Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

CITIES AND UNEVEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CITIES AND UNEVEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    In a presentation on Urban Anthropology specifically dealing with how cities develop over time and exhibit uneven economic development, a certain fact kept coming up. How job-skills and education are becoming more and more critical in being able to survive economically in an urban environment and how many lower class people are mis-matched and can not meet the challenges of a shifted economy in which service-oriented and information-oriented skills are in much higher demand than the traditional manufacturing and low skill and low wage jobs of the past. Those types of jobs are being offshored and the infrastructure (Educational and Laboral) has not done an effective job of preparing the poor masses with the shift. Marginalizing them further into abandoned urban pockets and letting them rust away without much way of climbing out without herculean efforts.

    I have just concluded a study of 55 women on Public Assistance in my city. And out of those women many had little and no job skills, little or no English speaking skills, and many only elementary or middle school level educations. The Public Assistance programs that the women participated in were for 2 years only for the entire lifetime of the woman, after that she would not ever recieve any more benefits in that state. When I asked their Case Managers or Techs about what methods were being used to prepare the women for independence and self-sustenance, I was told that they had a diversion program. I asked "What is that?" and according to the authorities it is "she works for a company like Wal-Mart, K-mart, Home Depot or Office Max or some other employer and we pay for her initial training and part of her start up salaries" then after the 5-6 month period after evaluating her performance and getting her affordable day care, she is transitioned out of public assistance.

    I then asked "Will the employer then expend money on the program participant for permanent employee status and maybe help them acquire English language fluency and a high school equivalency diploma along with computer skills?." The Techs and Case managers looked uncomfortable and said "If the employer wants to." "Have they wanted to in the past?" "No. Statistically the women are usually let go after the transition period with a few exceptions." "Then why are you sending them there. These women need security and real skills. They are the principal breadwinners in their households." The techs said, "We are following the recommended policies." I thought the recommended policies were to prepare these women for the long haul and not for a quick exploitation mill that the "diversion" program was turning out to be.

    Mike Savage and Alan Warde wrote about "Cities and Uneven Economic Development" some excerpts from "URBAN SOCIOLOGY, CAPITALISM, AND MODERNITY" (1993).

    As the global economy becomes more and more interconnected, the economic functions of different cities in the world become ever more dramatically different from each other. Some Third-World cities like Timbuktu have economies based on trade or primitive manufacturing, operating as they have for centuries. Other Third-World cities like Bangkok, Thailand, have booming economies manufacturing computers, phone systems, televisions and fax machines. Some cities like in the developed world like New York and London have emerged as economically potent centers for manipulation of information, technological innovation, and global financial command functions while once prosperous cities in England's Midlands and North and the U.S. Midwest are in steep economic decline.

    What explains this "uneven" economic development of cities? The question has intrigued many economists, geographers, and sociologists.[end quote]

    And as you can see...public assistance recipients play into that urban economic environment.

    My question to the forum especially Eddie and Raul and other interested parties is:

    "Are the economic needs of each city going to create pools of haves and have-nots and will the gap of opportunity and education and training grow narrower between the classes or will they expand and polarize the society further as technology and the demands of an urban techonological society continues to develop?" What is your opinion. And possible solutions....I want to see if you come up with some of the same theories as the urban anthropologists did.LOL.

  • #2
    The Haves and the Have-Nots...

    Suki asked:

    "Are the economic needs of each city going to create pools of haves and have-nots and will the gap of opportunity and education and training grow narrower between the classes or will they expand and polarize the society further as technology and the demands of an urban techonological society continues to develop?" What is your opinion. And possible solutions....I want to see if you come up with some of the same theories as the urban anthropologists did.LOL.
    [/B][/QUOTE]

    IMHO, Suki I do not have enough data or facts by which to make an empirical inference from the evidence gathered so far.

    You know that I have been fascinated by Social or Cultural Anthropology since as a youngster I read my first book on that subject. However, the word "urban" never was mentioned in that book. So I await more articles and books by you Urban Anthropologists, and perhaps if I get a chance to read them, then I will be able to at least make an educated guess at an answer. But as I said, I prefer making an empirical inference from all the facts or data that can be garnered. That would be best I think.

    Regards Boricua,
    EddieR
    E.1: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK - V.I. Lenin

    Comment


    • #3
      I wonder if the Argentinian fenomenon ....

