"The Oft-noted Hollowing Out of the Middle Class is a Metropolitan Phenomenon"

Income inequality is increasingly a phenomenon driven by big cities.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

It used to be the case that there was greater income inequality in rural areas than in metropolitan ones. Big cities and surrounding communities typically had a substantial middle class. Rural areas, on the other hand, had limited economic opportunities, and the wealth of a few individuals—such as owners of local industries or large land holdings, were outliers in rural parts of the country who would drive measures of inequality.

As Michael Petrilli writes in the WSJ, this is no longer the case. Dramatic increases for high-wage workers are driving increases in income inequality in major cities, such that income inequality is now just as much an urban phenomenon as a rural one. He writes:

In other words, the oft-noted hollowing out of the middle class is a metropolitan phenomenon. As the middle shrinks, big cities are increasingly divided between a highly educated, growing upper middle class and a low-wage, poorly educated service sector.

According to Petrilli, this has some important policy implications.

First, the American workers facing the greatest disadvantages today are poorly paid service employees living in big metropolitan areas, especially the thriving ones. As urbanist Richard Florida has pointed out, they face the double whammy of low wages and high living costs. They're also suffering the worst effects of Covid-19, one of many health and social implications of inequality.

As many policy analysts have noted, a consequence of increasing urban wealth is an increase in housing prices. This can make things particularly difficult for power-income workers.

Petrilli thinks this also has implications for education:

it should be no surprise that well-educated urbanites earn lofty salaries. For educators, this means that a focus on "college for all"—or at least "college for most"—may make sense in big, creative-class cities. It really is hard to make a decent living in blue America's urban enclaves without significant higher education. But it's less determinative in small towns and rural America, where two-year degrees and industry credentials go further than they do in large cities. High schools in red America would be smart to make high-quality career and technical education a much bigger part of their offerings. They can prepare students for the plentiful job opportunities in their communities that don't require a four-year degree.

Whether these are the necessary policy implications is certainly open for debate, but it seems clear that the increase in income inequality in major cities is a phenomenon that matters, and policymakers should consider how existing policies exacerbate this trend.

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  1. A college degree does not inherently mean good job.
    Look at how many with degrees are in said service jobs.

    1. Who would have thought employers were not lined up to hire communication majors? Or philosophy, psychology, political ‘science,’ social ‘science,’ gender studies, or history majors.
      A degree in something that has very little application in the real world just means debt to pay off.

      1. Who care when government will pick up the debt when it fails anyway? Borrow away!

      2. This is true, but I don’t think that many advanced degree holders are among the ultra low wage workers in cities referenced in OP. The cleaning workers, fast food workers, housekeepers, nursing home aides, etc., are not failed members of the creative classes, who often have fallbacks.

        1. God bless Mommy and Daddy. NEET 4 Lyfe!

        2. I believe you mean they are starbucks baristas…

    2. it should be no surprise that well-educated urbanites earn lofty salaries. For educators, this means that a focus on “college for all”—or at least “college for most”—may make sense in big, creative-class cities.

      As the middle shrinks, big cities are increasingly divided between a highly educated, growing upper middle class and a low-wage, poorly educated service sector.

      Sounds like college degrees are still paying their worth to me.

      1. How many critics of college education at right-wing think tanks and conservative publications avoided college (or advanced degrees) when it was their turn to make such choices? How many will steer their children away from college (or advanced degrees)?

        Questioning education is part of disdaining credentials, reason, science, modernity, progress, inclusiveness, and expertise. Part of preferring backwardness, ignorance, bigotry, superstition, insularity, and pining for good old days that never existed. Part of preferring can’t-keep-up backwaters to modern, successful, educated communities. Part of preferring homeschooling and fourth-tier religious schools to our strongest universities and our public schools. Part of being on the wrong side of history, the culture war, bright flight, and American improvement.

        Part of being a movement conservative. Part of being a Republican.

        How Mr. Petrilli will act with respect to this issue — a strong, liberal-libertarian college or university versus a vo-tech program; an advanced degree or the ‘plentiful job opportunities in rural America’ — when his children are involved seems predictable.

        1. “Questioning education is part of disdaining credentials, reason, science, modernity, progress, inclusiveness, and expertise. Part of preferring backwardness, ignorance, bigotry, superstition, insularity, and pining for good old days that never existed. Part of preferring can’t-keep-up backwaters to modern, successful, educated communities. Part of preferring homeschooling and fourth-tier religious schools to our strongest universities and our public schools. Part of being on the wrong side of history, the culture war, bright flight, and American improvement.

