company into paying out.

:nopity: This probably seems ridiculously whiny, but it's true.

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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. No, it doesn't sound whiney. If the policies have been in affect
for 3 or more years...the statute on limitations on suicide are met, 2 years in North Dakota and Missouri..I sure as heck wouldn't want you to do what you are thinking about, because I have been there myself. Economic hard times can put all of us in black mental health limbo. Just a couple of years ago, my internal chant was " I have no job, I have no money, I have no life. I'm still here and I'm not great, but I am better.
E mail me if I can be of any help.
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Still Blue in PDX Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. thank you.
Some days are better than others, and I know that.
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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
3. Middle-class areas shrink as America divides into 'two-tiered society' of rich and poor
Source: NY Times

Study: 44 percent of families lived in middle-income neighborhoods in 2007, down from 65 percent in 1970

The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the countrys 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45319319/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. What a surprise...couldn't have seen that coming.
:sarcasm:

People have been warning this was happening ever since the Reagan Reaction began in 1980.

We need strong, bold, visionary leadership (as well as people in the streets) to start undoing all the damage that Reagan and his ilk have inflicted on this country.

We have the people in the streets...where's the strong, bold, visionary leadership?
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. "Sneer." - Republicons (R - 1%)
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 06:46 AM by SpiralHawk
"Too bad about you smelly American proles. Why don't you just go occupy the freaking landfill. Sneer. Smirk."

"Sneer." - Republicons (R - 1%)
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. It's our own fault because we are lazy, just ask the groper Cain.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Always amazing when a study validates the obvious, just another DUH for me, but
I suppose officialdom validates the situation ... A good many politicians/citizens live in denial IMO.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. "Obvious" is often wrong, because what's obvious in one area may not be true in others.
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 11:38 AM by Gormy Cuss
That's why properly done measurement in studies is important. It's no longer an anecdote.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. That's a good point, in this area people are for the most part oblivious to what
is occurring in many parts of the country.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
7. It's very good to have the actual #s.
It might seem obvious - no D'uh from me.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. Feudalism or bust!
(We're gettin' there.)

:(
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'm shocked n/t
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. jobs don't pay enough to support middle class families
if we'd had children, we would have slipped into poverty, modern jobs (post 1980) simply don't pay enough unless you're married to or the child of someone already wealthy so you can get one of the very few high profile six figure jobs out there

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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Exactly right, wages have not kept up with inflation. I couldn't imagine have 3 or 4 kids
in the house to support in this day and age.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
17. Kids aren't moving away from middle class neighborhoods because they can't.
Our "middle class" neighborhood isn't shrinking, it's filling up with multi-generational families who have to combine their incomes.

Fewer middle class jobs, fewer middle class pensions, fewer middle class neighborhoods.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
18. The brazilifaction of the USA continues at breakneck pace.
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