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The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome, by John F. Wasik  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream, by John F. Wasik, according to Kenmore, WA blogger kedamono:

...examines the recent period in our history when homeownership actually made many people poorer.


Sounds like something permies already get, but I wonder if it's a decent summation of current/recent economics and/or the current/recent mortgage crisis...
 
Leah Sattler
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in the summation it says this "They have been forced to tap their home equity, go into debt to finance their unsustainable lifestyle" which I beg to differ on. no one is "forced" to do this. it is a choice. I think home ownership is still one of the best pathways to prosperity, but it is not a slam dunk and must be managed properly just like any other financial decision. home ownership hasn't made anyone poorer. people made themselves poorer. as for the move every 5-7 years and make money you could do that for a while and it was therefore a good strategy, financial decisions need to be tailored to the times and people need to operate with the knowledge that times change and not let themselves take it to excess as with any investment you shouldn't take on more risk then you can handle/afford to lose.

i wonder what proposed solution he has to the problem. government provided apartments in the city?

 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I agree with your thoughts, Leah.

Most people say "I need" when they really mean "I want."

Or, they say "I can't afford that" when it's really about choice, and they've chosen to spend a lot on high mortgages, credit cards and lattes, when they could be making choices that might matter a lot more to them.

Here's a shift though. I really hadn't meant this as a commentary on the financial part of things and I actually don't know much about the book.

For me, "The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome" represents the suburbs and all their isolation, materialism and lack of local economies and local or home food crops. These things make people poorer not just financially, but perhaps even more so in terms of lifestyles.

It's a cliche, but think about the empty lives spent working those draining 8 to 5 jobs, driving an hour (or more) each way just to get to the job, taking care of large, unused lawns (full of chemicals--yuk!) and watching TV during and after dinner. That's what cul-de-sacs and the suburbs bring to my mind.
 
Brenda Groth
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i'm not really up on the urban living, as I've been a country girl all my life really..even when i lived in town we had vegetable and fruit gardens..

what i do recognize from the word cul-de-sac is concrete or asphalt and lawn lawn lawn, with a few foundation plantings..lots of cars ..and no trees other than a shade tree, no shrubs, no food plants, and no animals other than a cat or dog.

probably no birds unless they put out artificial feeders

in other words..they remind me of death
 
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