Friday, November 8, 2013

Study Recycles Old Themes, Corrosive WI Racial Divide

The Journal Sentinel editorial board gives a glowing review to a new study's relevance to the Milwaukee region's poverty. 

I do not share that enthusiasm because these issues' significance, data and solutions have been ignored by the powers-that-be for many years.

*  UWM's Marc Levine has been writing about this forever:

Historical and contemporary data are clear: metro Milwaukee is an economically stagnant region, with an especially troubled urban core characterized by sharply declining incomes, growing poverty, and a shrinking job base. In particular, the hypersegregated Milwaukee region is marked by some of the widest racial and spatial disparities –in employment, income, and poverty—of any metropolitan area in the country.  
*  The Public Policy Forum noted many of these realities in a 2002 study:
"The lack of housing diversity here suppresses the housing market, promises to accelerate the concentration of poverty, undercuts the local economy, segregates educational opportunities and undermines the wealth-building potential for thousands of families," said Jeffrey Browne, forum vice president and research director.
*  The Brookings Institution's John Austin took note of the penalties of legacy discrimination in a major 2007 study which I noted on my blog at the time:
He also has data about racial separation in southeastern Wisconsin and across the Great Lakes region that is deeply disturbing, but, again, offers an opportunity for change that would be good for the entire region's economy - - if leaders here have the political will to break from the past.
Themes repeated with data and links often on this blog, for example, here or here.

So I can't get too excited by a new study. The editorial says the study author will dive into these issues more deeply, but where is the evidence that the powers-that-be really want or would implement more data?

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