economic development sprawl

Business Placement Encourages Unhelpful Behavioral Assignation

During the rise of the GI Bill and “plentiful” home loans, the suburbs arose, creating the inequitable communities that are familiar to most generations following the baby boomers. Because those suburbs attracted businesses, more damage was done than simply abandoning the inner cores. Social sentiment is a fragile thing, and slowly but surely, people began to equate certain types of behavior with certain types of people. When technology came to the forefront of culture in the United States, plenty of people were unable to meaningfully participate.

Obviously, there is plenty of stigma for poor communities and communities of color, but in addition to the violent and oppressive history, the ideology is refreshed. Not all families prospered during the 50s and 60s, especially rural and agricultural communities that were unable to invest on the same level as metropolitan areas. Within the cities, lack of employment and investment due to systemic inequalities was echoed with rage by those remaining. As a result, there is a pervasive belief that everyone in a rural areas or from disadvantaged urban areas is incapable of intellectual competition.

The placement of good businesses has consistently shaped how people view the neighborhoods around the businesses. When businesses choose to locate in clusters and compete for tax incentives, prospective employers and even educators were learning to respect the businesses rather than to consider the surrounding communities. When businesses avoided certain areas, those in position of influence continued to reduce investment in such areas in favor of the clusters. Therefore, the communities suffered based on the preferences of people who never even engaged.

Finally, children are impressionable, and do not remain children forever. Those who grew up in suburban communities — that were segregated by both race and class — became managers and business owners themselves who were repulsed by people from the discarded communities. One reason that segregation is rampant in schools and industries is that the people who grew up seeing that certain people were allowed to do certain things maintain those ideologies. Suburb-raised individuals are hoarding chances for upward mobility based on impression, not the actual abilities of people in marginalized communities.

There are no silver bullets to deal with the damage done by illogical thinking, especially when so much has been around for so long. However, continuing to let business placement shape the social psyche will result in harm to communities that are attempting to retain their essence.

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