In CT, a Vast Divide Between Rich and Poor

And the opportunity gap is widening, NPR reports.


An article published this week on NPR.org juxtaposes the economic and social disparity between Bridgeport and Greenwich, and uses the comparison to argue that the American dream is a pie in the sky for most Americans.

Whereas many household incomes in towns like affluent Greenwich have soared in the past four decades, the average paycheck in communities like Bridgeport has barely grown, widening an opportunity gap that makes the rags-to-riches story a fantasy for many, the article states.

"Put simply, in today's America, the children of the rich will very likely get richer, poor kids will probably remain so, and those in the vast middle class will be challenged, even in two-income households, to just tread water," the article argues.

The December 2012 unemployment rate in Bridgeport was 11.7 percent, more than double that of Greenwich (5.4 percent) for the same month, according to statistics from the Connecticut Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate in December came in at 7.8 percent.

Bridgeport, a city plagued by nightly gunfire, abandoned buildings and graffiti scarred public housing, "is a world away from the half-dozen other affluent communities that line the Connecticut shoreline," including Greenwich, the article states.

That variance has led to a "profound alienation between residents of [Bridgeport] and the towns around it," the article argues. "The idea that Greenwich residents should feel somehow responsible, or even concerned, about the plight of 145,000 people in Bridgeport strikes many as odd -- if not absurd."

"I don't think of it at all," Karen Schiff told NPR as she left the Greenwich train station after a workday in New York. "I don't think I've ever even met someone from there. Maybe I drove through, I don't know."


Tired of Poor Me January 19, 2013 at 05:32 PM
I have never made a comment on any blog or anywhere else. I have reached my limit with the poor me people. The key to success is education. Not everyone has to get a masters or a doctorate degree. People can get a education in plumbing, electrical, auto repairs, diesel engine repairs. There is a ton of opportunity in Fairfield county if you want to get some education and get a job. "Oh how can I pay for this education". Have you people ever heard of a thing call a loan or a grant? To lazy to fill out the forms? Shame on you! You show me some ambition I will show you a educated person that can work. So for those people standing at the meth clinic next to Bridgeport Hospital get and education a get a job. I am sure the people of Greenwich would be willing to pay for the services you could provide. Oh yea forgot we should all feel sorry for you!
Huh? January 20, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Are you saying that living in Bridgeport you are forced to be a criminal? That because you live in a poor area you have to do drugs, rob stores etc? That everyone in Bridgeport is a criminal? That because you live in Bridgeport you are not allowed to get an education? Because if that is not what you are saying then I have no idea what your point is. I know people who live in Bridgeport, that got an education, and are not criminals. They choose to live there due to lower housing costs. They are accepted by everyone. But why should I choose to accept criminals lie you say we should do?


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