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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.


In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.

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Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:51 PM

According to this article, “U.S. (transportation) planners” look to Europe for inspiration as the planners try to decrease Americans’ “car dependency.” Instead of giving answers about how to solve the “car dependency” issue, the author provided nine reasons for why Europeans walk and bike more. Ideas like how the European infrastructure was built (i.e their zoning laws, highways, and biking/pedestrian lanes) were discussed. I found the implication that European’s were able to walk more because residential areas and businesses were intermixed the most interesting of all these reasons. It could never really matter because most of America’s land is already developed, but it did make me remember an earlier study mentioned in the article in which 70% of Americans wouldn’t walk a mile when they could. Triggering this just made me think that intermixing our buildings wouldn’t matter because we are too lazy to walk. Some may come back with the idea that a lack of relaxed pedestrian and bike lanes prohibit this option. However, with the amount of sidewalks around, I just keep thinking it all goes back to how much we exercise (which isn’t much). So honestly, it is an unhealthy attitude that planners need to change. Meaning some drastic action would need to occur in order to actually change people’s habits.

 

 More drastic ideas like decreasing government subsidies on oil, taxing cars, and implementing policies that “shifted behavior” (i.e. no parking zones) were also explained. However with oil companies and car industries around, I don’t actually see lobbyist letting that happening in the short term. Ironically, the article mentioned that the reason U.S. planners were thinking about how to change transportation was because the model the county uses is “unstainable.” This means the transportation system cannot be maintained for either “environmental, social, or economic reasons” (see included link for definition). Thinking about these factors, I just kept coming back to oil. Environmentally it is a fixed resource, socially people want less of it due to climate change, and economically it is typically more costly. What this all means is that an alternative energy source is needed. When that eventually happens, America will probably believe the transportation system is sustainable again regardless of “urban sprawl” and lack of “public transportation.” I say this because the author pointed out how America thought itself stable during the 80’s and 90’s when energy prices were low thereby implying the bigger issue is the oil needed to change people’s behavior. 

 

Overall, the author did provide an in-depth list that made me pay attention to the cultural and government differences between America and Europe from the way space interacts with these regions.

 

*http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/sustainability/#bookmarksubSustainableTransportation

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.

 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:40 PM

This has major impact on health issues, because nobody wants to walk or bike anymore which most of us did until 16 years old, it is a good form of exercise and can keep a persons body weight down. Which would lead to less health issues. Also the pollution from the vehicles and illegal dumping of tires and batteries and oil which leads to environmental problems. Socially we would meet more people and even see more of our surroundings if we drove less. Economically we as individuals would save money by not driving or would we? We would save on gas, licenses, maintenance, but on the other hand our renewal of licenses, registration, and even taxes on the vehicle help support our schools, busing and other community projects. This funding would be cut and therefore taxes will rise on something else we would end up paying for. I personally just think as Americans we drive everywhere and spend less time taking bikes, walks even skateboards all over the city which we loved to do as teenagers. I don't expect to be rollerblading or skateboarding at an older age but why do we stop at 16. It is because we are allowed to under the law to drive and everyone can't wait until high school to get their license. Once we give up our bikes and rollerblades, skateboards, walks it is hard to go back to it.

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A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Factories are finding that years of doing business overseas has withered what once was a thriving textile and apparel work force in the United States.


Seth Dixon's insight:

Historically, waves of immigrants came to the United States to work in textile mills.  Since 1990, 77% of manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to places with lower wages as the industry has become automated.  Today though, specialty items that still need to done by hand are coming back to the U.S. and wages in that sector are rising as American consumers want a "made in the USA" label.  


Tags: manufacturing, North America, labor, USA.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:33 AM

This article highlights the biggest problem in the American job market today, the skill gap.  People have been told for years that the only way to a good job is to go to college.  This is not always true and this article highlights this.  There are skilled trades out there but no one skilled to do them.  This problem needs to be addressed so that the unemployed work force can be trained to do these types of jobs.  Young people today seem to feel that the only way is a college degree but this article highlights the other paths to work which are through skilled trade labor.  People complain that nothing is made here but there are reasons for that and when companies try to bring industry back to America they encounter the skill gap. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 3, 2014 4:06 PM

Manufacturing companies have to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing or staying domestic.  Many companies have chosen profits over quality and safety by outsourcing jobs over the past couple decades.  Outsourcing of jobs is a product of globalization.  However, the internet and other informational resources are also a large part of globalization which have allowed citizens of the United States to be exposed to what is actually happening in these outsourced manufacturing factories (similar to the role photography played in exposing behind-the-scenes truths of the United State's domestic manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution).  The demand for domestic-made products is increasing, and companies are listening.  However, the years that these jobs have been overseas have allowed not only the specialized skills of domestic workers to disappear, but also the creation of stigmas towards these jobs.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:16 PM

