Welcome to Inequality in Philadelphia! I wasn’t sure what to call this, so I just gave it a very direct name.
Update: I have decided to call this series Block to Block: Poverty and Inequality in Philadelphia.
This is the first post in a series, which is my ongoing project to study and write about inequality in Philadelphia. I had been considering this idea for a while, but it especially took off after the 2016 election, when I became frustrated that widespread poverty was not being discussed. While there were some discussions of inequality, I found them to be frustratingly centered on the shrinking middle class as compared to the ultra wealthy. I agree that this a concern. But, this should not be our primary concern. Rather, we should focus on the persistent poverty that this country has been facing for generations, yet continuing to ignore. In Philadelphia, my home city, I find this to be especially apparent. In effect, I find that we live in two Philadelphias—the Philadelphia with plentiful resources, and the Philadelphia without. My goal is to shed more light on this much ignored and, I believe, misunderstood topic.
A second thing has gotten me very interested in this topic. I began working in an affordable housing organization. During this time, I’ve become increasingly aware of stark poverty and inequality in Philadelphia, and I’ve found the data to back up my views. I think that everybody should be aware of these simple, hard facts in order to inform any discussions around inequality and poverty in Philadelphia. And, I believe, this topic likely applies to much of the rest of the United States—at least in my experience. I will not focus on other cities, but hopefully others will pick up where I have left off.
Rather than working on this behemoth of a project all at once, I’ve decided to publish it in gradual chunks, to eventually be combined as a coherent story. My plan is to publish this as a book, whether in print or as an ebook. As I research and write for this, I will continue to publish my progress here.
Please feel free to comment on or critique my views and information. I always want to learn more and improve my arguments, and I believe part of the power of the Internet is the free flow of ideas that contrast with each other.
Below is my ongoing glossary of these posts:
Inequality in Philadelphia: Post 1
Inequality in Philadelphia: Post 2
Inequality in Philadelphia: Post 3
IIP5: Photos of Real Life
IIP6: Health Disparities
IIP7: Wealth Disparities
IIP8: Racial Segregation
IIP9: Education Part 1
IIP9: Education Part 2
IIP12: The Consequences of Disenfranchisement
Block to Block 13: Income Taxes
Block to Block 14: Property Taxes
Block to Block 15: Business Taxes
Block to Block 16: Tax Powers, Total Revenues, and Final Conclusions
Block to Block 17: Local Politics, Corruption, and Inefficiency
Block to Block 18: Fractured Governments
Block to Block 19: American Political Culture
Block to Block 20: Why Government is the Only Solution
Block to Block 21: Governmental Reform, Part 1
Block to Block 21: Governmental Reform, Part 2
Block to Block 21: Governmental Reform, Part 3
Block to Block 21: Governmental Reform, Part 4
Block to Block 21: Governmental Reform, Part 5
Block to Block 22: Fiscal Reform, Part 1
Block to Block 22, Fiscal Reform, Part 2
Block to Block 22, Fiscal Reform, Part 3
Block to Block 22, Fiscal Reform, Part 4
Block to Block 22, Fiscal Reform, Part 5
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Housing
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Food
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Health
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Transportation
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Education
Block to Block 23: Programmatic Reform, Public Spaces