We've all heard about James Kunstler's work on planning (Geography of Nowhere), but if you swing by his blog (www.kunstler.com) he's also got some pretty knowledable thoughts on the current state of our economy.
This in particular is relevant to those of us who work in the public sector:
"Also meanwhile, public investment funds from Florida to Norway are hemorrhaging because of mortgage-associated derivatives clogging their portfolios. Meanwhile, moreover, credit markets have seized up because those supposedly holding capital can't say how much they really have, and are now terrified of loaning out "money" that might actually not be there, not in accounts receivable, not on or off any books, just... not... there... anymore...."
Do any Cyburbians in Florida have any more direct knowledge about this?
What's more, unless I've missed it, has nobody on this forum been talking about the severe financial crisis staring our country in the face? An article in the Washington Post recently concluded that it will be worse than the 1987 Savings and Loan debacle, and its closing in on 1929 territory. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...0500794&sub=AR
I just feel like we are all sleepwalking into a disaster, one kickstarted by the drop in home prices. The trouble is that the rest of our economy is based on pure speculation that the growth would continue and continue, and housing values would continue to rise, allowing us (individually and nationally) to keep paying off the interest on our staggering debts. But when the values started to drop, and it turned out that failing mortgages and car loans and credit cards had been sold throughout the economy in the form of bonds bought by everyone from the municipalities in Florida and Norway to giants like CitiCorp (who needed an $11 billion loan from Dubai to stay afloat), people are starting to realize that up to 2 TRILLION DOLLARS (that figure is from the Washington Post) of money is pure make believe. Its imaginary. And without the presumption of future growth it no longer exists.
And lets face it--it's not like things were going that great before. The median income is lower than it was in 1999. The dollar is tanking. The price of gas is going up (peak oil?). How can this financial crisis not push our economy into a deep funk?
Pardon my alarmist tone, but I feel that this is a discussion that needs to be had. Another question to answer is: What can planners do to prepare there communities for a recession? I'm in my first job, so personally I've never been through one of these professionally before.