Pete- Interesting retrospective and one that I largely agree with: urban poverty is still a problem.Only now, it is obvious that institutions we set up to solve that problem are particularly inadequate to the tasks.Look at the Chicago Housing Authority. Has its highly-touted \”transformation\” improved the condition of the families (generations!) that depend on it ? After decades of investing in new schools, is CPS creating opportunity for the next generation … or making taxpayers feel any better about half their property taxes going to a failed institution?Since the problem you have defined is, to me, clearly persistent over generations.. perhaps we need a bigger strategy… perhaps we need a generation-long deal for urban living,.. something that promises benefits and results.That starts with ending current support of failed institutions and, instead, employing prototype programs and replicating what seems to work. Easier said than done when it comes to politics. Will the teachers union support vouchers ? Will unnecessary clauses in the Building Code be removed so that housing affordability is improved some 20% without reducing safety. Will an atrociously punitive landlord-tenant law stop letting bad tenants work the law at the expense of good tenants and discouraging good landlords ?These and other reforms will be the substance of a new urban deal for the poor. At the same time, there needs to be a new deal for middle class who (in all likelihood) will have to pay more taxes to bail-out cities that are now broke under the weight of the 20th Century deal. What new deal on better services does the middle class get for their increased taxes ?Something to think about….Maybe you can write about this deal is future posts !

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