Friday, August 17, 2007

Tucson economy: TUSD teachers, First Magnus


Mortgage industry workers in Tucson get the shaft. Urban sprawl developers and real estate agents share some of the blame for the lending industry meltdown.


TUCSON -- My daughter started kindergarten this week in a TUSD school and I am very proud. Strong public schools are essential to our nation. I went to public schools.

She has great teachers who need more support than the bogus 1% raise offered by TUSD Superintendent Roger F. Pfeuffer.

Teachers work very hard for our kids, who are the future of our society. TUSD teachers deserve more than the pennies being offered by Pfeuffer.

I support the Tucson Education Association in their efforts to win fair pay for teachers. This should not have to be a battle, and if Pfeuffer gets smart he will back off his cheap position.

As teachers struggle for respect, 700 First Magnus workers in Tucson, and 6000 nationwide, are out of work due to the mortgage meltdown. I feel bad for these workers. The meltdown is not their fault.

No disrespect to them during these hard times, but developers, real estate agents and reckless mortgage corporation executives share much of the blame for this growing crisis which may send the US economy in to recession.

Why developers? They want to build the max number of homes, which then need a lot of buyers so they can make big money. Developers and real estate agents push lenders to loan money to unqualified people so they can buy more stucco boxes sprawling across the desert.

Without the unwise and reckless lending to unqualified buyers, developers and agents wouldn't be able to sell so much sprawl housing.

The economic crunch happens when the unqualified buyers can't pay their mortgage bills. The money stops coming in, homes are foreclosed and may now sit empty. Lenders, related industries and investors are hit hard, but developers and real estate agents already have the money in their pocket from the original sales to unqualified buyers.

Not only is urban sprawl environmentally unsustainable, it is also economically dangerous.

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Max Roach (John Abbott photo)

In unrelated music news, I must mourn the passing of Max Roach, the greatest jazz drummer of all time. I was lucky to be wowed by a solo show in Detroit by Max that blew me away. RIP, Max Roach. Max's boom-bap bebop style will never die.

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