The Bureau of Labor Statistics characterizes a recession as a general slowdown in economic activity, a downturn in the business cycle, and a reduction in the amount of goods and services produced and sold. But what usually causes this slowdown to begin with? Each recession has its own specific causes, but all of them are usually preceded by a period of irrational exuberance which is part of the expansion phase of the business cycle. The most recent one, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, produced the greatest US labor-market meltdown since the Great Depression. This Great Recession began with the bursting of an 8 trillion dollar housing bubble. Irrational exuberance in the housing market led many people to buy houses they couldn’t afford because the thought was that housing prices could only go up. The bubble burst in 2006 as housing prices started to decline, threw many homeowners off guard, who had taken loans with little money down. When the realization set in that they would lose money by selling the house for less than their mortgage, they foreclosed. This triggered an enormous foreclosure rate which caused many banks and hedge funds to panic after realizing the looming huge losses due to the buying of mortgage-backed securities on the secondary market. By August 2007, banks were afraid to lend to one another because they did not want these toxic loans as collateral. This led to the $700 billion bailout, and bankruptcies or government nationalization of Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, IndyMac Bank, and Washington Mutual. Consumer spending experienced sharp cutbacks due to the resulting loss of wealth. The combination of this along with the financial market chaos elicited by the bursting of th...
When a person hears the words “The Great Depression,” almost everyone thinks of the worst economic times in the United States. The Great Depression started in the late 1920s and continued on until the early 1940s. It is known as being “the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the western industrialized world” (History.com). We can learn from the occurrences during The Great Depression that government involvement is the deciding factor of whether an economy will expand or continue to shrink during a recession.
After the great depression back in the 1930’s, America would think they would never run into an economic scare again, until 80 years later when the next big economic disaster would strike. The 2008 economic collapse would not only be triggered and felt by America, but the entire globe as well. You would think that the United States would have a fail-safe plan on defending off another economic crash, but they didn’t and had shown weakness. The 2008 economic collapse is usually refereed to as the global financial crises or the great recession. With the allegation of collapse from large financial institutions, and the bailout of banks by the government, began the second great depression. Many believe that we are still stuck in this recession and have not completed anything to get out of this situation that’s affecting our nation. I believe that the economic crash in 2008 was the finale building block towards a more structural society, political system, and government in the United States of America.
Gentrification is described as the renovation of certain neighborhoods in order to accommodate to young workers and the middle-class. For an area to be considered gentrified, a neighborhood must meet a certain median home value and hold a percentage of adults earning Bachelor’s degree. Philadelphia’s gentrification rate is among the top in the nation; different neighborhoods have pushed for gentrification and have seen immense changes as a result. However, deciding on whether or not gentrification is a beneficial process can become complicated. Various groups of people believe that cities should implementing policy on advancing gentrification, and others believe that this process shouldn’t executed. Both sides are impacted by the decision to progress gentrification; it is unclear of the true implications of completely renovating impoverished urban areas; gentrification surely doesn’t solve all of a community’s issues. I personally believe that gentrification is not necessarily a good or bad process; gentrification should occur as a natural progression of innovative economies and novel lifestyles collide within certain areas. Policy involving gentrification should not support the removal of people out of their neighborhood for the sake of advancement.
“gentrification as an ugly product of greed. Yet these perspectives miss the point. Gentrification is a byproduct of mankind 's continuing interest in advancing the notion that one group is more superior to another and worthy of capitalistic consumption with little regard to social consciousness. It is elitism of the utmost and exclusionary politics to the core. This has been a constant theme of mankind to take or deplete a space for personal gain. In other words, it 's very similar to the "great advantage" of European powers over Native Americans and westward expansion”(Wharton).
Since the unemployment rate was high for a long period of time it began to make America’s wealth distribution even more unequal. In 2007, slightly before the recession, the top 1% wealthiest’s share of America’s total wealth was 24% (Gitlin 7). After the peak of the recession in 2011, the top 1%’s share had ballooned to 40% and the bottom 80% of Americans owned less than 10% (Jordan 2). The 1%’s wealth had jumped 16% in four years because of the loss of jobs by middle and lower class Americans (Gitlin 7). This created a situation in which the wealthiest were getting wealthier and the middle and lower class were getting poorer. It is obvious that a system that continues to work in this fashion is very unfair and is not going to work properly. This sense of immorality with the current direction in which the economy is moving and the built up frustration of this system are just some of the many factors that sparked the original protestors to create Occupy.
The Great Depression is an event in our nation's history that dramatically changed the lives of America’s people in the 1930s and beyond. After a decade of excess, prosperity and happiness, the Depression threw our nation into a spiraling decline, the likes of which we had never seen. Hints of these difficult times have been experienced again more recently as our country battled through the Great Recession. A number of similarities and differences between the Depression of the 1930s and the Recession of the late 2000s decade are noteworthy.
Gentrification is the renewal of old buildings or houses that in turn increases the property values. Unfortunately, with this increase in property value, many residents are in turn unable to keep up with this new cost of living and are displaced. Building various condos and mixed use residential properties brings in wealthier residents while displacing some residents that have grown up in the area. In the documentary Portland- Quest for the livable city, we learn that between 1998-2008 the price of a single family home in Portland nearly doubled. This increase in property value brings and increase in taxes, financially straining those who choose to stay in the area. Gentrification may lead to racial segregation in urban areas, displacing low income families who are no longer able to afford the cost of living with more affluent
Since being founded, America became a capitalist society. Being a capitalist society obtains luxurious benefits and rather harsh consequences if gone bad. In a capitalist society people must buy products and spend money to keep the economy balanced, but once those people stop spending money, the economy goes off balance and the nation enters a recession. Once a recession drastically takes a downturn, the nation enters what is known as a depression. In 2008 America entered a recession and its consequences were severe enough for some people, such as President Barack Obama, to compare the recent crisis to the world’s darkest economic depression in history, the Great Depression. Although the Great Depression and the Great Recession of 2008 hold similarities and differences between the stock market and government spending, political issues, lifestyle changes, and wealth distribution, the Great Depression proved far more detrimental consequences than the Recession.
Beginning in the 1960s, middle and upper class populations began moving out of the suburbs and back into urban areas. At first, this revitalization of urban areas was 'treated as a 'back to the city' movement of suburbanites, but recent research has shown it to be a much more complicated phenomenon' (Schwirian 96). This phenomenon was coined 'gentrification' by researcher Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the residential movement of middle-class people into low-income areas of London (Zukin 131). More specifically, gentrification is the renovation of previously poor urban dwellings, typically into condominiums, aimed at upper and middle class professionals. Since the 1960s, gentrification has appeared in large cities such as Washington D.C., San Francisco, and New York. This trend among typically young, white, upper-middle class working professionals back into the city has caused much controversy (Schwirian 96). The arguments for and against gentrification will be examined in this paper.