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Columbus Ranked Among Worst Cities in Income Mobility

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Columbus Ranked Among Worst Cities in Income Mobility

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  • #546940

    CMHflyer
    Participant

    InnerCore said:

    Take a wealthier area like Upper Arlington. While the houses cost considerably more many of them are very similar to houses in less wealthy area. Then cars, in Columbus you very rarely see expensive cars. Go to Easton and the garage is filled with average cars.

    So you have lower income people by and large living in neighborhoods together because that’s where all their friends and family live. They don’t really have a need to go to UA because they don’t know anyone there. And in the oft chance they do they’ll see many homes that don’t look that different from the outside.

    That’s vastly different than when I lived in places like NY, DC and Miami. The low income and high income households are pretty much all mixed in together. I think a lot of it has to do with public transportation. And the gap between them is much larger. In my building there are people who make $50k a year but in the parking lot there are Ferrari’s and Maserati’s.

    Interestingly enough, my experiences in life in regards to the above has been the opposite:

    I grew up in Upper Arlington, but my best friend lived in rural Groveport. Our homes were quite different, to say the least.

    I moved to NYC nearly 2 years ago was actually taken aback by the income disparity. I applied for studios in Kew Gardens and Forest Hills and was flat-out rejected because my income did not meet their criteria. I finally found a place in Briarwood across the VanWyck from Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill, but technically inside Jamaica.

    And I’m not exactly sure what the perceived lack of expensive cars in Columbus has to do with income mobility. However, with MAG selling such makes as Maserati, Aston Martin, and Bentley out of their Dublin showroom, I’d have to think there is some kind of market for these vehicles in Central Ohio.

    #546941

    drew
    Participant

    labi said:
    I see this very differently. It’s not that poor people just “naturally” choose to live together, it’s that racial covenants and other extra-legal manifestations of segregation lasted well into the 1960s and have shaped the current patterns of residential segregation by income. On top of that, whenever the powers-that-be have somehow been led to provide housing for low-income people, they have preferred to put it in neighborhoods where poverty was already over-concentrated.

    This continues today. Wagenbrenner Development, for example, has done many good things for Weinland Park, but where are they proposing to locate their new affordable housing project? In their big site next to the railroad tracks in Weinland Park, or their big site next to the railroad tracks in Italian Village? A: Weinland Park.

    My comment wasn’t intended to speak specifically to the poor, and I’m not sure why you would assume it was. Put differently, the people who have the means to self-segregate generally do… and then after that’s done, who is left?

    #546942

    howatzer
    Participant

    Keep in mind that these statistics are retrospective, as they represent today’s outcome of yesterday’s conditions. For example, a 20 year old in columbus today may face very different conditions than a 20 year old in the late 1980’s who was unable to reach the top 5% by the time they turned 45. This is probably why today’s boom towns like Charlotte and Atlanta score so poorly here.

    #546943

    InnerCore
    Participant

    DavidF said:
    I’m gonna defend innercore here a little. I think he’s not talking about this as though it’s a failing on our part. In fact, I read the part where we may be happier because we don’t have this obsessive drive for more as a whole. (Certainly there are plenty of individual examples) I don’t know if this has an impact or not on income mobility, but it is certainly true that Columbus to me has a much more laid back vibe than cities like New York or Hong Kong.

    Yes, when they are measuring upward mobility they are looking at income levels. So let’s say your dad was a factory worker in NY. You graduate and become a investment analyst and you work 80 hour weeks to keep up with the status quo in NY. It will look like you have moved further up the income ladder, even though you’re doing bumps of coke to stay awake and you head to the strip club 3 times a week because you cant keep a girlfriend who’ll put up with you taking her out only twice a month. Meanwhile every douche at your job has a $35k Hublot watch and Zenga suits. So you quit the job and go back to get your MBA because well, you need a Hublot watch like them too. After your MBA you get a job as an associate where you make $125k a year and still everyone at the office still has more than you. You work that schedule for another 5 years before getting burnt out, and say screw it and buy a a food truck or move to Miami.

