Chapter

The Dark Experiment

Dale Maharidge

in Someplace Like America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262478
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262478.003.0023
The Dark Experiment

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In an interview on July 21, 2009, Martha Kegel, executive director of UNITY of Greater New Orleans, described the proliferation of homelessness caused by the loss of 51,000 rental units. She also mentioned the people who were in such horrendous living conditions. Kegel could have been referring not just to New Orleans, but to the United States of America. It was as if someone decided to run a dark experiment to see what would occur if the government did everything in its power to ensure that high-paying, middle-class jobs would be destroyed and replaced with low-wage, service-sector jobs. A 2010 Brookings Institution report, citing 2008 data, revealed a startling fact: one-third of all Americans, 91.6 million people, fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, which was $21,834 for a family of four. From the beginning, one of the people Dale Maharidge have always looked to for guidance in gauging the impact of American decline has been Dr. John Russo, co-director of the Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University.

Keywords: Martha Kegel; New Orleans; United States of America; jobs; Brookings Institution; poverty; Dale Maharidge; John Russo; Center for Working-Class Studies; Youngstown

Chapter.  1985 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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