Having such a large army of semi-permanent unemployed workers will leave Americans poorer for years to come. “It not only affects your social fabric and creates social tensions, but it also has a fundamental impact on the long-term potential economic growth of the country,” he says. “What that means over time is a lower standard of living for everybody.” The downgrade in living standards is already underway in some unlikely places: America’s decaying suburbs. For decades the ’burbs represented the American dream for the middle class—white picket fences, two cars in the garage and a quiet cul-de-sac for the kids to play in. Yet today poverty in the suburbs is growing twice as fast as in cities, according to a recent analysis by the Brookings Institution.
As go the burbs, so goes Privatopia. Having only been around in significant numbers since the 1970s, HOAs have never had to weather a long economic storm. As the good perfessor recently noted, consequently they aren't prepared to cope with such adversity. Foreclosure and job loss strangle the lifeblood of assessment revenue. Adding to the pain is HOAs have far fewer households to pick up the slack like larger municipalities and counties.
This article points out the speculation and leverage led downturn that began in 2008 that shaved eight percent off the U.S. economy cannot be directly compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s, in which the economy contracted by nearly one third and far in excess of the 10 percent drop in GDP that defines a depression. But anemic recovery since 2009 has been so weak for so long that it is transfiguring the economy because so many have been out of work for six months or longer.