Wealthy families are most responsible for American wealth segregation

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Exactly. Things wouldn’t be so segregated if The Poors got off their lazy rumps and moved in to the rich neighborhoods they can’t afford.

Personally, I blame Obama.


Isn’t that kind of a no-brainer? Who else would be responsible? Black flight from the exurbs? Or maybe the Invisible Hand is playing Maxwell’s Daemon?

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I think the new information is that it’s the wealthy families, as opposed to wealthy individuals.


In other news, people with guns are responsible for most shootings and dogs are most responsible for dog bites.


Are the rich responsible?

Follow the money.

People have given huge sums of money to the government for their old age. They have given up the chance to invest that and gather wealth.

The state spent the lot, and replaced it with debt.

So follow the money.

The state spent the public’s wealth.


No shit, Sherlock.


It’s apparently easy to forget, but this all depends upon how you measure “wealth” in the first place.



Yes, rich people do bid up the prices of housing in areas with good schools. Zoning laws also promote segregation by income. Places where local property taxes pay for school systems have an incentive to zone for wealthy families in order to raise the ratio of taxes to students.

Poor families with children are more likely to stay put…

…if costs don’t force them out

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What happens if you continue to follow the money after the state spent it?


Also not entirely surprising, though. Families with kids care a lot about the neighbourhood they live in, because it’s the neighbourhood where their kid will play, make friends, go to school, etc. People without kids want a nice house, and other conveniences not too far away, but their requirements are less extensive than those of people with kids.

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Cities should be doing the exact opposite: try to create as diverse neghbourhoods as possible. Mix rent-controlled housing with expensive housing. Have big and small appartments.

I live in a neighbourhood that’s a mix of yuppies, students, and immigrants. Works fairly well. The appartment building I live in is mostly white, and mostly people with kids playing in the enclosed common garden (though there are many exceptions in every direction), but one street away, it’s primarily black and Arab kids playing in the streets.

Unfortunately, most of the people in my building send their kids to a Montessori school about a kilometer away, except for one familiy that sent their kids to a school half a km in the other direction, and they were really the only white kids on that school. So even a fairly mixed neighbourhood is no guarantee that the schools will be mixed.

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I assume you’re talking about Social Security. In that case, while I appreciate the sentiment, and don’t deny that shenanigans happen, it reflects a common but fundamental misunderstanding of how the program was always supposed to work. Social Security started paying out the same day it started collecting taxes. You’ve never been paying for you’re retirement. You’ve always been paying for the retirement of those who are already old enough to collect. When the system takes in more than the amount it immediately needs, it has to go somewhere and earn a return to stay ahead of inflation, and the safest asset that does that is US government debt. Debt is an asset to the creditor.

Would you have rather had the government investing in corporate stocks and bonds? Or mandate what kind of pension plans private employers had to offer? Fundamentally those are both more efficient solutions, but would never have flown politically.


It’s replaced with debt.

The state has zero assets - it spent them.

The state still owes people their pensions. That’s debt. Off the books.

What’s more interesting is to look at opportunity cost.

What could the working poor have had in a fund, if their money had been invested and they owned the assets.

I’ve done this for the UK.

State pension is worth 108K. The debt per head, 400K.

If the money had been invested, Mr Median [50% earn more, 50% less], 800K in a fund, IF …

That’s the disaster.

It’s not a misunderstanding on how it works.

Social Security started paying out the same day it started collecting taxes.

Absolutely right.

You’ve never been paying for you’re retirement.

Wrong, you have been paying. What you are saying is the state has used the cash for something else. Redistributed it.

Debt is an asset to the creditor.

If creditor and debtor are the same, what happens?

Do the accounting.

Are people who have paid into the system owed a pension for their payments?

Yes, but the money had to go somewhere. Where? An incinerator? The companies making money from PPI contracts? Politicians pockets?

If the money is going to pensioners now, then that is how state pensions have always worked.

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There’s a discussion I’ve been following elsewhere about incredibly high taxes in West Orange, NJ. These staggeringly high taxes (like 20K on a 600K house) basically keep the schools in really good shape, and, at the same time, basically prevent students who test badly, because they didn’t have private tutors and the like, out of the local school system.

So only wealthy people can afford to maintain a house there and the local schools are outstanding. Why would we need a study to prove what is common sense?


Isn’t this kind of self-fulfilling?

I mean, if I’m looking to move to a neighborhood, particularly if I’m buying a house, I’d look at the school ratings (most real estate sites provide this with their listings).

From an investment standpoint, it’s harder to sell a house in a neighborhood with low-rated schools, and if you have kids, why would you choose to move to a place where you knew the schools got poor ratings?

I’m all for trying to improve things (perhaps by dividing state and federal education funds on an equitable basis), but no one is going to move to a place with bad schools on the hope that people with a better taxable rate will join them to “fix” things.

Though, when people actually start doing that, then folks start crying foul about gentrification.