Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

“The Bottom Billion” and Poverty

with one comment

For one of my classes last semester I needed to read a book called “The Bottom Billion” written by Paul Collier and the book brings up points that I feel are applicable to the continuing inequality in American society. In Collier’s book, he discusses several “traps” that keeps several countries within the “bottom billion.” The traps that are relevant to this discussion are conflict and being landlocked with bad neighbors. The general perception that minorities are in constant conflict is statistically accurate, but I feel it is rooted in the inequality they face in society. In areas where there is a large concentration of minorities, there is also a large concentration of crime, but a very small percentage of wealth. The scarcity of the wealth in these communities encourages this conflict. In terms of minorities being landlocked with bad neighbors, this is more an issue of selective discrimination from real estate agents and other actors that keep minorities out of traditionally white communities. This creates these impoverished neighborhoods that are surrounded by less affluence, which in turn, hinders the opportunity for growth within these communities.


Written by dannyramos4

September 10, 2009 at 4:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I find this troubling and feel like I have seen this firsthand in a few different situations. I lived in New Orleans for a few months last summer in the ninth ward, which is an extremely poverty stricken area. I had the chance to talk with a few women that lived in the projects across the street, and they told me how vicious of a cycle poverty is. In the housing there, you are only qualified to stay if there is only one person earning an income. this encourages a lot of single parent households. also, once you start earning above a certain amount of money, you are evicted and are left to fend for yourself. It troubling because that amount of money is not normally enough for one to get one their feet and buy a house, especially if you have kids. That’s why a lot of people try to get money under the table, by dealing drugs. Poverty is such a vicious cycle.


    September 11, 2009 at 8:11 pm

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