A neighborhood can reach a critical mass of poverty because greater numbers of poor, high radioactivity families move in. However, the more common phenomenon in American society is that neighborhood poverty rates rise because low radioactivity working class/middle class families move out. (Middle class exodus is akin to removing the control rods from a nuclear pile.) In short, concentrated neighborhood poverty increases not because the neighborhood has more poor people than before but because it has fewer of everybody else.
The photograph, by the way, was taken during/after a special mythology tour of the Library of Congress (see additional photos here) during @CapitalPrideDC week. In a way, this photograph represents the exact opposite of what Rusk describes, the absence of concentrated poverty, the ideal that people see of our nation’s capital, which is not the reality. The reality is why we live here – more learning per square millimeter than in any other place I have been.
As usual, I learned more from my photograph after it was taken.
Concentrated Poverty – The Critical Mass – D.C. Policy Center