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I live in a rapidly gentrifying but still primarily black working class neighbourhood right next to one of the poorer parts of Bed Stuy (a huge black neighbourhood in Brooklyn primarily made up of a mix of solid working class and the very poor with an increasing but still small number of well off people running from escalating housing prices.) I used to live right next to Harlem before it began to gentrify. I see US urban poverty constantly.

I think we seem to be talking about two different things. If what you're saying is that the bottom one or two percent of Americans live at the level of the bottom half of a rich third world country like Brazil or bottom four fifths of a poor one like India - ok. What I was talking about was the people in the tenth or twentieth percentile - and their lives, while very bad by rich country standards, are quite different. And with the important exception of health care access the lives of the bottom one or two percent are pretty miserable in most European countries as well.

by MarekNYC on Fri Sep 9th, 2005 at 04:49:31 AM EST
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