"This is the most amazing statement I believe you have ever made. Have you ever seen residents of a poor neighborhood make an annual trip to a surburb of perhaps $200,000 houses for a drive to "clean up" the community? I never have. On the other hand it is an annual event to go to a poor neighborhood and make a "clean sweep" of junk and old tires, old appliances tossed out the backdoor, etc. It takes dozens of people all day to do this, even serving lunch. So no, one will not find junk on the property of nicer neighborhoods at the same rate."
The statement above was posted as a comment in response to something I had written here not long ago about property values and urban redevelopment. The comment comes from a regular reader who seldom, if ever, agrees with me.
My daughter, Joanna, had an interesting comment about the statement.
"Dad, I wanted to reply that I see this every day of the week in my neighborhood," she said. "Poor, hard working people come into my neighborhood every week to clean the houses, to keep the landscape looking perfect and to haul off everything we throw away and waste. We pay them to take care of all of the dirty work."
I like that. I like that alot. Thanks, Jo!
Many poor neighborhoods are filled with houses owned and ill-maintained by absentee landlords (i.e. slumlords). Codes aren't enforced. City services can become sub-standard. Residents do the best they can with the resources available.
I guess I'm like my daughter. We've just seen the folks. We just know the people. Cheap judgment and knee-jerk hatred just doesn't get it.