"Das neue Elend der US-Städte: eine avancierte Form des Klassenkampfs von oben."
The recent financial and economic crisis had its origins in the subprime mortgage collapse that wreaked havoc across urban America, with exploding foreclosure and eviction rates confronting municipalities with entirely new challenges. On top of these housing market and vacancy problems, the financial crisis has squeezed municipal budgets so that local politicians have themselves resorted to risky fiscal innovations as well as to increasingly severe cuts in public sector and social programs, aggravating poverty, homelessness and the decay of public urban infrastructures. While these developments occur unevenly across different types of cities and regions, and state measures to deal with the accelerating social problems have also varied, trends of instrumentalizing the ‘budget crisis’ for consolidating class power can be identified. With the assault on public sector unions launched by a number of states and cities, some disparate protest and resistance movements have begun to emerge.