The View From Hobart: Booming Economies Swell Jobs, Shrink Homes

Hobart, Tasmania photo by Charlievdb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, seen from hills high above.

In the United States, the current Republican-dominated congress, the president, big businesses and wealthy cronies have dined out on a 1.5 trillion dollar tax break which will supposedly more than pay for itself. As well, it will reward US citizens with, not just a handful of temporary dollars, but a job-filled, booming economy. (The US economy is already in doing just fine, but that is apparently just an inconvenient distraction.)

One thing that the soon-to-come booming economy will almost certainly not bring is affordable homes. With the federal government focused almost entirely upon growth stimulation, the best circumstances will bring prosperity to some, a better wage versus higher housing price saw-off to others and, for a growing segment of the American population, hardship, poverty, ill-health and homelessness as the speculation-driven housing market becomes increasingly unaffordable as ‘the good times roll’.

For citizens of many other countries, there may be no reason to feel superior to the sufferings of marginally-housed and homeless Americans. Even at the very ends of the earth (sorry again, Tasmanians) other nationalities may equally be facing the high housing costs of boom times. As Hobart has discovered, tent cities of the homeless threaten to become a fixture of Australian Society, too.

Read more at ABC NEWS: Homelessness at Hobart showgrounds overwhelming show society president