      Argentina,

      Is currently going to some of the worst economic struggles ever seen in their existance history. This fact has led to pre-historic form of trade and market exchanges where skills are trade for needs, i.e a Physican provide his services to a mechanic if he provides a "tune up". I was wondering if these Urban antropologist have considered this nation for their studies as well?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Suki
        In a presentation on Urban Anthropology specifically dealing with how cities develop over time and exhibit uneven economic development, a certain fact kept coming up. How job-skills and education are becoming more and more critical in being able to survive economically in an urban environment and how many lower class people are mis-matched and can not meet the challenges of a shifted economy in which service-oriented and information-oriented skills are in much higher demand than the traditional manufacturing and low skill and low wage jobs of the past. Those types of jobs are being offshored and the infrastructure (Educational and Laboral) has not done an effective job of preparing the poor masses with the shift. Marginalizing them further into abandoned urban pockets and letting them rust away without much way of climbing out without herculean efforts.

        I have just concluded a study of 55 women on Public Assistance in my city. And out of those women many had little and no job skills, little or no English speaking skills, and many only elementary or middle school level educations. The Public Assistance programs that the women participated in were for 2 years only for the entire lifetime of the woman, after that she would not ever recieve any more benefits in that state. When I asked their Case Managers or Techs about what methods were being used to prepare the women for independence and self-sustenance, I was told that they had a diversion program. I asked "What is that?" and according to the authorities it is "she works for a company like Wal-Mart, K-mart, Home Depot or Office Max or some other employer and we pay for her initial training and part of her start up salaries" then after the 5-6 month period after evaluating her performance and getting her affordable day care, she is transitioned out of public assistance.

        I then asked "Will the employer then expend money on the program participant for permanent employee status and maybe help them acquire English language fluency and a high school equivalency diploma along with computer skills?." The Techs and Case managers looked uncomfortable and said "If the employer wants to." "Have they wanted to in the past?" "No. Statistically the women are usually let go after the transition period with a few exceptions." "Then why are you sending them there. These women need security and real skills. They are the principal breadwinners in their households." The techs said, "We are following the recommended policies." I thought the recommended policies were to prepare these women for the long haul and not for a quick exploitation mill that the "diversion" program was turning out to be.

        Mike Savage and Alan Warde wrote about "Cities and Uneven Economic Development" some excerpts from "URBAN SOCIOLOGY, CAPITALISM, AND MODERNITY" (1993).

        As the global economy becomes more and more interconnected, the economic functions of different cities in the world become ever more dramatically different from each other. Some Third-World cities like Timbuktu have economies based on trade or primitive manufacturing, operating as they have for centuries. Other Third-World cities like Bangkok, Thailand, have booming economies manufacturing computers, phone systems, televisions and fax machines. Some cities like in the developed world like New York and London have emerged as economically potent centers for manipulation of information, technological innovation, and global financial command functions while once prosperous cities in England's Midlands and North and the U.S. Midwest are in steep economic decline.

        What explains this "uneven" economic development of cities? The question has intrigued many economists, geographers, and sociologists.[end quote]

        And as you can see...public assistance recipients play into that urban economic environment.

        My question to the forum especially Eddie and Raul and other interested parties is:

        "Are the economic needs of each city going to create pools of haves and have-nots and will the gap of opportunity and education and training grow narrower between the classes or will they expand and polarize the society further as technology and the demands of an urban techonological society continues to develop?" What is your opinion. And possible solutions....I want to see if you come up with some of the same theories as the urban anthropologists did.LOL.
        This is intresting Suki, didnt we once have a discussion before on NYC where the rent have skyrocketed, while housing developments and education has declined and their causes? I think you should further evaluate NYC, which is terrific in explaining those who are left out in the dust as society tend to "progress."

        Comment


        • #5
          welfare reform

          Originally posted by Suki
          "Are the economic needs of each city going to create pools of haves and have-nots and will the gap of opportunity and education and training grow narrower between the classes or will they expand and polarize the society further as technology and the demands of an urban techonological society continues to develop?" What is your opinion. And possible solutions....I want to see if you come up with some of the same theories as the urban anthropologists did.LOL.
          Suki,

          Do you have any statistics on the widening gap between haves and have-nots over the past two decades? I'm under the impression that the gap has been steadily widening since the U.S. was Reaganomic'd. In general, I believe that U.S. society is going to come unglued if it continues to fail to address the serious and chronic problems that it has. I've chronicled them and the antidote for them is included in the constitutional provisions of the Partido Puertorriqueno plan for independence. It could start with a single payer health plan for all U.S. citizens (helloooo Hillary!), and losing its property tax based school systems in favor of a universal program of education would be a nice touch (at least it would address the hypocrisy of "equal opportunity" for all Americans). But we all know that won't happen under government by and for the rich and famous (the most powerful argument of which I am aware for adoption of those constitutional provisions proposed by Partido Puertorriqueno which put the reigns of government in the hands of working people).

