Inner City Poverty Essay

Words: 1936
Pages: 8

Inner city Poverty
Hypothesis: Can we change Inner City Poverty? If given the chance, can they change or want to change and remove themselves from poverty. History American poverty has many faces. Poverty has increasingly become an urban problem: In 1979, rural poverty exceeded urban poverty, but by 1999, the situation had been reversed. In 2003, 17.5 percent of central city urban residents were poor compared to 9.1 percent in other urban areas, and 14.2 percent outside metro areas; the poor are elderly and young, families and single individuals, men and women, with and without disabilities. They are of all races and ethnicities. They work in restaurants, on farms, in packinghouses, in day-labor settings, and at many more workplaces that do not pay enough to get them out of poverty. Their work is often part-time, intermittent, or largely nonexistent. They live in inner cities, suburbs, and rural areas. My focus here is urban concentrated poverty and the history of efforts to ameliorate it. Many Americans see urban concentrated poverty, or to be more precise, African American urban concentrated poverty, as the face of American poverty generally. That is misleading in two respects. People who live in places of concentrated poverty are a minority of the poor, and people of color are not the only residents of such places. The history of significant inner-city segregation and poverty goes back to the Great Migration. Beginning with World War I, and continuing for a half century and beyond. Black Americans moved northward and westward by the millions from the South. Comparatively speaking, the cities of the North and West constituted liberation from sharecropping and backbreaking work in the fields for bare subsistence wages, and from a constant danger of violent reprisal for invented transgressions against whites. That the migrants were required to live in segregated neighborhoods when they moved North and West was degrading but in fact an improvement over what they had left behind. Over the past 40 years, poverty among the inhabitants of U.S. inner cities has remained stubbornly resistant to public policy prescriptions. Especially for African Americans and Latinos, the gap between their economic well-being and that of the mainstream has widened despite persistent and repeated efforts to address the problem. At the same time, a continuing stream of research has sought to explain urban poverty, with a wide variety of explanations put forward as the basis for policy. The research explains that there are eight major explanations or hypotheses: structural shifts in the economy, inadequate human capital, racial and gender discrimination, adverse cultural and behavioral factors, racial and income segregation, impacts of migration, lack of endogenous growth, and adverse consequences of public policy. All of the explanations may be relevant to urban poverty but that their significance and the degree to which they are well supported vary substantially. Inner-City Poverty is a reflection of inadequate human capital of the labor force, these results in lower productivity and inability to compete for employment in emerging sectors that pay adequate wages. Inner-City Poverty results from the persistence of racial and gender discrimination in employment, which prevents the population from achieving its full potential in the labor market. Inner city Poverty is the product of the complex interaction of culture and behavior, which has produced a population that is isolated, self-referential, and detached from the formal economy and labor market. Inner city Poverty is the outcome of a long, historical process of segregating poor and minority populations in the U.S. cities that resulted in a spatial match between workers and jobs when employment decentralized. Inner city Poverty results from migration processes that simultaneously remove the middle class and