More from American Dream turns to economic nightmare

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Do-gooder had good timing on housing boom

Nov 23, 2011
Kim Carter used to be an addict and convict, but now she's created a foundation to help women get back on their feet. She took advantage of the housing bubble and avoided predatory lending, and thus has been able to provide housing for those in need.
Posted In: Housing

Looking back at the housing boom and bust

Nov 22, 2011
A portrait of one of the places where the housing crash vaporized tens of thousands of jobs and millions in household wealth.
Posted In: Housing

Some Californians turn to church in troubled times

Nov 22, 2011
In the Southern California town of Rialto, jobs and homes have been lost. And one evangelical church has stepped in to help.
Posted In: Inland Empire, church

American Dream fails in Inland Empire

Nov 21, 2011
California's Inland Empire was a magnet for cheap housing during the boom. Now, the bust has left many towns in this desert region with 15 percent unemployment and few prospects.
Posted In: Housing, Unemployment

About this collection

You hear it a lot: For the economy to get better, we all have to spend more. Consumer confidence, consumer spending, consumer interest, consumer debt.... it's the consumer economy. But didn't spending too much get us in trouble a few years ago? Can we afford the consumer economy? Marketplace explores how we consume, what we get from it, what it costs, and whether we can keep it up.

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