          It seems unlikely, therefore, that I'll be coming up with the same solution as urban anthropologists (unless, of course, they're opting for a clean slate of players - read that "throw the bums out"). In other words, I would start by replacing each member of the House and Senate with representatives of working people who constitute the overwhelming majority of citizens (not what they want to hear).

          At any rate, Suki, I think that you are doing a great job and you are on the right track. Keep asking those impertinent questions!

          Regards, Raul

          [Edited by Raulgr on 16th October 2001 at 05:49]

          Comment


          • #6
            The Truth is That Polarization looks like a Reality

            Yes, Raul, Eddie, Patria y la Pava and Conciencia. The powers that be are completely uninterested in getting the poor and the unskilled, and the underclass in general out of poverty and deprivation. Why? We can go into a whole Marxist diatribe (like happened at the presentation). But the bottom line is all about the concept of Cultural Capital and an uneven playing field. It is still about the power elite. And anyone who still thinks that technology is for everybody in a First World capitalist democracy with some socialist institutions then I say you are wrong. Sure poor kids have access to technology. But Raul touched on the big monster that Mami has been wrestling with for 35 years, and its called property and tax-based school systems. EVERY SINGLE TIME MOM TELLS THE CAPITOL HILL CROWD TO DO AWAY WITH PROPERTY TAX BASED SCHOOL SYSTEM AND TO GIVE ALL FUNDING TO ALL SCHOOLS REGARDLESS OF LOCATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. AND INSTITUTE REFORMS THAT ARE PROVEN TO MAKE WELL-EDUCATED, CRITICAL THINKERS (AND MULTILINGUAL CHILDREN) OUT OF THE POOREST OF THE POOR EVERY RICH, CLASSIST POLITICIAN AND HIS CONSTITUENTS RUN FOR COVER! And that has not changed in 30 years the middle class and the upper or ruling classes do not, and I repeat do not want to give equal footing to the poor. Who will wash the bathrooms? Who will go to the diversion program? (I had an ugly fight with the techs and it almost ruined my statistical data)lol.

            Raul, that plan of yours is wonderful but a class war is what it is going to eventually come down to....almost all the urban anthropologists agreed. The haves are gonna live in gated communities, plush condos with entry cards required. They will have their own malls, shops, institutions and etc. And the underclass are going to sink or swim. And many will drown during the transition. And it is going to get ugly....and its not going to be about ethnicity this time...though that still plays an important role....its going to be those who have accessed the education, the technology and have had the proper cultural capital and those who have not. And it won't be long in the offing. Suki.

            Comment


            • #7
              The winnable class war - democratic proletarian revolution

              Originally posted by Suki
              . . . And that has not changed in 30 years. . . the middle class and the upper or ruling classes do not, and I repeat do not want to give equal footing to the poor.

              Raul, that plan of yours is wonderful but a class war is what it is going to eventually come down to. . .
              This, Suki, is precisely why I am hoping for your advocacy. Unquestionably, the solution to these problems entails class warfare - and that war can be won without a shot fired. Within the context of democracy, the majority (working class men and women) are in the drivers seat. All that is necessary is for them to understand their situation, its root cause, and how easy it will be to turn that around. Once working people vote as a block, what the wealthy elite (the minority) want or think will be of extraordinarily little consequence.

              And, at the risk of being seen as riding on Eddie's coattails, I have to admit to excrutiating CURIOSITY with regard to what MOM might have to say about the Partido Puertorriqueno plan for independence of Puerto Rico (curiosity generated by none other than yourself). Although I really do hate to ask you to intercede with MOM in my behalf, what the heck! I'm not proud! Would you, Suki? Please, please, please, pretty please with SUGAR on it! I would like her critique of the following threads in the politics forum:

              Independence Anyone? (last post 6 October)
              Plan for Independence of Puerto Rico (last post 11 October)
              Plan for Independence - Amplification and Discussion (last post 6 October)

              Regards, Raul

              [Edited by Raulgr on 18th October 2001 at 10:03]

              Comment


              • #8
                Great subject

                Great subject, and a matter that concerns Puerto RIco as well. From a U.S. perspective, it appears to me that one of the disadvantages of a federal system is that inefficient states continue to exist at the expense of efficient ones. THus states who do invest in the education and training of the potential work force generate (theoretically, I have no statistics) an environment that draws industry in, while those who don't see a rising number of poor, who often migrate away in search of decent work. Another contributing factor regarding education is that, again under the U.S. constitution, education is a state (more often, of school districts) matter wherein locally based taxes determine the quality of the educational system. Texas, under this model, has historiclly shorted the poorer (often but not always Hispanic) counties at the expense of the richer counties (Houston, Dallas, Fort WOrth, etc). Pradoxically, many of these underfunded school districts have been located in states in the Sun Belt, and have seen large population jumps in the elderly, moving out from states that traditionally fund better schooling to ones that don't. And they often arrive with much of their earnings exempt from the taxation base, thereby enjoying the benefits of cheaper local labor, without really investing in the future of local schools.

