Tracy Chapman – Subcity

From 1989, Tracy Chapman poetically likens marginalized citizens to living in a city below where everyone else gets by and finds success. This subcity exists because of a cosy relationship between government and big business, both failing to provide enough (and adequate) employment opportunities for the poor.

Chapman may be expressing a view of equality, from the ideology of liberalism, which has maintained the importance of using state intervention to assist people to reach their own dreams. People that fall through the cracks through no fault of their own, should be helped to regain their independence. Policy-wise, this could be through education, health care, social assistance, job training and other services. Chapman’s song does not mention the many such supports that Americans may be eligible to access, perhaps feeling that what is there, is not enough.

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