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Old 02-11-2013, 03:29 PM
 
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I'm thinking of physical separation, where we choose to live.
And I do not think it is simply income that we separate on, it is 'class' distinguished from income, possibly class as the appearance of income. An example of the distinction between income and class would be the small town where rich and poor live side by side homogeneously, the grand victorian mansion at the corner of the block of small well groomed cottages. Why does that work in the small town, but it doesn't work in the inner city where all the grand victorian mansions were abandoned and divided into grimy public housing units? Why do the rich only live in the city when they are surrounded by a buffer zone of other rich people? Some may say crime is the reason, but I think that is only a part of it, perhaps a small part. It is because the city has a different breed of poor than does the small town. The city has visible, vocal poor, that advertise their poverty with their distinct culture. While the poor in the small homogeneous town maintain their properties with pride, speak and hold manners in the same way as their more welloff neighbors vs the city poor who seem to have no dignity or pride and thus behave as animals in the eyes of the rich. The homogeneous town has income disparity while the city has class disparity, class disparity being the one which separates society into their enclaves. No one wants to live next to people who hang out on their doorsteps and lean on walls along the sidewalks 'being different' all day. That is not a comfortable environment and those neighorboods become wealth deserts where anyone who has the means to get out, does. At least, this is the case given our current level of sophistication to multiculturalism (the current level being: we pretty much have none).

Last edited by HiFi; 02-11-2013 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:05 PM
 
Location: New York City
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People self-select; they enjoy being around people like themselves. Businesses cater to a particular neighborhood’s demographic, which in turn attracts more people, and it becomes self-perpetuating.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Why do the rich only live in the city when they are surrounded by a buffer zone of other rich people?
Untrue in Baltimore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Some may say crime is the reason, but I think that is only a part of it, perhaps a small part. It is because the city has a different breed of poor than does the small town.
Have you ever been to southern WV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
The city has visible, vocal poor, that advertise their poverty with their distinct culture. While the poor in the small homogeneous town maintain their properties with pride, speak and hold manners in the same way as their more welloff neighbors vs the city poor who seem to have no dignity or pride and thus behave as animals in the eyes of the rich.
What small towns are you thinking of? Also are you really comparing similar levels of poor? I mean, if they own property - that's not really on the same level.

I've been to some very poor and dangerous small towns. The idea that small town folks spend all day counting pennies, mow their lawns and wave the American flag is ludicrous. Small towns are dying throughout the US. The people left behind engage in the same criminal behavior as the "animals" you abhor.

A good read: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/days...ges/1104516178
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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I am thinking specifically of any Minnesota small town. And owning property doesn't put you on another level as the city poor when your mortgage is 300 dollars a month (as it would be for a small house in a small town). Drive through the country some weekend and see for yourself, go into the walmart of a small town vs the walmart of an inner ring suburb of a big city, the differences are startling.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:29 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Drive through the country some weekend and see for yourself, go into the walmart of a small town vs the walmart of an inner ring suburb of a big city, the differences are startling.
The walmart of a small town seems more hick-ish.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:38 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
I'm thinking of physical separation, where we choose to live.
And I do not think it is simply income that we separate on, it is 'class' distinguished from income, possibly class as the appearance of income. An example of the distinction between income and class would be the small town where rich and poor live side by side homogeneously, the grand victorian mansion at the corner of the block of small well groomed cottages. Why does that work in the small town, but it doesn't work in the inner city where all the grand victorian mansions were abandoned and divided into grimy public housing units? Why do the rich only live in the city when they are surrounded by a buffer zone of other rich people? Some may say crime is the reason, but I think that is only a part of it, perhaps a small part. It is because the city has a different breed of poor than does the small town. The city has visible, vocal poor, that advertise their poverty with their distinct culture. While the poor in the small homogeneous town maintain their properties with pride, speak and hold manners in the same way as their more welloff neighbors vs the city poor who seem to have no dignity or pride and thus behave as animals in the eyes of the rich. The homogeneous town has income disparity while the city has class disparity, class disparity being the one which separates society into their enclaves. No one wants to live next to people who hang out on their doorsteps and lean on walls along the sidewalks 'being different' all day. That is not a comfortable environment and those neighorboods become wealth deserts where anyone who has the means to get out, does. At least, this is the case given our current level of sophistication to multiculturalism (the current level being: we pretty much have none).
I think you're over thinking this. . .rich people live near other rich people because (i) they have the desire to live in the nicest parts of town (who doesn't), and (ii) they have the means to do so.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Cultural norms around class separation have varied tremendously depending upon time and place.

Generally speaking, classes mixed more in cities in the past, largely due to lack of good transportation options. Big cities were more like an agglomeration of small towns (neighborhoods) which were more or less self-sustaining. Wealthy areas, like the West End of London, needed to have a large middle and working class, because the wealthy needed to have shopkeepers and servants live nearby. Hence even in palatial areas, fairly modest homes were found tucked away in alleys. On the other hand, even in impoverished areas, local business owners and shopkeepers also needed to live, so there were always some grander homes, and even a scattered few mansions.

