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By Zygmunt Bauman

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Extra resources for Trabajo, consumismo y nuevos pobres

Sample text

One very telling statistic of how reproduction makes people economically vulnerable is that between 1980 and 2000, the percentage of women 30 Invisible City between the ages of forty and forty-four who had no children doubled (Surowiecki 2003). Children are a consumer durable who return only a “psychic income,” and as they become more expensive, people will accumulate fewer of them. Children can also easily be labeled as “public goods” in that everyone benefits from them even if everyone does not pay for them (Surowiecki 2003).

This helped to improve the quality of manufactured homes (Wubneh and Shen 2004, 56). In rural areas, manufactured housing has become the dominant form of low- and middle-income housing. In Kentucky, for instance, half of the new housing produced is manufactured housing. Despite the downfalls of manufactured housing, there are some good points that may help to answer the growing problem of affordable housing. In Seattle a nonprofit housing group constructed seventy-five homes priced between $155,000 and $250,000, compared to the median home cost in the area of $350,000 (Watson 2002, 22).

Many manufactured homes presented installation problems that caused them to be unsafe in bad weather (30–32). Manufactured housing has no appreciation, unlike stick-built homes, further underscoring the differences that make it an affordable alternative in the short term but problematic in the longer term. Renting and Homeownership Despite the widening gap between renters’ and homeowners’ incomes, the latter also experience considerable affordability issues. 5 percent from $95,500 to $139,000 (National Association of Realtors [NAR] 2002).

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