The 2005 Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Council report shows many aspects ofMilwaukee’s inner city that supports the work of William Julius Wilson’s work on theurban joblessness in Chicago.The first distinct correlation is automobile ownership. According to Wilson this is aprime contributor to the growth of jobless ghettos and continuation of segregation inChicago. He attributes the suburbanization of most jobs as a main contribution topoverty, segregation and declining education.Just as the jobs in the inner cities of Chicago disappear, they have left Milwaukee’s innercity as well. Leaving many residents without access to jobs. Residents of Milwaukee areexperiencing the same difficulties as those residents in Chicago. Residents don’t ownvehicles and are left to utilize a faulty metro transit system that is costly and extremelytime consuming. In 1995 32.3 % of Milwaukee’s black households did not own a car.That means that 32.3 % of Milwaukee city residents have difficulty commuting to jobs ifthe job lies outside of Milwaukee county or is a significant distance on the bus line. Aperson could leave their residency in Milwaukee to arrive at Highway 100 inapproximately 40 minutes, not including transfer times nor traveling any further. To get toWaukesha it could easily take two or more hours during rush hour. Not only do the busschedules not accommodate people who work outside the city they increases thecompetitiveness for low skilled jobs within the city. Missing a bus can cause even moreproblems thus preventing residents to even attempt to find work outside of the city, eventhough there is no work in the city. For myself, when I lived in a run down rental on 76thand Mill I was attending MATC. It took 3 bus transfers and 2 hours just to get to class atMATC Milwaukee. If I had class at 8:00 am I would have to leave around 5:30 am and if
I missed that bus, I would not make class. Many people with the demands of family andhaving to transfer many bus lines incur many problems. Not always is it the fault of thetraveler for missing a bus, busses run late with traffic conditions and it is easy to miss atransfer and depending on the bus route and how populated the area it could be another28 minutes before the next bus arrives. This makes it hard on persons who rely on thetransit system to be dependable employees- even job applications to work in restaurantsas a busser ask if you have your own vehicle because the hours on weekends can extendafter the busses run. This leaves people who already have little skill or advantage tofurther themselves. Not only do they have to leave early and come home late, they spendextra time in travel and some need to provide care for their kids, but cannot afford losthours to pay a babysitter or put their child in daycare. That is if they can find a reliable,day care that stays open late or opens as early as need be. Not only does lack ofautomobile ownership put a damper on availability to jobs, but it contributes toresidential segregation. The bus line is an invisible fence trapping those incircumstances beyond their control from infecting the suburbs with their imposedstereotypes. According to Wilson, “racial segregation interacts with changes in society toproduce the escalating rate of joblessness.” “ The demographiccomposition has contributed to economic disadvantages. As in Chicago there is adecline in resources for the inner city and Milwaukee exhibit’s the same lack of socialorganization and control as the cities in Chicago. The reasons for this racial segregationin Milwaukee according to the 2005 fair housing report is because of discrimination,economics and choice. Even though legally sanctioned discriminatory housing practices
such as requiring homeowners to only to sell to people of their own race, redlining bybanks and insurance companies prior to the Fair Housing Act of 1968 it does not meanthat it does not occur illegally today. People do it as a matter of choice to discriminateminority groups from entering their subdivisions and blocks. Numerous actions onceused to segregate minorities by implementing urban removal and exclusionary zoninghave created neighborhoods that are racially segregated and minorities have been forcedinto these areas and away from access to jobs, transportation, good education and retail.Yet have also created a heaven for minorities to escape to the discrimination andprejudice of Milwaukee and Chicago. These imaginary boundaries of race and classneighborhoods has lead to a detrimental decrease in educational, healthcare and jobopportunities resulting in inferior schools systems, denial of employment due to living inisolated areas and employers views of residents in those areas and lack of quality care.Quality health care is a huge problem for minorities, not only are they gettingcompromised care if at all, but if they do receive it they can not afford to pay for it and iftruly sick this poverty can result in death through political malpractice. People cannotafford to meet their basic needs. Wilson discusses the decline in the importance ofrelationships and marriage and an increase in out of wed lock births because of theeconomic conditions- with the same conditions in Milwaukee. Joblessness is destroyinghumanity. It is not only the discriminatory actions and prejudicial views aboutminorities, it is the lack of transportation, racial segregation, lack of education andcompromised basic needs that contributes to joblessness and inability to get ahead. Unemployment, the critical factor to the creation of the urban ghettos. WhatWilson refers to as the suburbazation of jobs, the census report calls a “ structural spatial
