As the true magnitude of the destruction begins to appear even in the corporate media, and vast hordes of Americans move out of perfectly liveable houses into the streets, leaving millions of said houses to fall to rack and ruin, where are all these people supposed to go? While the government gives away the rest of the national Treasury to the people who stole everything else from the rest of us, we can't just leave our neighbors and friends to sleep under bridges. And they are sleeping under bridges now, not a mile from you.
What we need are centrally-located, climate-controlled facilities with pleasant common spaces, good plumbing, and other basic amenities, so that American families down on their luck, robbed of everything by the Cheney/Bush gang of bandits, will have someplace to live out the indeterminate sentence imposed on them by the people supposedly elected to prevent just such an eventuality.
Meanwhile, the list of household-name stores that have closed down is growing so fast it's really hard to know what to expect on the next trip to the local mega-mall. These magnificent theme-park-like structures blossomed all over America in the last couple of decades, self-contained controlled environments like advance terraforming colonies on a distant planet, and Americans moved right in.
Hmmm... centrally located... climate controlled... moved right in... Hey! That's IT! The Malls!
Why not move in, literally?
The advantages of this approach are really enormous. A shopping mall has everything: public bathrooms; nice common spaces with waterfalls, play areas, etc.; various other spaces suitable for schools, libraries and other public functions; entertainment venues; and even, occasionally actual post-offices. Generally there are large kitchens suitable for feeding hundreds in gourmet splendor. All the infrastructure we could ever need, right? And it's all centrally heated and air-conditioned.
People who have lost everything to the Cheney/Bush Gang could be housed, fed, schooled and medicared in central locations at a fraction of the cost of homeless shelters, internment camps and jails that are now gearing up to take the overflow of a failed civilization. Instead of building thousands of "shelters," just open up the vacant store spaces in the Mall of America, or whatever your local orgy-of-consumerism-pod is called.
Besides, half the kids under 25 already live in them. They hang out there, their heads plugged into devices, the incredible pace of their social dramas playing out every minute in multiple dimensions - electronic, networked and real-time - with an intensity that leaves little time to surface for air, that is, go home and eat and sleep and use the bathroom and stop in at school for roll-call. Why not just let them stay there? Their parents will be only a few steps away, in their own dwelling cubicle in the hollowed-out, reconfigured Gap.
There's even plenty of parking, and who has gas anyway? And where is there to drive to anymore? All the Wal-Marts will go down soon enough. Everywhere looks pretty much like everywhere else.
Shopping malls may not have been designed for mass housing, but is there a better setup anywhere? All the other shelter proposals are basically stark, gray, cinderblock warehouses for humanity, poisonous, wheelless trailers left over from no-bid Katrina contracts, or even tents surrounded by guard towers. In the malls, the climate control plants were made to be as cheap as possible to run and maintain. And vegetables would grow perfectly well in all those potted-palm containers and fountains, year-round. We could stock the fountains with brook trout and salmon. People who grew up watching "Deep Space Nine" will feel right at home.
And anyway, soon there will be so many homeless ordinary Americans wandering around, they are bound to get the idea. All those empty pavillions, the HVAC still humming to keep the mold from taking over, just in case an economy should appear by suprise and need these obsolete consumer paradises once more... but they don't have any use now: the owners took all the money we would have spent in there already.
At first we'll see mall hijackings, mass takeovers of these facilities by thousands of angry, desperate people. Standoffs with the ATF and the FBI reminiscent of Ruby Ridge and Waco. As the police, their funding cut below the level of dog-catchers, give up on token law enforcement, and themselves join the ranks of rootless and jobless squatters, city-states will spring up in these structures controlled by well-armed warlords. People who still own their houses in the nearby towns - sorry, bedroom communities - will become the natural prey of those who live in fortified former malls, mass accommodations with voracious appetites for food and water.
This last point is kind of complicated. We're talking about worse than the Great Depression. So what will happen to the food chains? The one problem we have to solve for Mall Culture to truly come into its own, is how to supply the loading docks with fresh produce. Until the hydroponics, roof guardens and organic greenhouses get up and running in the former parking lots, there is going to be some rough territory to cross.
The rich? Take a look: see any rich people around where you live? They've already built their own malls to live in, in places like Dubai. Their malls are just bigger, with more privacy, but it's basically the same idea. They have bigger gates, too. And very complex moats.
If we don't organize this, it will organize itself. Feudalism comes naturally to Americans. And we are the most well-equipped culture on Earth when it comes to lethal hardware. The sooner we kiss off the bogus, bankrupt financial "system" and get serious about saving our very lives, the better, if you ask me.