          Part of being a movement conservative. Part of being a Republican.”

          All the Reverend is equipped with are polemics and ad hominem attacks. This quote here is utterly pathetic, and the Reverend is a pathetic online troll.

        2. The brightest minds do NOT attend school.

          School is for conformists. School only rewards conformity and only teaches mediocrity.

          This is why school is mandatory. It is a way to classify humans and detect the non-conformists so they can be doped into oblivion.

          A good education is available to anyone who wants it, but is NOT available in any public school. Get out and do it on your own.

          1. Who, in your estimation, are some examples of the “brightest minds” in the modern United States who did not attend school?

            1. Bill Gates is perhaps the most famous (modern) example of someone who is a bright mind, but dropped out of college to pursue an opportunity.

              Those with 4.0 GPAs work for those with 2.0 GPAs (or no degrees) who are entrepreneurs or better leaders.

              1. You can always find individual examples of people who managed to beat the statistics. Some people do everything right and it just doesn’t work out for them. Some people do everything wrong and still manage to win the lottery. It happens.

                But it’s not a good strategy. Having a college degree, especially in a STEM field, makes it far more likely that you’re going to end up with a good job. Not a sure shot certainty, but more likely.

                1. There is a survivorship bias in the data. We never hear about the wanna-be Bill Gates or hit rappers who drop out and it doesn’t work out for them. However, I would say that one of the hidden aspects of Dirty Jobs that Mike Rowe never talked about, was that many of those people (the business owners) were quite wealthy because they were willing to do a service to help keep civilization civilized.

                  However, there has been since WWII, and will continue to be, an overproduction of “elites”, by that, I mean college educated people who feel by virtue of class, education, upbringing, and college indoctrination, feel that they are entitled to a solid middle to upper middle class living.

                  1. It’s hardly just since World War II. The upper classes have always felt a sense of entitlement. And if we ever really and truly got a level playing field, in which pure merit were the only deciding factor, a lot of the wealthy elites with degrees from Harvard and Yale would be wrapping hamburgers at McDonalds. We also don’t know how many Einsteins and Stephen Hawkings do spend their lives wrapping hamburgers at McDonalds because they never had the opportunity to rise above the circumstances they were born to.

                    Which is why I see a more active role for government in providing opportunities for people than do some others here. If access to education and capital investment means that someone with Einstein’s brain will actually become Einstein rather than spend his life greeting people at Wal Mart, I see that as an investment.

                    And for those of us who aren’t Einstein, you’re also right that ability and willingness to provide a service that people want is a pretty good predictor of success as well.

                    1. You’re only half getting what I’m saying. The entitlement of elites goes back time immemorial. In fact, it was worse when we had landed gentry.

                      You’re correct that we don’t have a meritocracy per se, but we never have and never really will, because people will make sacrifices to improve the chances and standing of their children (even they don’t deserve it). I don’t see how that latter is a problem, because the only (partial) solutions are jannisaries and a 100% inheritance tax.

                      Let me clarify, then, we have done now is overproduced people who *think* their elites, and thus entitled to what elites pre-WWII had by virtue of a college degree (a solid middle income life). Government investment in human capital is mostly the reason why there are so many so-called elites, via the GI Bill and student loans. We’ve inflated the supply without a corresponding demand, leaving these college grads without the same opportunities as the elites that came before them.

                    2. I don’t disagree with your clarification, although I think the sense of entitlement comes from not recognizing that you’re only a success if you’re selling a product for which there’s a demand. I doubt that STEM graduates will ever have trouble finding a job. Anthropology majors, not so much.

                    3. Okay, I understand. How do we suppose “the system” could be adjusted (or even if it should be) to produce college graduates who both recognize the market value of their labor is not what defines their intrinsic worth, and who are fine with more or less money, depending on what the market decides?

                    4. That’s a problem that may not be fixable because people are stupid. There’s no shortage of examples of stupid behavior with devastating (and completely predictable) consequences that people continue to engage in anyway. Any male who doesn’t practice birth control knows he’s risking financial devastation in the form of a child support order, but those kids just keep popping out anyway. Until you fix human stupidity, there will always be people who think degrees for which there’s no market nevertheless entitle them to a fabulous standard of living.

