Yeah, the road less traveled is always filled with unknown pitfalls, but the fact is most the planet's people think Americans are the 1% and no, the reality is that most of them 'don't' own cars, much less homes, but they all want them :). And they all deserve them, no offense intended but the worlds big enough. We need to decide whether we are also big enough is all.
Scads You bring up an important, if seldom acknowledged point of the economic crash that we're still paying for (while the rich continue to benefit using their twisted version of Smith's capitalism;
'If I make money it mine, if I loose money its yours.'). How long are the rest of us suppose to just accept that?
As Scads said, while the housing BOOM was going it was great, wasn't it? Locally, the four little (100-200 acre) lakes closest to me in Northwest Wisconsin went from being almost empty of any development to an average of 45 homes (over half are now empty and/or for sale). Everyone around here had work, the locals had more competition than ever. That competition has all since moved away now and the locals are back to 'repair/remodel' jobs if lucky and most of those homes sit vacant. Boom or Bust, the rich always do well.
Money flowed all around while many clearly felt a noose tightening around their necks as fast as housing prices were increasing. Some people got seriously rich. I started hearing about the possibility of this current mess in the early 90's (had one of those cushy Government jobs some of you complain about, riiighttttt :?)
There were plenty of smart people out there sounding the alarm for those listening, but....why pay attention to all that when there's "all that money." Man, we can't just stop being stupid can we? We have to get that money while we can, right? Therin lies one of capitalisms great myths, the myth that we all can be rich if we just leave the already rich alone. But the fact is, whether we regular citizens do well or not makes little difference to those with plenty. The game is rigged, they're the house man, they NEVER loose.
Need I say more? Man, I hope not cuz this is exhausting and I've got CongressPersons and Senators AND Presidents who are anxiously waiting for my letters and phone calls ;).
This topic could continue for days w/out any serious discussion, debate or allowance for challenging others thoughts or opinions, nothing more is possible it seems. It always seems to digress.
I must have a hole in my head for even getting started here. Unfortunately, This what happens as it first gets cold and I'm bored and not yet acclimated. Time to go do something :).