Is Suburban Exploitation to Blame for Camden's Decline?

Are failing cities like Camden, New Jersey, to blame for their own downfall? Or are they the victims of a regional exploitation in which the suburbs foist their problems onto the nearest urban center?

Stephen Danley asks these questions in response to the recent Rolling Stone article “Apocalypse, New Jersey.”  While that article’s author, Matt Taibbi, characterized Camden as reliant on suburban “life support,” Danley sees the situation differently.  “State subsidies are not signs of Camden’s failure, but of its exploitation,” he writes.  “Camden’s story is one of the surrounding region dumping its waste, its trash, its drugs and, yes, its poor into a city and then looking the other way.  Whose failure is that?”

Camden’s recent history, moreover, is more nuanced than articles like Taibbi’s suggest.  “In addition to exploitation, Camden’s story is one of resilience,” Danley writes.  “Left to rot in the city, its citizens find ways to make it a home and take pride in creating calm amid chaos.”

Full Story: Letter from Camden: Who Is to Blame for America's "Most Desperate Town"?


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