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Have We Lost Baltimore?

The downfall of a once up and coming city

Have We Lost Baltimore?
Baltimore photo by CNN

Income inequality is coming out as one of the big political rallies’ to change our nation’s course in 2016. The new political heads that be are gearing up for a major showdown as to who will be on the path to get to the White House in two years. 

Technically, the political machine has already begun the powerhouse for its race in 2016, we the little people just have no idea who is being rolled out as Commander in Chief yet.

On a side note then, about half of all Americans are economically insecure without any real security to buy food or pay rent, or basically pay for basic life expenses at all as stated by Alan Pyke of thinkprogress.org.

 From the towns I have visited in the last year, most appear to have basic services being met such as trash and snow removal and public schools that are being maintained. 

Baltimore was the real shocker for me.  I drove through the barely recognizable city streets to get to the nice part of town across the street from Johns Hopkins.  The row houses that I saw on some of the places near Reisterstown Road and Towson were in states of decay and shells of their former beauty.  The Apartments were falling down, there was trash strewn all over the place, most of the properties should have been condemned and were not in any condition to be lived in.  In some places it looked like a bomb had gone off and taken out entire one block neighborhoods.  These neighborhoods went on for miles, without any change until the neighborhood by Hopkins.

According to The Baltimore Sun, these are the crimes of a normal day in Southeast Baltimore; a twelve year old child being robbed at gun-point. In Southeast Baltimore a woman was killed inside her home in Patterson Park and a woman was raped in broad daylight in an alleyway.  Does this situation come down to low income, or income inequality as broadly defined by our media outlets today?

In an article written by Bryce Covert of thinkprogress,org website on a study of income based on where you were born and your parents income as published by The New York Times, “A third of people who grew up in the top 1 percent of the income distribution make $100,000 by the age of 30, the study reports. By contrast, just one out of every 25 people who grew up in the bottom half of the income distribution was making that much at that age.”

Economic mobility tends to depend on where someone grew up as well as other factors. Some cities are just not conducive for climbing out of low-income holes.  Baltimore is one of the lower income holes.

It is harder for low-income children to climb the economic ladder in the Southwest and industrial Midwest, and in particular Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus are particularly challenging. But the highest rates of mobility are found in the Northeast, Great Plains, and the West, in cities such as New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. The mobility rates aren’t necessarily tied to higher average incomes, however, as areas that have similar income levels can have very different rates.” (Bryce Covert thinkprogress.com)

I can’t find any information or ideas on how to “save” Baltimore from its current crime ridden situation.  That is apparently up to some mild mannered hero out in the city who will come up with a way to turn this city around.  The one sentence I did find in the Baltimore Sun was by Chief organizer Munir Bahar who stated “he said he wishes people would do less blogging and more volunteering of their time and resources to prevent "future children from becoming killers."

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