2014 April 03 Thursday
Collapsing Chicago Middle Class
See this series of maps on the shrinking of middle income areas in Chicago combines with growth in high income areas and really large growth in very low income areas.
As the lower classes become much larger portions of the Chicago voters can the upper classes maintain the quality of services and police protection in their zones? First, the lower classes are more criminal and therefore more dangerous. Second, will they vote for incompetent populists who mess up the government and suck money out of basic fire, police, courts, jails, and infrastructure maintenance in order to expand the welfare state?
I think the upper class liberals aren't thinking enough chess moves down the board in their liberal cities. I think they are going to lose control of some of the cities they'd prefer to be able to use for their careers and lifestyles. The welfare state and immigration are both threats to their rising preferences for urban living.
By Randall Parker at 2014 April 03 07:46 PM
The annual foreign trade deficit of the US ($471.5 billion in 2013) is so huge that if that trade deficit were eliminated, by making American workers produce the deficit portion of the imported goods and services, the shrinkage of the middle class would be greatly mitigated. Just divide the $471.5 billion annual trade deficit by the poorest 10 % of the population of the US, which is 0.0317 billion, and this would be an additional income of $14,873 for the poorest 10 %.
And the problem is not just money. Keeping people unemployed or underemployed via trade deficit, is actually making the nation lose its know-how.
Upper class liberals have already decided to move the poor out to the suburbs. Immigrants and Section 8 are the push and pull to get the underclass out of the cities. If the poor are not expected to work they don't need to be close to urban centers. The poor will keep getting pushed out further and further into rural areas. Economist Tyler Cowen suggested that Americans get used to living a "Latin American" lifestyle.