                      I might do some tweaking around the edges. There are some jobs, like teaching, that don’t pay very well but which are nevertheless socially necessary, and for which we expect people to have a college degree, so I might be willing to subsidize them somewhat to encourage good people to go into the field. But I wouldn’t do any major surgery on the system itself.

                      And you? What would you do?

                    5. I have a little more faith in my fellow man than you, because I think people know what’s in their own best interest more than other people deciding for them.

                      What would I do? End government backing of student loans over a 4 year period to come down off the high. The loans act as a price support that led to the price inflation for college. If more people had college courses, that’s not as bad as the debt that goes along with it. The debt is a big driver of anger over the expected payouts from the market not being big enough.

                      If I couldn’t do that, I’d influence the k-12 curriculum so that we re-emphasize the trades again. Though admittedly, that’s a local concern via each school district’s choices.

              2. Do you really think Bill Gates had a GPA closer to 2.0 than 4.0? LOL.

                1. It is possible. Einstein failed the entrance exam for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School. He had exceptional scores for math and physics, but failed the general section of the test.

      2. College has nothing to do with maids, fast food workers, childcare workers, etc., which are at the bottom of the inequality spectrum in cities. We simply have to pay them more and make housing more available.

        1. Then let me ask you, based on your comment about pay, do you think it’s a good policy to bring in about a million low skilled and low educated immigrants every year?

          1. Yes. Lower wages, higher rents! Who would not support the Libertarian platform?

          2. Because many of them work on farms or in other professions where there are significant labor shortages?

            1. Why are their supposedly labor shortages in those occupations? Because of what you already identified…low pay. One of the primary drivers of said low pay, is a ready supply of labor willing to take such occupations for low pay, because it’s much better than what they would be paid in their previous countries. Why would employers pay $15 an hour to do X when someone is willing to do it for $10 and do it just as well?

              1. Labor shortages increase pay. You’ve mixed up cause and effect. If there’s a “ready supply” of labor there isn’t a labor shortage. What’s happening here is a lower than demand supply of domestic labor causing the migration of labor. That’s how it’s worked everywhere, in history. You just think there’s something unique about the labor walking over an imaginary line.

                1. No, it’s not unique for people to cross borders to fill labor roles. What’s unique, though, is our abdication at enforcing our borders so it happens so much and so easily.

                  I want higher wages for American citizens, rather than foreign strangers. How about you?

                  1. I want to be very clear about this, because I feel like we’ve had this conversation before.

                    I don’t know most American citizens and feel no special connection to them apart from the fact we happened to be born in the same country. I am particularly disinterested in what wages they voluntarily agree to accept for any labor. I don’t view voluntary relationships between people who pay wages and people who accept the work in exchange for the wages to be a form of wage slavery, and I don’t think there is a “higher wage”, or any wage, that American citizens (or anyone else for that matter) is entitled to. I have never professed to know the value of another human’s time, for them or on their their behalf, as that calculation is best left to those other people. I have no special animosity (or affinity) for “foreign strangers” relative to “American citizens”. I care about the content of peoples’ characters, not where they were fucking born, which is not and has never been of any moment to me. None of which is to say that I’m an open-borders advocate. I recognize the need for borders. But my interest in borders has absolutely nothing to do with securing “higher wages for American citizens” since I don’t think there is a specific wage that American citizens are entitled to for any work. Even if I did think that American citizens were entitled to a minimum wage for work, I would never pretend to have the expertise, omniscience, and judgment to make that decision for every employer and employee in any given jurisdiction. I do not think fair wages (however defined) is a problem that can be solved with central planning. I am a robust capitalist who thinks the only answer comes from allowing people the freedom to decide what their own time or money is worth in voluntary transactions unimpeded by (possibly well-meaning) morons in government.

                    Moreover, even if I thought that American citizens were entitled to higher wages, I would never try and effect that change indirectly through spending on border enforcement, since the transaction costs alone would make the entire endeavor useless. There are much more immediate means to guarantee whatever fair wage you think American citizens are entitled to, without spending rivers of money on a separate problem that is only tangentially related.

                    Do you support a minimum wage at all? If so, do you support raising it? If not, how would you expect me to take seriously your call for “higher wages for American citizens”? If you were me, how would you interpret your preference for an indirect “solution” (border enforcement) to increasing American citizen wages, over a much more direct “solution” (government mandated higher wages)? My uncharitable assumption would be that you just don’t like Mexicans. Charitably I think it’s probably more likely that you’re just a run-of-the-mill culture warrior, that you sincerely (although mistakenly) believe America would be better off if we more strictly limited the free movement of labor, and that you’re only opportunistically and cynically invoking wage competition to support your policy preferences because you think it will make you sound caring and persuasive to people who don’t like competing over wages (which is virtually everybody).

