Jelani Cobb explains:

But we're in the middle of a recession right now because millions of middle class people bought more house than they could afford, because millions of others used home equity as a personal ATM machine to subsidize life styles they really couldn't afford. And because the CEOs and politicians who are supposed to be the responsible voices around here spent the better part of a decade indulging their addiction to cheap Chinese goods that have artificially inflated the value of the dollar. Ever wonder why it is that everyone in America can afford a flat-screen and most Chinese -- who are manufacturing them -- can't?

This is all made possible by those hood-ass folk over at Treasury and Citi and Lehman and the good folk in China whose economy is the international equivalent of an E-Z Credit joint in the... um... ghetto. Fittingly, those formerly high-end subdivisions where deer are running amok and swimming pools are the new mosquito nest have become suburban ghettoes. Which, I guess means that we'll have to retire Ghetto as an adjective because, ironically, the tide of foreclosures ensures even more need for it as a noun.

So break out your platinum grills, tattoo your children's names on your neck and head downtown with rollers in your head: we are all ghetto now.

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