The fires in Colorado continue to claim homes, and the number of homes destroyed in fires had set a new record there last week, while the fires continue to burn more homes.
The latest news from there is that 32,000 people have evacuated Colorado Springs as “quite a few homes” burn to the ground.
The last time I was in Colorado Springs was back in 1969, and it was fairly populous then. If you look at the pictures of the burning homes, though, you’ll see that they’re all very new and modern looking, and this is because the population of the city has grown so much that housing has spread way up into the hills from the city proper.
Now let’s shift over to Stockton, California. where the city is declaring bankruptcy. Stockton is the largest city in the U.S. ever to declare bankruptcy, according to Fox News, and the reason for it is a combination of bad investments and declining revenues. Their revenues are down because they had a development boom and thousands of new homes were built. Stockton relied on the increased property tax revenue to make expensive investments.
Then housing crashed and many of those new homes went into foreclosure, ending the increased property tax income, while the expensive investments, a promenade, sports arena and hotel, failed to generate enough revenue as our economy collapsed. The point here is that the money wouldn’t have been spent in the first place if the houses hadn’t been built.
Likewise, the financial catastrophe going on in Colorado right now is because of excess housing development. The insurance companies aren’t going to be able to cover all that loss and will fight it out in court for years. Many homeowners will walk away from the mortgages on their destroyed homes rather than pay out the $1000′s of their deductibles. Colorado Springs’ property tax revenue is going to plummet, and just like Stockton, the police and other departments will suffer big job layoffs, and then crime, just like Stockton, will dramatically increase as a result.
I became an enemy of development over 50 years ago. Politicians push Growth, Growth because that means more voters. City Managers push Growth because that means more tax revenue to play with. Developers push Growth because that’s where their profits lie. So rugged habitat for critters, that was never suitable for homes to begin with, is wiped out because developers need cheap land to be able to sell moderately priced homes.
Our government espouses Growth as necessary to our national well being, and gets all in a tizzy when growth slows to a crawl or actually stops. No one considers that Earth isn’t making more land, and growth has an ugly future in store for it.
Our nation is on fire. Our cities are burning. As our economy continues to fold in upon itself, there will continue to be disasters, fires, earthquakes, floods. Cities like Stockton create their own disasters by banking on unknown and unreliable futures, and Stockton is far from alone.
At the local Rite-Aid yesterday I saw a sign in the door offering Whooping Cough shots. AKA Pertussis, Whooping Cough has always been considered a childhood disease. Not any more. Two months before leaving Washington, I contracted Whooping Cough. I’m 73, and I was far from alone. There’s an epidemic of it in Washington and now also, apparently, in California. What other disease is next, as the millions of unchecked, undiagnosed invaders continue to pour in over our borders? We already have an epidemic of tuberculosis now from the illegals when that had nearly been wiped out here. Smallpox? Could there be a tiny little pocket of smallpox carriers back in the Yucatan scrub somewhere, looking to come to America? How about Bubonic Plague? Illegals bring with them their fleas and filthy living conditions.
It’s out of control. Our nation is on fire, and it’s out of control.