We All Grow Together

In times of a strong middle class, there are a number of positive attributes. First and foremost, crime is limited because more people are able to acquire sufficient resources and feel less desperate. Also, people see the benefit of participating in the greater society, i.e. developing cohesive communities based on neighborhood growth, civic engagement, and socioeconomic mobility. More importantly, people maintain a better work/life balance because there are sufficient resources to develop hobbies, go on vacation, and enhancing friendships.

When people have too few resources to be even reasonably comfortable, they are afraid to grow roots in communities because they may have to leave at any time. Lack of stable jobs or business opportunities means a lack of stable income, which keeps people from making critical life choices, such as having families, buying property, or planning for retirement. Therefore, housing is seen less as a dwelling place and more as an investment that could allow for a bigger return despite the loss of a collective appreciation for a certain area. People are stressed and put extensive pressure on their social activities to alleviate their stress, because instead of being able to try a myriad of options, each person only has the resources to commit to one hobby.

Reasonably, people are confronting inequity more aggressively to restore the equilibrium of their communities; however, few are considering the circumstances which existed to create their neighborhoods. For example, housing costed a lot less several decades ago, which meant that more people were looking to buy property rather than rent, and jobs paid living wages which encouraged more people to stay in one place rather than frequently move to other areas. Consequently, returning to an era gone by is impossible and improbable, no matter how many tax reforms are accomplished.

What can cities do? Well, many cities will need to reconfigure their job algorithms to ensure that entry-level workers have opportunities for socioeconomic mobility if they receive extra training or seek professional development. Community organizers need to collaborate with opposing perspectives to ensure that policy is not being influenced from only one position, which could cultivate corruption without much effort. Finally, businesses who seek to locate in certain areas need to take responsibility for their intentions, and not expect to receive tax incentives and provide honest estimates of the job opportunities available for locals. For small businesses, entrepreneurs need to develop sustainable models based on circumstances that exist, rather than projections like multilevel marketing schemes. No one should be forced to leave an area, but cities have to improve how they sustain healthy populations because displacement discourages good urbanism.


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