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How Reagan Created "The Homeless," & Why Charity Can't Fix It

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:38 AM
Original message
How Reagan Created "The Homeless," & Why Charity Can't Fix It
In 2008, an estimated 2.3 to 3.5 million people will be homeless for some part of the year - & the numbers have been growing. Americans have grown accustomed to seeing people sleeping in the streets of their big cities: the "homeless" seem to be a fact of nature, like the weather.

Yet I remember a time when it wasn't so. Pre-Reagan, in downtown Seattle. Sure, there were poor people downtown - mostly older men. They hung out on the streets around the market, but they didn't sleep there, they didn't even panhandle. They slept in SRO's - single-room occupancy hotels - on 1st & 2nd aves. It was a seedy area, but I was a young girl at the time, & I wasn't afraid to go there.

I left the US at the beginning of the Reagan years & returned in 1985; suddenly we had "homelessness". I was young. The papers said it was "mental patients" & "recession," so I accepted that explanation.

It was only when I got involved with a homeless shelter that I learned how the homeless problem grew from near-invisible to omnipresent in the space of 5 years. Here's the short version, from the "Without Housing" Coalition.

"In 1978, HUDs budget was over $83 billion.

In 1983, HUDs budget was only $18 billion.

In 1983, general public emergency shelters began opening in cities nationwide.

In 1987, Congress passed the Stewart B. McKinney Act, providing $880 million in homeless assistance funding (2004 constant dollars).

In short, Reagan deliberately created "homelessness" by cutting 65 billion of housing money & replacing it with $880 million in shelter funding.

The lost funding has never been replaced, & the percentage of low-cost housing & subsidized housing has been dropping ever since. 100,000 units of low-cost housing have been lost since 1996 alone.

Other factors that have exacerbated homelessness:

Thirty-five years of wage stagnation, achieved through a variety of means.

The Volker recession, deliberately prolonged & deepened to push back labor activism & organizing & drive down wages.

Increasing income inequality achieved though tax cuts at the top & other means. More money to the top drives up the price of land & housing & concentrates ownership of these assets - just like an influx of rich outsiders drives up the price of housing in a small town.

Increased competition for lower-wage jobs from immigrants (LEGAL immigration, which since the 80's has been set at turn-of-the-century levels for unskilled labor, precisely to drive down wages.)

Rises in the cost of medical care & higher education, far above the inflation rate.

The decline in the percentage of the population with medical insurance & guaranteed pensions.

The substitution of credit for income as people struggle to maintain "normal" lifestyles (& business struggles to maintain "normal" levels of commerce).

Homelessness isn't a fact of nature; it's been deliberately created by public policy.

Before I learned how homelessness was deliberately created, I'd been proud that the little community I live in now had pulled together in the 80's to create a homeless shelter.

According to the local feel-good story, a coalition of locals recognized the "growing problem." "With some government money that happened to be available & lots of local donations & volunteer hours," people worked together for the common good.

In reality, what most likely happened was this: Local government leaders got notice of HUD cuts & the availability of shelter funding. They talked to their local private sector friends, asked them to put their influence behind a shelter effort to solicity donations & volunteers. Then they applied for the federal shelter grant money - voila.

The local leadership knew there were going to be more homeless people, & they knew why. But they didn't tell their constituents. They pretended it was just some accident our town had "homelessness," where it didn't before. Everyone patted themselves on the back for being so "caring," & life went on - but now there was this "problem," & it kept growing. And since it kept growing, despite the generous help, more people began to resent the homeless, blame them, & despise them for their failure. Particularly when some of the helpers were close to the edge themselves, & others were doing so very well for themselves.

In the 2 years I was associated with the shelter, federal funding was cut, & struggles to raise more money from other sources intensified.

Almost all the churches in town participated in feeding programs. Community groups came in regularly to do service work. High school students volunteered for senior projects. Kindergarten kids sent pennies & canned foods. Artists did art projects, people sponsored raffles, gardeners & restaurants donated food. The state & local gov's freed up more money. Massive amounts of volunteer energy were expended.

Not only that, there was another, smaller shelter in town. And several other meals programs, Bible studies, donations of free medical & eye care, a big mental health establishment which largely served the indigent, teaching them to believe they had "chemical imbalances" which caused them to be depressed, addicted, or to "act out".

All this money (several million dollars), all these caring people.

The number of homeless the shelter served just increased, & the same faces rotated through over & over. This is a small town; many of the "homeless" had been there before. They'd get a job, get a place - something would go wrong, & they'd be back.

In short, lots of activity, lots of energy & caring people, but things just got worse.

The root problem is not that homeless folks don't have "skills". The problem is not that they're "crazy". The problem is not that they "lack self-esteem," or are addicts, or criminals, or come from broken families, or need cell-phones or jogging clubs, or lessons on budgeting & nutrition.

Some homeless may find these things useful sometimes, but the lack of these things isn't what creates homelessness - because folks WITH homes often have similar problems & deficits.

But the lack of stable housing & work will certainly exacerbate & CREATE depression & mental illness, substance abuse, family break-up, crime, & hard to eradicate declines in self-respect & hope. Multi-generational.

I am tired of being chided for "killing hope" because I remind people that it's housing & jobs that are needed, & a cease-fire in the 35-year war on the working class - not feel-good projects aimed at making "losers" "more competitive" in a system where 20% of the population NECESSARILY exist one step away from homelessness because the structure of the economy demands it.

If people can get together to build homeless shelters, they can get together to change the way the system creates the homeless, and yes - anything less serves the do-gooders more than the done-to. Reagan created homelessness in 5 years. It can be ended in 5 years as well, if we stop cheering for cell phones & jogging lessons & start pushing for economic change.


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Ellen Forradalom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent post
I too am old enough to remember the sudden appearance of homelessness in the Reagan years.

Thanks for posting the facts.

I think we can push for economic change and still be OK with jogging clubs though :-)
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Jogging clubs are great, in the presence of economic change.
But if homeless people want to jog, there's no particular need for a "helping agency" to make it happen.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
25. I remember the aftermath of his lovely governorship here. Suddenly, with funding cut
for mental hospitals, the population of homeless exploded on city streets, from downtown L.A. out to Santa Monica. Just where did he think they were going to go? Church? The CRapture? Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? Bonzo's house?

NOBODY ever connected the dots. Everyone was far too busy worshipping that adorable, avuncular, plain-talking, "just-folks" "St. Ronnie." Far too many people still haven't awakened from that particular stupor.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #25
57. If my mom's bout with alcoholism had occurred five years later
she'd be dead at 40 instead of 35 years sober and healthier than most people at 75. That's how much what Raygun did matters.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #25
100. Actually, that is not quite accurate. MOST of the emptying of institutions happened earlier.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 05:08 PM by bobbolink
And, they NEEDED to be emptied, as they were snake pits.

What happened killing the funding for the outreach programs, and for HOUSING.

I will remind you that continuuing to paint homeless people as mentally ill is erroneous, and causing untold pain to people who can't "prove" a negative.. they can't "prove" that they aren't mentally ill, and this is happening all the time, so mental illness becomes foisted on them, the drug companies make more big bucks with government money, and the game goes on.

edited to say: I posted about this yesterday. A local effort to build low-income housing for low-wage workers (NOT scum like me who aren't working!) is being shot down by the ELITE homeowners in the area because low-income housing is for all those "mentally unstable" (direct quote!)people, and what would happen to the children?

This is exactly the kind of problem that is caused by continuuing the myth of mental illness. More homelessness, because of lack of low-income housing.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #100
111. Pulled out of the OP for emphasis:
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 04:49 PM by Raksha
"But the lack of stable housing & work will certainly exacerbate & CREATE depression & mental illness, substance abuse, family break-up, crime, & hard to eradicate declines in self-respect & hope. Multi-generational."

It's very important not to confuse an effect with a cause. The stress of homelessness or just plain old poverty will create depression and low self-esteem like nothing else in the world...but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that. I'm just pointing it out for the benefit of any lurkers with blame-the-victim tendencies.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #111
115. Thank you. I'm coming to the conclusion that most people just can't grasp what is done to us, unles
they suffer it for themselves.

We are now a culture that listens only to "experts", rather than to those of us suffering the situations, so we simply aren't heard, and the "experts" not only have a particular ax to grind, but they can't empathize with what their version of "help" is doing to us in terms of damage.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #115
124. In my experience, "means-testing" is one of the sickest notions
ever developed for keeping poor people poor, and far from rewarding them, it actually punishes them for the slightest glimmer of initiative, or even good luck. As soon as you earn a few bucks, whatever government benefit you may be getting from whatever source gets cut accordingly. Considering that this benefit may be a good deal less than half the official poverty level, it's actually an incentive NOT to work! This was going on even before the "Reagan Revolution."

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #124
126. The point is, we're just supposed to DIE. It isn't enough to live on, we don't have
decent health care, for the most part, we are stressed by the system until our bodies fall apart, no dental care so our health is further ruined, no eye care and money for glasses, and on and on and on.....

Add that to lack of housing, or overcrowded or just plain hovel housing, and you get.... a life shortened, taken away, and ruined.

Dying.

That's what they want us to do.

