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Member since: Fri Jul 29, 2011, 04:28 AM
Number of posts: 14,177

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The economic gas chamber

Just in case the title of this essay has not given away the plot, I will say it outright, I am not going to be polite about this. Thousands of people die each year due to being homeless. There is no age group, gender, family situation, mental health status, physical ability status, religion, or ethnic group that is immune. The one thing they do have in common is that they face a much earlier death than the general population. Many people think that the homeless are the deserving poor, that is they deserve to be poor. The punishment for being poor is to live in substandard housing or no housing. It doesn't matter if the person is physically disabled, has cancer, has a mental illness, has children, is a veteran, a battered spouse, or a child who has run away from abusive parents. They all deserve it by gosh they should have worked harder, especially those freeloading children. How dare they cost the hard working public a dime to care for them. How dare they be abused. How dare they have a mental illness. How dare they lose their jobs. How dare they have a job that barely pays for food let alone a roof over their heads. How dare they live when they aren't producing goods or services for the powers that be. http://www.nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/HardColdFacts.pdf

An unknown number of (previously 37,000 can't find the source now I was reading a lot on this and didn't tab my sources) people in this country are sent to an economic gas chamber each year. We used to have a concept that some people were worthy of assistance. It was a horrible concept. It separated people who lost a spouse and or a job and just needed temporary help, people who at least recently had value according to society and then there was the undeserving people who were able bodied but for whatever reason didn't have a current job. Of course at this time minority groups were always undeserving even if they just recently lost a job or had some other hardship. This is not an unfortunate by product of capitalism in this country it is a feature. It is a welcome feature for the powers that be. As long as we have homelessness in this country people who need workers can continue to abuse them and work them into high stress levels, they can demand an outrageous amount of productivity. They can do it because one of the biggest fears poor people have is not making rent. Every month can be a nightmare, especially the last couple of weeks. Some play at bill juggling, getting behind on one or two bills, catch up then let a different set of bills get behind then catch up, just barely keeping ahead of being cut off from electricity, water, or the telephone (which is usually a cheaper cell phone now), and then there is the food rationing. At the beginning of the month or whenever there is the most money in the bank account the cupboards are full of food. After a couple weeks of eating PB&J sandwiches and Chili and corn bread or whatever else is very cheap, there is a period of eating "high on the hog". I know this pattern well. Even after doing everything that can be done, spending is cut and the budget is down to the last dollar accounted for. Someone loses a job, someone gets sick, or even worse someone needs to escape abuse, they now face the streets. Many homeless are families who are escaping abuse. But, they are still useful to the powers that be. See what happens if you don't conform. Never mind that it's something they can't conform to.

From those that have the least we expect the most. Poor people are supposed to mold themselves in the image of Horatio Alger. They are supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Never mind that the system has cut the bootstraps in half. Never mind that most people never escape the economic situation they were born into. People who were born into relative comfort don't seem to understand what a leg up they have on not falling into extreme poverty. Many will wail about how hard they work at their one job. Homeless people often do have jobs. They have jobs that pay minimum wage sometimes a bit higher. Those jobs don't pay enough for even a basic apartment in so many cases. Families who rely on one or two adults in the family who make minimum or just a bit more aren't just struggling, they are drowning. They are drowning while people snug in their heated homes, with full bellies, watching their big screen TVs, complain that poor people are just lazy. If they aren't demanding that the government keeps running the economic gas chamber they are at the very least not complaining about it, they are not seeing homelessness as an issue of economic injustice and a death sentence on 37,000 people who die each year. Most of them having committed no other crime than being poor.

Sorry this is a bit long and that I am preaching to the choir here. But this story set me off. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025716677 It is outrageous that so many children do not have stable housing and they are seen as a problem and not the victims of politics, policies, and the economy.
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