This article is quite interesting.  Everyone seems to complain that more product needs to be made in the USA instead of elsewhere in poorer countries.  This company in Minnesota is doing just that.  After receiving complaints about not enough product being made here they decided to leave countries where safety is not such an issue and bring it home.  Now the problem lies with finding skilled workers here.  Being a 'sewer' isn't very glamourous and not appealing to the youth of America.  This being said, it is going to be very difficult to bring jobs back to America when no one here is interested in putting the energy forth to gain the skills needed to hold these positions. 

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Regional slang words

Regional slang words | Geography Education | Scoop.it

How many of these 107 regional slang words do you use?  This week on Mental Floss' YouTube information session, author and vlogger John Green explains 107 slang words specific to certain regions.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a great audio supplement to these maps that display regional variations of vocabulary terms. 


Tags: language, North America, regions, USA.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, January 30, 2015 11:10 AM

This was a neat video.  Many of the slang words that I knew about were touched upon, but many were very new to me.  I never knew the "bubbler" originated in Wisconsin.  I thought that was purely a R.I. thing.  Watching the video made me think of how different regions were originally settled by different ethnicity groups between the early 1600's and 1800's, which almost surely led to these slangs, in my opinion.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:55 PM

This was a great video describing what people call different items all over the world.  Just in Rhode Island alone, people from different parts of the state refer to items in different ways.  I think it could have been better if he stuck to the United States only.  Its crazy how different people experience things so close in proximity to each other.  It also would have been great to show how different regions in the U.S. say certain words.  He probably could have made a 30 minute video on that alone and it would have been hilarious.

James Piccolino's curator insight, January 31, 6:41 PM
The link to this doesn't work, but I managed to search it out.Some of these terms are really out there. I thought I knew a lot of these but I was mistaken. One thing I am not surprised by is the fact that I do not follow all of the Rhode Island/ New England lines. I seem to not have an accent like many have here, apparently I can add vocabulary to that list. I actually say many of the terms that go with other areas of the US.
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American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration

American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"David Greene talks to writer Jeremy Miller about the American Centroid. That's the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 300 million of us weighed the exact same."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Every 10 years the centroid (the center of U.S. population) is calculated using the latest census data.  As the map above shows, the centroid has continued moved west throughout history, but in the last 60 years has moved to the south and west.  The recent shift to the south coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors) which opened up the Sun Belt.  In this article in Orion Magazine, Jeremy Miller discusses the historical shifts in the spatial patterns of the U.S. population and the history of the centroid.  you can listen to podcast versions of this article as well, one by NPR and a much more detailed one by Orion Magazine.


Questions to Ponder:  Would the centroids of other countries be as mobile or predictable?  Why or why not?  What does the centroid tell us?


Tags: statistics, census, mappingmigration, populationhistoricalUSA.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 31, 2013 2:23 AM

The centre of population in the USA has moved further inland and southward compared to Australia. Comparing urbanisation in USA and Australia.

Blake Welborn's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:33 PM

Informative, short podcast that details the changing migration of the US. This allows for the comparison of migration and time and the effects of migration over the years in the US. 

Emily Bian's curator insight, October 17, 2014 7:32 PM

The center of the U.S. population moves about every 10 years. 

In our APHUG textbook, it also talked about the center moving west. It also talks about the patterns and shifts of migration in the U.S going more west and south now, than before. I wonder if the trend will continue?  

It relates because we talked about this map in APHUG class, and it was in the textbook. The population trend is moving Southwest.

This is interesting for next year's APHUG students, because they get to see a population trend right in the US! It's a good article to think about why population trends are the way it is.

2) migration

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Not All English is the Same

Not All English is the Same | Geography Education | Scoop.it
"22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other"
Seth Dixon's insight:

An isogloss is a line that divides regions based on the words that are used to describe the same item or concept.  This series of 22 maps is a delicious way to visualize some of the lingusitic differences in the United States.  Why are these distinct vocabulary terms regionally used? 


Notice that this map shows that Rhode Island and Wisconsin are distinct in using the term "bubbler" where there rest of the country would refer to the same object as a drinking fountain (West) or a water fountain (South).


