Saturday 28 January 2023
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Revisiting Poverty in Rochester

Op/Ed by Wallace Mabry

Wallace Mabry

Wallace Mabry

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recently spoken of a plan to launch a $1.5 billion Upstate New York Economic Revitalization Competition which, in part, would be given to the city of Rochester, and used to develop a task force to ascertain the root cause of poverty in the area.

Mayor Lovely Warren has made it known she will utilize that money to identify a section of the impoverished community, where she will endeavor to work some miracle, and bring that area to a state of respected solvency.

How gallant and courageous of them.

If I am not mistaken, a “task force” is another term for “study.”

One wonders, then, if the money will be spent on developing a substantial study that will discuss the findings of drug and alcohol addictions; lack of education; generational dependence on the dole; lack of job-readiness skills; and just down right pure laziness of the poor.

Since multiple agencies will be involved in gathering the necessary data for the study, I will assume that much of the money would be paid to those employed agencies for their participation.

The first question that comes to my mind is, how much of the money being so graciously lavished upon the city of Rochester would be spent on actually ameliorating the economic plights of the poor, and not simply filling the pockets of those who will be representing the task force, and its subsidiaries?

Poverty, to paraphrase an old American expression, is as American as apple pie.

Poverty is a sociopolitical and economic phenomenon conditional to a system where those with the most, who control and monopolize the gross national products (and who set prices for those products), determine who will have, and who will have not.

It is a rather complicated yet very simple order of events.

And, yes, it also involves factors of employability, and how people manage their incomes, no matter how meagre some of those incomes may be.

One wonders, in respect to Warren’s model, however, what the chosen area of the depressed community will look like once renewed; and how personally and financially invested in the properties and the businesses that come out of the transactions the actual residents of that area will be.