Maybe we should just cooperate.
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psychmommy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #126
160. i empathizes w/your situation but,
what has happened to our mental health system is a sin and a tragedy. i have at least 2 cousins on the street. they have had housing provided for them and they won't stay. perhaps the hospitals were horrible but de-institutionalization w/o housing and without any type of mental health structure was even more cruel and unusual punishment.
i am aware that there are many of folks who are homeless through a series of unfortunate events and that those numbers are going to swell. that these parallel situations exist is beyond horrendous. my prayers go out to you and yours.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #111
134. excellent
Thanks, Raksha, for highlighting this important point. We do indeed have cause and effect confused in our minds, and it cannot be said enough because it is so difficult for people to accept this. We become deeply emotionally invested in our own personal choices that we associate with these issues. It can be very uncomfortable to look at.

I would not discourage people from doing charity work, nor tell them to do less, I would tell them to do more - much, much more - because that will eventually lead them to the point where they will understand how we have cause and effect confused. We say to poor people that they are the problem, that there is something wrong with them or deficient in them, that they have failed, that they need to be improved, implicitly or explicitly, and this attitude permeates charity work, just as it does all aspects of modern society. This is not only morally wrong, it is not only politically reactionary, but it is ineffective in a practical sense, as well. Yet we cling to it and get angry and defensive when we are challenged on it.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #100
150. You are so right. People practically assume that homeless people are
mentally ill. That is false. What is more, you cannot compare the appearance and behavior of homeless people with that of people who have secure housing and enough income to live independently and provide for their own basic needs.

There are different forms of depression. Most of us go through a form of depression when we lose a loved one or even a pet or a job. We call it grief, and we trust that it will not be a permanent state. We don't define it as mental illness.

I worked with a facility that housed and provided services to homeless people for about eight years. Some homeless people were mentally ill. Most were not. Being homeless puts a person in a kind of state of grief. How can a person be homeless without being angry? How can a person be homeless without being depressed to at least some extent? Think of it. The person who does not have housing has to an incredibly difficult challenge just to stay safe, find some place to sleep each and every night and scrounge for food. On top of all that, the person is most likely looking for longer term solutions. Anyone would be overwhelmed facing such difficulties. That does not mean that the person is mentally ill. There is a huge difference.

Ascribing mental illness to all homeless people is the way that people justify ignoring homelessness. It's kind of like the famous reaction of Barbara Bush upon seeing the New Orleans refugees in the Texas Superdome. Without quoting her exact language, her attitude was, oh, well, these people are probably just fine here, since they are poor anyway. With the homeless, it's well they choose to be homeless and besides they are mentally ill so they can't be helped. It shifts responsibility for the lack of housing and financial support for the unemployed away from society and on to the homeless person.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #150
200. "Most of us go through a form of depression ........ We call it grief"
You are so very right on this!

Interesting that I would read this from you this morning... I was just thinking when I woke up that if someone were to find they had a serious, maybe life-threatening illness, they would get empathy, or at least an absence of criticism. (Usually, although there are those really sick fucks who like to tell people that they have caused their own cancer by their "negative thoughts... :nuke:)

Yet, we are facing so much every day, hell, every hour, and lacking the ordinary ability to do the simple things that others take for granted, like brushing our teeth after meals, for example! EVERYTHING is a HUGE undertaking for us. Yet, we are not supposed to show that... "Think positive", is always thrown at us.

And, what I'm finding more and more, we're EXPECTED to absorb the bad days of others, while not expressing our own bad days. We're the bottom of the heap, so when someone above our status is having a frustrating day, they often dump it on us because they wouldn't DARE dump it on their boss, where it belongs, and we're supposed to be understanding of the poor dears, and accept their lashing out.

BUT lord love a duck if WE lash out!!

That wouldn't be a double-standard, would it???

Thanks for your understanding input!
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #100
175. Even so, ronnie did cut the funding further, and that's just one area in which he did so.
Edited on Sat Apr-05-08 12:02 AM by calimary
He cut the funding for more groups than the mentally ill. All of those segments of society that needed an extra break, an extra hand, an extra boost, some extra breathing room, ALL of them got screwed. Everything was reoriented to serve and further then needs of those elite demographics that needed help the least. Students, the elderly, aid to families with dependent children, families with disabled children, food stamp programs, head-start programs, unions, ceta grants, job training programs, environmental protection programs, consumer protection programs, workers protection programs, regulatory protections, you name it - ALL those entities took a hit. ALL MANNER of programs set up to help the poor took a hit. If you were among "The Least of My Brethren" you were locked out.

In general, it was the first time the robber barons had the way professionally cleared for them to belly up to the bar and settle in for awhile. It was THEIR interests that were being promoted, for a change. And I think the fat cats, golden-parachute CEOs, the LBO pirates and mergers & acquisitions people, the corner-cutters who benefited from reagan's policies got a nice, long stint at that bar and decided they liked it. So they've spent all their time and energy and considerable resources attempting to stay there. That's why the foxes-guarding-the-henhouses style of government that started in earnest with ronald reagan was able to gain ground after he was gone. Certainly bush-the-first perpetuated the worst of it (while yammering on about "kinder, gentler" times out of one side of his mouth), and the CONservatives took the House of Reps away in 1994 (after bush-1 was gone) so they could continue it. Thus they were able to muscle this through and force Clinton's hand, and by the time they were giving away the store in 1998 and 99, they'd put him through the Lewinsky business and, I think, softened his resistance enough to go along with what they demanded.

AWFUL TIMES that have been perpetuated yet again, and on steroids, with this miserable seven-and-some years under bush-2. BUT IT ALL COMES BACK TO REAGAN. ALL OF IT. That's where the stingey cheapskates and narrow-minded stonehearts first got moved to the front row. And everybody else took a hit so they could fatten up further, and cook the books, and skirt the rules, and cut the corners, and game the system and get richer - at the expense of the poor, needy, homeless, hungry, sick - physically AND mentally, and ignored. I didn't mean to further the misconception that the homeless are all the mentally ill. It's just that the mentally ill were a prominent group among those who got the shaft, mainly during reagan. The most damage - to the greatest number of people who couldn't afford to sustain that damage - was done on his watch, and at his bidding, and under his leadership. When the rest of us were encouraged to sneer at the black single mom as a "welfare queen." The mentally ill were, unfortunately, one of the more glaring examples, so they got a great deal of what press coverage there was of this crisis during the reagan era. Besides, when they were turned out on the streets, that was that. There was NO effort or government initiative put in place to take up the slack, or fund the construction of new shelters or new residences or new hospitals. The door was simply shut in their faces and the front lights turned out. And they were left to fend for themselves. And we were all told that was the "American Way" - where the bold lone maverick-type booted himself up and got rich.

BTW - hi bobbie! :hi:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #175
208. Yes, Raygun cut it further...so did Carter, so did Clinton.
Yes, we've been locked out....mostly because we aren't considered important by the party powers and faithful.

We need Martin Luther King back again, along with Bobby Kennedy.

Oh, that's right... they'd definitely meet the same end, now, and probably wouldn't get very far.

We just aren't popular.

:hi: Hi back!
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boilerbabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
169. Lived in CA during his presidency!!
I think it even got worse, especially in Southern CA. No jobs to be found except maybe at McDonald's and about 300 people all trying for the slot.

You are so right about how people have been hoodwinked by him. It's all in the packaging, which the concept of dovetails with some of the other posts I am reading here. It's disgusting how badly this country has devolved in so many ways.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #169
178. It was awful during that time. I was SO frustrated!
What reagan did that was the MOST damaging was to foster this overriding idea that the needy were lazy moochers, liberals were "looney" baby-killers, and trees caused pollution (remember THAT one?!??!?!?!). And he got away with it because he was PERCEIVED as this kindly old uncle-type who was so approachable and aw-shucks and wouldn't hurt a fly much less another human being. He had this schtick left over from his "Death Valley Days" and GE pitchman appearances with the upslanted eyebrows and the gentle, smiling (a crooked smile, no less) shaking of the head and the "Uh-Waaayyy-yull1," that somehow made everything and anything he said go down easier. You were mesmerized by the schtick. Many Americans just couldn't help themselves. They just LIKED him SOOOOOOOOO much! He was so likeable that people were willing to overlook ANYTHING, and forgive him EVERYTHING. And he would sprinkle in just the correct amount of corny jokes and "heartland" wholesomeness and irritation with people trying to turn off the mike that he presumably paid for and the Soviet Union and hippies. That cute little chuckly "there you go again..." and a few other one-liners like that, which absolutely hijacked-at-gunpoint every headline, every lead story, every pundit's first impression - it was AMAZING how masterfully he manipulated (or his people enabled the manipulation of) the media.

If you're funny and self-deprecating and aw-shucks, you translate in the media as being FUCKING ADORABLE, and the Teflon coating automatically follows. We've seen it most recently first with mike huckabee (hell, he even had dimples!) and now with john mcSAME. It's disarming and distracting and if you make people laugh, they automatically like you. And if you make them laugh by laughing at yourself first, that makes 'em like you all the more. That's what I think motivated Hillary Clinton to joke about being late to Leno's show because she was dodging sniper fire. The unaware, half-asleep, bored, jaded, ill-informed, and gullible fall for this EVERY TIME.

And getting back to reagan, that's the cover he used, under which he hid while all these horribly shitty, short-sighted, selfish, cheap-skate policy abominations were allowed to slither into being, and onto the books. But everybody was looking over there at that adorable old guy with the funny jokes and the plain talk and the crooked smile. And nobody was paying attention to what he did behind closed doors, and sent his own flying-monkey brigades out to do in his name and with his approval and even flat-out dictates. A "charming bandit" he was, to be on maximum-diplomacy mode. A lying, scheming, thief to put it more plainly.

