Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The nation needs an urban policy

The time has come to declare a new war on urban poverty. The Free Press makes the case in an ongoing series:

Presidents define what's important for the nation. A president who would visit a poor central-city neighborhood, or talk about the problems of the people who live there, would end a 40-year silence and, once again, focus the nation's attention and political will on ending poverty. With private sector support, a fraction of the $10 billion a month the United States spends in Iraq would go a long way toward reducing poverty at home.

Urban ghettos, segregated by class and race, have helped create a so-called underclass that undercuts the nation's economic progress and tears its social fabric. Bringing disenfranchised people into the economic mainstream is the right, and smart, thing to do. Cities offer the best opportunity to do that.

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