I guess “the new poor” is better than “the underclass”. But just as no one who is considered a member of “the underclass” would actually claim the moniker, I’m not sure how many people would claim being part of “the new poor” either. Unfortunately though, unlike “the underclass”–whose defining traits slip and slide from scholar to scholar–the makeup of the new poor is remarkably clear. Last week I wrote about the bank robber who got off light?

He’s part of the new poor.

Note in the article how stable Detroit’s needs are through the ongoing crisis. It’s because they hit the ceiling long ago. The numbers in the surrounding suburbs are going to rise, the demand for services are going to skyrocket. And given that the state can’t provide these services because their coffers are low as well, what we’re looking at are the components for a significant shift in ideas about government. In some ways it is unfortunate that whites have to suffer for people to begin to think maybe poverty isn’t solely the consequence of individual failures.