Friday, December 28, 2007


California is reckoned by most statisticians to be the wealthiest state in the USA, but a recent report shows that this is not the case for many of its inhabitants.
"Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city centre, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California. The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis. The unravelling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of "The Grapes of Wrath" John Steinbeck's novel about families driven from their lands by the Great Depression. As more families throw in the towel and head to foreclosure here and across the nation, the social costs of collapse are adding up in the form of higher rates of homelessness, crime and even disease." (Yahoo News, 21 December) RD

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