                    Let me close with this. If there is something that a Chinese person will do for less than an American, and the person paying for that something would prefer to hire the Chinese person over the American, the total social utility of the world is increased if the person paying gets to hire the Chinese person rather than the American. My social utility calculator does not factor in country of birth. If free trade takes 500 million Chinese peasants living in 18th century conditions out of abject poverty in exchange for labor that others voluntarily want to pay, but causes 15 million Americans to only be able to afford two televisions rather than three, that isn’t a close question. And it doesn’t get closer (or easier) if you swap “Chinese” and “American” or replace either with any other nationality designation. Save for one important point. I do have a special affinity for America because as a nation it has policies and is place that I want to live in, and I’d like to preserve those things that make it worth living in. A subset of those policies are (1) the belief that people should be free generally to do what they want without harming others; and (2) the general promotion of competition within a marketplace is the most efficient way to distribute finite resources and improve total social utility for everybody. How about you?

          3. No. It should be whatever the market will take. 1 million might be low.

        2. Then how do you feel about the District of Columbia’s new regulation that preschool child care workers need a 4 year college degree?

  2. “a consequence of increasing urban wealth is an increase in housing prices” is misleading. The main driver of increased housing prices is government meddling in markets, specifically restrictive land zoning and building permit processes.

    1. It’s both. Even an unzoned Manhattan Island would have very high rents.

      1. Yes. You can’t discount the higher incomes chasing the preferred units, like a dual-income family outbidding a single-income family for a home in a good school district.

    2. Sounds like America needs another Fred Trump

  3. These are valid policy concerns regardless of a wage gap.

  4. Realistically, most, though not all, social pathologies are urban. They’re just presumed to be nation-wide instead because the institutions doing the presuming are urban as well, and can’t wrap their heads around the idea that cities aren’t better than rural or suburban life in every possible way.

    1. You get this from…?

      1. Looking at crime rates. Looking at rates of single motherhood. Looking at history, where cities have been population sinks for all of recorded history due to pathologies there killing people off faster than they reproduced.

        Even rats start acting crazy if you crowd them too much. A lot of what’s going on in cities can be understood as crowding induced social pathology.

        1. Your definition of problem is full of confirmation bias.

          Chronic disease rates? Health care coverage? Illiteracy? Mobility? Poverty rates?

          I had a phase where I was for de-urbanization. It’s a neat hippy-ish idea.
          I don’t buy that pastoral notion these days.

          1. Yeah, there’s tons of single motherhood, bad health care, etc., in rural America.

    2. Come on, Brett.

      We know that you consider urban life itself a pathology, so you are hardly offering anything more than your prejudices.

      There are plenty of problems in rural areas, or do you imagine it’s all happy farm families? Well, I guess some of them are happy.

      No welfare bums there, no sir.

      1. That works both ways. You are only offering your prejudice that urban life is not a pathology, and that rural life is worse.

        1. I don’t think either is worse. Both have issues that should be mitigated.
          Easy foot-voting solution.

          Brett is the one taking his preferences and insisting everyone abide by them.

          1. No, I’m fine with people living in cities if they want. I’m mostly concerned that government policy is actually promoting urbanization, rather than staying neutral.

            1. “I’m mostly concerned that government policy is actually promoting urbanization…”

              What planet are you from?

              1. If anything government policy promotes suburban sprawl.

                1. Which policies and when? If you time travel to the urban renewal and highway building of the 50s and 60s, yes, the gov’t promoted suburbanization. If you time travel to the 80s and the push for everyone to use mass transit and building trains/trolleys and buss lines everywhere and the New Urbanism movement, not so much. In the Obama Admin there was a so called “war on the suburbs” rescinded by Trump’s Admin. There are many contradictory policies over time.

                  1. Farm subsidies, disproportionate representation in rural/suburban (due to Senate) leading to disproportionate spending in places like Alaska and Montana, total commitment (not a criticism) to rural delivery of roads, services, etc., at the state level disproportionate revenue generation by metropolitan areas distributed to rural areas, busing pushed whites to the suburbs, school district funding in many parts of the country which funds from hyper-local property taxes as opposed to state tax receipts, political inability to relocate state services from remote areas to more logical places (where the people are) for fear of killing some rural area, NIMBYism and zoning wildly increasing housing costs in urban cities pushing people to the suburbs and exurbs.

