Patchwork Nation: Boom Towns

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dante Chinni, project director of Patchwork Nation and author of Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America, uses statistical information to break the country into 12 categories, like "Boom Towns," "Tractor Communities," and "Monied Burbs."


Dante Chinni

Comments [6]

Xtina from E. Village

I also am not clear on what is a boom town, after listening to the segment. What was the cause of this boom? It sounds like the construction boom, spawned the construction boom. Doesn't the mortgage industry have any responsbility? 'People wanted bigger houses' seems like a very simplistic reason.

And I would have liked to know where these boom towns are at least a little specifically.

"people don't intellectualize" isn't much of an answer either; why people are rejecting govenrment help for their problems is a very deep subject, would like to see that broached too.

Oct. 15 2010 01:15 PM
Dante from DC

Hey Becky,

To be clear, "Boom Towns" as we define them are counties that saw massive growth in the last decade -- 14% on average.

They are now seeing much harder times... And yes Edward, you could call a lot of them bust towns now.

More here:

Oct. 14 2010 11:12 PM

In 1991, after coming back to the US from having lived a decade abroad, my friend took me on a ride up to his new house in Pennsylvania. When I saw the oversized "McMansions" that had sprung up all around during my absence, the first thought that prophetically popped into my mind was, "Each of these will be a nail in the coffin of America."

But frankly, what amazed me is that it took so long for the construction boom to bring the economy down. I expected it to happen a decade ago, but the "dot com" boom intervened in the interim, the bust of which drove even more money into the housing construction boom. Either way, what goes up too high with a boom, must come down eventually with a resounding crash.

Oct. 14 2010 11:01 AM
The Truth from Becky

Still not clear after this segment what a boom town is.

Oct. 14 2010 10:59 AM

These people who want things back to where they were in the past remind me of how I felt when the internet bubble burst and you couldn't make easy money as a worker anymore.

Oct. 14 2010 10:59 AM
Edward from NJ

So are they bust towns now?

Oct. 14 2010 10:52 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.