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, January 27, 2015 5:58 PM

This article was actually funny and interesting. You do not really pay attention to the pronunciation of words just because we are surrounded by the same people who say a particular word the same way. Many individuals in the US are in for a culture shock if they leave their respected homes. One word that you have grown up with may be a completely different word in another area. We tend to not focus a lot of attention on the smaller details like this type of grammar and pronunciation so this caught my eye because it was interesting to think about and realize how you say words compared to the rest of the United States.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 11:53 AM

to me this is not so shocking but definitely entertaining. i mean between my family their is pronunciation differences. some say tomato others say toma`to right? not all English is the same is a concept that makes perfect sense to me. in other countries such as Italy, a person from the north cannot understand a person from the south because they speak in different dialects. perhaps it has to their with their location, or job types. but it holds true that different parts of a country can speak the same language in different ways. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, April 8, 2015 3:04 PM

I've seen this collection of maps a number of times before, but they are just as interesting and informative every time I look at them. It's really a fun exercise in seeing what phrases you use or how you pronounce certain words as opposed to the rest of the country. As a Rhode Islander, the bubbler/water fountain divide was of particular interest to me. I also found it funny that I have the vaguely Western/Midwestern tendency of calling "rotaries" (or what are traditionally called rotaries in my area), "roundabouts". This is especially curious to me, because I generally tend to think of that term as a British one. Could this possibly mean that a lot of British immigrants settled in the Western/Midwestern United States? Or am I just mistaken and buying into a poorly informed stereotype about British people?

 

Whatever the case, these maps are very informative and say a lot about the linguistic differences that occur even within one country. Now granted, the United States is a large country, so there is bound to be a good amount of variation. But it's still fascinating to me just how much variety there can be. The fact that when traveling, your use or pronunciation of a certain word or phrase can immediately identify you as an out-of-towner is very interesting. This is yet another example of the importance of doing your own research in order to avoid making incorrect assumptions. Just because all of the people within a geographic border may live in the same country, it does not mean that their dialects or colloquialisms are all the same. It does not even necessarily mean that they speak the same language. Different immigrant groups (because almost no country is impervious to immigration) settle in different areas and this ends up contributing (in part) to the different dialects and expressions that one finds within geographic borders. 

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Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate

Canada: As immigration booms, ethnic enclaves swell and segregate | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Over 6 million of those living in Canada were born outside of Canada an migrated there.  This infographic cleverly outlines both where migrants live in Canada and where they came from.  Ethnic enclaves are an important part of Canada's rural and urban cultural landscapes.  Since the 1960s, the majority of immigrants have come from Asia, changing some traditional neighborhoods. 


Tags: Canada, ethnicity, migration, infographic, neighborhood

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 1:15 PM

This article contains details about the Canadian immigrant population boom, mostly from east Asia, which began in the 90's. Unsurprisingly, many of these immigrants settle into communities with others whom share their culture. These Canadian ethnic enclaves differ from those in the US because most immigrants are choosing suburban areas (where the cost of living is lower) rather than being relegated to an urban "ethnictown." However, these enclaves are not entirely a product of economic equality as the average earnings for a recent immigrant are only 61% of a Canadian-born worker, limiting their ability to move elsewhere.

 

Conversely, the immigrant communities which become economically successful are seeing many of their sons and daughters move away to the city or other suburbs as they are more fully integrated into the Canadian culture and if there is no influx of new immigrants into these enclaves they begin to die out. This seems to indicate that long-standing ethnic enclaves are at least partially the product of economic inequality than a desire to preserve culture.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:41 AM

This article was interesting because it showed how modern immigration patterns are not that dissimilar from historic patterns.  People come to a new country and they settle in an area that has relatives or familiar people already living there.  The formation of ethnic enclaves is the example.  People are choosing to self-segregate when they immigrate to a new homeland because it is the familiar with in the strange.  Perhaps once the new immigrants have acclimated to Canadian society they may move out of the enclave areas but they also may stay.  It is an interesting example of how people cluster together with similar people when they move to a new country.

Gubert's curator insight, February 11, 2015 5:17 AM

XIPHIAS Immigration is one among the Top Five Immigration Consultants in India according to The siliconindia as Top Five Most Promising Immigration Consultants. www.xiphiasimmigration,com

 

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California and NAFTA

The AAG News Briefs is a great source of content.

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Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants

Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Between now and 2021, a million jobs are expected to go unfilled across Canada. Ottawa is making reforms to the immigration system but isn't going far enough. We need to radically boost immigration numbers. With the right people, Canada can be an innovative world power. Without them, we'll drain away our potential."  This article clearly articulates some of the economic ramifications of the later stages of the demographic transition and some of the difficulties that are associated with a declining internal population. 

