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America's 14 Most Ready to Riot Cities

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"These past two years, we have been waging a war of attrition, with each ensuing year requiring additional cuts to service levels.  We cannot afford to continue on this path.  We must find a way to reach structural balance and further invest in our infrastructure. This year presented the most challenging fiscal and budgetary environment in my time as Mayor but has, in recent days, also provided the single most significant step to our long-term fiscal health in the form of a tentative agreement with the Police Officers' Association that cuts pension costs and, if it were to be mirrored by our other employee groups, eliminates structural deficits by the end of FY 13 based off current projections." From the Mayor's Budget Recommendations, Fiscal Year 2012. Bob Foster, Mayor of Long Beach, CA.

  • Wealth Inequity Index: 0.479.  (Los Angeles Metro)
  • Share of aggregate income going to top 5 percent of households: 23.2 percent
  • 45.9% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Unemployment 11.0%
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 25.0%
  • Children in poverty: 45.2%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 18.3%

12. Newark, NJ:

To close the city's budget gap, Mayor Cory Booker is proposing a 7% tax increase in order to maintain the city's current level of service.   The mayor's proposed increase will also reduce the city's current budget deficit of $58 million.   The tax increase will raise $18 million in additional funds.   Governor Chris Christy is also attempting to close a New Jersey State budget gap of just $10.5 billion dollars.

  • Percentage of single-parent households: 56.9%
  • Wealth Inequity Index: 0.504 (New York Metro including North New Jersey)
  • Share of aggregate income going to top 5 percent of households: 24.9 percent
  • 13th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita
  • Increase in food stamps (SNAP) use from 2007: 18.0%
  • Per capita income: $17,396
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 28.5%
  • Unemployment 9.6%

13. Philadelphia, PA

A Flash mob struck Center City Philadelphia Friday night, July 29, 2011 leaving two people injured and several others robbed. Police have arrested four people in connection with the crime.   Mayor Nutter has decided in impose a curfew of 9:00 PM on those under the age of 18.   Businesses can also register their security cameras with the police department.   Don't panic.   This isn't the real angry hopeless commoners with torches and pitch forks, just a bunch of kids.

  • Children in poverty: 35.7%
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 50.1%
  • 46.8% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Percent of residents receiving SNAP assistance:   26%
  • Unemployment 10.2%
  • Over 104,000 high net worth individuals
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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 

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