The Growth Ponzi Scheme

A great series of 5 posts from Charles Mahron at Strong Towns on how the suburban growth pattern we’ve seen in the US for the last 60 years is indistinguishable from a growth Ponzi scheme.  We use federal (or sometimes state) money to make capital investments, but leave the maintenance and operational costs to local governments, which usually have no revenue source sufficient to fulfill that obligation — because this type of development does not come anywhere close to being economically productive enough to pay its own way in terms of tax revenues.  For a while you can continue this by making ever larger capital transfers for more growth… but like all Ponzi schemes, it eventually collapses in ruin.

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