Some of this devastation was getting started as the climate changed enabling the rise of somebody like him. Remember Howard Jarvis? Mr. Proposition 13? reagan came to power in 1980. Proposition 13 was in 1978 here in California, and that's when the real sea-change jolt occurred. People started realizing their property taxes were quite high, having been raised to underwrite school aid, programs for the needy, hungry, homeless and other such groups. And some of those people were little old fixed-income retirees in places like Santa Monica who were being driven out of their homes because they couldn't pay the property tax bills anymore. The media, stoked by CONservative activists and PR people and media manipulators - from some of these think-tanks that were being bankrolled by rich industrialist pirates (the kind of people who wound up in reagan's infamous "Kitchen Cabinet" - the off-the-books team of advisors he kept under wraps back home in California), seized on that as an easy story-with-pictures. "Look! Poor Grandma's being driven out of her little house! How awful! Damn those property taxes!" And Howard Jarvis rode that one all the way to victory, sending a cheap-skaters' paradise message across the country and gave the anti-tax grover norquist types all the calcium supplement they needed. And that paved the way for reagan, and the rest, unfortunately, is history.

We can only hope that bush-2 leaves such a bad taste in the mouth that the whole movement that now pivots on his legacy is brought down. He's the true son-of-reagan. Hopefully, what reagan started, dubya will finally have FINISHED. And Deep-Sixed.

But it ALL got rolling with ronald reagan. His was the regime that put all these assholes firmly into the driver's seat for the first time. And look where we are. The results speak for themselves. EIGHTY-ONE PERCENT of Americans just surveyed say our country has lurched off onto the wrong track. Highest numbers EVER, since that particular polling question was first asked. And what leaves me boiling is how this statistic is reported, but NOBODY ever tries to connect the dots to show why this has happened.

:grr:
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
162. Naomi Klein's book on 'disaster capitalism' is a must read nt
The Shock Doctrine indeed.

And furthermore, the Confessions Of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins underscores Ms. Klein's book.

I see Jim Wallis's book The Great Awakening as the ONLY way out of this mess. The wealthiest have to realize, sooner rather than later, that their hoarding of the great wealth of this country will ultimately bring the entire economy down, as it is happening now before our very eyes.

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boilerbabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #162
171. Excellent book recommendations!
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 11:38 PM by boilerbabe
Have read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" book, it was just so on target (scary). That is on the list for the home library. I will check out the other books you mentioned---thanks! Am always up for a good book referral.

So now, what can we do?? That, to me, is the biggest question. We have ascertained the problem and its origins, good. Now What??
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #171
202. now what
As always in every social movement throughout history, we organize, communicate, rabble-rouse, resist, fight.

If you mean "what now?" given that we are not going to do those things, the answer is "nothing."
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Reagan also cut funding to mental health and effectively emptied mental health hospitals
into the streets.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Don't forget the community based half way houses...
But of course, you know, they were all driving around in Cadillacs on our dime....

Greedy bastards...

Compassionless Conservatives...

Making it a sin to be unlucky, unhealthy and unwanted...

It's your own damn fault...

Now shut up and don't squeegie my car...
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Ellen Forradalom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I also remember that well
Morning in America, my fleshy white ass.
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Giant Robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
44. You got that wrong
It's "Mourning in America." Spelled that one word wrong. Makes a lot more sense now.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Reagan didn't have the power of the purse.
Congress cuts funding. Look at the congress that sent it to Reagan in the first place.

My memory is a little sketchy, but I remember a big movement to get the government mental hospitals all closed and all those people put into "community based care" because they thought people confined to state hospitals deserved to be members of the community rather than locked in psyche wards. Congress decided to give states grants to accomplish it.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Reagan was governor of California when he did that. The hospitals closed, but the money for the rest
... of the idea just didn't appear. Closing the state mental hospitals was a confluence of things -- new psychoactive drugs, a patients' rights movement backed by civil libertarians, and above all, the desire of Republicans to spend the money on something else. Brilliant. The halfway houses and community based programs would have been a big help, but somehow they just didn't get fully implemented. The money that was "saved" just didn't appear in the budget for these purposes.

My late MIL was a conservative, but she was also a psychologist who worked at state mental institutions. She never forgave Governor Reagan for what he did.

Hekate

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
19. In Texas, they did this with the State School system
there were MANY in this system who had been their since they were children and were now in their 40's and 50's.
My Mom worked with one of the largest State Schools in Texas.
The papers that the families signed when these people were children guaranteed that they could NEVER be moved out of the State School system without the consent of the family.
Then there was a lawsuit against the Denton State School and there was a move to put some of these people into Group Homes.
The State opened Group Homes all across Texas--nice homes in nice areas--state of the art facilities and THEN approached these families about moving them into these homes with the PROMISE that if it didn't work out, they could move them back to the State School and assured these families that their members would NOT end up in nursing homes. Most of the families agreed to this.
These Group Homes initially were designed for very low-functioning and mentally disabled people.
The ink didn't even dry when they turfed out these low-functioning patients and the State got rid of the Group Homes--they were first disbursed to the counties that housed them and then in some situations, private contractors.
So now these clients that had all been turfed out had nowhere to go if the Group Home didn't work out.
The second these people got sick...they were sent to the hospital and THEN to the Nursing Homes. They were replaced with a higher level and higher functioning client.
It was dirty and underhanded and it was done on purpose. To rid the state of the low functioning clients in the State Schools.
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eagertolearn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
170. I Had an aunt in the state hospital in CA then and then she was moved into
a halfway house in the 70's. The halfway house was better but she died in it trying to cure her illegal throat disease with drano (paranoid schizophrenic). But soon these people were thrown out onto the streets because they lost the funding for the halfway houses too. But I can remember "hobo's"(as my grandpa called them) sleeping in the leaves by the train station by my grandpa's house in the 60's. Less than twenty years later my brother would be one of those sleeping in the same leaves. Mental illness sometimes arrives slowly and after teenagers have left home. They suddenly drop out of college and out of the job market and the family will try and figure it out but they can't. It doesn't make sense. Some will go back home for a while but most will settle out on the streets without treatment. When family try to help them and try to get them evaluated they refuse because this is "their choice". My brother started out as a homeless advocate fighting for their rights (he finally felt like he was needed by a group of people) but in the end he was abandoned even by most of his homeless friends because they could see he was dying and and that they would be next. Even though there are a lot of people who are on the streets for other reasons there are a lot of people just like my brother. I didn't think he was schizophrenic but it wasn't until a few years before he died that I found out my grandmother had died from Bi-Polar disease (a long kept family secret). When ever he did have success in life we would all get excited but the success would be short lived and he would disappear for a while and then come back drinking heavily again. I tried to get him evaluated but the medical system, who would treat him in the ICU for 10 days at a time for a GI bleed, wouldn't evaluate or consider treating him for mental illness. The closest they got was asking him "if he ever felt like God" and he said no and they said he wasn't bi-polar (what they didn't know was that he never wanted anything to do with God so why then would he ever feel like him?). Drinking and substance abuse may not cause them to hit the streets but all the one's I saw on the streets in Santa Barbara were heavy drinkers. So what is the right way to go about this? We had an exchange student for a year from Norway and she said these people are taken care of by their government. They are given shelter, medications, rehab and I think some job training. If they still can't make it on their own they are still helped. She was so surprised we help families so much because she doesn't even know any homeless people or see them ever in her town of 50 thousand in the Artic Circle. They love their system of medical care. They even get complete dental care until they are 18. Why can't we support something like this with real medical care that actually helps people stay well!
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #170
182. I'm so sorry. I'm in SB also. Because of my work on a County commission I know abt "dual diagnosis"
For those who don't know (and I'm sure that eagertolearn does know about this) "dual diagnosis" homeless are the mentally ill who are also alcoholics or addicts. This is thought to be because they are trying to self-medicate.

Our current broken non-system is inhumane and stupid. Throughout the cities of California the de-facto mental health hospitals are the jails, because when mentally ill people break the law (such as by sleeping in the streets, or ranting at passersby), that's where they end up.

Universal health care that provides medications for those who need them would be a huge step forward.

In all fairness to our town though, at least with our weather the homeless have a chance to survive the winter, which is not likely in the Arctic Circle. ;-) But your point about communities caring for their own is well-taken -- I for one don't want to hear about mental hospitals of the past being "snake pits." This is now, and this situation is the pits.

Welcome to DU, eagertolearn. Thank you for courageously sharing your story with us.

Hekate
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #182
186. So, in your estimation, most homeless people are "mentally ill", and we should all be locked up?
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #186
210. Get off it. I never said that. I never implied that. It's not true. But abandoning the weakest...
...and most broken among the human race doesn't help your cause, does it? Just because there are fewer of them, doesn't mean they don't exist. And just because they exist, doesn't mean "most" homeless are mentally ill.

Christ on a trailer hitch, don't be insulting to people who are on your side.

Hekate
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #210
215. Even though it's been pointed out repeatedly that mentally ill people are a very small percentage
of homeless people, you keep repeating over and over the opposite view.

I keep saying how it hurts the rest of us, but some of you refuse to hear that.

"Christ on a trailer hitch, don't be insulting to people who are on your side."

:rofl:

And THAT'S not insulting?

"Get off it"

and THAT'S not insulting?

"don't be insulting to people who are on your side."