                    1. You’re glossing over a huge host of intermediary variables between gov’t policy -> more suburbanization. Firstly, and most importantly, the average life cycle of Americans, where they spend their 20s in urban centers, then get married and move to the suburbs for a little space to raise kids, and retirees who prefer to stay put and can’t afford urban living.

                      White flight (more appropriately called social distancing these days) was caused by urban turmoil. It only accelerated after the 1960s riots and the end of redlining.

                      Lastly, our system of constitutional design is so far removed from what causes surbanization or urbanization it’s curious you mention it. People move about for economic opportunity, to a culture that they agree with, a backyard, privacy, and for the weather, more than because some money gets redistributed “disproportionately” away from urban areas (never mind the flaws in that thinking).

                      But NIMBYism and zoning, increasing urban housing costs, I agree with you on that I suppose.

                    2. the average life cycle of Americans

                      Hoho, this is a telling view of who Americans are. Not everyone is middle class whites.

                    3. That’s fairly racist of you to say. Asians and blacks don’t want a backyard a swingset and a creek down the street for their kids to play in? I suppose there is no such thing as rural blacks in the South…they are quite common, let me attest. Right, well, non hispanic whites are still something like 60% or so of America, so if this is the lifecyle of them, it still dominates the market. Eh?

                      Furthermore, I’ll believe the several seminars I went to from experts in the real estate market, that this is still the primary decision making framework for residential real estate markets over time.

                    4. “White flight (more appropriately called social distancing these days) was caused by urban turmoil.”

                      I didn’t gloss over white flight. I mentioned it. (“busing pushed whites to the suburbs”). I’m sure we could have a spirited debate as to what percentage of white flight was caused by government policies versus non-government policies. I chose busing because it’s easy to point to causally. Even if you’re right that its cause was more ephemeral (“urban turmoil”) the rejoinder would be that urban turmoil is, in part, based on policy decisions, too. Enforcement of redlined racial covenants is a policy decision. As is the non-enforcement.

                      “Lastly, our system of constitutional design is so far removed from what causes surbanization or urbanization it’s curious you mention it.”

                      Policy may not have a meaningful effect on why most people move, but it can certainly drive marginal cases. A person who lands an ok job at the pointlessly rural-placed mental hospital may decide to stick around for a few years longer than they otherwise would have. They decide to stay. In the absence of the deliberate decision to keep the mental hospital in a rural (as opposed to where people are) region, this person would have moved. Multiply it times 50 states. The discussion started by Brett was about relative incentives, promoting urbanization versus promoting rural/exurbs/suburbs.

                      I’m not talking solely about “our system of constitutional design” either. That’s for federal legislation. What’s true at the federal level is also true at the state level. State governments place government jobs, services, etc. in rural districts for the same pork reasons that they do it at the federal level. And those decisions affect where jobs are, an “economic opportunity” that drives decisions about whether or not to move.

                    5. Farm subsides mostly go to large agricorps, not family farmers. This supports urbanization, not the opposite as modern cities are unsupportable without industrial agriculture / cheap food.

                    6. You’re right, we will disagree as to what amount white flight was caused by gov’t policy. What you say was the primary driver, forced bussing, was mostly put to a stop by Milliken v. Bradley in 1974, and really only was in effect at the tail end of the 1960s. So it wasn’t bussing, or even Brown v Board, as white flight happened as much in integrated North as the segregated South.

                      And by “urban turmoil” I more politely mean the 1960s riots and crime. If you can consider the end of redlining a gov’t policy, then that certainly did have some effect on white flight, but that’s downstream of black urbanites looking undesirable to white residents as potential neighbors (and their property values).

                      You’ve already retreated to “marginal” cases with the rural/urban spending effect. Yes, there have been incentives that push both urbanization and suburbanization both over the years, depending on the administration over the years. That’s exactly my point. The interstate highway system drove suburbanzation, but so did the new urbanism movement which had gov’t planners thinking the future was mixed use walkable neighborhoods and everybody using mass transit.

                      This whipsawing of trying to spread us out and then pack us in also applies to the point you make in your last paragraph about the gov’t making winners and losers in its urbanization or suburbanization policies.

                    7. @Matthew,

                      “Farm subsides mostly go to large agricorps, not family farmers. This supports urbanization, not the opposite as modern cities are unsupportable without industrial agriculture / cheap food.”