    Now compare that to the midwest where your dad was a factory worker and you go to OSU where you graduate and make $50k a few years after graduation. You get married to your college sweetheart and you know have an $85k household. You can afford a decent house and a decent car. Most people around you have the same decent house and decent car. You’ve got no real reason to quite a decent paying job and go back to get an MBA. You have kids and spend your free time raising a family. Now if you compare your salary with your dad’s salary it isn’t that different so one could say you didn’t move up. But you work 9 to 5 in an office while your dad had to bust his @ss on an assembly line. Plus because you’re wife works you still live in an household with more income.

    #546944

    Twixlen
    Participant

    If the dad was a factory worker, it is highly unlikely that family was poor. Factory workers in this country generally make an OK wage – it used to be better – for instance, when this hypothetical dad would have been working. Better in that the wage was more compatible with the cost of living.

    The people this article is referring to clean hotel rooms. They fry fries. They might be a Catholic school teacher. They take tickets at the local theater. They are working for minimum or just above minimum wage.

    So once again, InnerCore, you are talking about middle class people begetting more middle class, to upper middle class people. That isn’t what the article is about, and frankly misses the point entirely.

    #546945

    InnerCore
    Participant

    Twixlen said:
    I feel like you’re missing a whoooole bunch about the psychology of being poor, the realities of being rich, and what real middle class is… particularly in Ohio. Also, let’s just get this one thing out of the way – there isn’t anywhere in the U.S. where $50M homes are “common” – more of them may exist in cities like LA, NYC, or San Fran, that in no way makes them common.

    When you are poor, you aren’t necessarily looking at the lifestyles of others as an attainable thing. It’s one of the most insidious things about living in an environment where all of the poor folks are grouped together, regardless of color/ethnicity – it beats you down, it doesn’t make you ambitious. You’re working too hard to just get by, all the time; you look at everyone who has a good car and lives in a nicer neighborhood as “rich.”

    What Columbus is missing are many folks who are uber rich – those folks do tend to live in bigger “name brand” cities. And, many of the richest people in Columbus choose not to have a Columbus address by living in isolated little pockets of other folks like themselves.

    You are also discounting the impact that real segregation had on this city, and in the south – and the bigger picture of what that means for education now. The number one way for someone to go from being really poor to not being really poor is to get a good education. Education inequality is a massive problem in Ohio. The way the schools are funded is a joke, and with folks like Kasich in power, more and more money gets funneled to school districts that already have plenty, or get funneled to private/charter schools. Big city public education isn’t cared about, on the state level. When you’re poor, getting a good pre-college education is the only way you can even consider college – it’s not like it can be paid for out of pocket. And college is the most common way to bust free from poverty.

    I agree with most of what you are saying. MOST of my family is poor. EVERYONE around them is in the same socioeconomic status. They have no one around them to guide them down a different path. The segregation feeds into this problem. If you take them one by one and placed them in a different neighborhood, where most of the people around them had more, then most of them would strive to achieve more. But you can’t strive for something that you don’t think is attainable. And it’s hard to think something is attainable if you don’t see it.

    When I go to family functions I’m the odd ball because of the way I dress, talk, etc. We have long conversations and I ask them why them simply don’t go to Columbus State, take out federal loans and sacrifice now in their early 20’s so they can have more stability throughout their life. But their environment has already taught them that other things are more important.

    #546946

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    The easy takeaway from the map is that high-growth areas like the Sun Belt have awful upward mobility, while the low-growth Plains and Upper Midwest has the highest. Everywhere else is kind of average. I would be more interested to see a map at the county/city level to see where the problems exist rather than the entire area.