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Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:50 PM

The article makes a strong case for Canada to increase their immigrant quota. According to the article, by 2021 one million jobs will be vacant. Since the population of the country is only 34 million, simple math dictates that a lack of supply means the country needs to turn outward. Admittedly, a mass increase in people won’t solve the problem entirely. However, the article goes on to explain how “innovations” occur more when people of different backgrounds work together. Looking at the United States, many of our startup companies have immigrants on the board of them. So, immigrants will do more than just fill the one million open jobs. All this means that no Canadian can really be angry at immigrants for “taking their jobs,” which one of the immigrants interviewed for this article (Keiron Tanner) said was his experience thus far. So in one way an economic justification is a good way to go because of the clear need that no one can really argue about.

 

However, an economics justification really needs to be implemented in a manner that continues to support the strength of the aforementioned argument. Even though more people are needed, the government is assigning immigrants temporary visas, thereby giving the impression that these people are just going to leave. Yet Mr. Tanner, the immigrant mentioned earlier, wanted to become a permeant resident. He said “he knew…this (Canada) is where I would be staying.” Yet, what happens if the Government doesn’t get back to him before his visa runs out? The article mention an increase in immigration workers would be need to help process all of this information. I am thinking that if there aren’t enough government workers to keep up with the increase in immigrants, some will just let their visas expire and stay illegally like some people in the United States. When this happens more economics arguments will be thrown around, but this time in a negative light because now the immigrants aren’t paying taxes. Furthermore, other arguments, like the legality of the workers, will be put into the mix as well.    

 

Another issue in framing the immigration problem solely on economics is that it underscores the human nature of this issue. People often do not adapt to change well. I imagine Canadians’ won’t either, especially given how proud they are of their heritage. I remember learning in French class years ago that they had their own committee called the Académie Française who review the language to get rid of words that aren’t French sounding enough. What happens with the language they guard when it is mixed with the language of their new immigrants? A business owner in Steinbach claimed he just hired workers who all spoke German, so his workers could just keep speaking German and language wouldn’t be an issue. Yet the langue could still mix as people try adopting to their new home. I also wonder how citizens will react to the new comers when it comes to other values. Do all the teachers react empathetically to the students who did not want to take yoga for reasons related to culture like Mr. Klassen? Or were the students just lucky he gets the final say because he is the superintendent? All of these questions eluded to the point that conflicts will arise. I just hope it isn’t  pushed aside as a minor issue like this article does on numerous occasions or seen as a one way equation in which only the immigrants need to adjust (i.e. section on Mr. & Ms. Lima).  

 

Overall, keeping the American notion of immigration in mind while I follow this topic will be interesting. Canada doesn’t exactly have a border issue like we do. The country is smaller, their government reacts differently, and their values are different too. Still though some human phycology is just universal (i.e. difficulty with change). Immigration is therefore bound to affect Canadian’s in a different manner, but just how differently is the question? 

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What America Manufactures

What America Manufactures | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It's a myth that the U.S. doesn't make anything anymore."  The U.S. economy still produces more through manufacturing tangible goods ($1.5 trillion) than it does in providing services ($600 billion) for the international market.  The maps and graphs in this article are great teaching materials.  The impact of NAFTA is shown powerfully in the regionalization of U.S. trade partners, making this salient material for a discussion on supranationalism as well.   

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 7:09 PM


This is great because now we can witness the creation of jobs in the country which can help the country get out of the depression that it is in. it also can help people get jobs and not have to worry about if there unemployment check is going enough to cover there expenses. Also people that are working are less likely to get depressed because they are not trapped in there homes because now they have something that is distracting them. But the United States is seeing a great improvement because of all the things being manufactured here. One good example is the Honda accord power plant and the ford motor company plant and even general motors in Detroit. all of these companies is helping the Americans get back into the workforce.

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:05 PM

i was surprised to see that our country still exports so many products. What i find even more surprising is that the top countries that are buying our good are our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico. As much Petroleum we receive from the middle east we still are exporting so much of it to Canada and Mexico. It seems that foreign cars such as ones from Japan are taking over the industry yet our top export to Canada is car parts. it is good to see that America still exports.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 12:03 PM

I was surprised and reassured to see how much the U.S. exports to other parts of the world.  I was unaware that the U.S exported to China because we physically surrounded by items made in China. Although our imports exceed exports, we are still producing,

 

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Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After

Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Compare before and after satellite images of tornado damage in Alabama.

 

This is an older image from the Tuscaloosa tornado (April 2011) but still a powerful representation of natural disasters and their impact of both the environment as well as urban systems.   Using current geospatial technologies in the classroom helps to solidify the idea that geography is much more than "just capitals and landforms" in a student's mind. 

