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Overcoming Spatial Mismatch Essay

955 words - 4 pages

As any good realtor will say, there are three main important factors to remember when buying or renting a piece of property: “location, location, location”. Oftentimes, the location of ones home will have some of the biggest impacts on their lives. Since we live in a capitalist society where work is key to survival, location has a major affect on work. The importance of location can become a problem when work and the rest of one’s life become separate. Before the industrial revolution, work and the house were intertwined with both activities taking place in the same location. However, after the industrial revolution, work was moved outside the home and into the factory. Though our current ...view middle of the document...

3 million to 18.8 million, while those employed in services and retail trade grew from 50.5 million to 66.5 million” (Squire, 2002, p.3). When one also takes into account the jobs, often manufacturing, that were moved overseas and not compensated for in the United States, a picture of the new economy begins to emerge. The suburbs became “sites of accelerated exploitation” while at the same time, the inner cities became sites of “community abandonment” (Peck. 2002, p.3). Cities that were once based on industry, such as the auto industry of Detroit or Flint, lost the plants that were in the center of the cities and easily accessible to many employees. Now, many jobs were only available in the suburbs outside the cities, which meant that workers either had to live close enough to where they worked or have some means of transportation.
Numerous factors worked together to influence the new spatial patterns of sprawl that emerged. As it became easier for firms to move overseas, communities at all levels had to do what they can to attract businesses such as offering tax breaks (Peck, 2002). Since capitalists seek to maximize their profit, it makes sense for them to follow the tax breaks and build on the cheapest land where they have the most incentive to build. It is easy to only concentrate on the capitalists and their firms when discussing spatial issues, such as focusing on where factories have moved to, while ignoring the workers and the communities. But it is important to remember that capitalists are not the only one with interests, and that the workers who live in these locations have an interest (Herod, 1997). Capital is not “the only actor actively shaping the geography of capitalism or even, in some places and times, the most significant one” (Herod, 1997, p.17). Just...

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