## Re: Guest Post - Graph of the Year

1

The graph is sort of upside-down from what would be the easiest way to read it, and it's badly colorcoded, with two gray sections that signify different things. The black section is the percentage of the population living in a more-than-thirty% poverty neighborhood, and the top gray section is the percentage living in a between-thirty-and-twenty% poverty neighborhood. There are four bars: older black people, younger black people, older white people, and younger white people. For both older and younger black people, the black section and the top gray section together are well more than half the population, showing that lots of black people live in high poverty neighborhoods. For both older and younger white people, the black section and top gray section together are less than ten percent of the population.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:21 PM
2

But couldn't that go hand-in-hand with class? Why do we know that there's a phenomenon operating independently of class?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:23 PM
3

I don't think the differences in the poverty rates are nearly that great -- African American poverty rates are more like twice white poverty rates, not ten times.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:26 PM
4

But, so you do need additional information to extract his conclusion from the graph. (Which is a completely reasonable thing. I was getting hung up on the graph as though it were a self-contained SAT question or something.)

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:28 PM
5

Here. Being black a bit more than doubles your chance of being poor, but multiplies your chance of living in a poor neighborhood by more like ten times.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:28 PM
6

This:

Incidentally, this is also the reason one should be very skeptical when people say things like "controlling for income" or "controlling for class."

made explicit something I've never been clear on, also. I do think the column is good.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:30 PM
7

6 is not in response to 1-5. Just that that line stuck out for me.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:30 PM
8

I agree, the graph itself is not very clear at all (which is true of a surprising number of the submitted graphs). I would like to know more about the book he mentions, Stuck in Place.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 3:47 PM
9

That's a truly terrible graph.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 4:39 PM
10

Peter Orszag and Paul Farmer win the "readable and not aesthetically godawful graph" prize.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 4:42 PM
11

His accompanying commentary has some meaning-distorting typos. Here is how I think one of his key sentences should be edited:

And in both generations, only a third of black people live in neighborhoods with underover 30 percent neighborhood poverty. Only 1 percent of all white Americans lived that way.

His overall point is quite true, though.

Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 4:47 PM
12

An exemplary THC post, from paragraphs 1 through four all about the middle class , mentioning the poor only to show that the surrounding poverty hurt the middle class. And of course, one paragraph about himself. Obligatory.

Take away?:Class doesn't matter.

His 6-7 figure wonk, appartchik, and contractor admirers* in the richest city in America breathed a huge sigh of relief? "Coates says I can be good and it won't cost me cent? As long as I am anti-racist?"

So bourgeois liberal it could be Victorian. Noble sentiments are what matter. Neo-liberal in that Coates made sure to mention the bootstrappers who overcame adversity.

The real rich in that town will just say "This Coates is pretty damn useful."

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 5:08 PM
13

Psst...mcmanus, I'm sure I've mentioned her name before, but you really need to read some Nancy Fraser. She's all over the representation versus redistribution issue, and and she's also asking some tough questions about Second-Wave feminism and its co-optation into neoliberalism.

The cheat-sheet version:

How feminism became capitalism's handmaiden -- and how to reclaim it.

The more extended version:

Fortunes of Feminism: From Women's Liberation to Identity Politics to Anti-Capitalism

I am pretty sure you would love Fraser, and would readily understand what she is getting at.

But please stop pretending you are the only person in the world to have noticed a tension between representational, or identity, politics, and the politics of income and wealth redistribution. You are not.

Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 12:34 AM
14

bob's just trolling. bob is always trolling.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 12:35 AM
15

bob is always trolling.

Well, sure. But he does watch a lot of Japanese film, and sometimes he does read.

Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 1:34 AM
16

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 5:54 AM
17

I wanted my first post back to be something like TNC Sucks and It Says Something Horrible About White People That He's So Prominent, but it was too much work to do right, which is how it would have to be done. I guess I settled for Obama Sucks. Both of which I believe, but both of which are "trolling" as it's defined here.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:24 AM
18

Why should you not post it just because it's trolling?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:41 AM
19

17: I half agree with you! One of them has a much easier job than the other, I might argue. But let's talk about the one that is universally agreed to be terrible!

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:44 AM
20

No no, I would have posted it because it's "trolling." I like to live up to expectations, you know.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:45 AM
21

Or maybe I only dislike TNC's writing because of my secretive ties to Big Ambulance.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:46 AM
22

Aw, it could have been fun.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:48 AM
23

On the other hand, reading old argument threads, I'm mostly just amazed that I had the energy.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:49 AM
24

So, make the case against TNC. You don't have to do it right if it's in the comments.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:50 AM
25

Heh. I'm going back to bed.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:51 AM
26

23: we were bitches once, and little.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:52 AM
27

I'll agree that he's been dullish lately -- I used to read him consistently, and I haven't been for a year or so, and haven't been missing it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 6:56 AM
28

I'll agree

We're never going to get anywhere with that kind of attitude, LB.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 7:09 AM
29

Shh. This is how you suck people in. Agree, support, concur, and then halfway down the thread they're perched out on a limb with no idea how they got there.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 7:16 AM
30

we were bitches once, and little.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 7:17 AM
31

29: comitease.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 7:22 AM
32

Ogged is just sayin'.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 7:36 AM
33

13: I linked to separate Nancy Fraser articles in comments here on October 18 and December 15. The second is an hour video talk "Can Societies Be Commodities All the Way Down." over at Yves Smith's place.

I have two books queued up and will get to Fortunes of Feminism in January. So gotta go read.

Umm. Intersectionality is a discourse space occupied by all sides. God that's horrible. Coates is doing good work on anti-racism while simultaneously entrenching inequality and class division. It may or may not be intentional and it doesn't matter.

The point of late or post-capitalism is that you can't pull out of intersectionality and emphasize one strand (feminism, classism, post-colonialism) without marginalizing yourself or becoming irrelevant or tribal...while staying within intersectionality does make you both a bourgeois tool and its interrogator.
Capital, finance capital, cultural capital, social capital have all merged and fused.

I compare our current subject positions to the first decades of the twentieth. To resist nationalism, imperialism, and WW I, like Randolph Bourne or Luxemburg or Lenin (or Emma Goldman, in a slightly different space), pulled you out of the working social space and offered the temptations and terrors of vanguardism. To engage in attempts at melioration contributed to the deaths of millions.

All you can really do is "troll", be asocial within a chosen discourse, emphasize one strand of intersectionality opposing whatever other strand is being discussed at a given moment, neither leader or follower, neither master or slave. Self-abjection.

Coates may even have believed that was exactly what he was doing in the post, and maybe he was. Neoliberalism is a chaos that disaggregates subjectivity. The eye of the hurricane.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-31-13 8:30 AM