Friday, February 13, 2009

The Ponzi State

by George Packer

Not living in the United States, it's hard to imagine sometimes the full effects of the current recession. You read stats, you hear about businesses laying off workers, but you don't really gain a full appreciation of what that must really look like. Packer's article travels around Florida, a state where the only real two industries are tourism and real estate, and checks in with a wide variety of people that have been caught in the vise of the recession.

He describes barely-occupied subdivisions, and people who were recently members of the upper middle class, and are now a hair away from destitute.

It's a great article for putting a number of human faces on the tragedy of home equity, but also for showing how and why American culture has to change. It doesn't take much to imagine a renaissance of the values of the Depression generation, as the majority of the country is finally forced to live within their means.

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