Money is Power; The consequences of economic inequality

This is my second post in a series of blog posts about income inequality. This post (again, an essay written for a thesis that never materialized) discusses why income inequality matters, from both a political and economic perspective. You can read the first post in the series here.

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Public Spaces

I watched the film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces twice, and I found it amazing. The film discusses how the design and architecture of spaces impacts its use. After I first watched the film with Jasmin in her class, I felt like I was suddenly very aware of how the space around me was used and how it could be improved. I felt more like a flaneur than ever before.

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Living as a Flâneur

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Most of my memories of Salt Lake City take place on 400 S. This was the street we would often drive through when I was a kid, before I went to the University of Utah. It is the street where the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) is, and I would spend a lot of time there when my mother would work in Art of the Main, the art gallery in the library. In 2008 during the Presidential campaign, we would visit the Democratic Party headquarters located in a building just off 400 S. When my church, Wasatch Hills Seventh-Day Adventist Church, would have their Inter-City Outreach (ICOR) program hand out clothing and other essentials to the homeless, they would do so at Pioneer Park, right along 400 S. And every day, when I commute to the University of Utah on Trax, the train drives up along 400 S. The street is synonymous with Salt Lake City to me, so naturally I chose to observe 400 S.

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Towards a Just Metropolis

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When I was seventeen, I volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. I decided that since not only was I too young to vote I lived in a solidly red state, I would do what I could to make an impact by volunteering for the campaign. My dad decided he would too, and together we went to Grand Junction, Colorado, for a weekend. We canvassed throughout the town, collecting data for the campaign to use. It was a fantastic experience. The weekend before the first Tuesday of November, I decided I could do even more, and I participated in a call center to get the vote out. This may be the only time of my life where I could consider myself taking charge and seeking to make a difference rather than hope a change comes on its own.

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