The U.S. government has done all it can to promote
home ownership, clustering over-indebted Americans together out in the lush green
suburbs behind white picket fences. But, what was once the American dream is
now where 15.4 million people living below the poverty level reside,
according to the Brookings Institute.
Those living in poverty in America’s cities
totaled 12.7 million last year. “We think of poverty as a really urban
or ultra-rural phenomenon, but it’s not,” said Elizabeth
Kneebone, senior research associate at Brookings. “It’s
increasingly a suburban issue.”
The housing crash brought poverty to suburbia like
never before. “The collapse of the housing market caused the ranks of
the poor to spike in Sun Belt communities, such as those surrounding
Lakeland, Fla., and Riverside, Calif,” writes
Tami Luhby for CNNMoney.
“Many low-income people had moved there during the boom to make money
building and caring for homes or working in the retailers and restaurants
that cropped up to service the new residents.”
Suburban housing tracts don’t look like slums
yet, “But behind closed doors, there are increasing numbers of people
who don’t have jobs, their retirement nest eggs are gone and they
can’t meet their mortgage payments,” says Donna Cooper, senior
fellow at the Center for American Progress.
But the poverty will burst out into the open when
hundreds of municipalities go
broke and the next financial
meltdown shoe drops.
Article originally published on www.mises .org