T Nation

A Visit to an American Tent City


â??The worst of the storm has passed,â?? declared President Obama in his 2010 State of the Union address. For all intents and purposes, any threat of a second great depression has been averted.

But what is depicted by our media and the official statistics put forth by government number crunchers, and what is happening on the ground on Main Street America, are two wholly different things.

Doug Walden, who lost his job during the onset of the recession, and now spends a good portion of his time helping others who are out of work or facing dire economic straits through his loosely-based organization called the Great Depression Enterprise Group explained it best when he described the desperate situation facing average Americans:

"Here on Earth, outside the distorting intellectual gravitation field that is Washington DC, conditions are deteriorating for increasing numbers of Americas. The middle-class is being eroded from the bottom, as more people fall into poverty and outright destituion, and from the top, as more people find they cannot maintain their debt-financed psuedo-rich pre-2005 lifestyles."

"The camp is set back 200 feet into a wooded area. It consists of about 30 structures: a few school buses, lean-tos, tents and more elaborate structures (designed with great ingenuity), a common/community building. One circular home had a solar array to power LED lights. They have a generator for the â??officeâ??, bath/laundry facilities and common area. The bath/laundry building has a 45ft deep well, propane hotwater heater, sink & shower, and a washer and dryer.

There are about 45 residents. Most were working poor cast off in the Great Recession; but the newer residents come from the lower end of the middle-class. People who had homes, jobs and â??secureâ?? lives and now have nothing."


Click to see pics.


You know, HH, there are some folks who get so distracted by what they are doing that they forget about what needs to be done.

Not that this is the case here, but if someone has the time and energy to construct an elaborate little post apocalyptic refuge center fully equipped with wi-fi, why can't they go to the local or regional job placement assistance or vocational rehabilitation office and apply for something that suites them a little better than a plywood lean to and subsistence level existence?

Being no stranger to economic or personal hardship, I'd have to say to some of these residents that they need to move the fuck along and forget about what ever it was that they were, and get busy becoming what they are going to be next.


Hell, I would rather live there than "society". Just fall right off the grid.


One problem is that there are an average of 5 people looking for every one job. Sometimes someone goes months and has no luck. Then employers become leery because they've been out of work so long.

Another is that many people, especially 40 and older, had jobs that no longer exist. Even if they get training, imagine a 45 year old competing with a 25 year old. Just from the health insurance angle, who would you hire? 25, young and healthy, or 45 and might get sick more easily?

Lastly, I think there is no solution. America just cannot compete with China and India on wages and benefits.

That's why we're entering a Great Depression. This one will probably last at least 20 years.


My father always said that some day people will return to a tribal way of life , it could be the future


For those that haven't seen it


So much for hope and change.


Lol, this is dumb.