November 2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of German reunification.
Begun in August 1961, the Berliner Mauer separated East Berlin from West Berlin for over twenty-eight years until November 9, 1989.
“ During this period the Wall stood as an ugly symbol of human isolation and cruelty, as about one hundred persons were killed by East German security forces while trying to cross the Wall into West Berlin.”
Source: George Mason University Libraries Special Collections and Archives
Source: Statistisches Landesamt Berlin, accessed 10/19/09 at berlin.group.shef.ac.uk/berlin.html
Most of us make at least three important decisions in our lives: where to live, what to do, and with whom to do it. Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
Civility means that the diversity of urban life becomes a source of mutual strength rather than a source of estrangement and civic bitterness. In the past this issue has been framed in terms of ethnicity or culture and in the current period of inequality I think it needs to be increasingly framed in terms of economics. Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science and MIT
poverty across countries Country (in order of increasing GNP per capita) % of Population below $1 a day Bangladesh 29.1 Kenya 26.5 Sri Lanka 6.6 Indonesia 7.7 Philippines 14.6 Jamaica 3.2 Paraguay 19.5 Costa Rica 6.9 Malaysia <2 Brazil 9.0
inequality across countries Country (in order of increasing GNP per capita) Income share of lowest 40% of households Ratio of highest 20% to lowest 20% Bangladesh 22.9 4.0 Kenya 10.1 18.3 Sri Lanka 22.0 4.4 Indonesia 20.4 5.1 Philippines 15.5 8.4 Jamaica 16.0 8.2 Paraguay 8.2 27.1 Costa Rica 12.8 12.9 Malaysia 12.9 11.7 Brazil 8.2 25.7 United States 16.1 8.5
Today there are more part-time and temporary jobs and generally fewer protections and fringe benefits for growing portions of the workforce. These changes in the employment relation have contributed to reshaping the sphere of social reproduction and consumption, which in turn has a feedback effect on economic organization and earnings…it reproduces growing income disparity, labor market casualization, and consumption restructuring along high- and low-end markets. Saskia Sassen, Cities in a World Economy , p. 173