Monday, September 27, 2010

The Enigma of Capital: Quote of the Day

Something ominous began to happen in the United States in 2006. The rate of foreclosures on housing in low income areas of older cities like Cleveland and Detroit suddenly leapt upwards. But officialdom and the media took no notice because the people affected were low income, mainly African-American, immigrant (Hispanics) or women single-headed households. African-Americans in particular had actually been experiencing difficulties with housing finance from the late 1990s onward. Between 1998 and 2006, before the foreclosure crisis struck in earnest, they were estimated to have lost somewhere between $71 billion and $93 billion in asset values from engaging with so-called subprime loans on their housing. But nothing was done. Once again, as happened during the HIV/AIDS pandemic that surged during the Reagan administration, the ultimate human and financial cost to society of not heeding clear warning signs because of collective lack of concern for, and prejudice against, those first in the firing line was to be incalculable. It was only in mid-2007, when the foreclosure wave hit the white middle class in hitherto booming and significantly Republican urban and suburban areas in the US south (particularly Florida) and west (California, Arizona and Nevada), that officialdom started to take note and the mainstream press began to comment.

-- David Harvey, from his new book, The Enigma of Capital

More on this later.....

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