• kebo drew

    Hey y’all,

    The headline? Not good. As much as you’ve written about Frameworks and thinking about how we “frame” conversations, leading with “ghetto” poverty, without the article going deeper into the term itself (providing history on the word, usage and the formation of concentrated areas of poverty, policing and surveillance for social control, even in the original Jewish ghettos that were a product of horrific anti-Semitism) misses an opportunity for people to understand that it’s about institutions and not individuals or Black culture (because ghetto and Black are always thought of together, and implicit bias reinforces that connection).

    You know I’m a loyal reader, and that headline went right to my gut.

  • Jim

    Great Article, wow, you are on top of this issue. In my opinion, every elected official should read this article. it makes so much sense. The action steps are near but far because there is no national advocacy for this approach, or is there?

    If I were a candidate for the President of the U.S. I would use this article during my campaigning.

    We have such blinded U,S, selfish greedy leaders’.


  • Adam Pickering

    An excellent article. The gist might be heretical, but it is pretty hard to refute.

    Of particular interest is the notion that philanthropy, whilst laudable, cannot undo the damage caused by earning wealth in an unethical way. I have written about this as part of the Future World Giving project. Please take some time to read “Is addressing inequality through philanthropy a paradox?” http://bit.ly/1GIIJSX

  • Arthur T. Himmelman

    Thanks for this tremendously insightful and very well documented article about the central political and ethical issues that must be addressed in the United States. My only disappointment is that you did not spend more time examining the role of philanthropic power in the vital social and political changes you recommend. I think It is important to examine the application of power in philanthropy, and the role of philanthropy in maintaining existing power relations in our society, if we are to understand its usefulness for social change. Note: power can be defined in traditional terms as the ability to dominate and control; or by using my definition as: “the capacity to produce intended results.” It is obvious that philanthropy is closely aligned with and supportive of existing power relations. The use of philanthropic resources in this context is most often focused on funding short-term projects and redesigning services with little funding for social movements and multi-sector collaborative systems change advocacy. Philanthropy also constantly looks for innovation rather than enhancing and expanding what already works well and primarily funds institutionally-driven rather than community empowerment change strategies. Even so, philanthropic support can play a key role in bringing about some very worthwhile improvements in the lives of people and their communities. However, if philanthropy does not support the transformation of existing power relations, it is quite unlikely that the best demonstrations of solutions to priority problems can be brought to scale through system and policy changes. Without such changes, it is more likely that much of philanthropy will just continue to help some of our most serious problems get worse more slowly.

  • michael brand

    While there is much in this piece to consider, I question the framing of poor vs. rich, or more specifically American Poor vs American Rich. We are in a global economy now and there is no going back. For low or no-skill labor their competition is coming from east Asia, east Europe and Africa (this also holds true for the upper class as well, as shown by the authors data that most billionaires live outside the United States). No matter how much we may not like the results, there is no way we can build a wall around the American economy. It’s not happening and frankly we don’t want that to happen, for an interconnected world will be a much more peaceful world.

    So how do we help poor populations become more competitive in the global economy? Instinctively, education comes to mind as the first answer. The current system is all the way broken and we need an entire new model of public education, especially in urban areas. Yet here is where the authors trip up. By continually raising the union flag as an answer to many of the woes of the poor, they fail to address how teachers unions are the biggest impediment towards building a robust 21st education system. So instead we get upper and middle class parents exiting the system towards their own solution (private schools, charters, homeschooling) ensuring that their children will be competitive in the new order, while poor and minority children suffer a premature intellectual death inside an ossified system.

    The loss of such young minds is a tragedy, but not just for the poor. In order to have a healthy society we’ll need a highly productive workforce generating the tax revenue needed to pave roads, care for the aged, etc, etc, etc. Under-productive citizens are a drag on our entire economy.

  • Eric H

    Your assertion that Unions are “good for the economy” makes about as much sense as leaving the refrigerator door open to “cool the house”. I stopped reading there. With regard to “economic segregation” you are correct that it is related to government policy. I like to call it the “Welfare Plantation”. It’s just as effective and more politically palatable than the old “Jim Crow” laws.. both of which were engineered by the Democrat party. You demonize the free market but I wonder if you even know what a free market is. A marketplace controlled by the federal government is anything but free, and with the cronyism that inevitably accompanies government power, it is generally characterized by the exact inequality that you claim to despise.