Most Americans are familiar with the ghost towns of the west. They have been featured in western movies for years.
The typical mining camp became a town as the earth gave up its riches to the hordes of foreign laborers that responded to the lure of steady work. The ore dug from the ground became wealth for the mine owners. Out-of-town money came into town to buy the ore the miners produced.
The mine owners paid the workers with this exchange of currency for ore. The workers spent the money in town.
As the miners produced wealth, from the ground by their labor, the town attracted storekeepers, who brought in goods produced elsewhere for the miners to buy.
The town grew as the mining production expanded. Other mines were discovered and developed.
Then gradually the richness of the ore declined and the money coming into town was reduced, day by day. It took many years for this to become noticeable to the town's people. More stores and homes were built and the less efficient shops closed up. Those stores that gave credit prosperedů.on paper.
Some mines "played out." Mine production was gradually reduced from month to month and then from week to week.
The people in town were spending more money for the goods brought in from outside than they were receiving from the miners. The miners soon found they were borrowing, as the work was reduced and many were put on short shifts.
Sure that other mines would open up, the miners got credit from the storeowners.
Soon the storekeepers were buying on credit also.
This was not noticed, at first, as the exchange of the ore from miners' labor was only gradually declining. Then the price of silver and gold took a drop and the mines all shut down at once.
Many people were certain richer veins could be discovered. They stuck it out.
They got credit from out of town banks for their property. Mortgages soon became difficult to get. No banks believed the town would grow again.
Eventually the balance of trade shifted totally against the town. The stores could not buy on credit any longer. The miners did not work to create wealth. The town gradually got poorer until everyone who could not earn a living moved away.
Then it spread from town to town so the whole country was buying from off shore.
Imports grew until the country was spending more to buys goods produced elsewhere. Production declined and less was exported to bring in outside money.
Soon everyone was in debt and it became very hard to earn a living.
Then decades later, the banks and corporations took over all the property that had financed the living standards of the people.
Thus was born the Ghost Nation.
Second Thoughts due to accelerated NAFTA effects.