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A Ghost Story Essay

1110 words - 5 pages

Diversity, equality and fairness are the latest buzzwords being kicked around in academia and the media. Everybody is supposed to achieve the American Dream today, regardless of who you are, where you came from, or what you do to get there. According to their math, equality of opportunity equals equality of outcome, and if it doesn't, rig the formula so it does.

I read a couple of articles in nj.com recently. In one, a Rutgers-Camden professor of Public Policy published a study that found that more poor people were being concentrated in small to mid-size cities today compared to ten years ago. OK, the economy collapsed and the housing market tanked: poor people always lived in crappy ...view middle of the document...

About ten years ago, I noticed that most of my new neighbors were coming from the city. I got to know a few of them, shooting the breeze and lending them things from time to time. The first thing I noticed was that they didn't cut their lawns that often, and weren't into home maintenance and repairs that our homeowners association requires. For instance, a ten foot piece of my neighbor's siding fell off two years ago and it's still sitting in his backyard where it landed.

The other day I was in my backyard raking leaves, another chore my neighbors aren't into. I was looking around and noticed that three out of my four closest neighbor's properties were deteriorating. Bags of trash piling up, junk in the yard, siding not cleaned, repairs not made etc. Normally I wouldn't care, but I plan on moving out within a year or two, and I don't think any prospective buyer of my home would be impressed with the nouveau-trash, Camdenesque look of my neighborhood. Ironically, the one home that is being maintained has been vacant for the last five years, its owner dead four of those years. Fortunately, his heirs are taking care of the property until the estate is settled.

I went online to look at my town's tax records. They have a nice website where you can view your payment history and see what you owe. You can also view the records of everyone else in town. I found that three of my neighbor's homes are owned by minority females. One passed away last year and her home is being rented out, even though it is still in her name. The other two homes are occupied by their owners and their live-in boyfriends/husbands. I also noticed that out of my four neighbors, only the dead guy is paying his sewage bill in a timely fashion.

I stopped at my Homeowners Association office to inquire when they were going to get after my neighbors to cleanup their properties. I learned that in addition to not keeping up with their sewage bills, they're also not into paying their association dues – one neighbor hasn't paid...

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