This year, there have been endless stories about urban crime and municipal doom-loops. But beneath the surface, there’s one underpinning factor that runs across all of them. For an example of what that is, let’s head to NYC, where it is the best of times and the worst of times. “Across the city, wages are up, but mostly for the affluent. Jobs are returning, but many are in low-paying positions. Unemployment is down, but remains sharply higher for Black and Hispanic New Yorkers. The mixed signals highlight a widening chasm: The city is recovering, but many of its residents are not.” NYT (Gift Article): New York Is Rebounding for the Rich. Nearly Everyone Else Is Struggling. “The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites earned an average household income of $545,549, or more than 53 times as much as the bottom 20 percent, who earned an average of $10,259.”

+ The divide impacts every part of American life, including disasters. WaPo (Gift Article): What one motel tells us about survival in post-disaster America. (It tells us a lot about pre-disaster America, too.) “A disaster is a swift sifter. In an instant, when all is gone, those with money, good jobs, reliable friends and families often land in a safe place. They can bounce back. Those who do not, those already on the edge, fall. And they can fall hard — further out of sight, deeper into darkness and trauma. Who, if anyone, catches them?”

+ The divide is global. And as it widens, far-right, populist leaders often benefit. Buenos Aires central square becomes nighttime soup kitchen as poverty hits 40%.