This system was imported to America, and indeed was the way things worked until the late 19th century. Examples of this can be seen in some of the earliest suburban communities of New York - Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. Both became reasonable commutes to New York when train lines came in. But despite the train, old habits died hard, and developers made sure around the station there was a "poor town" for the working class to live in. Later suburbs further north didn't show this division.

Really, the streetcar suburb of the early 20th century was the first sign of true housing segregation. In its earliest form, it even proceeded trains - the first railcars were pulled by horse. Suddenly managers didn't have to live near their work - they could catch a ride back to a residential neighborhood, far from the smog and the working classes. The trend only deepened, obviously, with the rise of the automobile.

Keep in mind that while this is generally the pattern which has happened elsewhere, it's far from universal, and not always as rigid. I know when I was in China I noticed almost no segregation of the classes in neighborhoods, which may in part be because the rich are so recently removed from the poor. Still, you'll see shanties next to working-class housing blocks, next to new luxury apartments. It's a bit jarring to American eyes.

A confounding issue in the United States also is schools. Our system of funding schools on the local level is unique worldwide, and results in tremendous distortions to housing values in certain areas. Where elsewhere a small house in a wealthier area would often be passed over for a larger house in a less wealthy area, our obsession with "good schools" (which in itself is a bit of a fallacy), means people will pay a premium to even live in the cruddiest houses in expensive areas.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
I am thinking specifically of any Minnesota small town. And owning property doesn't put you on another level as the city poor when your mortgage is 300 dollars a month (as it would be for a small house in a small town). Drive through the country some weekend and see for yourself, go into the walmart of a small town vs the walmart of an inner ring suburb of a big city, the differences are startling.
I've never been to MN. I've lived in small towns before though. I think you're just avoiding your real point.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
I think you're over thinking this. . .rich people live near other rich people because (i) they have the desire to live in the nicest parts of town (who doesn't), and (ii) they have the means to do so.
Some of the nicest parts of Minneapolis are practically slums now where you could get far more for your money by rehabbing a grand stone mansion from the 19th century there and have the easiest access to downtown which exists, trees, parks, historic architecture and public buildings, you would be a fool to pay 10 times as much for your home in the rich neighborhood a mile out if not for the factor of your neighbors, who literally wander the streets in some kind of de-evolved stupor, yelling at each other like cave people, wallowing in their own filth and trash on the porches of the decayed brownstone mansions they call home.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM
 
2,145 posts, read 1,588,369 times
Reputation: 1057
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Cultural norms around class separation have varied tremendously depending upon time and place.

Generally speaking, classes mixed more in cities in the past, largely due to lack of good transportation options. Big cities were more like an agglomeration of small towns (neighborhoods) which were more or less self-sustaining. Wealthy areas, like the West End of London, needed to have a large middle and working class, because the wealthy needed to have shopkeepers and servants live nearby. Hence even in palatial areas, fairly modest homes were found tucked away in alleys. On the other hand, even in impoverished areas, local business owners and shopkeepers also needed to live, so there were always some grander homes, and even a scattered few mansions.

This system was imported to America, and indeed was the way things worked until the late 19th century. Examples of this can be seen in some of the earliest suburban communities of New York - Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. Both became reasonable commutes to New York when train lines came in. But despite the train, old habits died hard, and developers made sure around the station there was a "poor town" for the working class to live in. Later suburbs further north didn't show this division.

Really, the streetcar suburb of the early 20th century was the first sign of true housing segregation. In its earliest form, it even proceeded trains - the first railcars were pulled by horse. Suddenly managers didn't have to live near their work - they could catch a ride back to a residential neighborhood, far from the smog and the working classes. The trend only deepened, obviously, with the rise of the automobile.

Keep in mind that while this is generally the pattern which has happened elsewhere, it's far from universal, and not always as rigid. I know when I was in China I noticed almost no segregation of the classes in neighborhoods, which may in part be because the rich are so recently removed from the poor. Still, you'll see shanties next to working-class housing blocks, next to new luxury apartments. It's a bit jarring to American eyes.

A confounding issue in the United States also is schools. Our system of funding schools on the local level is unique worldwide, and results in tremendous distortions to housing values in certain areas. Where elsewhere a small house in a wealthier area would often be passed over for a larger house in a less wealthy area, our obsession with "good schools" (which in itself is a bit of a fallacy), means people will pay a premium to even live in the cruddiest houses in expensive areas.
They mixed more in the past because they shared a more common culture, the poor wore a suit and tie on their way to the meat packing plant, they went to church together every Sunday, they took pride in the furnishing and upkeep of their home or apartment, the bottom line is they were more civilized.
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