Over the past 30 years, the convergence has largely stopped. Incomes in the poorer states are no longer catching up to incomes in rich states. In a new working paper, Shoag and Peter Ganong, a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, offer an explanation: The key to convergence was never just mobile capital. It was also mobile labor. But the promise of a better life that once drew people of all backgrounds to rich places such as New York and California now applies only to an educated elite — because rich places have made housing prohibitively expensive. (Shoag and Ganong visualized these changes in aseries of excellent animated graphics.)
The states with the highest incomes also used to have the fastest-growing populations, as Americans moved to the places where they could earn the most money. Over time, that movement narrowed geographic income differences. In 1940, per-capita income in Connecticutwas more than four times that in Mississippi. By 1980, Connecticut was still much richer, but the difference was only 76 percent. In the two decades after World War II, Shoag and Ganong find, migration explains about a third of the convergence of average incomes across states.
But migration patterns changed after 1980. “Instead of moving to rich places, like San Franciscoor New York or Boston, the population growth is happening in mid-range places like Phoenix orFlorida,” Shoag says. Lower-skilled people, defined as those with less than 16 years of education, are actually moving away from high-income states.
What if we all realized that social networks are a societal good (at least as good as a local alt weekly) but not necessarily good businesses?
[…]What if we eventually realize that, like the alt weeklies, these are things we do because they should be done, because it’s fun, to make our little community a better place … not because they’re going to be great businesses.” —Derek Powazek - What If Social Networks Just Aren’t Profitable?
Contemporary films may not as often have their white performers create such obvious stereotypes, but they achieve the same result of marginalization for people of color and non-Anglo people; reference recent pop culture properties that have changed the race of their characters from the source material to be Caucasian or Anglo, specifically in the films The Prince of Persia and The Last Airbender. A narrative that redacts the particular ethnicity or nationality from which it was borne goes through a series of deprivations.
First, it deprives performers of color or those of the origin’s national identity job opportunities, which are already greatly limited in film. Second, it makes people of color or non-Anglo identity invisible, saying their stories are not worthy of being told, certainly not of being told by them, Finally, it values the already overvalued and overprivileged class of society and provides a false sense of universalism by showing an Anglo person in the guise of a person from another ethnic group. This redrafting of identities continues to exoticize the world for Anglo eyes–basically, this can be called cultural imperialism. It is seen as worthy for all people to assimilate toward an Anglo worldview.” —Anna Karenina and Anglicizing Other Cultures « In Our Words
Much like a snapshot of a seemingly happy family on vacation glosses over the fuller picture of fights, tension, and love that occur on a daily basis, the Pew report glosses over and even fails to mention entirely some key issues, namely:
* Entire countries of origin were pretty much left out of the report. Most Southeast Asian communities in the US, with the exception of the Vietnamese American community, were mentioned on one page titled “Other Asian Americans.” As many have noted, it is these communities–Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian–that face extreme poverty in this country, as well as a long history of US-led war and aggression in their home countries. And out of all South Asian immigrant groups, only Indian Americans were given a thorough analysis, despite growing Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, both of which tend (at least in New York City) to have extremely high rates of poverty.
*Many Asians are the very definition of the working poor – in New York City, 20 percent of all Asians lived at or below the poverty line, and 40 percent were low-income, according to a 2008 report by the Asian American Federation of New York. AAFNY also found that half of all working-age Asians living in poverty held jobs – highlighting the extremely low-wage work that is the only option for many Asians.
* Poverty levels for almost all Asian communities are as high as or higher than levels for the general population, compounded by language access issues and inability to access government services.
* Structural racism is a reality for many of our communities – Southeast Asian youth around the US are targeted by the police as members of “gangs,” and after 9/11, racist attacks against South Asian communities dramatically increased, and continue to occur on a regular basis, compounded by domestic spying and surveillance by local police forces and the FBI and CIA.
* A large portion, about 13 percent, of the Asian immigrant community is undocumented, many of them young people and low-wage workers.
And the list can go on and on. At CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, where I work on a daily basis with Chinese immigrants living throughout New York City, I see every day how Asian families are struggling with low wages, threats of eviction, language access issues, and cuts to needed social services. Where was this detailed in the Pew report?
But–I’m not writing this to show how Asian communities have it bad (too). What’s *more* interesting to me is thinking about how the report in many ways neglects to frame our communities within a broader analysis of race, migration, and economics.” —Fabulous guest contributor Esther Wang breaks down just about all that’s wrong with what the Pew Report stated about Asian Americans on the R today. (via racialicious)
With the drug economy, there are externalized traumas. I imagine them moving in a huge circulatory system, like the Gulf Stream, or old trade routes. We give you money and guns, lots and lots of money. You give us drugs. The guns destroy. The money destroys. The drugs destroy. The pain migrates, a phantom presence crossing the border the other way from the crossings we hear so much about.
The drugs are supposed to numb people out, but that momentary numbing effect causes so much pain elsewhere. There’s a pain economy, a suffering economy, a fear economy, and drugs fuel all of them rather than making them go away. Think of it as another kind of GNP—gross national pain—though I don’t know how you’d quantify it.” —The Drug Wars: Apologies to Mexico | Mother Jones