Perceptions, getting caught in traps and urban renewal

I think it is clear that, on the average, we tend to hang around those who are a bit like us. Hence it is easy for the wealthier (or merely comfortable) among us to get a false sense of what things are like for most people.

And here is an example of that: a person becomes disabled in a crash..and the only way to qualify for Medicare treatment and facilities is…for the family to remain poor. This is one problem with means-tested programs; if your income level is in the “wrong” area and you don’t have the right types of insurance, it can be devastating to a family.

I’ve also seen cases in which a couple in which one person was more elderly than the other have to get divorced; nursing home care can be outrageously expensive and if one person’s assets get exhausted, they go after the other person’s assets (house, everything).

Urban renewal: politically, this puts a lot of liberals in a concentrated area. Hence, urban congressional districts are often won by massive margins; the rural ones are won by Republicans with lesser margins. Gerrymandering makes this effect worse.

Bottom line: we can have situations in which the Democrats in Congress get many more votes than the Republicans, and yet the Republicans come away with a large majority. But the numbers hold up in Presidential elections.


July 30, 2015 - Posted by | economy, politics, politics/social, social/political |


  1. I’m pretty much surrounded by a middle class bubble, other than my time at the reference desk (which is usually limited.) When I do work ref, I find myself continuously surprised by both the digital divide and the economic realities of my patrons.

    Last night I helped a very nice gentleman apply for a minimum wage job. Entering his work history made me really sad. He went from making $30 an hour in a trade, down to $26, $22, and, after having a couple of aneurysms, he’s in his mid-50’s and can’t find a job. Seeing someone who is smart and engaging with a good work history really struggling to find any job, due to his health, was just awful, and a good reason we need a safety net. I am sure that in his twenties or thirties he wouldn’t have been able to imagine his current reality.

    Comment by jenjw4 | July 30, 2015 | Reply

    • You are absolutely right; many of us are just a personal disaster away from being just like that.

      Comment by blueollie | July 30, 2015 | Reply

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