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Econocide

Elimination of the Urban Poor

Alice Skirtz

ISBN: 978-0-87101-424-5. 2012. Item #4245. 182 pages.

Paperback $27.99   ePub $26.99
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Econocide tells the story of how an overweening focus on economic development, in concert with biased housing policy practices, and a virtual abandonment of civic responsibility, has forsaken the urban poor in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alice Skirtz shows how the city has used legislation and the administration of public policy to serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.

Skirtz argues that enactment and implementation of legislation grounded in contempt for the economically disadvantaged and schemes contrived to keep affordable housing off the market and to reduce or devolve essential social services have resulted in gross economic inequities, manifest in a collectivity she identifies as "economic others."

The book examines the constructs of economic others and econocide through three themes:

  • The development of exclusion ordinances to remove economic others
  • The indirect removal of economic others by means of policy decisions
  • The privatization of governance to absolve the city of its social and ethical responsibilities

Econocide is more than just a profound history of a sociopolitical vicious circle, it suggests a way out of it—not just for Cincinnati but for all cities in which econocide is occurring. No one concerned with social work practice with the economically disenfranchised or, more generally, how public policy affects the urban poor can afford to ignore this book.

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