This month’s post by Gail the Actuary explains our country’s (and the world’s) economic situation better than I ever could, so here it is.
This obviously speaks for Oakland as well, since we’re one of hundreds of US cities built upon a once lustrous but increasingly potholed and cracked foundation of cheap (and now all burnt up) oil and gasoline.
We’ll need to find other means of social lubrication, and in the meantime, don’t be poor!
The ramifications touch every part of our society, and thus I’ve tagged this with all categories. Put on your systems thinking cap and get reading!
Posted in Crime & Punishment, Environment O, Events, Fashion/Identity..., Food, Local jobs/ Economy/ Startups, Outside world, Printer Jam Politics, ReDevelopment/Land Use, Transport
Tagged budget, budget problems, ceda, city of oakland, civil society, civilization, conondrum, crime, crude oil, development, dilemma, downtown, dropping standard of living, economy, energy, jobs, local currency, oakland, off shoring of jobs, police, real estate, stimulus, streets, the human experiment, the idea of "america", theft, unemployment, us
Today’s money quote:
“People always seek to improve their wealth and status in the easiest way possible. What’s the easiest way? Take wealth from someone else. That’s why criminals are still in business…after thousands of years of trying to stop them.”
The site of the former Oak Knoll Naval Medical Center in Oakland was to be used for housing and shops, but workers walked off the job when their payments stopped.
What’s new in Oakland besides the usual city budget splotchy with red ink, another parcel tax or another BART protest?
Thanks to the LA Times, we are now outed as yet another outpost of post-housing bubble pillaging. A city where thieves strip copper wire, pipes and anything else of real value (unlike the Banks’ trillions worth of CDOs and MBS) from unfinished real estate projects.
Oakland has it easy though — San Bernardino County and others in SoCal are faring much worse, with whole tent cities in Ontario and nearby Nevada. Not to mention having people living out of their cars.
But is it really a economic collapse? No. American auto sales will “plunge” to a “27-year low” of 10+ million cars and trucks last year. Not much of a downer if you ask me. Cars are the living arrangement without a future, remember?
And built as they were mostly on greed, I’m not completely disinclined with this “redistribution of wealth.” What else are people supposed to do – grow food and raise pigs, or lose the baggy jeans and suddenly apply online for dice.com QA jobs?
At the end of the day it’s probably just a small handful of “lifetime criminal” guys stealing, joined by a smaller number of unemployed guys and “anarchists.” The good news is that Oakland has many “villages” of vitality as some study calls them, and where there aren’t villages, Oakland residents are starting them.
I can’t find the study which had put down little yellow circles throughout Oakland where the researchers concluded there was already an existing “village” or downtownish feeling area of business and bustle, but I did find a list of Alameda County TOD projects.
For excellent reporting on new homelessness, see “Return of the Hooverville” by Spot.US