by Olivia Rae Olson
Those living in poverty are among the victims of a system that renders fast food and other such unhealthy products the only viable options for low-income citizens. From commodity crop subsidies, to federal programs that place fast food in the heart of urban areas, obesity is not “a moral lapse of a brain chemical but the effect of poverty.”
Research from USC Price School of Public Policy Assistant Professor Emma Aguila indicates that monthly disbursements provide greater health benefits. She presented these findings in June at the International Network for Pensions, Aging and Retirement Research (INPARR) Conference on Pensions at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris.
Emily Lieb brings us another research update from Seattle from the Access to Opportunity Project:
What’s in a neighborhood? Scholars (and realtors) agree: Where a person lives determines how much access to opportunity she has. Good schools, safe streets, high-quality housing that appreciates in value, accessible jobs and services, clean air and water—all of these things make it possible for people to do the best they can for themselves and their families. Poor schools, high crime rates, bad housing, an unhealthy environment, and relative inaccessibility do the opposite. Each one of these things is an obstacle standing between a family and its potential.
People are moving back into the cities. But where should they go? In an age of congested freeways and greenhouse gas emissions, gentrification and concentrated poverty, suburban sprawl and all sorts of inequality, where is the best place to build, to live, to walk, and to shop? One answer has been touted to address all those problems: near public transit. In this episode, we define, describe, and debate “transit-oriented development” with Seva Rodnyansky.
We ask how to define “good” policing, as we discuss sociologist Peter Moskos’ Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District. What expectations do we put on police officers? How do police departments measure success? What should we measure for success? What does “law and order” mean? Do police receive the right kind of training to deliver the service communities want them to provide? How does Baltimore differ from Los Angeles? We also discuss the epic policy failure of the War on Drugs and the idea of legalization.
2nd year MPP candidate, Robyn Burleson, tackles the growing refugee crisis in this overview piece.
The European Union is struggling to mitigate Europe’s refugee crisis as migrants flee civil wars and poverty in Syria, Iraq, and other nations caught up in domestic upheavals. Approximately 60 million people have been displaced because of conflicts around the world, the largest number of displaced people since World War 2. More than one million migrants traveled to Europe in 2015 alone, and Syria is the largest source of those refugees. The numbers of refugees continue to climb as civil wars escalate, and the majority of the migrants are arriving in Greece, Italy, and Turkey.
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir by J. D. Vance about family; about Appalachia, hillbillies, and the American white underclass in the rural and semi-rural interior of the United States. Vance relates his traumatic, poverty stricken upbringing to the larger social problems in both his hometown and the larger population. Through his personal struggles, he raises questions of personal responsibility and role of government in communities.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of Hillbilly Elegy click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player here, or download and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
Jody David Armour was quoted by the LA Times in an article about anti-gang activist Melvin Farmer. The article, “Searching for redemption, a former gang member struggles to outrun his past,” explores the former gang members drive to address the roots of gang violence. “We put these people in a Catch-22,” Armour said. “They are socially marooned,…
In White Trash: The 400-year Untold History of Class in America, historian Nancy Isenberg traces white poverty and class from the earliest British settlements through to the 21st century. What she finds is that the mythology of social mobility and classlessness of American Exceptionalism is just that, a myth. By taking a deep dive into a sub-class of Americans, Isenberg hopes that Americans can face a truth about the enduring poverty on inequality that has shaped the American consciousness. That not only do we have classes, but these classes have been built by policies going back to the very reason British citizens came to the colonies. Our discussion of the book looks at where this history contributes to our current political conversation and where it could have been more focused to tell the story in a more cohesive way.
Featuring Aubrey Hicks, Anthony Orlando, Lisa Schweitzer, and John Sonego
Featuring Caroline Bhalla, Raphael Bostic,Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, and Richard Green
Junot Díaz made his debut with Drown, ten interconnected short stories in 1997. These coming-of-age stories grant the reader a brief glimpse into the lives of immigrants, their lives in poverty in the Dominican Republic through migration to life on the edges in New Jersey. “Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty.”