Sunday, April 22, 2012

Down and out in Muncie

Found this Sunday read fascinating. A profile of the societal breakdown of trust in our oldest institutions as viewed through the lens of Muncie, Indiana. It covers a broad spectrum of the town, but I found the saga of the former homeowner the most compelling story.

Here's a guy with old fashioned values. He did everything right. Worked hard, bought a home, took good care of it. Then the Republicans swooped into power with their austerity plan. His wife lost her state job in the first cuts. Eventually they couldn't pay the mortgage but they applied for the Obama administration's loan modification program. Which the bank rescinded after only three months and demanded full and immediate back payment in full for the rescinded discount.

He couldn't pay. His lawyer told him to just stay in the home anyway till they were kicked out, but he's not the kind of guy to play the game under the new rules of morality. He left his home, only to find out later that the bank didn't take title and he's being fined for not keeping up the yard. So now he's mowing the lawn for a house he doesn't actually own, He can't live in it, though he hopes to buy it back someday. Of course, he lost his job too because of the recession, so not clear how he'll accomplish that.

The irony is, he got his local government to rescind the $300 fine. It doesn't say, but guessing the local gov is Republican. So even though it's basically GOP policy that screwed him the first place, he'll probably never make the connection. He'll likely still vote GOP across the board in 2012 because those local guys were the only ones that helped him.

It's a tribal thing in heartland America. Democrats, and especially Obama, are not part of his tribe. Expect he'll be living in that trailer for the rest of his life.

The article is much deeper and more complicated that just this though. A bit depressing, but seriously worth a read in full. Some real food for thought.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home