mismatch.” Calling attention to the high rate of unemployment in the city of Milwaukeeand the location of job growth, being the suburbs. Just as in Chicago the residents ofMilwaukee are experiencing this disconnect from prosperity and thus there is anincreased concentration of poverty in the area. The fair housing report states that all newnet job growth since 1995 has been outside of the city. Not only does this hinderjobseekers without transportation, it further provides barricades to employment becauseof employer discrimination and one’s educational level. People are experiencing whatWilson refers to as “loss of attachment to the formal job market” ( 330) this leading toincoherent lifestyles with no routine. The concerns of employers according to Wilson arethe same as employers in Milwaukee and outlying communities. People from thesepoverty stricken areas lack the necessary hard and soft skills and are being disadvantagedby the Milwaukee Public School System, just as the Chicago Public School system hasfailed minorities. Now not only do people lack the necessary skills to get the job, buteven if they acquire them, they shall still be judged and discriminated against because ofthe location they live in. With the median age lowering amongst minorities, we havemore persons who are uneducated, have no form of transportation, seeking housing andincome to support themselves or their family. As Wilson said, it will be a “ flood poolwith low-skilled jobless workers.” Income disparities among minorities are also a substantial set back. In 2005,unemployment for Latinos, American Indians and Asians is double that of whites andBlacks unemployment rate is triple that of whites. Not only are minorities less able toacquire work, but Blacks earned .45 cents on the dollar compared to that of whites andLatinos were at .66 cents on the dollar than that of whites. How are these people
expected to get ahead or even try if the chance to change is not available to them or of therequirements are too difficult. Minorities are already making less money because ofethnic and racial factors, it almost becomes impossible to get out of the circumstance oneis in. After paying 30% or often more on rent plus the daily costs of living, one can notbe expected to also save and buy a reliable form of transportation to travel to a better jobto get out of a decaying area and in housing with conditions beyond sub-par. Incomedisparity and concentration of affordable housing contributes to racial segregation.Housing that is affordable to middle an low income is in the central city, here andChicago. Section 8 of HACM does not require landlords to participate- so housingopportunities tend to be confined to areas with high levels of poverty only increasingracial segregation once again. Some people are paying 50% of their income on housingand only bringing in $10,000-15,000 a year. Lower income is attributed to lower education and Blacks and Hispanics havethe highest percent of population that do not have a high school diploma. A lowereducation level carries the weight of a lower income and the stresses of limited availablehomes- not to mention the disrepair of most of this housing, education and financialresources to aid in obtaining homeownership. Also with increasing immigration moreand more individuals do not have an equivalent high school education and increase thedemographics of those linguistically isolated. Not a focus of Wilson’s, but a strong casefor Milwaukee’s jobless ghettos and perpetual segregation of minorities within the innercity. There are 46 blocks in Milwaukee between 100 Pierce to 2300 Lincoln where16-40% of homes are linguistically isolated. ( 25) Left without ability to acculturate intosociety- socially, academically or economically and are stuck in low-wage “menial” jobs
( 25) and also have the lowest percent of automobile owners further cutting them out ofthe American Dream. In conclusion, .Milwaukee can be paralleled to Wilson’s hypothesis for thecreation of a jobless ghetto and urban poverty through empirical evidence found in the2005 Fair Housing Commission Report. In each case- male dominated positions, pimpsand drug dealers are the leaders of the community- they may not be contributing to theupward motility through economics, but through these means also provide jobs for manyof their fellows, revenue for the community and an antidote to the messed up reality. Itis more than the government has done here or in Chicago. Not much was defended in Wilson’s epiphany about women of poverty andminority. Women in these circumstances are in even more trouble then the unemployedminority males. Yet I don’t have any statistics from either reading on women in theworkforce and only conclude that not only are they in dangerous jobs when seekingemployment outside of the traditional workforce, but even in the traditional labor forcethey are granted very little to get ahead. Urban decay.