- From the Editors: Eminence Domains
The displacement that began with communities like Seneca Village has been renewed in a current phase characterized by the luxury “Billionaire’s Row” developments that have grown up along the park’s borders. A similar trend has extended across the five boroughs, and across the country, as middle-class and low-income residents are pushed from their homes to make way for developments that price them out of their neighborhoods.
- City with Walls: Another Look at Manhattan’s Luxury Towers
Inequality has in a sense crystallized in the forms of glass and steel residential buildings carefully designed to glitter. In growing height and number, they have come to stand for a consolidation of wealth that is seemingly insoluble. Or, to use another fluid metaphor, a wealth that is unlikely to trickle down.
by Elizabeth Murphy, with photographs by James Wrona
- The Cost of Landscape: Looking Back at Some of Southern California’s Lawns
This cultivated similarity between the country’s coasts framed American identity and citizenship as a force moving westward from Europe to New England before finally reaching California, a narrative that conflated the expansion of American identity with the spread of whiteness and white power.
by Alison Kozberg
- For Whom and For What?
The obvious problem for Lincoln’s vision is that if everybody has equality of opportunity, not everybody is going to end up at the same place. And invariably, when you get some people who do better than others, they work to control the legal system.
The Birth of the Republican Party and the Makings of Modern America
in conversation with Heather Cox Richardson
- Gentrification of the Queer Bedroom
Chaz says that blackness only has to be a part of white men’s worlds if they want it to be, and that choice to see or not see blackness extends to the bedroom. “I live in a world where I have to negotiate whiteness all the time, because I’m a black man. But they don’t live in a place where they even have to look at blackness unless they’re trying to get something."
by Mathew Rodriguez
- Notes on the New Suburbs and the New City
The most important urban trend of the last twenty years is not that cities have become hip and popular, but rather that as they have become hip and popular, there has been a reallocation of resources and capital to those hip urban areas and away from urban and suburban areas that are no longer perceived as viable.
in conversation with Kazys Varnelis
- Poetry by Dicko King
- The Pursuit of Property
by G.K. Peatling
On neoliberal understandings, if capitalist expansion produces inequalities of wealth, inequality is said anyway to be a good thing if it promotes jealousy and imitation, and thus compels people to work harder. Hence capitalist apologists’ bemusement that their “serum of freedom and prosperity” does not actually make people happy: neoliberal understandings cannot engage with the human, psychological, or social costs of inequality where the drive to emulate is thwarted, nor with how the satisfaction of existing owners is reduced as their conspicuous consumption is emulated.
- Obstructing Innovation: The Case Against Patents and Copyrights
in conversation with Dean Baker
I see patents and copyrights as relics. I began by saying that these date back to the Middle Ages, which doesn’t in and of itself mean that they’re bad—but it also doesn’t mean that they’re good. The question is, can we find a better way?
- Money over Everything: Charting Hip-Hop’s Cash Flow
by Marty Brown
Jay-Z’s call for a million more black Americans to join him amongst the upper class has echoes of Puff Daddy’s “Bad Boy for Life” video. Puffy depicts members of the white upper-class unexpectedly embracing him on their own turf. Money buys him the house, yet his swagger charms the neighbors. Puffy’s post-racial utopia of Perfectown, U.S.A., may be ironic, but his and Jay-Z’s shared belief that wealth can buy a voice among the elite seems sincere. It’s a thoroughly capitalist approach to addressing racial inequality.