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View Full Version : The Dwindling Middle Class


Miss Tam-Tam
09-22-2004, 03:47 PM
The signs are evident around me that more and more folks are being squeezed out of the middle class into poverty. In another thread, folks talked about drug addicts loitering about the city. But we know that not necessarily all of the folks living on the streets or panhandling began as addicts. I do know that, recently, two soup kitchens closed in Newark; now the Salvation Army only serves women and children. Saint John's church on Mulberry Street is serving an unprecendented 700 meals a day! There are people walking around that are hungry. Approximately two weeks ago I made a trip to the main branch of the Newark Library on Washington Street. Over the years, I've always seen one or two men flopped out on the street in that area -- usually in Washington Park across the street from the library or on the steps of a nearby church. But on my recent library trip, I counted six men sleeping in the street (doorways; the church steps) and also evidence of cardboard beds and personal belongings in other areas.

I'm just thinking out loud here. What I just described is being duplicated across the country. The former Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, calls it the "war against the middle class in America." We need to be conscious of this situation as we prepare to elect a President in November.

5Reasons
09-23-2004, 09:44 AM
I've been running some models of how many chronically poor people Newark could hold while also moving toward becoming a middle-class city. By my estimation, Newark has to get rid of AT LEAST 20,000 chronically low-income residents. Also, over the next decade, Newark has to add rougly 1,000 jobs per year (assuming that Newarkers get about 1/3rd of those jobs). If we did those things, Newark would have a MANAGABLE low-income population.

According to the federal Department of Labor, Newark is a LABOR SURPLUS area. In other words, even IF all Newarkers wanted to work (God knows we have enough that don't) there wouldn't be any jobs for them. Newark has been a LABOR SURPLUS area for the last 20 years. In other words, by continuing to house more than our fair share of certain types of potential laborers, we are EXASCERBATING the problem of poverty.

Theoretically, by continuing to house surplus labor, ALL OTHER NEWARKERS are functioning to surpess their own wages. But most Newarkers are too caught up in just functioning to survive day to day to even think about things like that.

zodtee
09-28-2004, 07:59 AM
I dont see how the working class can AFFORD to live in Newark....
its fairly easy if ya have low income, then ya qualify for aid....
but if ya middle class....HH income of 40K/per...how can ya survive...
Rent on a 2BR roach/rat trap is $1000....
and we wont even talk about house prices for those seeking a mortgage.

Grocery prices are higher in Newark...How stores get away with it is beyond me....


Car insurance....Home owner/rental insurance....Higher
Property taxes are ridiculous....

The monopoly that PSE& G has on the city is crippling & shameful....



I have lived in other metro areas....nowhere has been as expensive as Newark metro area.