Well, I certainly don't intend to, but.... I can't actually remember you being on my side. Did you post something supportive of me at some point that I'm not remembering?

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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #210
217. "your cause?"
This isn't a "cause" in the modern sense - an "issue" to be sold and promoted.

You claim to be insulted - yet you are the one doing the insulting here.

The issue is homelessness, the issue is the "free market" wild west capitalism and individualism run amok that cause homelessness, not mental illness. It is insulting to insinuate the issue of mental illness into these conversations, and it is insulting to critique the salesmanship of those you imagine to be promoting their little pet cause. This is a society-wide catastrophe that is unfolding, not merely yet another thing for liberals to be "concerned" about or to put on their list of do-gooder causes.

This is not "Bobbolink's cause" and she is under no obligation to impress you or sell you on anything, and you ought to be insulted and up in arms about the social crisis, not about the lack of etiquette or gentrified manners of YOUR allies. We are looking out for you as much as you are looking out for us - as equals - and we are promoting YOUR cause; a cause that we all share.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #8
176. While it is sacrilege to post it here I would remind the denizens of DU
that it was our own Teddy Kennedy that ushered the entire Raygun agenda through the, Democratically controlled, Senate just so that he could hold on to the racist, homophobic assholes that make up a significant percentage of his constituents.




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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #176
187. How DARE you point out the foibles of some Dems!!!
I expect you to be properly chastised as a RW troll, who belongs on another website we won't name.

And, to find you tombstoned.

Or, just stoned.

:rofl:

Thank you for bringing a refreshing bit of honesty to the discussion... it is badly needed!

:applause:
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #176
204. it is even more uncomfortable than that
Yes, the Democrats are completely complicit and chanting Reagan Reagan Reagan is just a way to avoid looking at the truth.

But, WHY are the Democrats complicit? They are complicit because all of us are complicit, and have not demanded anything more of them. The Democratic party politicians did not leave the field of battle until we had.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #204
206. How DARE you suggest that we look at ourselves!!
Edited on Sat Apr-05-08 02:03 PM by bobbolink
You, you, YOU TROLL, YOU!!

:rofl:

Wadda jerk, you Debbie Downer!

:hi:
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
180. And it was a republi-CON congress.
A whole lot of people in Congress rode in on reagan's coattails. Ditto reagan "Democrats" Also known as "TURNCOATS."
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #180
213. they represent us
The Democratic party politicians represent us, as all politicians do in a representative democracy. Starting the 70's, left wing activists began selling out and buying into the "personal responsibility" and "ownership society" myths, and now liberalism is aristocratic and hierarchical, uses corporate models for organizational structure and corporate marketing and sales methodologies for promotion and outreach, and embraces free market and privatized solutions to social problems, and rewards and praises the exact same notions of "winners" and the exact same ideas about "success" that the right wing does.

The Democratic party politicians do a credible job of trying to represent the mish mash that the grass roots activists give them - the modern liberal version of Reaganism: "self-actualization" rather than individualism; privatized "organic choices" as a replacement for the public agricultural infrastructure; "socially responsible investing;" rewards to corporations for "doing the right thing;" and all sorts of privatized and individual solutions.

Then we are surprised by the symptoms of this approach - the loss of jobs, increasing poverty and homelessness, unlawful foreign adventures - and expect the representatives to somehow treat these symptoms without going to the root causes. We are asking the impossible of them.

Liberalism and the "progressive" movement has been based for the last 30 years on the illusion that social justice could be achieved painlessly and easily - without fighting for it. Those chickens have come home to roost now.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
59. "...emptied mental health hospitals into the streets."
And into public libraries.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #59
105. Hey! You're talking about my life! ^_^
she says, posting from the library...

It's really sad, isn't it?
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #105
130. I've been a librarian for over 15 years...
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 06:19 PM by KansDem
5 years in academic libraries and over 10 years at the public library.

The Public Library--
I've seen drug deals go down,
broken up sex acts in the men's room stalls,
weeded and thrown away books that had been urinated on,
been threatened,
had the finger flipped at me numerous times,
summoned housekeeping to clean what was suspected of being ejaculate,
saw numerous "sexually-explicit" images on the public computers (we can't say "porn"),
saw vomit in the drinking fountains,
broken up fights,
been subjected to rude behavior on a regular basis,
been subjected to uncivil language on a regular basis,
summoned housekeeping to clean up human feces on the carpet,
saw prostitutes lining up their next "Johns,"
summoned housekeeping to clean up urine on chairs,
dealt with drunks and druggies,
dealt with people who I suspected had emotional and mental problems.

I say enough...I've had enough

I'm looking to get out...

This wasn't the "public library" described to me during my MLS days...

Something needs to be done, but I hope I'm not around to do it...

on edit: Sound familiar?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #130
138. "Sound familiar?" Thankfully, I can say it's not something I've been subjected to.
Teachers and librarians are my two favorite people, and this really saddens me.

Actually, saddens is not nearly strong enough a word.

I wish you were working here at the library where I hang out!!

Yes, I'm here a lot because of no where else to go. BUT, I'm comfortable in libraries.

Thanks for all you've done! I really wish it had been better for you.

:yourock:
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #130
165. Yikes...
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 10:59 PM by bliss_eternal
:scared:

That seriously sounds terrifying....and dangerous. Who knew? I had no idea.

I admire your work as a librarian, I've always loved librarians. But I sincerely hope you secure another way to make a living--nothing is worth risking your safety.

:hug:
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
76. This was big where I lived back then
I was in Rockland County NY. When he emptied the institutions, the park up the road from where I lived became filled with homeless people overnight. A lot of the people really were unable to take care of themselves... and there were sooo many. Hundreds of them, it was an awful sight.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
103. please see response #100
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm get confused about the definition of "homeless"
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 12:55 AM by Rosemary2205
I got my ass busted open by a DUer because I thought his having to sell his house and move in with family was not "homeless". I didn't mean to be callous, I've been in that place where I had to double up with my sister's family and I was both incredibly grateful and overwhelmingly discouraged at the same time. Hard times are HARD. An extended stay in a friend's basement, or moving into your cousin's "guest room" can be scary and frustrating - but one DOES have a roof and a generally safe place to sleep. I struggle with comparing that to living on the street.

That said, IMHO the race to the bottom on wages to produce quick profits rather than long term growth has likely done infinately more to put people on the streets than government spending cuts. Mainly because when an individual or family is at risk, and the rest of their family is on the edge too, the stress can make living out of the car seem more attractive than living with cousin Jake and that nutty wife of his.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. a continuum, maybe?
Maybe in some ways we are all "homeless." Those who are fairly secure and well off and have a roof over their heads - does that mean they are not homeless?

If the bank owns your home, and you are trapped in a job to make the payments, you are homeless.

If where you live is subject to the whims of some corporate management, you are homeless.

If your house is merely an investment, you are homeless.

If your house is situated in a sterile and lifeless neighborhood with no community, you are homeless.

If the system that provides you with security dictates that many are left in pain and want, you are homeless.

If you struggle to pay your utilities, you are homeless.

If you are one medical emergency, or a couple of paychecks away from serious trouble, you are homeless.

If your children have no neighborhood suitable for play, and you are required to provide for every moment of their activities and learning, shuffling them from event to event, you are homeless.

We are spiritually, culturally, and socially homeless. We all live by the grace if the welthy and powerful few, and only so long as we comoly and are of service to those in power. Our "home" grows smaller and smaller and less and less secure.

Very, very few people in this country are free from all of those types of spiritual and cultural homelessness. Almost everyone in the country feels an emptiness and isolation and the omnipresent fear o falling off the edge, and many make up for the emptiness - their spiritual homelessness - with a complex and comprehensive set of "think positive" and self-improvement regimens and past times, and a set of nyhts and prejudices about "success" and "winners" and the way the world works. That is then projected as "helping" or charity onto others - "you will feel better about yourself if you get some exercise." For an educated and comfortable suburban person working in an office - or those striving for that - what else do they have to obsess over and fill their time with? But is has no universal application, and in fact carries with it the prejudices of privilege and status, the very prejudices that are the root cause of our political ineptitude and impotence and the resultant social problems of human suffering and deprivation.

For too many activists, "needy" and "homeless" means "not living the suburban upscale professional life," or not conforming, not fitting in. Jogging, for example, may or may not "help the homeless" but it certainly does socialize people to a certain set of expectations and standards. Jogging is part of a particular mindset, a particular obsession with self-improvement and self-actualization, and that leads us to think of all social problems in the terminology and standards of self-actualization and various models for "success." Many people do not want to actualize themselves, and the whole concept is only available or relevant to a relatively few privileged people. People who fit the mold of this happy "successful" suburban ideal are continually presented to us by the mass media as "standard" and "normal" and we are likely to forget that we are only seeing a lifestyle that is being lived by 10% or at most 20% of the population. Many cannot live that life, many do now want to live that life. Forcing people into that gentrified and shallow and materialistic approach to life as the "solution" to "their problems" can be more of a cruelty than a charity.

"A house is not a home."

"Man does not live by bread alone."
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
181. Great point!
Excellent point. There's no safety net. That's demode for the I-hate-paying-taxes crowd. Let 'em starve. Fuck 'em. IGMFU (I Got Mine, F-U). It's their own fault. They're just lazy. They're just moochers. Screw 'em. Let 'em eat cake. Or catchup! Remember when reagan's OMB director, david stockman, reconfigured ketchup as a vegetable so they could suck more money out of schools and school lunch programs? Vile bastard!