                Puerto Rico, of course, has a centralized education system, and I am not up to date on what it spends, but back in the days before the Pell grants (which really sent college attendance shooting up), up to 33% of the budget could go for education, but the largest chunk of that went into the UPR system, and not to primary schools. Recent readings (again, this is not my field) surprised me with a critique of THird World educational systems, charging that the lion's share of the budgets went to the national university, while rural and barrio schools went woefully underfunded. (UNAM in Mexico was cited as an example.) THis, in effect, is welfare for the upper classes, whose children attend such universities, at the expense of the poor, who must send their children to underfunded and understaffed public schools while the well off send their to well-funded private schools.

                Perhaps school vouchers would not be so bad, after all, pero que se yo? I remember hearing a radio program that talked about a 47% HS graduation rate back on the island, and if that is true, we must still be underfunding public education.

                ciao

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The winnable class war - democratic proletarian revolution

                  Originally posted by Raulgr
                  Originally posted by Suki
                  . . . And that has not changed in 30 years. . . the middle class and the upper or ruling classes do not, and I repeat do not want to give equal footing to the poor.

                  Raul, that plan of yours is wonderful but a class war is what it is going to eventually come down to. . .
                  This, Suki, is precisely why I am hoping for your advocacy. Unquestionably, the solution to these problems entails class warfare - and that war can be won without a shot fired. Within the context of democracy, the majority (working class men and women) are in the drivers seat. All that is necessary is for them to understand their situation, its root cause, and how easy it will be to turn that around. Once working people vote as a block, what the wealthy elite (the minority) want or think will be of extraordinarily little consequence.

                  And, at the risk of being seen as riding on Eddie's coattails, I have to admit to excrutiating CURIOSITY with regard to what MOM might have to say about the Partido Puertorriqueno plan for independence of Puerto Rico (curiosity generated by none other than yourself). Although I really do hate to ask you to intercede with MOM in my behalf, what the heck! I'm not proud! Would you, Suki? Please, please, please, pretty please with SUGAR on it! I would like her critique of the following threads in the politics forum:

                  Independence Anyone? (last post 6 October)
                  Plan for Independence of Puerto Rico (last post 11 October)
                  Plan for Independence - Amplification and Discussion (last post 6 October)

                  Regards, Raul

                  [Edited by Raulgr on 18th October 2001 at 10:03]
                  Raul,

                  I will write to Mami this week. In fact, my husband who loves my mother and enjoys monopolizing her time every time she comes for her rare visits (she is my mom not his,lol, yet he loves to take all her attention away from me. lol.) He has proposed to go pick her up in her state and bring her here for some down time. I will endeavor to have her review your threads and write up a response...she hits hard Raul, she will tell you every possible flaw or snag you will encounter in education reform or implementation, guaranteed and it won't be pretty.

                  And Eddie she will throw all kinds of stuff your way as well. I swear she is a walking encyclopedia of information on the most obscure and unknown but brilliant leftist thinkers I have ever seen...I miss her so much sometimes. But everyone hits her for her time and I am wrestling with a guy that heads the NAACP in her state that does not want her to come for the visit, he wants her over there boxing it out with some racist little school district in his area. Let us see. I will twist some arms today. See if I can snap her away from the milling crowds. LOL.

                  Suki.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh BOY!!

                    Originally posted by Suki
                    I will write to Mami this week. . . I will endeavor to have her review your threads and write up a response...she hits hard Raul, she will tell you every possible flaw or snag you will encounter in education reform or implementation, guaranteed and it won't be pretty.
                    Oh boy, Suki! Do I smell a DEBATE in the offing? That's fresh meat for a JUNKYARD DOG. (I really can't help myself. In my defense, I was raised by COYOTES and then I went to PUBLIC SCHOOL!)

                    Regards, Raul

                    [Edited by Raulgr on 19th October 2001 at 04:11]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOL. Junkyard dog? Really Raul....lol.lmao.

                      There is an aspect of you that I am finding extremely charming...you are a bit of a pollyanna....it is true. But I also think you are the dangerous kind of pollyanna that might actually accomplish what other people only sigh about...you are definitely a danger to las emociones mias.

                      I hope Mami does not squash all that idealistic enthusiasm out of you. But being a woman, she might like you too. Amor, Suki.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X