Separated At Birth

6 thoughts on “Separated At Birth”

  1. Enlightening. Hadn’t thought of it that way.

    To take it a little farther, universities don’t just maintain buildings that are used hard. They replace them with much more luxurious buildings. (That’s what happened to the dorm I lived in). Universities all over the nation are awash in construction funds and are building like crazy. Public housing? Not so much of course.

    1. Since I was a student (many years ago) the town has transformed. Not only have the university campus and medical centers expanded, but living in town has become fashionable for the middle class again. Some of the public housing projects were demolished. Others were reinvented as luxury high rise apartments. The vacant land between many of the downtown buildings has been developed with expensive urban infill. No one could have imagined such a thing twenty or thirty years ago.

      The other thing that no one could have imagined back then is that some of the aging 1950’s suburbs in the area have become the recipients of the former housing project population. When the government declared that concentrated poverty in high rise buildings had been a failure they created a voucher program to let the private sector supply housing to the poor. What we’re seeing is a geographic migration of concentrated poverty to failing schmaltzy tract homes away from the newly prosperous downtown. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  2. I think the unification of efforts and resources won’t happen as long as violent crime is an issue. People of means won’t nothing to do with violent crime. As long as there is a significant cultural difference between town and gown, the Townies won’t ever be treated the same as the Gownies.

  3. Interesting take. To put it in cold business terms, public housing residents are (thought of as) a cost center. Something we’re obligated to pay for but always try and marginalize. The college students, however, are revenue, both now (for the university) and later (when they get good jobs and pay back into the system). Trashed dorm rooms? Gotta spend money to make money, kid.

  4. Wild how the world hinges on maintenance, eh? Great post.

    On Wed, 9 Mar 2016 at 23:06 Granola Shotgun wrote:

    > Johnny posted: “Many years ago I attended a state university on > scholarship in an east coast town that had been hit hard by > deindustrialization, white flight to the suburbs, and some really tragic > attempts at urban renewal. The school, a couple of medical centers, and a ” >

  5. A very wry and well observed essay.
    Somewhat related to a comment I made to someone recently.

    I observed that even intellectually empty, poorly educated, passive people can be lifted into comfortable circumstance when they have a family business or a family that is well connected. Their surrounding support system is so vital and helpful that the not-so-hard worker but cannot fail.

    And conversely very poor minorities are lectured on virtue, education, hard work. But may have one parent, in jail, friends without connections, family without money. It wears down Joe Average.

    What if the well kept society replaced the imprisoned one?

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