There are so many people hanging on by a thread. As you said - one or two paychecks or one serious illness/injury away from utter disaster. So many people hanging on by the thread that their biggest asset, their house, has turned into - a mere thread.

I'm gonna be 55 in a month and a half. I've NEVER seen it this bad, for this many people, in this many ways, in this country.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #181
218. yes
We can't do much about the right wingers, but we can clean up our own backyard and build solidarity. That will attract millions of blue collar workers who now vote Republican over to our side. We have a choice here - settling for being "right" about things and continuing to follow our party and liberal organization leadership like sheep, or break free from gentrified liberalism and find common cause with the American people, starting with the poor and downtrodden and persecuted. Liberalism and the Democratic party are failing because they are trying to serve two masters - called "being practical" or "being realistic" or "working within the system." There is so much frustration and failure in this modern approach, the crisis has reached such dire proportions, we have so many powerful alternatives from history to use as models, and it takes so little to step out of the trap we are in, that there really is nothing to use as an excuse anymore.

It is a lie that half of the population consists of fundies and knuckle draggers who are conservative and are opposed to the left. Half of the population IS opposed to modern liberalism, but modern liberalism is NOT the leftit is the right, it is conservatism with a thin patina of feel good pseudo-spiritual advocacy for certain cultural causes, all of which are fashioned to appeal to the sensibilities and prejudices of the better off and more upscale people.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
188. Jogging is part of a particular mindset, a particular obsession with self-improvement and self-
actualization"

Excellent point.

You always get me thinking in a different frame, and I appreciate that.

"Jogging, for example, may or may not "help the homeless" but it certainly does socialize people to a certain set of expectations and standards."

There you have it.

Right on target.

I knew there was something making me uncomfortable about this, and you hit it right on the nose.

Again.

:applause:
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
53. Homeless people are people whom do NOT have their own address!
And government spending cuts on housing subsidies and welfare assistance cuts
and mental health care at hospitals for the poor did put people in the streets!


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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. Well fraking done.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I'm not quite old enough to remember when there wasn't a 'homeless problem', but I do know I've talked to a lot of people who noticed the very thing you point out.

Very well done.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. I, too, remember when "beggars" were something other countries had, & we were proud we didn't
Reagan and the First Bush -- damn them and their pals.

KnR. Everyone should read your excellent post and commit it to memory.

Hekate

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Yep, I remember when people used to brag about it & say it demonstrated
the superiority of our way of life.

And then, suddenly, we had homelessness & it was because they were losers.

People accept things so easily.

BTW, when I was in Japan at the height of their "boom economy," when they were going to take over the world - I never saw a homeless person.

But now, I hear tell, there are many. Similar reasons.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Great observations
K & R
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. Perhaps you can straighten my thinking out about "jobs"
If one has a job, lets say they make the company X dollars per day. The company pays them, gross pay, X - P, where P is the company's take.

Therefore, our jobs system is a "trickle up" system, that is designed to pay the worker less than the worker makes for the company, which takes that cut of every worker, and that cut filters up through management, investors, and executives.

So, when concentration of capital is such a huge problem, how is any "job", that trickles money up to those who already have it, ever going to fix the problem of concentration of capital that is essentially systemic?
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. By increasing the amount the worker keeps, and reducing the
amount that 'trickles up'.

IOW, if anyone is taking home a salary of 2million+, they should be shot.

And I'm not kidding.

Viva la revolucion.
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
151. too good for them.
figure that the supermax and maximum security prisons with the murderers and rapists would be the best place for them.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #12
29. You have just explained Marx's primary point in Das Capital, more or less.
In a production based economy (industrial age) the Capitalist could not make money from the commodities he sold because he had to pay for all the commodities that made the commodity he was selling. In other words, capitalists would just be circulating materials with no profit. Profit comes through labor because labor is the one commodity that a capitalist can own that he doesn't have to purchase from another capitalist. The commodity of labor is also self-replicating.

So, yes, there is no labor situation, no 'good jobs', that will make the system equitable. There is only higher and lower levels of subjugation. Unfortunately we are at the point where even asking for better wages (through, say, striking) is considered almost unthinkable. What makes this so is that we identify more with our role as consumers than workers. (i.e.: 'gimme my dunkin donuts you lazy bastard! you think you got it bad? what makes you so special! we all got it bad')

The solution, of course, is behind the scope of anything that can be done by or would be advocated by party politics. :)
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
106. You ask a very important question, and it's too bad it's not getting response.
I think it's not very safe at DU to question capitalism. ^_^
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
137. I am sorry
I am sorry to inform you that any sort of advocacy of the traditional principles and ideals of the Democratic party, any political statements that are even remotely left wing, are not welcome or to be considered here. (sarcasm, obviously)

I actually had someone tell me today that the only alternative to getting on the bandwagon for a particular candidate, and seeing that candidate as the end-all and be-all of what was possible for the left "within the system," was for me to "write in Karl Marx."
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #137
189. Now THERE'S an idea!
:rofl:
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
15. K&R
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
16. I hope to see this at the top of the Greatest page.
I went to India in 1982.

I was shocked to see people there who had to live in tents along the public avenues in a relatively prosperous city like New Delhi.

But I returned a few years later to find that the "skid row bums", "winos", and "bag ladies" had been replaced with a whole new class of people known as the "homeless", who were the people that the Reagan society had decided were okay to dump onto the streets, out of assisted housing and mental health programs.

We were suddenly expected to see them as losers, along with the people economically challenged enough to be between housing situations.

It was once called "social Darwinism", meaning we should let the weak die off.

Later it was called "Reagan economics", and everyone was supposed to feel okay about it.

A lot of people did.

Other people are still trying to restore America from the damage that was done.

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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
18. K and R
On other threads, we are talking about the false hope represented by the modern liberal idea that "doing something is better than doing nothing" and the seductive trap that can become.

Your post illustrates that there is a truth about what is happening that gets buried and ignored as a direct result of the modern liberal idea of "helping" and "caring" and this shows us that the various do-good things that people advocate and lavishly and gushingly praise are not in fact "something" as opposed to "nothing" - they are much worse than nothing - and are not as benign or beneficial as they are represented to be. Praising Google for giving homeless people voice mail boxes, for example, serves functionally to help create the fog and smokescreen of confusion and misdirection that prevents us from seeing, and discussing, the actual reality - the actual causes of homelessness and poverty - and that sabotages and cripples any and all efforts at community organizing to create consensus and solidarity for the purpose of effective political action. In fact, the modern "helping" ethic disappears politics altogether, in exchange for a "personal values" individualistic approach that has more to do with self-actualization and personal emotional satisfaction for the helper than it does with solving the social problems that cause people to need help in the first place. That can only make any social problem worse, and never better.
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arundhatiroyfan Donating Member (174 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:59 AM
Response to Original message
20. Very important information!
Thank you.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
21. I'm going to cheer for cell phones and jogging and anything
that builds the network, thanks.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Networks - of what? n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Of people working for change. We used to call that "community".

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. How is giving people cellphones & jogging lessons
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 03:50 AM by Hannah Bell
now styled "working for change"?

The rationale behind it is that these tools will enable the homeless to better compete - as isolated individuals - for jobs in the capitalist marketplace.

It doesn't change the rules of that marketplace. It doesn't change the income distribution in that marketplace. It doesn't put new hands on the levers of power. It doesn't organize people to challenge laws or power-holders.

Median wage is currently about $15/hour. Half of workers make less. If wages had tracked productivity gains the last 35 years, as they did 1940-1980, median wage would be over $25/hour. That missing gain has gone to the top, & is part of the power wielded against working people, in the form of inflation in housing costs, laws which favor wealth & impose hidden fees on ordinary folk, & other sundry effects.

I don't see the networking, sorry.
I see more dog-eat-dog.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #31
49. Your points are *very* well taken...
...there are indeed structural issues that have happened within our lifetimes (well, some of our lifetimes :-) ), and the "feel-good stories" can work against change in some of the ways that you point out.

However. We are where we are now, and many of the problems faced by people in these situations are urgent. So rather than discouraging those who are providing short-term relief in whatever form, one might for example say, "That's great, but we also need people working on the larger problem which is: ...". In other words: I'm sure you are also old enough to remember this popular formulation: "It's not either/or, it's both/and." We don't have to do one or the other thing, we can do both: we must do what we can to alleviate current and short-term problems, while working on future and long-term solutions.

It gets back to a fundamental issue that has often struck me as strange, namely, the tendency of people to claim that we should not treat symptoms, but rather must find the fundamental causes and treat those. This irritates me to no end because it sounds perfectly plausible, yet it is far, far from the truth about how we can and should deal with many things. Basically it is a fundamentally flawed premise, because there are many situations where you can and must deal with symptoms first: if your child has a 105 degree fever, do you hold off on doing anything because you don't know the cause of the fever? Of course not, that's insane! The fever can kill the child! What you do while investigating the cause, is you LOWER THE FEVER and SAVE THE CHILD'S LIFE so they can actually live to benefit from it when you get to the root cause and fix it.

Anyway, again I'd like to reiterate: when we are looking at ways to help in whatever arena, it is not necessarily either/or, it can also be both/and.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. Exactly. n/t
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #49
65. I believe that comes from society's unwillingness to deal AT ALL with
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 01:36 PM by SimpleTrend
the fundamental underlying problems, and to only and continually make "band aid" or symptomatic fixes that curiously never seem to work, and over longer time periods seem to result in more of the same problems that the band aid was loudly proclaimed to be a "fix" for.

