Friday, October 17, 2014

Economic Inequality Keeps Getting Worse in America-Brooklyn and Queens Are Examples

In an article I read today on Daily Finance, Federal Reserve Chair- Janet Yellen was quoted as saying that, "the growth of economic inequality in the United States wasn't in keeping with American values....The extent of and continuing increase of economic inequality in the U.S. greatly concerns me." She should be concerned, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. There's nothing wrong with people living the American dream and bettering themselves (my grandparents as Italian immigrants did just that) but the poor need a chance to escape poverty and have the opportunities that money affords. Education is the great equalizer and good educational programs for all is necessary.
As I've observed, no where is economic inequality more evident than in Brooklyn and Queens in NYC. Real estate prices and rents have "gone through the roof."The poor in places like Redhook,  Williamsburg and Bushwick Brooklyn can no longer afford to stay in parts of these neighborhoods (most parts). Expensive high rise buildings and boutique buildings are going up everywhere, and that's not a terrible thing, if affordable housing was also being built for lower class and middle class families. As I've said before on this blog, I was born in Brooklyn and lived most of my life there and part of what made it great then and now, is the lower and middle class families, living in ethnically diverse neighborhoods. There has always been diversity, stimulation, creativity, deep religiosity and best of all great food in Brooklyn and Queens.
But it seems the world has discovered the attraction of all that Brooklyn and Queens has to offer. Lifelong residents of Brooklyn and Queens cannot believe the amount of money some properties are selling for.
As Janet Yellen said, "Income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years, much higher than the average during that time span and probably higher than for much of American history before then."
I don't know what the solutions are aside from building more affordable housing but more needs to be done to close this widening gap. People need hope, people need to be rewarded for hard work. Children need a nice home to grow up in, so they can feel proud and part of the fabric of society.