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:06 PM

This certainly adds to the concept that geography is much more than capitals and landforms. Geography of a certain area can change someone's entire life, as seen for people who live in the tornado region. Natural disasters have a huge impact on the lives of many as we can see through the recent disasters the US has faced.  Geography not only helps to define these regions but how to detect the disasters and how to recover and collect data from them.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, September 11, 2015 9:23 PM

This interactive map gives you really clear insight into the damage a tornado can do. I found it amazing how clearly you could trace exactly where the tornado touched down and traveled. I had always imagined that their winds alone would just wipe out the whole town. While I am sure other structures in the area had impacted damage to, I was amazed at the difference in damage, between where it had traveled and the surrounding areas. There is a clear line of absolute complete destruction and just some damage. It looks like the tornado literally ripped up the ground wherever it touched...very neat. 

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Latinization of Southern Space and Place

Latinization of Southern Space and Place | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Latinization of Southern Space and Place project investigates how the myriad discourses of migration and globalization have become manifest graphically across social spaces and street graphics in the contemporary American South.

 

As local demographics change, so does the cultural landscape and--as evidenced by Alabama writing the toughest anti-immigration law in the U.S.--the political landscape.   

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The Geography of Unemployment and the Recession

The Geography of Unemployment and the Recession | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Not every place and every citizen has been affected by the recession the same way...

 

For the Unemployed, Geography Can Be Destiny by Richard Florida.  This article highlights the uneven distribution of unemployment, and consequently, of job availability.  Where is unemployment highest?  How come? Getting a job isn't just about what you know and who you know, but where you know it.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:41 PM

While the media often focuses on unemployment on a grand scale, regional trends can add insight to the problem at hand. Some places, such as Yuma, Arizona, have unemployment rates as high as 30% while other, like Fargo North Dakota have a safe 3% unemployment rate. At the height of the recession, unemployment was decently even across the country, but recovery has not been an even process. Demographics could be a large key to understanding these issues. Large metros are more resilient to unemployment due to the higher quantity of college graduates, and their positions as economic and creativity hubs. 

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NYTimes Video: City of Endangered Languages

NYTimes Video: City of Endangered Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New York has long been a city of immigrants, but linguists now consider it a laboratory for studying and preserving languages in rapid decline elsewhere in the world.

 

This is an excellent video for showing the diffusion of languages in the era of migration to major urban centers.  It also shows the factors that lead to the decline of indigenous languages that are on the fringe of the global economy and the importance of language to cultural traditions.   Here is the article related to the video available. 

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 10:25 AM

This article and video were very interesting.  They point out how a city full of immigrants can help preserver a dying language.  The work being done to learn about and preserve these obscure languages is great.  The fact that in New York you will hear language spoken more there than in their home country is astounding to me and very interesting.  This fact is key to preserving these language as they are from areas of the world were the technology level is much lower and less likely to be preserved.  It is also interesting as it shows where people are coming from to live in NY.  The city draws immigrants like a sponge draws in water and this adds to the cultural mosaic that is NY city.

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Historical Metropolitan Populations of the United States

Historical Metropolitan Populations of the United States | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The graph and tables on this page attempt to show how the urban hierarchy of the United States has developed over time. The statistic used here is the population of the metropolitan area (contiguous urbanized area surrounding a central city), not the population of an individual city. Metropolitan area population is much more useful than city population as an indicator of the size and importance of a city, since the official boundaries of a city are usually arbitrary and often do not include vast suburban areas. For example, in 2000 San Antonio was the 10th largest city in the U.S., larger than Boston or San Francisco, but its Metro Area was only ranked about 30th. The same thing was happening even back in 1790: New York was the biggest single city, but Philadelphia plus its suburbs of Northern Liberties and Southwark made it the biggest metro area."

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Paige Therien's curator insight, February 3, 2014 11:29 AM

This information is a helpful illustrator for someone who knows about the geography and history of the United States.  It is important to note the use of "metropolitan populations" rather than "city populations" within particular city borders; as the creator states, "boundaries of a city are usually arbitrary".  In other words, the information that can be given from a "city" do not tell the whole story.  Metropolitan areas, even if spanning out of city borders, share similar local culture dynamics, industry, and infrastructure as the core city.  If one was to just examine the cities and not the entire metropolitan areas of the Northeast Megalopolis, they would be missing a huge part of the puzzle. Depending on the time period, the demanded resources, and the available technologies heavily influence how metropoloitan areas work, grow, and interact with others.   This can be seen in the charts and tables.  For example, the availability of the automobile and other transportation methods deeply affected how people and industry move and how metropolitan areas influence and interact with one another.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 17, 2014 10:26 AM