To use your metaphor (this tends to show the fallacy of this particular metaphor, in reality treating the symptom of a fever does work), treating only the symptom of this particular child's fever seems to result in an even higher fever and even more extreme concentrations of capital for fewer, and this implies the exhaustion of capital for the many, and one manifestation of this capital exhaustion is homelessness.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. Treating the symptom often DOES work...
...but treating ONLY the symptom is usually a bad idea.

So I don't see that we disagree -- I never suggested treating only the symptom -- it just galls me when people say "Well you're just treating the symptom" as if that is a bad thing. Sometimes it's the only thing you CAN do, and it can be life-saving.

Both/And.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. No, we don't disagree.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 03:06 PM by SimpleTrend
I was just answering an implied question of yours, a question that may have been more rhetorical device than much else. You probably already knew this, but perhaps some others reading it didn't.

One fundamental that we've got to figure out is how to get our representatives and executive branch, indeed the entire government, off the corporate financial teat. Campaign finance been under discussion for at least 30-40 years (of my news-reading experience), with various 'band-aid' fixes enacted, but the problem seems to keep getting bigger, just like the 'fever that gets worse under symptomatic treatment'. The Lobbyist revolving door is another related issue. We still have the best government that Money can buy.

The Federal Reserve that puts everyone in debt so they can make money out of thin air so we have to pay it back with interest, and which subjects us to continual inflation, is another fundamental issue that needs more than just a band-aid.

Sometimes I think that the problems today are so very bad, the main reason Obama and Hillary are putting on such an emotional see-saw show is to keep us distracted from the really big problems we're facing, while the 'thinkers and power-brokers' are trying madly to figure out the next con-game to shove down our throats so they can continue to pick our pockets.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #75
116. Well, then, think for a moment how conservatives feel, when we continually call them to task.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 05:14 PM by bobbolink
It "galls" them, too.

NONE of us like to have our cherished beliefs challenged.

But, such is life.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #116
141. Hmmm, you seem to be missing my point a bit...
...in that I do not advocate only treating symptoms -- I tried to be pretty clear about that. It is indeed a recipe for disaster to ONLY treat the symptoms. However, when needs are urgent, it is also a recipe for disaster to NOT treat the symptoms. Sometimes that is the only thing you can treat in the short time frame, while working on the causes for the longer time frame.

Look. I didn't even DISAGREE with the points of the original poster -- and especially the point that the media, by focusing on the "feel-good", "do-gooder" stories while ignoring the root causes based on policy, have done us all a great disservice and this has contributed materially to our inability / unwillingness to address root causes. All true. But it does not follow that the do-gooders should not continue to do good, nor that others should dismiss that work as "only" treating the symptoms. As I have repeatedly tried to point out, there are many times when treating the symptoms is life-saving. And we need to do both.

One more thing. Please in the future refrain from the pointless little jabs. Not terribly productive, what? We have enough pissing contests on the board right now.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #141
153. no one is saying that, are they?
Who is saying that "the do-gooders should not continue to do good" and who is "dismiss(ing) that work as 'only' treating the symptoms?"

What people are saying is simply that treating the sypmtoms should not be used as an excuse for ignoring the causes, and that this is often the case.

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #153
190. Exactly. How often must we keep repeating this?
It's so similar to "If you're so upset with the Dems, then you'll vote for the Repub, right?"

:crazy:

sigh....
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #141
191. And you seem to be missing mine.
That was no jab.

It was, in fact, an effort at a bit of peacemaking, but you're free to make of it what you will.

I was pointing out that MANY here are upset merely because they are being challenged on their cherished beliefs, as we do with the conservatives.

However, we laugh at them when they reject our challenges, but kick and cry when our own are challenged.

Sometimes it helps to recognize ourselves in the "other".

The whole point of protest, as Martin Luther King kept trying to point out, is to CONVERT the other side, not to beat them into submission. We continually want to beat down the conservatives, when the truth is that we share many traits with them.

I lose patience with them, also, but I see right in this thread the commonalities, and it's time to recognize those commonalities, if we ever want to actually convert them, rather than to bury them and declare victory.

Take from that what you will.

Peace.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #49
108. "That's great, but we also need people working on the larger problem which is: ...".
That's what we've been doing for over 20 years now.

How's it working?
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #108
142. Straw man...
If I were suggesting that lawmakers should make policies that treat the symptoms of the problem but do not address the systemic causes, then your question would have merit.

Since I am making no such suggestion it does not.

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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #49
140. shouldn't be, but it is
In theory, treating the symptoms should not preclude treating the causes, but unfortunately in the real world in practical and functional effect, that is far too often the case.

How is talking about causes preventing the treatment of symptoms? I can remember back to a time when there was not such ferocious resistance to discussing causes and political solutions, and there was far more treatment of symptoms going on then, not less. That was both/and - not in some theoretical sense, but in practical and functional reality. Just because we were unionizing and fighting management did not mean that people did not help out the worker who was down and out. Taking strong and effective political action and building solidarity and analyzing things in a political context led to more personal charitable work, not less, and the work was seen as being done between equals, without this artificial and aristocratic dichotomy between a "helper" class and "helped" class, with those in the helper class presumed to be good and above any sort of criticism, and those in the helped class presumed to be defective. All were helpers, and all were helped, and no one put on airs when they found themselves in the role of helper, and no one judged those who needed help.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #140
145. Good grief!
You ask, "How is talking about causes preventing the treatment of symptoms?"

Well, by gosh, it isn't.

Now if you would like to disagree with any of the points I actually made, feel free.

You also cite "ferocious resistance to discussing causes and political solutions". I am NOT resistant to discussing causes, nor to taking actions that address causes. Believe me, I understand that it is crucial to do so. HOWEVER, it really bugs me that so many people -- often of the conservative stripe, by the way -- are quick to dismiss useful, helpful actions on the basis that "You are only treating the symptoms". And of course, when they make that argument, what they are really saying is "Why should we give those yahoos anything anyway?" But the "treating the symptoms but not the causes" blurb gives them cover for their mean-spiritedness.

Take the saying, "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, feed him for life". Well, yes, sure. Perfectly sensible and plausible. Except for a few things that get conveniently left out: what if all the fish in the lake have died? What if it will take a month to train him to fish -- should you give him a few fish in the meantime, or just let him die of starvation?

I am merely making the point that this bit of accepted wisdom, that it is better to treat causes than symptoms, is not entirely correct and can lead to wrong thinking if our goal is to truly help those who need it.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. can't speak for them
I can't speak for "so many people -- often of the conservative stripe, by the way -- (who) are quick to dismiss useful, helpful actions."

I don't recognize anyone here as fitting this description of your adversaries.

I am not sure what points you are making, nor that I necessarily have any disagreement with any of them.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #145
193. "HOWEVER, it really bugs me that so many people -- often of the conservative stripe, by the way "
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I'm routinely excoriated on this very forum for being "far left", "looney left", and all the other putdowns of the conservative Dems.

Now, today, I find out I have a conservative stripe.

Who knew?

~~preening her conservative stripe~~
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #140
192. When was that time, again? I'm having a hard time remembering....
How far we've fallen...

:cry:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
50. Then you are missing an opportunity of bringing people into
agreement with you and so, into the process.

Unless you are planning on doing it all yourself, that is a mistake. Just as it is a mistake to deride the contributions of others because you believe you have a greater vision. Insight isn't very useful if you cannot share it or see the value in what others bring to the project.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #50
194. We share it all the time. Most choose to reject. So be it.
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #50
203. not really
This argument is commonly used to coerce people and shut down the discussion or prevent it from going certain uncomfortable directions - "don't alienate your allies."

We do run the risk of alienating some - a very small number of people relatively speaking - but that is the price we need to pay. For every one we lose, we stand to pick up a thousand allies, because those we would be alienating are the same ones who are standing squarely across the door and keeping the common people out.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #203
207. Much better than my reply... strike mine.
"those we would be alienating are the same ones who are standing squarely across the door and keeping the common people out."

Exactly!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. The fact is, there are four things in US history that have
kept people from living in the streets.

1. Free land to the west. It's gone now.
2. Workhouses, poor farms, & county relief, mostly post-civil war to the 40's.
3. Housing subsidies, 50s-through 80s.
4. Homeless shelters, 80s to present - the modern version of the poor farm - but usually with only a 30-90 day tenure.

Without these fail-safes, no amount of bootstrap pulling & networking will reduce homelessness unless there's systemic change.

Because the simple fact is, our economic system, & every system like it, is designed to produce unemployment & poverty in proportion to the wealth it creates at the top. The more great wealth, the more great poverty. The more the top owns, the less the bottom do.

Of the conventional alternatives, I much prefer housing subsidy.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:47 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. 100% agreed.
Thanks for posting all this information. Great OP.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
54. No one is arguing for bootstrap pulling but for inclusion.
Subsidies are fine but there has to be housing in the first place to be subsidized. That's another whole fight.

Here in San Francisco, those of us who work in and with poverty knew as soon as Newsom ran on ending homelessness, from the comfort of his real estate developer funded campaign, that things were going to get much worse for a while for people who need affordable housing. And we were right. He's been a disaster.



