Conventional thinking among local leaders is that because the area didn’t “boom” during the last few years, it didn’t suffer the economic “bust” to the degree some other areas around the country have felt. Most seem to view this as positive. From a short term perspective that might be true but over the long term the picture is not so rosy. During the early months of the current recession the Pittsburgh area received substantial national publicity for being the economy that did not “bust”. But missing from these stories is how the region has lagged so far behind the national economy for two decades. One very important indicator of that slower growth is the number of building permits being issued for single family dwellings.