PLEDGE NOW
The End Of Middle Class Neighborhoods?

The middle class is shrinking. So are middle class neighborhoods.  We’ll look at the archetypal American neighborhood, in retreat.

Suburban areas are changing as the economy continues to struggle. (marueen_sill/Flickr)

Suburban areas are changing as the economy continues to struggle. (marueen_sill/Flickr)

All the talk about income inequality these days can sound esoteric. The stuff of number crunchers and statistics. It’s not. A big new report shows how income inequality is changing the very face of American life. Changing neighborhoods and neighbors. Who we see and who we don’t.

Above all, it’s changing the middle class neighborhood. Changing, as in taking it away. The archetypal American neighborhood, with baseball gloves and tricycles and families doing just okay… slipping away.

This hour, On Point: the middle class neighborhood, seedbed of the American dream, in steep retreat.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sean Reardon, Director, Stanford Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis. Co-author of a recent study, Growth in Residential Segregation of Families by Income, 1970-2009.

Ira Goldstein, director of policy solutions at the Reinvestment Fund, a nonprofit community development organization.

William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Much of the shift is the result of changing income structure in the United States. Part of the country’s middle class has slipped to the lower rungs of the income ladder as manufacturing and other middle-class jobs have dwindled, while the wealthy receive a bigger portion of the income pie. Put simply, there are fewer people in the middle.”

The Atlantic “The Great Recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most of America and the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us.”

Brookings “The State of Metropolitan America is a signature effort of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program that portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation’s essential economic and societal units—its large metropolitan areas—and discusses what they imply for public policies to secure prosperity for these places and their populations.”

IRA GOLDSTEIN

(Joining us from ???)

Director of policy solutions at the Reinvestment Fund, a nonprofit community development organization which began in Philadelphia and has expanded across the Mid-Atlantic region

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

 
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment