Moving to Opportunity: Katz, Ludwig, Chetty and Hendren — discussant Bruce Springsteen
This very important paper “Moving to Opportunity” is well summarized by the discussant.
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get [them] out while [they]’re young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
As noted by the discussant, the authors find that the benefits for young children of moving out of high poverty areas are very large. In contrast moving in ones teens helps girls but not teenage boys many of whom have already begun “steppin’ out over the line” & are harmed by increased access to “suicide machines”.
As noted, the paper is excellent and important, but I think the more striking fact is that the discussant has managed to summarize it so briefly and accurately while rhyming and playing a guitar.
I agree. Anytime you can break down the economic wall keeping Detroit residents to the city boundaries, there is a better result with the exposure to a another environment superior to what they experienced. If yo care to dive a bit deeper on a similar topic, pick up Dr. James Gilligan “Violence: Reflections of a National Epidemic.”
“He gives a rather Gramscian description of our situation, in which the ruling class lull[s] the middle class into accepting its subordination to, and exploitation by, the upper class, by giving the middle class ordinate to itself (the lower class) which it can exploit, and to whom it can feel superior, thus distracting the middle class from the resentment it might otherwise feel and express toward the upper class. The subordinate classes (middle and lower) are divided into predator and prey, respectively, and are more likely to fight against each other than against the ruling class, which makes them easier for the ruling class to control.
Here was Adams comments 19 century:
” “The poor man’s conscience is clear . . . he does not feel guilty and has no reason to . . . yet, he is ashamed. Mankind takes no notice of him. He rambles unheeded. In the midst of a crowd; at a church; in the market . . . he is in as much obscurity as he would be in a garret or a cellar. He is not disapproved, censured, or reproached; he is not seen . . . To be wholly overlooked, and to know it, are intolerable.” John Adams