America’s rich haven’t just become richer, according to a new study. They’ve become far more likely to live among their own kind.
By Sam Pizzigati
November 27, 2011
Just 40 years ago, most Americans rubbed elbows with neighbors from a fairly wide cross-section of income levels. But today’s rich, Census data show, are keeping everyone else at arm’s length — and more.
How many neighborhoods have you ever seen with oodles of rich residents — and poor schools? Or, vice versa, how many neighborhoods do you know with lots of poor people and richly appointed schools?
Silly questions. We all know the answers. Kids in affluent neighborhoods don’t go to schools with leaky roofs, tattered textbooks, and uncertified teachers. Kids in poor neighborhoods do.
And what goes for schools, of course, goes for every other public service as well — from parks and libraries to road repair and garbage pick-up. You’re going to be much better off, as a person of modest means, if some of your neighbors have more substantial means.
Back in 1970, the vast majority of Americans lived in neighborhoods that did mix people of substantial and modest means. No more. In fact, says a new study just released by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, the share of Americans living amid intense income segregation has more than doubled.
No War but Class War…