Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK General Election BBC Exit Polls Forecast Accuracy - Nadeem_Walayat
2.UK General Election 2017 Seats Final Forecast, Labour, Conservative Lib-Dem, SNP - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK General Election 2017 Forecast: Conservative 358, Labour 212 Seats - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Theresa May to Resign, Fatal Error Was to Believe Worthless Opinion Polls! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.UK House Prices Forecast General Election 2017 Conservative Seats Result - Nadeem_Walayat
6.The Stock Market Crash of 2017 That Never Was But Could it Still Come to Pass? - Sol_Palha
7.[TRADE ALERT] Write This Gold Stock Ticker Down Now - WallStreetNation
8.UK General Election Results Map 2017 vs 2015 vs Opinion Polls - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Orphaned Poisoned Waters,Severe Chronic Water Shortage Imminent - Richard_Mills
10.How The Smart Money Is Playing The Lithium Boom - OilPrice_Com
Last 7 days
Is the Tech Stock Market Bloodbath is Finally Here? - 28th Jun 17
Crude Oil Sinks 20%: Why "Oversupply" Isn't the Half of It - 28th Jun 17
Important Money Management Tips For Teenagers - 28th Jun 17
The Coming Battery Bonanza - 28th Jun 17
Overlooked Stock Investments To Keep An Eye On in 2017 - 27th Jun 17
The Federal Reserve And Drug Addiction – A Prediction - 27th Jun 17
Charts Show Why Emerging Markets Will Be an Essential Part of Your Portfolio Going Forward - 27th Jun 17
Former Lehman Brothers Trader: I Bet My Reputation That Stocks Bubble Will Pop In A Year - 27th Jun 17
US Bonds and Related Market Indicators - 27th Jun 17
Stocks At Record Highs: Market Sentiment Still Bullish - 27th Jun 17
Stock Market Running Out of Steam - 27th Jun 17
Gold Back With A Vengeance As Bitcoin Bubble Bursts - 26th Jun 17
Crude Oil Trade & Nasdaq QQQ Update - 26th Jun 17
Gold and Silver Ongoing Consolidation May End Soon - 25th Jun 17
Dollar May Become “Local Currency of the U.S.” Only - 25th Jun 17
Sheffield Great Flood of 2007, 10 Years On - Unique Timeline of What Happened - 24th Jun 17
US Stock Market Correction Could be Underway - 24th Jun 17
Proof That This Economic Recovery Narrative is False - 24th Jun 17
Best Cash ISA for Soaring Inflation, Kent Reliance Illustrates the Great ISA Rip Off - 24th Jun 17
Gold Summer Doldrums - 23rd Jun 17
Hedgers Net Short the Euro, US Market Rotates; 2 Horsemen Set to Ride? - 23rd Jun 17
Nether Edge By Election Result: Labour Win Sheffield City Council Seat by 132 Votes - 23rd Jun 17
Grenfell Fire: 600 of 4000 Tower Blocks Ticking Time Bomb Death Traps! - 22nd Jun 17
Car Sales About To Go Over The Cliff - 22nd Jun 17
LOG 0.786 support in CRUDE OIL and COCOA - 22nd Jun 17
More Stock Market Fluctuations Along New Record Highs - 22nd Jun 17
Understanding true money, Pound Sterling must make another historic low, Euro and Gold outlook! - 22nd Jun 17
Green Party Could Control Sheffield City Council Balance of Power Local Election 2018 - 22nd Jun 17
Ratio Combo Charts : Hidden Clues to the Gold Market Puzzle - 22nd Jun 17
Steem Hard Forks & Now People Are Making Even More Money On Blockchain Steemit - 22nd Jun 17
4 Steps for Comparing Binary Options Providers - 22nd Jun 17
Nether Edge & Sharrow By-Election, Will Labour Lose Safe Council Seat, Sheffield? - 21st Jun 17
Stock Market SPX Making New Lows - 21st Jun 17
Your Future Wealth Depends on what You Decide to Keep and Invest in Now - 21st Jun 17
Either Bitcoin Will Fail OR Bitcoin Is A Government Invention Meant To Enslave... - 21st Jun 17
Strength in Gold and Silver Mining Stocks and Its Implications - 21st Jun 17
Inflation is No Longer in Stealth Mode - 21st Jun 17
CRUDE OIL UPDATE- “0.30 risk is cheap for changing implication!” - 20th Jun 17
Crude Oil Verifies Price Breakdown – Or Is It Something More? - 20th Jun 17
Trump Backs ISIS As He Pushes US Onto Brink of World War III With Russia - 20th Jun 17
Most Popular Auto Trading Tools for trading with Stock Markets - 20th Jun 17
GDXJ Gold Stocks Massacre: The Aftermath - 20th Jun 17
Why Walkers Crisps Pay Packet Promotion is RUBBISH! - 20th Jun 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The MRI 3D Report

