The suburbs are synonymous with success. We pride ourselves on having good schools, nice homes, and police sophisticated enough to racially profile without appearing to do so.
That’s why I’m appalled that we refer to the current housing woes as the “home mortgage crisis.”
To me, it’s a home mortgage opportunity.
Let me first provide a brief and mostly accurate explanation of what this mess is all about: A ton of folks bought way more house than they could afford.
Brokers gave them really low payments for the first five years, and then came in like Rumplestiltskins to collect their babies. It’s like when a furniture store advertises “no payments for six months on a new recliner.” You think, “Wow. I don’t have to pay for it for six months! By then, the coffee hut that I’m building on the side of the Shell station might be profitable, and I’ll easily be able to make the payments on that big, comfy chair.” You become so blinded by the opportunity to sit around in luxury that you forget to ask yourself what you’ll do when a Starbucks goes in across the street.
Some people are talking about having the government step in and help those homeowners escape bankruptcy. I don’t know about that.
To me, the government exists to give free bus passes to ex-cons and underpay inner-city social workers. I think if we suburbanites put our subdivided heads together, we can use creativity to solve this problem in a way that brings us closer together as communities.
Here are just a few ideas:
Put the neighbor back in the hood: The people who didn’t overextend themselves should offer to let homeowners desperately trying to pay their gigantic mortgages come over and do some yard work.
In fact, the next time you drive by a McMansion with a “for sale” sign on the front, honk your horn, open the back of your SUV and yell out, “I need three to trim hedges and one to mow a lawn.”
McMansion tent cities: If the government should end up bailing out mortgage-strapped suburbanites, let’s combine the bailout with the tent cities program.
Everyone knows how ugly those tents look strewn about church lawns. They make our neighborhoods look like Lollapalooza. Why not pay the homeowners to allow the homeless to live with them in their McMansions?
They can keep their homes — and have fun new guests who are willing to educate them about how the government has laced the water with invisible microchips.
Try one or both of the above in your community. Not only will you feel good about helping your neighbors, but you’ll have the satisfaction of once again demonstrating that suburbia is invincible. That is, until the government forces us all to pay back taxes on the billions of dollars in unreported garage sale earnings.
Jeremy Greenberg is a writer, comedian an Eastside resident. Contact Greenberg at HYPERLINK “http://www.jeremygreenberg.com”www.jeremygreenberg.com