Myth: “Poverty doesn’t exist here.”
Thanks to the Recession, this myth has become too obvious, too uncomfortable, to ignore. For the first time, suburbs have a higher percentage of the nation’s poor than cities. Many are newly-impoverished: home-owners who lost their nest-eggs, who are chained to mortgages they can’t afford.
However, those most affected by the Recession are the nearly 10 million people in suburbia who were living below the poverty line before 2000, including many new immigrants who flocked to the suburbs for the availability of low-wage construction/service jobs. With the housing market folding and those jobs dwindling, suburban poverty, in ten years, has increased by 53%.
Frankly, the only place I’ve seen poverty more visible is in Asia, in developing countries. In all advanced places I’ve been, like Singapore and Europe, it’s never quite as bad as I see in America.