    #546947

    InnerCore
    Participant

    Twixlen said:
    If the dad was a factory worker, it is highly unlikely that family was poor. Factory workers in this country generally make an OK wage – it used to be better – for instance, when this hypothetical dad would have been working. Better in that the wage was more compatible with the cost of living.

    The people this article is referring to clean hotel rooms. They fry fries. They might be a Catholic school teacher. They take tickets at the local theater. They are working for minimum or just above minimum wage.

    So once again, InnerCore, you are talking about middle class people begetting more middle class, to upper middle class people. That isn’t what the article is about, and frankly misses the point entirely.

    Actually if you read this article it’s talking about everyone. They analyzed people from all income and then studied where their children end up. This is NOT just about poor people.

    So for example if you look at the infographic they have you can put in a place and look at the parents from any percentile and see what percentile kids end up. If you compare Columbus to New York and look at ALL the percentiles you’ll see that the kids always end up in a lower percentile.

    Parent —————-New York————-Columbus
    Percentile————-Kid Percentile——-Kid Percentile
    90th——————-65th—————–63rd
    50th——————-52nd—————–48th
    10th——————-39th—————–32nd

    So you can see that there seems to be more upward mobility at all income levels in NY over Columbus.

    And part of their assemsemnt was similar to mine in that a large reason for this is that a place like NY no matter what income level you are at, you are more likely to live in closer proximity and therefore more likely to interact with someone in a higher income level. So whether it’s the desire to have what the other person has or the knowledge that that person can give you since you have more opportunity to interact it’s the presence of higher incomes that helps with upward mobility.

    #546948

    InnerCore
    Participant

    labi said:
    But the article under discussion isn’t about the relationship of middle-to-upper-class, it’s about the bottom fifth compared to the upper fifth. You’re missing the point. As also demonstrated by your example of the person making $50K, as if $50K is low income.

    No as I pointed out the article was about the income of people in relation to their parents:

    The study — based on millions of anonymous earnings records and being released this week by a team of top academic economists — is the first with enough data to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas. [b]These comparisons provide some of the most powerful evidence so far about the factors that seem to drive people’s chances of rising beyond the station of their birth, including education, family structure and the economic layout of metropolitan areas.[/b]

    Basically what status are you when you are born and what are the factors that contribute to the status that you move into.

    #546949

    Twixlen
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    Actually if you read this article it’s talking about everyone. They analyzed people from all income and then studied where their children end up. This is NOT just about poor people.

    So for example if you look at the infographic they have you can put in a place and look at the parents from any percentile and see what percentile kids end up. If you compare Columbus to New York and look at ALL the percentiles you’ll see that the kids always end up in a lower percentile.

    Parent —————-New York————-Columbus
    Percentile————-Kid Percentile——-Kid Percentile
    90th——————-65th—————–63rd
    50th——————-52nd—————–48th
    10th——————-39th—————–32nd

    So you can see that there seems to be more upward mobility at all income levels in NY over Columbus.

    And part of their assemsemnt was similar to mine in that a large reason for this is that a place like NY no matter what income level you are at, you are more likely to live in closer proximity and therefore more likely to interact with someone in a higher income level. So whether it’s the desire to have what the other person has or the knowledge that that person can give you since you have more opportunity to interact it’s the presence of higher incomes that helps with upward mobility.

    The whole point of the article is to point out the locations where people at an income of $16,000 are more or less likely to be upwardly mobile. That’s not an article focused on the middle class. No one really cares, economically, if someone from the middle class came become richer than that – middle class people have resources that poor people do not.

    And again, you’re making some kind of strange assumption about human behavior that is only very very minimally influential in the lives of folks at the bottom-most earning levels. The article itself points out that the reason people in economically diverse areas have more success is because of education – not because Poor Bob is looking at Rich Joe and wishing he had what Joe has. Poor folks see examples of wealth everywhere they go, and every time they turn on the TV. They know people have the ability to go from being poor to not being poor – the problem is that without the necessary education, the chances of that happening are slim to none. It doesn’t matter if they like nice cars, or want to wear designer clothes, or live in certain neighborhoods – it’s about having the tools to make that success possible; not about a lack of want.