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rucognizant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
155. In Philly..........
The "City if Brotherly Love" during the 60'a & 70's, you could claim an abandoned house & homestead it. Sorry I don't have the details. Foreclosed on by the city?, abandoned by the slumlords being cheaper than making repairs ( most prevalant my guess....) There were specific benchmarks to be met to bring it up to code, and after a given time if those were met, you owned the place. We might want to recycle that idea in the near future.
But look at the difference in attitude & morals, now............abandoned foreclosed homes are being stripped of their valuable materials & destroy ed for future habitation.

Immediately the homeless problem exhisted after 1/20/81!
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
22. they not only cut the budgets--they tore the rooming houses and cheap hotels down
where the poor used to live--
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joneschick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
70. I'm seeing a growing number of McMansions standing empty
many of those rooming houses we remember were once grand Victorians. It's happened before and will happen again. I see some home owner's associations in for some changes in the coming years. Here the city owns numerous homes that stand empty (and uncared for) Why, why, why can't we house some families in need?

no nice smiley from me today, this is in a cranky thread.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #70
73. Hey that's a great idea!--
in these times almost a guarantee that it won't be done.

Actually on a small scale they are turning large homes into halfway houses, and the neighbors only firebomb every other one, I hear. Nice people, these Americans.

Beam me up, Scotty!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #70
109. Here's a thought... some muddleclass activists join with some homeless activists and take over those
empty McMansions.

A risk?

Yup.

But so is life on the street, every day another risk.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
195. Could you please tell me, again, why I and so many other disabled people should
live the rest of our lives in "rooming houses and cheap hotels" rather than an actual home... comfortable apartment where I can take a shower in my own bathroom, rather than a dirty, shitty bathroom down the hall, can sleep in my own bed, rather than being accosted by loud (and quite disconcerting noises!) all night long, and cook my own meals, rather than having to frequent cheap cafes??

I'd really like to know....
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
24. Agree with you 100%! Cell phones & jogging are just feel good band aids on the problem. nt
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Avalon Sparks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. Awesome Post!
Thanks, great read.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:52 AM
Response to Original message
32. Remember , we once had Franklin Delano Roosevelt a President who understood the meaning of charity
In 1932 as governor of New York he wrote in a Thanksgiving message:

"Remember in pity such as are this day destitute, homeless or forgotten of their fellow men."

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE1D9...

In 1936 at the Democratic National Convention for his renomination he said:

"The brave and clear platform adopted by this Convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that Government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster.

But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight for them.

For more than three years we have fought for them. This Convention, in every word and deed, has pledged that that fight will go on.

The defeats and victories of these years have given to us as a people a new understanding of our Government and of ourselves. Never since the early days of the New England town meeting have the affairs of Government been so widely discussed and so clearly appreciated. It has been brought home to us that the only effective guide for the safety of this most worldly of worlds, the greatest guide of all, is moral principle.

We do not see faith, hope and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a Nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.

Faith in the soundness of democracy in the midst of dictatorships.

Hoperenewed because we know so well the progress we have made.

Charity in the true spirit of that grand old word. For charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves.

We seek not merely to make Government a mechanical implement, but to give it the vibrant personal character that is the very embodiment of human charity.

We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world. We cannot afford to accumulate a deficit in the books of human fortitude.

In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15314


That was the democratic party platform, basically, 72 years ago. Where did we go wrong? Now all we talk about is Obama versus Hillary and a whole bunch of crap that doesn't really matter. Is this really my party? WTF?

Having a roof over your head and a job matters more than whether you're black, white or a woman. Seriously, we once used to be a much more compassionate country.

FDR embodied the "mainstream" when W's (and Gore's) grand-daddy's were the ones living in the "palace of privilege" opposing FDR.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. I totally agree. A bunch of manufactured controversy -
"Is Hillary - racist?" "Is Obama - supporting terrorist preachers?" "Does Edwards - have a big house?" "Does Kucinich - believe in ET's?"

Not a good goddamn of it has anything to do with anything that matters, & everybody knows it, but the show goes on regardless.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. So say we all!
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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
214. more from that speech
This should be read by everyone here.

Necessitous Men are not Free Men

Philadelphia is a good city in which to write American history. This is fitting ground on which to reaffirm the faith of our fathers; to pledge ourselves to restore to the people a wider freedom; to give to 1936 as the founders gave to 1776an American way of life.

That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracyfrom the eighteenth century royalists who held special privileges from the crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that they governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they restricted the worship of God; that they put the average man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the mercenaries of dynastic power; that they regimented the people.

And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own Government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

Since that struggle, however, man's inventive genius released new forces in our land which reordered the lives of our people. The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distributionall of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those who sought to remain free.

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capitalall undreamed of by the fathersthe whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.

It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their laborthese had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old ageother people's moneythese were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities.

Throughout the Nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.

An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a livinga living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.

For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's laborother people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

The brave and clear platform adopted by this Convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that Government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster.

But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight for them.



excerpts from a speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
June 27th, 1936
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=15314
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Perry Logan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
35. More fruits of the Republican Revolution.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #35
110. Democrats have been complicit. Please stop placing all the blame on the easy target.
Housing was cut in Dem administrations, and when Dems had power in congress.

Let's be honest and put the onus where it belongs.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
36. There is a screech of "class warfare" whenever the truth is told..
It is one of the earliest and most effective examples of accusing your adversary of being guilty of what YOUR doing.. It is one of the most effective dirty tricks out there...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #36
112. On target! "Liberals" don't like being corrected anymore than conservatives do.
Both squeal like stuck pigs when their sacred oxen are gored.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
37. Well you may not remember it, and it's always fun to blame things on Reagan
But the truth of the matter is that there have been homeless people around for a long while. Granted, they were much more invisible, and yes, Reagan exacerbated the problem, but they were around.
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digidigido Donating Member (553 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #37
68. Blame sometimes falls where it''s deserved
Ronald Reagan was a great showman and a horrible President for the working class.
The man set back the labor movement , and unions more then any POTUS since
1932.
The gentleman with Alzheimers (whose v.p. was George H.W. Bush, funny thing} set
back the poor and the unfortunate and did more to redistribute wealth upwards
then anyone since G.W. Bush. Do we remember the trickle down theory?
The only problem with that is it ignored a dynamic of economics that contradicts
it entirely, something called the marginal propensity to consume.
SCHMUCKS

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Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #68
205. or it keeps falling on a scapegoat
Did the political representatives of the wealthy and powerful crush the aspirations of the people? Of course they did. And this comes as a shock to whom? And smugly "knowing" this accomplishes what?

The Reagans of the world, and the interests they represent, have always been with us. What changed was not that Reagan was elected, what changed was that the opposition collapsed and caved in and surrendered and was co-opted, starting with the grass roots and now reflected in the Democratic party and liberal activist organizations.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

The brave and clear platform adopted by this Convention, to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that Government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are protection of the family and the home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and aid to those overtaken by disaster.

But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight for them.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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Mr Rabble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
38. This is really a great post.
We have never gotten out of the Volker recession- rather it has intensified under a new name: neo-liberal structural adjustment programs.

This is very much a class war being waged, and won- against us.

At some point I think that it will end, and there will be hell to pay for those who did this. One can hope...
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
39. And the burden falls on veterans, too.
25% of the homeless population are veterans, yet this group represents only 11% of the adult population.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
40. In 1971 I was the young wife of a professor of Spanish. We were
the chaperones for our school's study-abroad group to Spain that summer, during the rule of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. While we were there, I was startled when beggars approached us with their hands out, usually sad, dirty women with solemn, dirty little babies or toddlers in their arms. I was shocked, because I had enver seen such a thing in all my 21 years.

But since that time, Spain has gotten much better for its citizen, becase they have moved leftward in their political system---and the US, moving ever rightward, has degenerated into something like a Third World country. Now homeless people and beggars are so common here that it's hard for me to rememebr when they weren't.

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mqbush Donating Member (142 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
41. To the at least 2.3 million people who are homeless, add the
2.3 million people who are in prison, and it really gets eerie. I like Gore Vidal's term "garrison state." But of course there's loads of money for over 700 overseas military bases. Spend that money, our money, here, and we could transform the country. But noooo, ya gotta keep the rest of the world in line....
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Flying Dream Blues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
42. Thanks for this excellent analysis. I hope we will be able to make change happen. nt
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noel711 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
43. Amen!
Sadly, the dominant MSM culture continues the
blather that Reagan was a saint,
and that conspicuous consumption,
and 'trickle down' and free-market
regulation free economies benefit our nation.

We are still mired in hatred, prejudice,
and self interest.

And when small groups attempt to step up
and help.. like churches and scout groups
that sponsor feeding programs, etc,
for the homeless, cities pass laws to
keep them out....
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
45. K & R: Thank you.
I am here ready and able to support all efforts to address the housing, job, and wage issues at the source.

Where's the best place to start?

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
209. Thank you! a good starting place would be the National Housing Trust Fund,
Edited on Sat Apr-05-08 02:22 PM by bobbolink
proposed by Barney Frank.

It passed the House, I believe, and is now languishing in the Senate.

Maybe if you're willing, you can look for an update on it, and see where it stands?

Otherwise, it's really time to educate people about the REAL housing crisis.. the one that's been going on for decades!!

The more you can collect facts, and speak with others, the more we have a chance of turning things around.

Thanks again for your willingness!