Comparing and contrasting numbers is a huge part of todays world. Looking at this chart, it indicates the size of the population of the whole metropolitan area. The difference in size of cities and of areas differs greatly and the examples provided can show how the area of a city is different that its Metro Area ranking.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, April 8, 2015 1:55 PM

I was a little confused by this graph at first, as I thought it was measuring population rather than the ranking of the respective metro areas. It is still just as telling, however, even if it is not measuring population. Despite the fact that the lines get a bit jumbled at times, it really is a fascinating graph to look at. It is representative of some tangible and traceable geographic trends that occurred as a result of politics or economics. It is especially interesting to note the decrease in rank of many northeastern metro areas and their replacement by metro areas in the western or central parts of the country. This is, of course, symbolic of the westward expansion of the country during the mid to early 1800s and the decline of the northeast as the dominant population center of the country. 

 

There are some things in particular that are interesting to note as an historian. For instance, New York's almost perfectly constant place as the largest metro area in the country says a lot about where the country is centered economically and socially. The rapid emergence of Los Angeles as a major metro area in the early 1900s speaks to the new wave of immigration that was occurring at that time. These trends, though not shown on or accompanied by a map, are very telling. Anyone with a basic knowledge of geography and U.S. history can see why certain things trend the way that they do. This graph also reinforces my belief that geography is an absolutely pivotal part of history. It is important to know where things are when you are talking about them in an historical context, or else you will have no visual reference or background and events may seem confusing or unclear. 

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Comparing Urban Footprints

Comparing Urban Footprints | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This is a series of infographics (or geo-infographics) created by Matthew Hartzell, a friend of mine that I met when we were both geography graduate students at Penn State in few years back..."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This set of infographics  is a tremendous visual tool to compare urbanization patterns around the world. 


Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities. 

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 14, 2014 3:25 PM

This is an interesting way to graph out the urban footprints of various cities from around the world. This also shows how the United States has a number of the largest urban centers in the world. Along the top, New York, Chicago, LA, and Miami are massive compared to cities like Hong Kong. This shows how in the United States there are massive amounts of urban growth. Even in China where their population is one of the worlds biggest, Hong Kong a major city only has 7.1 million. In the United States, for the past century cities have been growing and this graph shows that.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:40 PM

These visuals really help to show that the size of a city doesn't necessarily correspond with it's population. Many years ago the trend was the larger the city in turn it would posses a larger population than a physically smaller city. Today this no longer holds true, in fact many smaller cities vastly out populate large sprawling cities. Most of these mega-cities in Asia and Latin America are incredibly over build and densely packed surrounded by miles of slums. 

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:16 PM

Pretty cool.

 

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Linguistic Diversity at Home

Linguistic Diversity at Home | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Counties where at least 10 percent of people speak a language other than English at home."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home?  


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions, census, migration, populationhistoricalfolk cultures, USA.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:02 PM

This map does not bring many surprises.  Places where there are a lot of Spanish speaking families are present in places where many Spanish people immigrate to, along the Mexican border and the southern tip of Florida, where Cuba is close by.  One interesting thing about the French areas seen in Louisiana is that their version of French is a regional dialect. Not only is their a cluster of French speaking families, but they are all speaking a language native to the region.  It is very surprising that there are not as many French speaking families along the Canadien border.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, September 26, 2014 11:34 AM

This map shows how linguistically diverse the United States is today. This map reminded me of one of the slides that we went over in class about how in the Northwest Region the predominant language was German and now it is mainly English, with some German and Native American languages still spoken in certain parts.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, September 26, 2014 10:29 PM

This data is very interesting because you can see that most of these statements speak Spanish. I noticed that most people who speak another language at home (in this case Spanish)  besides English are located in the south western of United States. I wonder if this has something to do with people who immigrated to U.S  from south America.

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Bizarre Borders

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you want more of the same, watch Bizarre Borders, part 1 which focuses on countries within countries and single-neighbor countries.


Tags: borders, political, North America.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 29, 2015 6:31 PM

Craziest thing I've ever seen!  The poor kids on Robert's Island that has to cross through Canada to go to school.  I think it's crazy that the borders were defined when they didn't even have a complete map.  Taking a guess obviously didn't work out.  It seems very difficult to define a border.  

