The strange 90s boom helped revitalize many cities while subprime loans made suburbs poor. The result was not so much prosperity as a creeping reversal of the previous status quo in which the middle class fled the cities for the suburbs, only to have their grandchildren return to the cities after college.
Poverty had been tethered to the cities due to immigration and manufacturing. But urban manufacturing collapsed and immigration mandates spread immigrants into areas where they never lived before. That’s how Maine got so many Somalis.
Cheap home loans exported the ghetto to the suburb, while a burst of urban revivals used property values to push the ghettos out, seizing homes through eminent domain or just raising rents until living there was nearly impossible.
A new study of population and income trends has found that the poverty which has long been associated with inner cities, has now moved out to the suburbs along with everyone else. According to the Brookings Institution, the population of poor Americans who live in the suburbs grew 64 percent in the first decade of this century, while many major cities, including New York, saw their populations of poor people level off or even fall. While the more densely-packed cities still have have a higher poverty rate (as a percentage of the whole population), the total number of poor people living in suburbs now exceeds the total number living in urban areas, a reversal of nearly a century’s worth of urban growth and decay.
Some of this is indeed due to the Obama Depression, but much of it is a factor of the new Gen X and Millennial technocracy turning cities into their financial centers while the Boomer Dem establishment promoted cheap home loans which the technocracy then resold as investments leading to an economic collapse.
There is a certain grandiose cynicism to such a program. Areas of unlivable cities were cleared and made livable for the new yuppies. The Friends generation got their hip urban lifestyle and the suburbs got Medicaid clinics and police pension shortfalls.