Wealth and income inequality are compounding to amplify geographic inequality. One consequence of the Great Recession (or the Second Great Depression) is that many people no longer have savings. For many, wages have decreased. Historically, such conditions convinced people to move to the regions of prosperity to improve their situation. Now, however, the prosperous regions have become so expensive that even local residents are moving out, many of the high paying jobs require specialized training, and people without savings or sufficient income can’t afford the move or the higher cost of living. When most jobs were skilled labor and manufacturing, the moves were easier. Training happened on the job, and there were neighborhoods that matched the industry’s pay scale. Now, people are trapped in communities where they can barely afford their current situation, and can’t raise the funds to improve their situation.
“Over 50 million Americans live in what the Economic Innovation Group calls “distressed communities”—zip codes where over 55% of the population is unemployed. Of those distressed communities, over half are in the South,” – Quartz
The United States is increasingly bifurcating between rich and poor, and coasts versus interior; each with perspectives that are reinforced within their neighborhoods that may seem unrealistic from outside their neighborhoods. The rich may not think it is possible to be trapped. The poor may not think it is possible that the general economy is improving. We are losing common ground and common perspective because the ground you live on may define a distinctive perspective.
(Click on the photo for the link.)
This subject is so important and so underexamined. It is so overwhelming that it is difficult to get your head around. Where is the path toward healing this mess?