There’s a reason I moved a thousand miles and took a low paying dead-end job: I used to live in Brevard County, a hop, skip, and jump away from the Kennedy Space Center, I could watch shuttle launches from my yard. Now, that region is devastated by the shuttle’s retirement, cuts to NASA, and the economy:
(CBS News) — President Obama canceled NASA’s plan to replace the space shuttle in favor of a more modest program, and then Congress slashed the funding for that. So, for the first time in 50 years America is not the leader in spaceflight. Fact is, we couldn’t launch an astronaut today if we had to. With the end of an era, we wondered what would happen to the generation that put America in space. So last July when the smoke cleared from the last space shuttle launch we stayed behind in Brevard County, Florida. The home of the Kennedy Space Center. What comes after reaching for the stars? For many, in Brevard County the answer is: a hard landing.
Never in my life has a recession has such a horrible effect on my personal circumstances. The house I lived in back in Brevard has lost over half its value, the streets look like shit, local government offices are ransacked, the employment prospects are terrible unless you want to wait tables for tips or work for minimum wage at a Taco Bell.
I’m lucky that I was able to move, no kids, no ties that bind, had a job and friends and family in another city doing much better. Most people don’t have that combo luxury, and thanks to catastrophic conservative policies, budget cuts to NASA, and general dumbassery getting a viable shuttle replacement in the works a decade ago, that region has gone to shit along with thousands of lives.