A timeline of poverty in American cities in the 30's, 60's, and modern day
Created by urbanstudies777 on Feb 23, 2011
Last updated: 02/24/11 at 07:30 AM
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The best solution for the food deserts that we have in impoverished communities in America would be a cheap and easy way for people to get healthy food. The only problem is figuring out how to do that. I believe that the best way would be a government funded grocery delivery service. There are already food stamps for some impoverished people so they can buy food at a reduced price, but people still have a lot of trouble actually getting the groceries and bringing them home. So what if there was a similar program but with a delivery service? People in the program would receive a catalog of the food they can order, what price it is, and if they can use food stamps for it. The actual delivery costs could be government funded, and to prevent huge expenses to the funding of the program there can be a cap on the amount of times one can order a delivery, like twice a month for example. Also to prevent over expenses, the food stamps will only apply to foods like milk bread and eggs, necessary foods that would provide a healthy wholesome meal. The stamps would make these healthy foods affordable and the delivery service will make the food more accessible, hypothetically eliminating the food desert problem.
The unavailability of cheap healthy foods, and the large abundance of inexpensive fat filled food, cause a huge amount of health issues in the poor neighborhoods. When you don’t have a lot of money, the price of food comes way before the nutritional value it holds, so rather than buy a healthy baked chicken and some green beans for eight or ten dollars, someone on a very tight budget would take a double cheeseburger and fries for four or five dollars. Also, because the grocery stores are so far away, and very few people in poverty own cars, just getting to the store and carrying the groceries back is extremely difficult, and it’s impossible buy any more than you can carry and bring it back.
Because of all the poverty being centralized into poor neighborhoods and ghettos, there is an easy distinction between where they want to build stores and where they don’t. Most grocery stores and whole food stores, where healthy foods are generally sold, cost a lot more than fast food like McDonalds or Burger King. Because of this, few grocery stores will build in poor neighborhoods, and fast food chains will capitalize on the location, making it hard to go a block without seeing one.
The main solution for this era of poverty was Lyndon Johnson’s Great society. This was a plan of how to eliminate poverty and make “a great society.” A huge goal that he breaks down into smaller, still near impossible goals. Such as how every kid is able to get a good education, where no one is lazy, where all men are treated equal, and many more things that would be great, but are so difficult to achieve. They are however possible, and what he is saying is that if people work toward it hard enough, it may never be perfect, but it will surely be a lot better.
Because of the segregation in the country many blacks couldn’t get very good jobs, which made them more poor than most, they were also put in very poor neighborhoods which lacked the opportunities to make it big or get out of the slums, because of all this it was extremely difficult for most blacks to get out of poverty. When the wealth leaves the city, like with suburbanization, so do many other important things, like healthy food options and the city taking good care of itself. When there isn’t a lot of money going into the city from people living there the city also has a lot less money to use for the mostly poor people that do live there, causing most poor impoverished people in the city to have poor living conditions and few benefits. With machines taking over many jobs, the once plentiful job market, mainly with factories, now basically cuts itself in half. When lots of people lose their jobs this causes them to become impoverished because they lose their income and have no way of getting money, until they can find a new job.
Segregation, while it wasn’t legal, was present in America, and made it so many blacks could not get very good jobs and housing and were put in poor neighborhoods. Another things was suburbanization, this was where many wealthy white families moved out of the city into the suburbs, leaving pretty much just the poor to live in the inner city. Finally, as technology got better, more and more people working in factories and some other workplaces were replaced my machines that could do the same job with less people in less time.
There were two-major solutions for the great depression, WWII and the New Deal. WWII got our economy going because of the mass production for the war-time effort, creating new jobs and getting businesses back up and running. The New Deal was more of a Depression focused solution though and did things like make cheap public housing and government aid to help people during the depression and then make things like social security and new banking laws to help prevent another depression.
Overproduction caused many business’s to fail and even go out of business, this meant that tons of workers lost their jobs, and could find no where else to work, which brought about a huge unemployment rate. When the banks failed because they did not get back the money they loaned everyone who was holding money in the bank lost it and people working at those banks that went out of business lost their jobs. And many people invested huge in the stock market, so when that crashed not only did a lot of people lose all their money, but a lot of really wealthy people who had invested lost it as well.
First of all, in the 1920’s the economy was booming, so a lot of products were produced to meet the peoples needs, but when people stopped buying these things the companies went out of business or took a lot of financial damage. Secondly, a lot of people took out loans from the bank that they could not pay back, and their money wasn’t legally protected and when the banks went out of business everyone lost whatever they were holding in the bank. And last but not least, many people invested big in various stocks in different companies, but in the stock market crash nothing was worth as much money anymore because all the businesses were failing, so all the investors lost their money.