Nostalgia for Hooverville

 

 

I heard an amusing exchange this morning as I was getting dressed.

 

It seems that, in today’s booming American economy, a record number of adults (extended families, unrelated but non-cohabiting people, etc.) are sharing homes in an attempt to make ends meet.

 

A liberal-leaning commentator, hoping to put lipstick on the pig (and apparently forgetting his normal talking points about the great value of [federally-subsidized] home ownership), said that he found this heartwarming, that it’s a great thing to see Americans returning to the virtues of community and mutual help, getting to know one another better, etc.

 

A conservative-leaning commentator responded with incredulity.  ”You’ve got to be kidding,” he said.  ”Please tell me you’re kidding.  You’re like Norman Rockwell with a hammer and sickle on his forehead.”

 

I thought it was a good response.

 

But I envision future defenses taking analogous approaches:

 

If more and more Americans end up standing in lines at soup kitchens, this guy will be singing the praises of getting out in the open air and of spending time actually talking with our neighbors rather than being separated from them by the old white picket fences of 1950s suburbia.

 

And, if we eventually begin to live in tent cities — in the thirties they were known as “Hoovervilles,” but now they’ll be called “Bushtowns,” or perhaps “Romneyvilles” — he’ll be waxing rhapsodic about getting past the conspicuous consumption represented by those icky old “mini-mansions” and about beginning to use cheaper, portable, and more earth-friendly housing.

 

 

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  • Dale Jeffery

    Sound like the Occupy Movement was the Prelude for the New Economy.


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