America's Downward Social and Economic Spiral

Politics / Social Issues May 24, 2012 - 01:24 AM GMT

By: James_Quinn

Politics

America MORE THAN 30 BLOCKS OF GREY & DECAY

It happened again yesterday morning. There was an accident on the Schuykill Expressway so I had the pleasure of navigating through the 30 Blocks of Squalor, again. After having made at least 25 posts about the 30 Blocks of Squalor over the years, I keep thinking I've run out of things to say. But it seems to be a never ending treasure trove of insights about our society and the people who live in this country. It was a particularly grey day in Philadelphia with a dreary overcast and intermittent rain. It seemed fitting for this trek through the slowly decaying landscape leading to my workplace in West Philly. I've talked previously about the stretch of highway leading to the 30 Blocks of Squalor. It's called West Chester Pike (Route 3) and it cuts through Delaware County where I grew up. It cuts through Havertown, Haverford, Drexel Hill, and Upper Darby and eventually spits you out at 69th Street, where I’ve previously detailed the flash mob of savages rampaging through the Sears stealing everything in sight (all caught on surveillance cameras to be shown on a future reality TV show). In a shocking turn of events, Sears decided to later close this retail establishment.


The 30 minute excursion along West Chester Pike and then the 30 Blocks of Squalor (Chestnut St from 69th St to 39th St) is like traveling through Dante's nine circles of hell. Every mile leads you deeper and deeper into the abyss. My observations along this route are of a country in a slow methodical steady decline that has been underway for decades and shows no signs of abating.

The neighborhoods and towns along West Chester Pike were occupied by the rising middle class during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. These towns were where blue collar middle class families built a life and raised their families. The fathers worked in factories, refineries, schools, power plants and thousands of other productive enterprises. Americans made stuff back then. Most wives stayed home and raised the three or four children in the small brick row homes or small detached singles that dotted the landscape. These neighborhoods were entirely white and most were church going. Most of the adults had not graduated college, but they were still able to move up the economic ladder through hard work, saving, and living within their means. Their children were guaranteed an even better life if they studied hard, went to college, and got an office job as an accountant, engineer, marketing executive, or in some other promising profession.

This progression began to transform into regression in the 1980s and the slow steady descent has picked up speed. There is now a grey pallor that seems to engulf this once thriving corridor. The houses that were built in the 1950s and 1960s and kept up by middle class families that took pride in their neighborhoods have been deteriorating for years. The homes are in disrepair. The bricks have grown dingy from years of pollution buildup and lack of power washing. Porches and awnings are sagging. The woodwork hasn't seen a paint brush since the 1970s. Trash is strewn in the streets. Gardens are no longer tended to. Lawns are overgrown with weeds. The inhabitants of these neighborhoods either don't care or don't have the financial wherewithal to maintain their homes. On the current trajectory, these once proud neighborhoods will eventually resemble the 30 Blocks of Squalor.

I believe a country and a community will have a lot of what it values most. Our country has a lot of debt, a lot of vehicles, a lot of bombs, a lot of psychotic criminals running our economic and political systems and a lot of willfully ignorant drones – disguised as citizens. As I drove along West Chester Pike I tried to observe what it is we value today. This route is inundated with automobile repair shops, gas stations and auto dealerships. We cannot live without our cars. I can say without a doubt that I saw not one manufacturing facility along this entire route, but if you want your Japanese car fixed, detailed, or waxed, you've hit the jackpot.

We value our cars, purchased with debt or leased, but the roads are crumbling, filled with potholes, traffic lights aren't timed, and the small towns are too bankrupt to do anything about it. The second most important thing to the zombies that inhabit this wasteland is mass quantities of food. You've got donut shops, fast food joints, pizza places, Chinese restaurants, Irish pubs every two blocks, and coffee houses on a mind numbing scale. It is easy to see why we're the most obese people on earth. There are no farmers markets, produce stands, or even grocery stores. But there are at least six beer distributors. And of course there is one L.A. Fitness Center for the ten people out of ten thousand who want to keep in shape. I expect to see a Space Available sign in front of this place in the not too distant future.

Besides the general decay of the commercial properties, you can't miss the fact that every block has at least one vacant commercial property. There are far more For Sale, Space Available, For Rent, and Leasing signs dotting the barren wasteland than there are wedding rings on fingers in West Philly. The vacant buildings are antiquated relics from the 1960s. It's as if time stopped at the end of the 1970s and no one has invested a dime in this stretch of highway in 30 years. It’s like “The Land that Time Forgot”.

