14 January 2007

Class Warfare

A short while ago I posted on a project by the Friends of William Blake aimed at disrupting military recruiting processes aimed at youth in predominantly poor and minority neighborhoods. A graphic produced by the National Priorities Project disclosing patterns of recruitment among various income groups in the U.S. by zip code shows why that project is especially important. According to the folks at the NPP:

"The graph below shows the representation of active-duty Army recruits for 2004, 2005, and 2006 according to the median household income of their ZIP code. (Data are not available for the individual recruit's household income.) Each bar represents the ratio of two proportions: the share of total recruits living in ZIP code areas where median household income falls within the specified range over the share of the total youth population living in the ZIP code. A score of more than one means the income range is over-represented. A score of less than one means the range is under-represented. Note that the peak of the bars falls in the range of $30,000 to $59,999. In other words, neighborhoods with low- to middle-median household incomes are over-represented. Neighborhoods with high-median household incomes are under-represented. (The comparable median household income for the U.S. is $47,837.)

Upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods have fallen in representation from 2004. In other words, wealthier neighborhoods are less represented in 2005 and 2006 than they were in 2004. "

You can find a larger (hence more readily legible) version of the graph here.
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PS: (Added 1/21/07) - This theme may be getting some traction; see this story in the New Statesman.

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