Monday, May 14, 2012

Shanty Town Boom in 10 States Offers Encouraging Sign of Housing Market Recovery

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The November 6 presidential election between incumbent Barack Obama and presumptive opponent Mitt Romney will likely be decided by a number of "swing states" where unemployment and the economy remain more vote-worthy issues than gay marriage or bullying. The most recent Census Bureau data concludes that the U.S. poverty rate has risen to its highest level since 1993. Nearly 60 percent of Americans can expect to spend at least one year living below the poverty line. And despite the celebrated job growth statistics, the 8.1-percent unemployment number remains a fallacy. Studies show that nearly five million job seekers who are no longer eligible to collect unemployment benefits have abandoned the workforce altogether in despair. That means they're also no longer counted in the published unemployment reports. In reality, the rate of joblessness in the United States looms closer to 11 percent. Further complicating these issues, especially in the battleground states being courted by Obama and Romney, the abysmal housing market continues to be a sore spot. The foreclosure rate is 5.6 million, and experts anticipate it to rise through 2012. But in a serendipitous twist, this perfect storm of dire circumstances has woven a silver mantle for the ailing nation through the birth of alternative housing and cottage industries in U.S. shanty towns.

"It's always darkest before the dawn," said Len Waybill, chief economist for San Narciso's Peter Pinguid Society. "If you look at the current conditions in this country carefully, I think you could make the case that the rains have come and washed away all the dross."

According to Waybill, maimed real estate markets in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are showing hope of recovery, albeit in a non-traditional way.

"As the lack of steady income further cripples the terrible housing market, a lot of people are being forced from their homes," Waybill explained. "Sounds pretty bad, but it's a blessing in disguise. First, as these lazy and irresponsible loafers get evicted because they refuse to get jobs, real estate opens up for those who've worked hard to earn it. In most cases, those buyers are wealthy foreigners. As they start pouring money into property, the economy improves. I mean, wouldn't it be nice to get back some of the cash we blew liberating their countries and buying their oil? Plus, it's gotta be good for foreign relations. Maybe the terrorists will stop bombing us if they're living in our neighborhoods. I don't care how tough you are, you don't mess with HOAs."

And what of the newly homeless? Waybill's group has been studying housing trends in 10 key states, discovering that displaced homeowners have created booming shanty towns.

"Necessity really is the mother of invention," he noted. "Entire communities are cropping up overnight across the country. It's a promising sign for economic recovery and testament to the resourcefulness of Americans. Instead of relying on government handouts, they're building their own American dreams and providing for their families. Best of all, they don't have to pay taxes anymore."

Waybill said the movement mirrors the efforts of early settlers, providing a unique sense of nostalgia and homage to the roots of the nation's founding: "They're building homes out of materials provided by the land -- twigs, grass, plastic bottles, cardboard, discarded iPhones, you name it. They're hunting for their own food and fighting off the hostile indigenous people on whose land they're squatting. "

In one report, a savage contingent of retirees in Palm Springs was wiped off the map in a two-day battle that cleared the way for this 21st century manifest destiny.

As for food, the need to hunt local wildlife has attracted the attention of foodies with increasingly exotic tastes.

"We're seeing Iron Chefs and daring restaurateurs flocking to these shanty towns in search of the next rare dish," Waybill enthused. "Squirrel, rat, stray dogs, wood ticks, coyote, and something called 'tinned pork' have become culinary innovations. More than media attention, the influx of adventurous foodies has spawned an entire cottage industry. It's really amazing to see how profitable these ventures are turning out to be. And it proves that policing Wall Street and protesting the one percent is not only unnecessary but a complete waste of time. I only hope that when historians look back at this renaissance, they acknowledge the tireless efforts of George Bush to lay the foundation for this brave new America."

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.

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