Monday, September 29

Crisis not abated

Some passionate language from an engineer/blogger in California,

"This entire nation is dependently wealthy...dependent on cheap Asian imports, dependent on cheap Canadian and Mexican hydrocarbons, dependent on China not purging their dollar reserves, but mostly, dependent on hallucinations...hallucinations that we are somehow exempt from ecology, that we are entitled to perpetual motoring, that we can continue to pave over our prime farmland with strip-malls and exurban housing developments, that sprawl is our economy."

Some might say hallucination and others might say confidence, but surely this most valuable resource of ours has been drained even further today, now that congress has not approved the Paulson/Bush bailout plan. While the crisis has worked its way up the ladder over the last year into the largest credit market firms, it's worth remembering that it still is, at its heart, a housing crisis. The real brick and mortar problem is that there is simply far too much house, in both quantity and sheer size, out there and far too little real money to pay for it. It's also worth noting that the many of these "bad mortgages" we were supposed to buy are on the very fringes of developable land. That imaginary money was conjured up to finance paving our cities further and further away from their traditional centers.

Meanwhile ...

U.S. automakers have also been on their knees this week for federal assistance, and congress did authorize $25 billion to be wired to bank accounts in Detroit. Nobody expects this paltry amount to last for very long. I suppose folks need some way to get all the way out to those houses that nobody can pay for. The good news is that now that we are entering a recession, and demand for driving has slowed a little, we can feel some momentary relief from the steadily rising tide of oil prices.

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