For Sale: The American Dream 2012 09 05 AJE Fault Lines
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Owning a home has long been integral to the American dream, but since the foreclosure crisis that dream has turned sour.
The US' housing bubble burst nearly six years ago, but the worst may be yet to come.
After a landmark settlement, the major banks have lifted a freeze on foreclosures and government relief has been too small to make a difference.
Public housing budgets have been slashed, leaving larger numbers of people with no place to call home. Rental prices are rising across the US,
The line between home ownership and homelessness is growing ever more blurry, but neither President Barack Obama nor Governor Mitt Romney have made housing a major campaign issue.
Meanwhile, popular anger is rising over the perceived impunity of the banks and some have found innovative ways of fighting back in an age of austerity.
Fault Lines travels to Chicago and California to see how people at the front lines of the crisis are confronting the collapse of the American dream.
"If you ask people who have been foreclosed upon, whose fault is it? They often they say it's mine. It's my fault, I did the wrong thing, instead of kind of saying this is a systemic problem," explains David Harvey, a social theorist and a professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
"Capital is always producing surpluses, at the end of the day if you have got a profit, you've got a surplus and the big question is what do you do with it.
"[So] what you do is that you take part of that surplus and you reinvest it in something. And in United States, housing and urbanization in general has been a vast field for expansion of profitable opportunities."
News & Current Affairs
Sep 09, 2012, 11:30:12
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