Final Paper_Essay

Final Paper_Essay - Immigration Demographics and...

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Immigration, Demographics, and Restructured Economics: Neoliberalism in New York City The Promise and Pitfalls of Contemporary Planning Professor Arturo Ignacio Sanchez 12/12/2008
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2 Shortly after World War II, the United States steered away from excessive government intervention in fear of potentially mimicking the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, or Fascist Italy. Advocates of neoliberalism—the decentralization of government coupled with less economic constraints—became the response to socialism abroad in order to protect free exchange in an increasingly globalized world. Neoliberalism started in the 1970s and soared in the 1980s during the Thatcher and Reagan administrations. “Reaganomics” brought an end to public housing, government subsidies, income supplements, and government intervention on all levels. By the 1990s, neoliberalism had become the nation’s appropriate form of government. Complementing the emergence of neoliberalism was the exponential increase in mass immigration. Immigrants from South America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean flooded America’s inner cities. As a result, neoliberalism and mass international migration simultaneously transformed the social landscape and physical environment of the American inner city. Between the Great Depression and the Reagan era, the United States experienced a radical shift in the structure of the national, state, and local economies. Furthermore, the economy transitioned from industrial manufacturing to producer services, and has been commonly attributed to globalization. The emergence of globalized institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and bond rating agencies, created an economic dependence between regions and nations (Hackworth, 10). Rather than tolerating government regulation, which was thought to have provoked market failures, a new emphasis was placed on international competitiveness. Policies such as redistributive welfare and food stamps were made obsolete. Labor elasticity was deemed vital to the success of the economy, while monetarism was considered to be the only exception for nation-state government intervention (Ibid). In
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3 retrospect, as the macroeconomic influence of the government diminished, the economy progressively moved toward neoliberalism. As a result, there is a distinct correlation between government policies and the restructuring of the economy. Social theorist David Harvey recognizes real estate as another factor that influenced the restructuring of the American economy. Harvey’s theorization of the “spatial fix” during the Great Depression suggests that the rise of suburbanization was a direct result of deliberate government intercession (Hackworth, 80). Harvey believes that after the First World War, “allied commercial interests like the automobile and consumer durable industries, massive subsidies for homeownership, freeways, and military bases that redistributed wealth across the country” supported the notion of suburbia (78). However, by the latter half of the twentieth century this
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This essay was uploaded on 02/19/2009 for the course CRP 2000 taught by Professor Arturosanchez during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.

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Final Paper_Essay - Immigration Demographics and...

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