                      (1) I think farm subsidies support the places where the farms are located, which are not in the middle of Chicago.

                      (2) You’re confusing cause and effect. Agricorps are a byproduct of cities, not a byproduct of policies supporting urbanization.

                      (3) America’s farm subsidies are not necessary to support cities. Much of them is paid to stabilize prices by decreasing supply, not to increase supply to meet demand. The main output of farm subsidies at this stage are buying primary or general election presidential votes.

                    8. @mad_kalak,

                      “What you say was the primary driver, forced bussing, was mostly put to a stop by Milliken v. Bradley in 1974, and really only was in effect at the tail end of the 1960s. So it wasn’t bussing, or even Brown v Board, as white flight happened as much in integrated North as the segregated South.”

                      Pretty much everything you just said is wrong.

                      (1) Milliken v. Bradley only prohibited interdistrict busing. It didn’t end busing at all. If anything, the holding accelerated white flight, since it solidified the benefits of fleeing urban districts for suburban ones. After Milliken, whites could rest certain that black students from inner city districts would not follow. Busing continued. Busing continued and peaked in the late 80s, although it didn’t really die out until after the 2007 PICS case. Charlotte-Mecklenburg didn’t stop busing until 2002, and only then because the district had become entirely non-white.

                      (2) White flight happened in the north because the north got desegregated too. One of the Brown cases was Belton v. Gebhart, arising out of a segregated county in Delaware. While it’s true that Brown 1 initially only applied its with all deliberate speed to de jure segregation, busing targeted de facto “segregation” in non-southern jurisdictions. Milliken (Detroit) is a good example.

                      (3) The idea that white flight is unrelated to Brown or busing is news to me. Please explain with something more coherent than “white flight happened in the north, too!” (So did busing…?)

                    9. My own family was part of “white flight”. It didn’t have anything to do with busing. It had to do with the Detroit riots being stopped a half mile from our house by the National Guard, and my father not wanting to risk that the rioters might make it a half mile further next time.

          2. You insist on everyone following your definition and preferences right here! None do blind as those unwilling to see.

            1. Where?

        2. I don’t think rural life is “worse” in any objective sense. It doesn’t appeal to me, but that’s just a matter of taste.

    3. “…because the institutions doing the presuming are urban as well…”

      How did those institutions get there? Did robots place them there or did people? Are there migration statistics we could use to measure whether humans over some period of time prefer urban to rural life?

      Nobody goes to cities anymore, they’re just too crowded!

    4. Wow Brett, really showing off your ignorance there.

      Why are there cities?

      Because people naturally migrated to trade centers (which even way back in the day meant by rivers and seaports).

      Trade centers means “money” (or whatever species or bartering was used).

      All that trade meant you needed centers for communications, finance (e.g. capital markets, banking, etc.), insurance, etc., – which meant you needed standards – which means you needed govt. (There’s a reason Pres. Washington was inaugurated in NY).

      With all these people in the city, arts, clothing, and other leisure activities developed.

      So it’s only natural for people to flock to cities – and then it’s only natural that they form a society.

      I could go on but eh….

      1. Yes, there are reasons there are cities. (Fewer today with modern communications technologies, mind you.) And there are reasons that cities have been population sinks for all of recorded history.

        We used to send children into mines to dig coal, and watch them die in their teens. There were reasons for that, too, didn’t mean it was healthy.

        1. I don’t know what population sinks means. Urban life expectancy is about two years longer than rural life expectancy. And the gap has been growing my entire life. It will soon be three years, of it isn’t already, due to the opioid epidemic.

  5. “As many policy analysts have noted, a consequence of increasing urban wealth is an increase in housing prices. This can make things particularly difficult for power-income workers.”

    I always said that those people working for the power companit’s were having a hard time.

  6. I am biased by my own experiences, but feel the central problem is with K to 12 schools. I’ve worked at many, so I should know. We don’t fund practical arts, shop classes, etc. Nowadays, Career and College Ready is the buzzword, but it doesn’t really mean much. You are told to go to college, or if not, their is this Career path, but we don’t say much more, nor do we help. Some kids find the military as a nice way to handle that, and the few lucky that have relatives in the trades get apprenticeships. If you can start your own business, awesome. But the majority of our youth don’t go anywhere, just wander about city college aimlessly and/or bounce between crappy jobs. This is why so many in America feel disenfranchised. Splitting Vocational training from education was a big mistake. Plenty of other countries have good models that work.

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