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:39 PM

Sometimes borders between frendly neighbours like Canada and USA are less protected than borders between countries with conflicts.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:01 PM
before watching this video, to be very honest, I thought we really did have the longest straightest possible border between two countries. What really blows my mind is that there is literally a gap between the two countries signifying the border. Another one is the random tip of land that goes into Canada, but it is not really land, it is a lake. But by far, the most bizarre border to me is the Point Roberts in Alaska, where the high school students have to actually pass international borders just to go to school.
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Creating American Borders

30-second animation of the changes in U.S. historical county boundaries, 1629 - 2000. Historical state and territorial boundaries are also displayed from 178...
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love this time-lapse animation of all the county and state-level boundary changes in United States history.  Would you like to see this in greater detail?  Would you want to download the data and create your own visualization of this?  The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has all of this data as GIS shapefiles, Google Earth KMZ files and PDFs for the whole country as well as for each individual state.  This project sponsored by The Newberry and the National Endowment for the Humanities has tremendous potential for use in the classroom for history and geography teachers alike.  


Tags: historical, USA, borders, time lapse, mapping, edtech.

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Jesse Olsen's comment, March 16, 2013 1:04 PM
Whooooaaaaaaa!!!!
Betty Klug's curator insight, April 27, 2013 3:50 PM

I love animation maps.  Great for getting students interested in learning.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:36 PM

This video does a fantastic job of showing how the United States has expanded and grown since its original 13 colonies. While many today might imagine that our nation was simply always this size in fact over many years of colonization, land purchases and land grabs America has eventually become what it is today.

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Census Dotmap

Census Dotmap | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive dot distribution map of the United States 2010 census data has many great applications.  The conversation can focus on the symbology of the map (for example, this could lead to a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of dot distribution maps) or notice how certain physical landforms are visible for either their high or low population density.  One of the advantages of this map is that it uses census data at the block level.  This means that the user can visualize distinct scale-dependent patterns.  Sharp divisions (e.g.-urban vs. rural) might have less of a distinct edge as you zoom in.  

UPDATE: This map now includes Canadian and Mexican census data as well as the United States.


Tags: cartography, technology, mapping, visualization, population, density.

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Charlie Koppelson's curator insight, February 7, 2013 2:40 PM

This map is very useful in examining the distribution of people and geography in North America. It's easy to see that our once rural based country is completely dominated by cities, most of which are near the coast. It's fun to play around with as you can see where mountain ranges are as well as other topographic changes just by the concentrations of people, or lack there of.

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Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing

Interactive: Locating American Manufacturing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With the slight resurgence of U.S. manufacturing in the recent years—termed a potential "manufacturing moment" by some—it is important to consider not just the future of manufacturing in America but also its geography.

 

This interactive map is brimming with potential to both teach and learn about the changing industrial geographies of the United States.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 12, 2013 7:21 PM

Amazing to see that there still is manufacturing in the US given all the news about it moving to China and other countries.  As the map shows there still is big manufacturing in east of the Mississippi and then manily along the West Coast.  I really thing the US as a whole needs to get back to basics.  Manufacturing is what made this country strong, and I believe that a strong manufacturing sector with a strong services sector will help this country grow.

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Santorum Sees Divide Between Rural and Urban America

Santorum Sees Divide Between Rural and Urban America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The 2012 election are showing again some of the cultural, political and economic divides that exist in the United States.  This above map portrays the 2008 presidential election, with counties that voted for McCain in red and Obama in blue.  Rick Santorum has said, in reference the political map of the United States today, "Think about it, look at the map of the United States...it's almost all red except around the big cities."  Rick Santorum, by taking on “blue” big cities, is also criticizing the Republicans, his own party. This political portray is an attempt to accentuate the difference between rural and urban America to hit his key demographic, but it also begs for further analysis into the electoral geography of the United States.  As some social media skeptics have retorted, "It's all blue except where nobody lives."  Which is it?  What do these patterns say about United States politics?  Why do these patterns exist?  For more maps that shed light on the spatial voting patterns from the 2008 election, see:  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/462087007/2008-election-maps

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:50 PM

Senator Santorum has made a good point here. For years his party (and even the other) have been redistricting their states in order to gain advantages in state elections.  It has been common knowledge which areas are leaning red and which are blue.  Yet nobody seems to be trying to strenghten their base in weaker areas. One thing that would've helped immensely is if the Republicans had strengthened their support among immigrants and African Americans. They heavily populate these urban areas that Republicans need support in in order to strengthen their base.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:17 PM

While looking at this map in class, and then various other maps it is interesting to look at the correlations between the geography of the area and the way they voted. For example, the cotton belt votes democratic, which would make sense given the history behind the location.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 15, 2015 1:23 AM

Unit 4 political geography

This picture explains how political development and parts of America have come to understand and define elements of the world's own cultural backgrounds of urban and rural development. The picture shows that the urban areas are developing in the way of republicans.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how the geography and urban development creates a dividing line of politics and governmental work in the area of rural area to convert to the political status of the urban areas.

