Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First of many?

Will California become America's first failed state?

One in four American mortgages that are "under water" are in California. In the Central Valley town of Merced, house prices have crashed by 70%. Two Democrat politicians have asked for their districts to be declared disaster zones, because of the poor economic conditions caused by foreclosures. In one city near Riverside, a squatter's camp of newly homeless labourers sleeping in their vehicles has grown up in a supermarket car park – the local government has provided toilets and a mobile shower. In the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, one in nine homeowners are now in default on their mortgage, and the local priest, the Rev John Lasseigne, has garnered national headlines – swapping saving souls to saving houses, by negotiating directly with banks.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 02:42 PM (2840 views)
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8 thoughts on “First of many?

  • mark wadsworth says:

    Can’t they just follow the UK’s lead on this and reflate the house price bubble? House prices can only go up, remember?

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  • They should print Califoney Dollars and it’ll be alright.

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  • How about a new catch phrase for Arnie – “I’ll be broke”

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  • Great article, thanks for posting afrobaggie.

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  • Mark W,

    Do you remember Paul Krugman’s article from a few weeks ago, “Flatland and the Zoned Zone”? Judging by this article in the Guardian, the worst-affected parts of California are the sprawling flatland towns: Riverside, Merced, Mendota, etc. Food for thought….

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  • mountain goat says:

    Entertaining article thanks for posting. However, the strangely sudden change from extremely apocalyptic to extremely optimisitic made me wonder how objective it was?

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  • The article is objective:

    “California … is the eighth largest economy in the world, with a population of 37 million. If it was an independent country it would be in the G8. And if it were a company, it would likely be declared bankrupt”.

    Maybe you watched the start of “The Running Man”…At what point does lawlessness and rioting increase?

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  • the number cruncher says:

    Stephen King’s bread and circuses grotesque, the running man, is a extrapolated vision of what California and the world is becoming – I recommend you read it (authored under the pseudonym Richard Bachman). Way better than the film (which skipped a lot of the underlying political message).

    The novel is set in a dystopian United States during the year 2025, in which the nation’s economy is in ruins and world violence is rising

    It shows an American man, without health care provision, watching his daughter die of an pollution related illness. 47,000 Americans avoidably die each year due to poor health care provision
    It shows a populace mesmerised by watching fellow citizens compete in games on the TV, that are cruel and humiliating (and deadly) for cash prizes – anybody watch the x factor or big brother recently?
    It show a ruthless and corrupt government, run by vested interests, exploiting fundamental Christianity and a fear of terrorism for the private gain of a secret powerful elite.

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