Life in the 'Burbs
It's strange to read, sitting here in my nice house in Austin, because the article was set in Cleveland. It turns out that for the first time, more people are living below the poverty line in Suburbs than in cities.
The suburbs are an anomaly, historically. An artifact of cars, cheap gas, and the post WWII boom in babies. They are sustained only by enormous and mostly invisible infrastructure. Gas prices kept artificially low, in particular. The suburbs, more so than the city, are rather libertarian. Pay or sink. If you lose your car, there's relatively little bus service. There aren't many free clinics, or food pantries. Social services can't cluster because suburbs are spread out. And social services tend to be run on the thinnest of shoestring budgets, so the go where they get the most bang for their buck--the cities.
Which means that we are looking at a new class of working poor. They don't look as if they are going to get much help. When they lose their homes, I wonder where they will end up?