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Justice and the American Metropolis$
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Clarissa Rile Hayward and Todd Swanstrom

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676125

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676125.001.0001

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Property - Owning Plutocracy

Property - Owning Plutocracy

Inequality and American Localism

(p.33) 1 Property - Owning Plutocracy
Justice and the American Metropolis

Stephen Macedo

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses that American local institutions are deeply flawed. Competition among local homeowners, school districts, and communities creates a race to the top for some, while leaving many behind. The interconnection of local funding and control of schools, home ownership, and power of local communities to zone to exclude the poor provides enormous positional advantages to those who can afford to live where the best schools are. It also creates perverse inegalitarian incentives into the motivational structures of ordinary citizens, who function as property owners, parents, and citizens. Local institutions in the American metropolis shape citizen’s identities, interests, and motivations in ways that make them “stakeholders in inequality”.

Keywords:   American local institutions, homeowners, school districts, communities, parents, American metropolis, inequality

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