    BTW – your continued assertion that it’s a lack of ambition or lack of desire is pretty insulting to folks that are poor. Poor people work pretty goddamn hard for very little return. Just like everyone else, they want more for their kids than they have, desire nicer lives for themselves. It isn’t that they don’t *want* it – it’s that there is zero path for them to achieve it.

    #546950

    GCrites80s
    Participant

    Twixlen said:

    And again, you’re making some kind of strange assumption about human behavior that is only very very minimally influential in the lives of folks at the bottom-most earning levels. The article itself points out that the reason people in economically diverse areas have more success is because of education – not because Poor Bob is looking at Rich Joe and wishing he had what Joe has. Poor folks see examples of wealth everywhere they go, and every time they turn on the TV. They know people have the ability to go from being poor to not being poor – the problem is that without the necessary education, the chances of that happening are slim to none. It doesn’t matter if they like nice cars, or want to wear designer clothes, or live in certain neighborhoods – it’s about having the tools to make that success possible; not about a lack of want.

    All those 2000s rap videos focused exclusively on clothing, rims and jewelry didn’t make people covet possessions I don’t know what can.

    #546951
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    From the article:

    What they found surprised them, said Raj Chetty, one of the authors and the most recent winner of the John Bates Clark Medal, which the American Economic Association awards to the country’s best academic economist under the age of 40. The researchers concluded that larger tax credits for the poor and higher taxes on the affluent seemed to improve income mobility only slightly. The economists also found only modest or no correlation between mobility and the number of local colleges and their tuition rates or between mobility and the amount of extreme wealth in a region.

    But the researchers identified four broad factors that appeared to affect income mobility, including the size and dispersion of the local middle class. All else being equal, upward mobility tended to be higher in metropolitan areas where poor families were more dispersed among mixed-income neighborhoods.

    Income mobility was also higher in areas with more two-parent households, better elementary schools and high schools, and more civic engagement, including membership in religious and community groups.

    Regions with larger black populations had lower upward-mobility rates. But the researchers’ analysis suggested that this was not primarily because of their race. Both white and black residents of Atlanta have low upward mobility, for instance.

    The authors emphasize that their data allowed them to identify only correlation, not causation. Other economists said that future studies will be important for sorting through the patterns in this new data.

    #546952

    News
    Participant

    Sprawl May Limit Upward Mobility
    Posted July 31, 2013

    One of the biggest studies of income and inter-generational mobility, the Equality of Opportunity Project, a new research initiative by economists at Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley, has found different metropolitan areas help or hurt chances for upward mobility. In a review of the research in The New York Times, David Leonhardt writes: “Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.”

    READ MORE: http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/dirt/167226/sprawl-may-limit-upward-mobility

    #546953

    News
    Participant

    Columbus’ Young Adults Struggle To Climb Income Ladder
    August 5, 2013
    by Tom Borgerding
    89.7 NPR News Managing Editor

    A decades-long study of individual wage earnings ranks Columbus poorly. Numbers show the city ranks last among major Ohio cities in upward mobility from one generation to the next.

    READ MORE: http://wosu.org/2012/news/2013/08/05/columbus-young-adults-struggle-to-climb-income-ladder/

    #546954

    GCrites80s
    Participant

    I mentioned it in passing earlier in the thread, but the fact that the study included surrounding counties really makes a difference. Sure, people from Delaware County might do OK these days, but the upward mobility of the other counties (and of our blue-collar southern ‘burbs and [laces like the South and Southwest Sides) ranks from pretty bad to terrible. It’s easy to get stuck in a low-to-mid-level shipping-related job with all the warehouse work around here, especially when people have to take a sizable pay cut to leave the warehouse for higher-status but lower-paying work that may or may not lead to advancement within a reasonable amount of time.

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