Eyebrows have been raised, but not by Jack Sammons, who doesn't have any, based on the portrait you've provided.
So many words to report so little of consequence. A masterpiece of bloviation. Congratulations!
You're right about Fresno ... The Fresno MSA is Fresno County alone according to the Census and its current population is estimated at 955K.
That said, my original point stands: many MSAs have more poor, several have higher poverty rates, and many have seen a bigger jump in the rates than has Memphis. Please explain to me the logic of a 1 million person threshold? Does the Census or OMB define large metros as those with 1 million or more? I never said Memphis was average. I simply said this: Poverty in Memphis rises and falls with the national economy. The rate declined in the 1990s; it climbed in the following decade and soared with the recession. Some people are invested, I believe, in the notion of Memphis exceptionalism when it comes to poverty.
Clarifying my previous comment: It's not just a Memphis issue.
I was using California's definition of the Fresno MSA, which includes Fresno and Madera counties. (Census designates it as the Fresno-Madera CSA.) 955272 is the population of Fresno County. Madera's is 152383. Together, more than 1 million. Plus, at the rate Fresno County alone is growing, it'll top 1 million soon. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06…
But my bigger point: There are many large metros with more poor people, other sizable metros with higher poverty rates, and many that saw their poverty rates rise more dramatically since 2000. It's not a Memphis issue.
GroveReb84: The dissolution of MCS, the chaotic and disorganized creation of mini-school districts, the rise of charters (many substandard), the unleashing of opportunists like Herenton, the meddling of ideological big-money foundations, have all damaged public education in the Memphis area, creating a Balkanized and confusing system. It's been an enormous time- and money-suck, whose main beneficiaries will be overpaid bureaucrats and contractors.
I believe that humans make choices based on what will be -- what they think will be -- in their best interest. They make choices based on the best available information. Often they choose wrong -- because they don't know enough. I don't think anybody chooses to be poor or hungry or powerless. If I'm wrong, please introduce me to that person.
There are now, according to the Census, more African-Americans in the Memphis MSA than whites. So poverty here generally has a darker complexion. But that's not true elsewhere.
I never said life was fair.
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