Ghost Malls! - Hyper-Consumption Kills The American Dream

Prediction ... Malls across the nation will first become ghost-malls as America's obsession with hyper-consumption has come to an end. What started twenty years ago as the biggest over-consume, live-beyond-your-means, it's-going-to-last-forever mindset has come to an abrupt halt. So abrupt that, the perpetrators of this phenomenon, all slammed into each other like a chain-reaction crash on an icy freeway. The consequential damage to the economy and the country's financial systems is beyond anything most people have ever seen in their lifetime. People hope that we are on the verge of change. We are. Just not the type they were expecting.

Entire chains of the same stores they used to frequent on a regular basis (or maybe even work at) have disappeared forever. Increased store closings and bankrupt commercial landlords are coming next. This will force the closing of half the malls in the country turning them into ghost malls, not unlike the rotting ghost towns of the Wild West that disappeared after the Gold Rush.

So what will happen to all these empty malls...these wastelands of commerce that, for so many years, were the destination for bored compulsive shoppers, seniors who used them as a indoor track, and the breeding ground for teenage hooligans? Perhaps they should be converted into shelters for the unemployed and homeless by city and state governments, housing thousands of people and families. After all, these abandoned malls are already set up with fully-functional food courts. These food courts could cook enough food daily for thousands of economic refugees. It wouldn't be hard for the government to bring in several fast food companies or create a large soup kitchen operation. Next, you would have to build more restrooms and shower facilities. The abandoned stores would be retrofitted with rows of bunk beds dorm-style, maximizing vertical and horizontal space, making room for thousands of out-of-work people who lost their homes to foreclosure. The abandoned movie theaters could be converted to training centers to retrain people for new careers. Children could engage in supervised play in the parking lots. One store in the mall could be turned into a job resource center where able workers gathered daily to be picked up for all types of temporary work. . . accountants, sales people, telemarketers, office workers, retail clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, stock brokers, derivatives traders, and hedge fund managers. Most stores had high-speed Internet connections. A learning center / library / computer lab would be available to all for kids to do their homework and adults to find jobs.

So, what have we got to lose? The most expensive part -the physical structure - is already there. It's just waiting for people who need help to move in.

Ray Holley, manager
Channeled Readings, LLC

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