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The true cost of oil

The true cost of oil | Geography Education | Scoop.it
TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

 

This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 10:59 AM

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Geography Education | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control. 

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Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city?

Stranded in suburbia: Why aren’t Americans moving to the city? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
It's going to take more than wishful thinking to convince Americans to move back to the urban core.

 

While some urban pundits have been projecting a decline of suburbia, the numbers haven't born that out.  How come?  What will that mean for society?  How does urban planning account for cultural and economic preferences?    

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 12, 2013 10:02 PM

Because of lack of jobs in our economy today most college kids move back home with mom and dad after school. This means parents can move out of the suburbs if the so choose. Cities also have a bad rep, they are seen as violent and dirty and poverty filled and the schools in the cities arent always the best. All of these leave many families choosing suburbs first or leaving the cities for them. 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 1:13 PM

I can relate to this topic as a college student who wants to live in a bigger city. I always wanted to live in Boston however the profession I am choosing will most likely not support the lifestyle I am seeking in a metropolitan area.  The rising costs of college make so many students can't leave their home state and move to urban settings, and then student loan payments with increasing interest rates cause many to stay in their suburbs.  It would be nearly possible for someone like myself, to live in a metropolitan area comfortably with a decent pay but student loans right after college.  I feel like many people in the lower/middle class suburbs are in this situation and cannot graduate to a level where they are financially stable enough to leave and enter the city.

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America's Fertility Class Divide

America's Fertility Class Divide | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Since the average American woman has 2.1 children, you might think we aren't experiencing a national fertility crisis.

 

This article effectively conveys the global trend of lower fertility rates coinciding with higher rates of female education, wealth and development.  As a bonus, it shows that within a given country, fertility rates are not uniform, but vary between demographic classes. 

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Seth Dixon's comment, September 28, 2011 10:42 AM
My pleasure...
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 2014 2:24 PM

In the article, Lerner details why the United States' healthy birthrate of 2.1 children per woman is a deceiving number. While other first world nations like England and Germany are suffering from overall low birthrates, the United States is suffering due to the low birthrates in high-income brackets and high birthrates in low- income brackets. This discrepancy is reinforced by a lack of paid leave laws for new parents in the US, making having a child a burden for potential parents with aims of furthering their careers. Similarly, lower income women do not have enough access to publicly funded family planning programs.

 

This dichotomy in birthrates in the US will likely have a negative effect on the nation's economy going further. If most of the nation's children are being born into poor families the next generation of Americans are more likely to have worse access to education and be unable to obtain higher paying jobs than if the birthrate were more uniform across income brackets.

Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:48 PM

This article showed how when you average the birth rate in the United States, it obscures a larger issue between classes. According to the article, the birthing rate for “poor women” is more than that of the “wealthier” “professional” women by a fair amount. The poor will typically have a few children whereas the wealthier may now choose to have none.  Looking at numbers in this manner is important because the full picture obviously needs to be seen in order for more effective policy reform to ever happen. Yet, the idea of “choice” and type of reform needed is something the author and I differ greatly on.

 

The author did a poor job asserting upper class women’s lack of “choice” when it comes to the amount of children they have. The author said some “successful” women would rather get ahead in their career instead of have a family. Thus there is this added layer to the problem of choice outside the unplanned pregnancies of the “poor.” However, there are enough fluff pieces in magazines of late proclaiming women can have it all because “successful” women, as this article called them, typically do have the resources to balance family and work. What I think is more common through is that wealthier women (who want children) are now having children later because they are finishing their schooling and establishing their careers. While the women who don’t have kids, just plain make a choice not to have a child. Because honestly, more affluent people are actually able to plan and decide if they want kids. Whereas an unplanned pregnancy takes the deliberate action of planning out the equation all together. Therefore mentioning the obstacles some women have to plan around in conjunction with the actual issue of poverty just confuses the meaning of choice.

 

The article also touched upon the idea of better child care, which is obviously needed in the US, but not for the reasons mentioned in this article. As mentioned earlier, the more successful women have the money to pay for child care because they have the money/job to do so. Whereas the people with lower paying jobs can’t make ends meet partly due to the way maternity and child care in this country runs. So I think the country would need to change the system, not to cater to the upper class so they procreate more like the author implies, but to increase the mobility of the poor class. Doing this could decrease the amount of people growing up in poverty in order to raise the quality of life for some children. To me, this logic is a better reason to implement more affordable child care rather than the author’s classist concern that poor people are going to outnumber the amount of rich babies born in the US.  

 

Overall, I think this article makes a good point about showing the problem in terms of pregnancy rates being obscured. However, the manner in which the author discussed the “successful” classes “choice” and situation in relation to women in poverty aggravated me.