Sub Urbanization

Sub Urbanization After World War II the concept of life in America began a new. The process of sub urbanization began in cities all across the nation. Today the cities of yesteryear are gone and life as we knew it ended. However, people do not want it to end. They still want the American Dream; the house in the suburbs, the good job, the wife, car and 2.4 kids playing in the yard.

These people have been the driving force in the division of socioeconomic status, and the division of race in the suburbs. They accomplish this through local governments and the decisions made through them. Though what has been created, by all of this over the years, isn’t necessarily bad, but it has hurt the country in ways that we did not expect. When soldiers returned from the war they were greeted with open arms and a new booming economy. It was this booming economy, of service-oriented jobs, that allowed the middle class of people the opportunity to move away from their jobs and separate their work from their home. Also during that time we were still, as a country, practicing racial segregation, which is part of the reason for the racial inequalities in the suburbs today. These new communities, of mostly white nuclear families, were now in need of a council to make the decisions that needed to be made for their area.

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They didn’t want the city to make these decisions for them since they were so far away. Also since most people worked in the city, they wanted to continue with the dream of keeping home and work separate. Therefore they banded together as neighborhoods and communities to make the decisions that affected that area on a daily basis. The benefit of this was that now they had almost total autonomy from the poor and the lower class they so quickly left behind in the city. This is where the socioeconomic division began. The people of the suburbs loved their lives. They lived around the people of the same socioeconomic status and were separated from their work. Time went on and the suburbs slowly became racially integrated, but only by the educated wealthy minorities.

Life in the suburbs was good until we started to notice the decline in the life lead by the inner-city folk. We as the good, moral country that we are, decided we needed to do something about them. Which actually was a good idea on paper, but the reality of it, is that it didn’t work out as we had hoped. The suburban councils/governments had created laws and other things that had reduced the amount of space that would be allowed for the renewal of the lower class and poor. The original settlers of the suburbs had done two things to keep their wonderful life-styles.

The first thing that some areas did was to raise the housing prices of the area to the point that nobody else could afford to move in. They did this by building extravagant houses and spending their money on their schools. The second thing, often done in conjunction with the first, was to actually write into law that there shall be no low-income housing in that area. By doing this, the suburbs stayed safe and the feeling of community was saved for the time being. The pursuit of the American Dream is not a bad thing. It is actually a fundamental part of our economy. Capitalism is based on the fact that there will always be a caste system. But the rapid suburbanization, also known as white-flight, helped to create a greater disparity in the lives of the lower class and the lives of the upper class.

In other words suburbs and their suburban councils have beaten the economic system and created one where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. There is no real way to rectify the situation at this time, so all we can do is wait for another economic change to help lift the poor. However, what we can do is help to prepare them by fixing their housing and educating them. The suburbs have always been a place of retreat for the wealthy, they will always be, and there is nothing we can do to change that. The wealthy will always find a way to stay ahead as long as they can. Whether they do it through shear wealth, laws that restrict the poor, or through laws that restrict other races, they will do it until they get caught.

These councils and laws are necessarily bad, they are just a product of the economic driven, capitalistic society we have chosen to live in.