I was watching American Idol with the kids last night, and greatly enjoyed the performance of Thia Megia from Mountain House, CA.
Why is this mentioned on the Valley Economy blog?
Mountain House, California has the distinction of having the highest foreclosure rate (see Table 2 here) in America's foreclosure capital, the Stockton MSA (San Joaquin County). Mountain House is exactly the type of new build, exurban, high foreclosure community in the Valley that the media keeps calling ghost towns. Seemingly every month, we deal with another sensational press story, or have to listen to another "expert" from Wall Street or Silicon Valley suggest we should write off these areas or even bulldoze them.
But Ghost Towns are empty places that reflect the past, the foreclosure towns of the Valley are still very much filled with people, especially young people like Thia, who represent the future of America. I hope Thia goes far in American Idol (she does have the talent to do it!), and I hope she gets a hometown visit. Perhaps then the media will see that places like Mountain House (and Lathrop, and Weston Ranch) aren't empty ghost towns, but are still places that are very much alive, especially with young students like Thia. They are struggling places, but they are places that do have a future, and they are still the home of America's future.
I'm sure Thia just wants a chance to sing and fulfill her dreams, not be the face of the Valley's maligned foreclosure towns (I saw her facebook page identifies the Bay area as home, and I'm sure her Facebook page gets zillions more hits than the Valley Economy blog). Unfortunately, these towns in the Valley have an image problem, and Thia could help turn that around. Go Thia!