Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The new American Dream is a bigger tent to live in

Forecasters were predicting the report on the housing would show a significant improvement but a sharp decline appeared instead, especially in apartment construction. The corporate press dutifully reported that this was in fact good news as it would lead to the end of the glut in empty apartments. You would think the many millions of homeless could take advantage of the glut of empty rentals instead of living in tents and cars or imposing on friends and relatives. A new phenomena has emerged; not only are couples postponing divorce but they are sometimes continuing to live together with the new significant others of their spouses.

Then there are the expected eight million foreclosure victims and their families who are going to need somewhere to live. The builders of apartments don’t point to over building as the reason for not starting new projects since the glut is largely confined to a few areas that were caught up in the real estate speculation bubble. They instead point to fears of further job losses or the unavailability of credit.

The millions of new poor are causing physicians to cut fees to try to keep children coming in for treatment but it’s not working very well. We are poised to produce a generation of children scarred by this depression; homeless; sickly; uneducated; turning to crime or becoming victims of it; the mental health issues will increase the number of people in the permanent homeless class. When these children of the depression come of age with no sense of the American Dream as their childhoods have turned to nightmares while most of society went on without them; care to predict what dangerous groups these people gravitate to the most?

A more immediate threat to children is that the Swine Flu has not gone away as expected with warmer weather but seems to be mushrooming in some areas. The average age of people sick enough to be hospitalized with this Flu has been fifteen. Flu complications are normally confined mostly to the very elderly. The more it spreads, the more likely it will pick up the one missing protein it needs to become the 1918 killer flu.

Though out history, massive population reductions have produced a remarkable renaissance period. Don’t pay any mind to the intervening dark ages.