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Many a time, I have seen my friend doting on his little seven-year-old half brother, picking him up from school, cooking for him, and keeping his classmates’ junk food at bay. Staying abroad and settling into some sort of upwardly mobile immigrant comfort would go against the grain of years of habit.
Even for the average homeowner, ownership all too often is imagined as a way of gaming income flow and consumption over a lifetime, accumulating enough to spend down before one has to become a ward of the welfare state. It is part of consumer society, not a buffer against it.
Moorpark, CA. In October of 1997 I attended the Southern Historical Association’s convention in Atlanta because I wanted to hear Paul Conkin’s presidential address,...