Poverty Isn't Just for Poor People Anymore:
The Brookings Institute released a new study on the concentration of extreme poverty neighborhoods around the nation. Such neighborhoods have poverty rates of more than 40% of the people "living" there. Existing in extreme poverty" is analogous to getting locked in a cage with horny hippos who batter you around for a while, drag you down under the shit-filled water until you nearly drown, and then rape your ass while you catch your breath, before doing it again. And again.
Surprise, surprise: Brookings found that, after a steep decline in rates of people living in extreme poverty areas in the 1990s, it rose starkly from 2000-2009. How much? After a 27.8% decline in the 90s, the number in the USA rose by 32.9% in the 00s. Huh. Wonder what was so different about those decades? Had to be something drastically different, but the Rude Pundit can't imagine. It must all be illegal Mexicans.
The number of extreme poverty neighborhoods (or "tracts," as the study says) rose by 36%. Most starkly, this affected "small-metro" areas, where the number of tracts rose by 75%, with an 81% rise in the number of people living in extreme poverty areas. The Midwest was the worst off, with the numbers doubling. And where are you fucked beyond fucked if you're dirt poor in America? Ohio, man. (By the way, don't look so smug, California. You're pretty damn fucked, too.)
Yeah, Ohio pretty much sucks hobo balls right now. Youngstown, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, all have had a growth spurt in sections of towns or suburbs where people live in a blighted hellscape with shitty schools, shitty services, shitty homes, shitty crime rates, and, more than likely, tons of actual shit.
Ohio needs massive spending in order to bring its citizens back from the pit of despair. Of course, Ohio's got a Republican governor, John Kasich, who instead has advocated budget cuts and gutting collective bargaining (which will probably be overturned by ballot initiative by people in Ohio who are smarter than their former Fox "news" host governor). Read Mac McClelland's essential Mother Jones article on Ohio if you want a wrist-cuttingly stark picture of the degradation of the American dream.
Truly, truly, truly, the question everyone in this country should be asking is not why things happen like last night's port blockade and subsequent riot in Oakland. What they should be asking is why aren't riots occurring nonstop.