Sunday, March 8, 2009

Post Cards From the Recession - L.A. Times - Pt.1

(Screen-cap from USAToday)

From the L.A. Times (Part One of a Series):

California's Inland Empire

Hard times hit, and we slowly disappear.

By Susan Straight March 8, 2009

First in a series

"At night, I can hear the soft thumps as the rats land on my roof. They launch themselves from the branches of the apricot tree because they want to get inside my attic, into a house with heat.

The house next door, and the one next to that, have been empty since October. Their yards have gone feral, with hundreds of dandelion heads glistening gray in the night.

The rats are cold and hungry. The skunks have a den somewhere next door, where the metal shed was dismantled. Opossums, raccoons and lizards have colonized the abandoned yards on my block in Riverside. And it's spooky, at night, to see so much darkness, to hear skittering, to keep an eye out for homeless people trying to break in and sleep, to listen for the sounds of desperate humans and animals...."

I pass through Riverside county semi-frequently, usually on I-15, and the changes of just the last two or three years are astonishing. Go read the whole, haunting piece and get a first-hand account of the birth of a ghost town.

Look at the screen-cap above, go to the link, and look at the numbers. It will break your heart.

And these are soccer moms and dads, mostly professionals, with good educations, valuable skills, an abiding belief in the American Dream, who played by the rules and were played in return.

Losers? I don't think so. Victims of the greed of others is more like it.

Catch you later.....

Update: From Congress Matters, revised foreclosure numbers, by district

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