Carnage in the Magic City
Notes From the Vomitorium
(Counterpunch) Economists use “digestion” to illustrate the difficulty of absorbing excess housing stock from the housing boom and bust. Years of slack, domestic growth are attributed to the economic alimentary canal stacked to Rabelaisian proportions with the appetites of ordinary citizens to own homes. No money down. No one saw it coming.
Digestion is the word of the day, now, in Florida’s most populous and politically influential county: Miami-Dade. Here, county bureaucrats are locked in “negotiations” with the US EPA, that determined gross violations of sewage treatment requirements for millions of residents and visitors. Through 1994 federal litigation by environmental groups, and once again nearly twenty years later, local government officials finally acknowledge that billions of taxpayer dollars are instantly required to safely digest sewage flowing from our toilets, sinks, dishwashers, top and front end washing machines, from our golf courses, street drains and collectors.
At the same time, Miami tops the list as the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. According to a recent report by RealtyTrac, “The greater Miami area posted the highest foreclosure activity of any large city in the nation in the first quarter, with one in every 79 residences receiving some type of foreclosure filing.”
The half-filled, filthy, abandoned swimming pool in a West Kendall foreclosure is another metaphor: reflecting the stagnant thinking of state government, the practice of elected officials to always shift the costs of growth to the next generation of taxpayers, and — yes– of EPA whose top bureaucrats are only as dedicated to resisting the states as the political appointees they serve. Read the rest of this entry »