The only new buildings along this stretch of highway further emphasize what is seemingly important to our society. There are numerous architecturally grand bank branches dominating this highway. There is a beautiful new building housing the Social Security Administration for this area. This is where the obese, depressed and unemployable flock to sign up for the SSDI gravy train. And lastly there are a few medical facilities that are top notch. It seems that banks, government and medicine are doing just fine. But what do they produce?

I think this is a reflection of why this area has deteriorated over time. Industries that made things left this area and left this country. Small businesses were overwhelmed by mega-corporations who cared only about next quarter earnings. They met these earnings targets, set by Wall Street, by shipping the good paying blue collar jobs that supported these communities overseas. The middle class families living here saw their wages stagnate or decline. Wives were forced into the workforce to just keep their households afloat financially. The family unit suffered, with children raised by strangers or left to fend for themselves.

This is where the Wall Street maggots stepped in and sold these middle class families on the illusion of faux wealth built on a pyramid of credit card debt, auto loans, and mortgage debt. Who got wealthy? Not the families living in these fading neighborhoods. The bankers got rich and continue to flaunt their wealth by paying themselves obscene levels of compensation, buying off politicians, gutting our economy and opening fancy new outlets. An economy built upon manufacturing, production, and value added work results in rising wages and a thriving community. An economy built upon debt attracts consumer consumption outlets that add no value and result in declining wages, government dependency and a dying community.

These once thriving communities have rapidly aged. As the jobs and wages dried up, these communities have become dependent on the government to provide. Social Security payments are now a primary income source for many. The government controlled healthcare industry is thriving as Medicare and Medicaid pay for an increasing proportion of the care in these neighborhoods. After decades of pretending that debt could replace wages and savings, these communities are collapsing due to lack of income, decent paying jobs, capital investment, and common sense. West Chester Pike is well on its way to becoming a future 30 Blocks of Squalor.

Once you pass through the 69th Street death camp, which resembles a scene from Night of the Living Dead, you spill out onto the 30 Blocks of Squalor.

This is where the circle of hell began. The rotting carcasses that pass for homes on this stretch of squalor were once occupied by the white families that moved to Delaware County along West Chester Pike in the 1950s and 1960s. It is now 90% black and 10% Hispanic. The real unemployment rate exceeds 50%, murder is the number one industry, with drugs a close second.

As you drive down the 30 Blocks of Squalor you meet the ghost of Squalor future for West Chester Pike. The population along this corridor is ignorant, dependent, and represents the dregs of our society. There is virtually no legal commerce along the squalor. The Asians, Koreans, and whites that attempted to open stores have all been shot down in cold blood. The once proud homes are in shambles. Bags of garbage dot the landscape. Most of the people who live here are parasites on society. Personal responsibility, work ethic, education and marriage are unknown concepts in this community. Even though more than 50% of the students in West Philly drop out of high school and the SAT scores of West Philly High students are lower than whale shit, the bankrupt school district spent $70 million to build a new high school/prison to babysit these derelicts and future prison inmates. The windows do not have steel bars yet, as the architect was smart to put all windows at least eight feet above street level.

The Chestnut Plaza truly represents what is important to this community. This Squalor Center, as opposed to Power Center, includes a video porn store, cash checking/payday loan outlet, smoke shop, donut shop, Laundromat, and liquor store. No need for a wedding ring store or resume writing service. Evidently this community values gorging themselves on fast food, getting high, getting drunk, jerking off to porno, and then having their sheets washed. They wouldn't want to invest a few hundred dollars of their welfare payments on a washer and dryer, when they can spend it on the Direct TV NBA package. They utilize their 8th grade level education to get payday loans from the check cashing store at 40% interest.

Our entire society is in a downward social and economic spiral. We are just at different levels of decay (Dante's circles of hell). At the current pace it won't be long before I'm writing about the 50 States of Squalor. It is virtually impossible to reverse a decline that has been underway for the last three decades. We sold our souls to Wall Street and chose a debt financed illusion of wealth over productive savings and investment which would have led to real wealth. Our choices are reflected in the continued deterioration and decay along West Chester Pike and the squalor that is West Philly. Grey and decay will carry the day.

The words on the Statue of Liberty should be revised from,  "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", to "we have become your indebted, materialistic, obese, aging masses yearning for the government to protect and sustain us as our once great nation decays."

As a nation, we have chosen this path. We made the choices and now we will suffer the consequences.

Join me at www.TheBurningPlatform.com to discuss truth and the future of our country.

By James Quinn

quinnadvisors@comcast.net

James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.

These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer, and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer.

© 2012 Copyright James Quinn - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

James Quinn Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife