Oct 7, 2013

The Future Politics of Allentown's Current Poverty

Allentown's large urban core is mired in poverty and survival. This urban poor environment, mostly hispanic, currently has little inclination toward the luxury of politics; This is why we have a Pawlowski for mayor, instead of a Diaz. The arena project is not on their minds, nor will it effect their lives in any way. Allentown's current middle class, remaining in the outer neighborhoods, have divorced themselves mentally from Allentown's new reality. They have a nice house, with taxes relatively less than urban areas east of Pennsylvania. Their children are grown, and many have moved away, at least to the outlining boroughs. Although they read the local paper and shake their heads about the problems in center city, their streets and quality of life remain quiet, clean and acceptable. Allentown has the problems of much larger urban areas, a consequence of it's strategic location. I believe that conditions in Allentown will slowly improve, not because of any arena or other white elephant, but because a hispanic middle class is evolving. As the Latino population enters it's second generation, a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other ethnic institutions will steer their demographic into a middle class. In the future, Allentown may well be the leading hispanic city in the northeast.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool --- Venezuelan-style Democracy here we come!

Mini-Banana Republic With No (Sppending?) Limits will not have the same ring to it, I must admit.

I've got the guts to publically say it and am prepared to back this up --- for starters, what political traditions and experiences (i.e., corruption, bribery, etc.) are all our new Latino brother & sister citizens already used to putting up with in their own countries of origin?

(I am prepared to include New York City and Puerto Rico as 'country of origin' to go along with 'real' countries like the Dominican Republic and Colombia to illustrate my point here)

I'm not afraid of Cynthia Mota --- or anybody she's got behind the scenes, like a Mike Fleck-type for example.

You think local history and tradition takes a pounding now --- just you wait, Comrade Molovinsky.

PS - You are completely correct in you estimation of what 'demographic' will be an overwhelming, unbeatable voting majority in the not-so-far off future.

The Julio Guridys of the world, however, WILL figure out how to get the disinterested more interested sooner rather than later.

Fleck, or, perhaps, others of his ilk, is a master at that sort of thing and WILL happily share his knowledge (and be well compensated for his efforts).

No, I ain't afraid of Fatboy Fleck, either.

Have Fun,

ROLF OELER

PS --- Not having to show IDs should make it all seem like shooting fish in a barrel!

monkey momma said...

I wish I shared your optimism. Reasons for my pessimism are:

1. Poverty usually begets more poverty. And this is undeniably tied to crime. I see a downward spiral.
2. The culture downtown rewards very young women (girls, really) who have babies -many babies. This perpetuates poverty, and thus crime.
3. The schools are doing their best, but they are not in a good position to combat all of the obstacles facing the children they teach.
4. The family unit has been utterly and completely demolished downtown. Matriarchs run multi-generational households, while men have little to no role in child-rearing. In many cases, it's far better for these children to NOT know their particular dad, but every child would benefit from having a caring male presence in their house.
5. The drug culture is alive and well downtown. Children literally grow up seeing grandma smoke weed regularly and openly. While this isn't the worst thing ever, it certainly doesn't promote a hard working ethic.
6. The local politicians take this apathy and run with it. Corruption downtown is astonishing, and one need only follow the dollar to see that lining the pockets of the politically well connected is far more important than funding schools or providing adequate storm water drainage.

There are many many many good people downtown. There are so many good families and kids who are part of the ASD. The majority of folks downtown are hard-working citizens. But there are enough people who wear pajamas all day and free load off the system to drag down the entire area.

This is the classic battle of good versus evil, and I just don't see the good folks winning this one. I just see the success stories moving away for better lives.

Anonymous said...

monkey momma -

You speak of people "moving away to better places." To have that ability is wonderful. All made possible by federalism and state sovereignty. Not only can we move to a different neighborhood, but to a different state in search of better conditions. We see it happening with Allentown and Parkland, California and Texas. Allentown will not get better.

You see, Obama is driving us all closer to complete federal government control. He wants a total welfare state with central control.

Then, where we 'gonna go?

CHOICE means freedom. Preserve it.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Many of the successful Latinos I know have move out of the city. Many other I know wish they could.

Scott Armstrong