:hi:

edited to say: here's a good example of what we're facing, and please don't think that this kind of ignorance is all RWers.... many "Dems" are deluded in this way, also. By writing letters to the editor on these things, attending meetings like this one, talking with those around you and maybe organizing a town hall meeting, you can help immensely to change minds:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Thanks again!
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
46. Edit: Dupe.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 09:17 AM by LWolf
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il_lilac Donating Member (756 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
47. awesome post
thank you
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
48. What an incredible post. K & R. n/t
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
51. What homeless problem?
Here in Oklahoma City, we had a whole bunch of homeless people in the streets a few years ago. That was before "urban renewal" when they tore down all the old hotels and apartments and replaced them with pristine new office buildings. Oh, and spiffing up Bricktown with upscale restaurants and ballparks where suburbanites can spend their hard-earned cash on weekends.

So now there aren't any homeless people here anymore. See? Problem solved. :banghead:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #51
58. That's what Newsom is trying to do here and we've had to fight him
tooth and nail.
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kisserofsinners Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
52. This started before he was president...
While he was governor he shut down dozens of state run mental health clinics. After closing down the, still quite ill, patients were bussed and vaned to the streets of San Francisco (Haight/Ashbury district). They were then unceremoniously dumped onto the streets.
I'm not sure if this was an attempt at killing the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, a less pointed attempt at punishing the liberal city, or part of a larger dumping plan, but the legend lives on here. I see these poor, demented souls everyday...
:wtf: :wtf:
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. And then the asshole went national to destroy all Gov. and social programs!
And even Pres. Clinton had to be demonstrated against to get him to increase HUD funding for the homeless. :grr:
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
60. Just to Highlight Something You Posted
"In 1987, Congress passed the Stewart B. McKinney Act, providing $880 million in homeless assistance funding (2004 constant dollars).

In short, Reagan deliberately created "homelessness" by cutting 65 billion of housing money & replacing it with $880 million in shelter funding."

And population has grown since then, so the homelessness has been exacerbated by little funding. I guess our government expects us citizens to just get used to people living in the streets. I suppose resturantes and other small businesses that line the streets won't mind either.
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
61. But...but...but....Ronnie Raygun elimated all those Welfare Queens
<snip>

The term "welfare queen" is most often associated with Ronald Reagan who brought the idea to a national audience. During his 1976 presidential campaign, he would often tell the story of a woman from Chicago's South Side who was arrested for welfare fraud:

"She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names."<4>

Despite claims that the woman never existed,<5><6> the story seems to have been drawn from newspaper reports at the time. In 1976, the New York Times reported that a woman from Chicago was charged with using 4 aliases and of cheating the government out of $8,000. She again appeared as the investigation of her case by the Illinois Attorney General continued.<7> She was ultimately found guilty of "welfare fraud and perjury" in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.<8>

Reagans use of the term was related to a growing unease among New Right politicians about the perceived expansion of the welfare apparatus. Touching on the cornerstones of American political philosophy (i.e., individualism and egalitarianism), the New Right sought to form a top-down coalition with big business and white working-class voters to undo the popular Great Society programs of the 1960s.<1>

In response to Reagan's use of the term, Susan Douglas, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, writes:

"He specialized in the exaggerated, outrageous tale that was almost always unsubstantiated, usually false, yet so sensational that it merited repeated recounting And because his examples of welfare queens drew on existing stereotypes of welfare cheats and resonated with news stories about welfare fraud, they did indeed gain real traction."<3>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_queen



<also see: snip>

Myth: There are Welfare Queens driving Welfare Cadillacs.

Fact: Reagan made up this story.

Summary

Reagan's story of a Welfare Queen driving a Welfare Cadillac was apocryphal. Even so, there is no evidence that welfare cheating is a significant problem; besides, individual welfare payments are too small for recipients to live well.

<more> http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-welfarequeen.htm

So, Ronnie Raygun was a liar! :yoiks:
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #61
67. Oh, I'm sure that there were "welfare queens" driving cadillacs.
With the oil embargo in the 70s and the tripling of gas prices, everybody was selling their guzzlers and buying Hondas and Datsuns, which glutted the used car market with Caddies and Mercurys and all those other 10 year old 6mpg monsters. Most of which wound up in the hands of the poor, because they could pick them up for a couple hundred bucks.

Driving brand new caddies? No way.

Driving 10-15 yr old oil belching, gas guzzling monsters? Way.

I had a 12 yr old Town & Country (?) station wagon, that got 8mpg. Paid $150.00 for it.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #67
196. BINGO! And the same dynamic is building now, with the war wagons...
:(

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Baby Snooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
62. Reagan's Vision
He was a little myopic to say the least. The problem really was he was too idealistic which is interesting because Jimmy Carter was too idealistic as well and both administrations laid the path for where we are. Theirs were the administrations in which the "neo-cons" began laying the foundation for their agenda. Which was just as much focused on domestic policy as it was foreign policy. We just had our attention diverted to the foreign policy. By design.

Without doubt, Reagan was a total disaster as governor of California but then the same may be true about all governors. Theirs is usually the most combative of all elected offices in this country. And yet for some reason the voters seem to trust governors more than anyone else.

Casting blame on presidents for our problems is easy but in reality, as pointed out, presidents do not act alone. And Reagan certainly didn't. He had a Democratic Congress that supported many of his programs. As does Bush. Reality is reality.

Time to just say it didn't work. And find the solution. Blaming the past does not provide the solution for the future.

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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
63. Detroit was crippled by a one-two punch of Reaganism and Big-3 Greed
It was the Republicans way of punishing us.

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gademocrat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
64. K and R
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
66. unfortunately, I find a major problem with this
"In 1978, HUDs budget was over $83 billion.

In 1983, HUDs budget was only $18 billion."

That quote does not seem to be true, instead I found that HUD's budget was 2.6 billion in 1970, 7.48 billion in 1975, and 12.6 billion in 1980 and then 20.2 billion in 1990 and 30.8 billion in 2000. So the $83 billion was not the budget of HUD in 1978 unless somebody is confusing two numbers. The 1978 budget in 2006 dollars compared to the 1983 budget in 1983 dollars or something.

There probably have been cuts, but they do not seem to have been as drastic as suggested here, unless transfer to states was cut in some other part of the budget. My source is here:
http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab1951-1994.htm
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #66
71. 'Between 1980 and 1989, HUD's budget authority was cut from $74 billion to $19 billion'
Urban Suffering Grew Under Reagan

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0610-01.htm

by Peter Dreier


As some Americans mourn the death of Ronald Reagan as if they'd lost a friend, let us recall that the two-term president was no friend to America's cities.

Politically, Reagan owed little to urban voters, big-city mayors, black or Hispanic leaders, or labor unions - the major advocates for metropolitan concerns. His indifference to their problems was legendary. Early in his presidency, at a White House reception, he went up to the only black member of his cabinet, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce, and said, "How are you, Mr. Mayor? I'm glad to meet you. How are things in your city?"

Reagan not only failed to recognize his own HUD secretary; he also failed to deal with the growing corruption scandal at the agency. Indeed, during the Reagan years, HUD became a feeding trough for Republican campaign contributors. Fortunately for Reagan, the media didn't uncover the "HUD Scandal" until he left office. It resulted in the indictment and conviction of top Reagan administration officials for illegally targeting housing subsidies to politically connected developers.

Reagan also presided over the dramatic deregulation of the nation's savings-and-loan industry, which allowed S&L's to end their reliance on home mortgages and engage in an orgy of commercial real estate speculation. This ultimately led to a federal taxpayer bailout that cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Reagan's fans give him credit for restoring the nation's prosperity. But the income gap between the rich and everyone else in America widened. Wages for the average worker declined. The homeownership rate fell. Despite boom times for the rich, the poverty rate in cities grew.

Reagan is often lauded as "the great communicator," but he used his rhetorical skills to stigmatize poor people, which laid the groundwork for slashing the social safety net - despite the fact that Reagan's own family had been rescued by New Deal anti-poverty programs during the Depression.

During his stump speeches, Reagan often told the story of a so-called welfare queen in Chicago who drove a Cadillac and had ripped off $150,000 from the government using 80 aliases, 30 addresses, a dozen Social Security cards and four fictional dead husbands. Reagan dutifully promised to roll back welfare. Journalists searched for this welfare cheat and discovered that she didn't exist. Nevertheless, he kept using the anecdote.

Overall Reagan cut federal assistance to local governments by 60 percent. In 1980, federal dollars accounted for 22 percent of big-city budgets, but when he left office, it was down to 6 percent.

Reagan's most dramatic cut was for low-income housing subsidies.
Soon after taking office, he appointed a housing task force dominated by developers, landlords and bankers. Its 1982 report called for "free and deregulated" markets as an alternative to government assistance. Reagan followed their advice. Between 1980 and 1989, HUD's budget authority was cut from $74 billion to $19 billion in constant dollars. The number of new subsidized housing starts fell from 175,000 to 20,000 a year.

One of Reagan's most enduring legacies is the steep increase in homeless people. By the late 1980s, the number of homeless had swollen to 600,000 on any given night and 1.2 million over the course of a year.


Defending himself against charges of callousness toward the poor, Reagan gave a classic blaming-the-victim statement. In 1984 on "Good Morning America" he said that people sleeping on the streets "are homeless, you might say, by choice."

President George W. Bush, who often claims Reagan's mantle, last month proposed cutting one-third of the Section 8 housing vouchers - a lifeline against homelessness for 2 million poor families. In this and many other ways, the Reagan revolution toward the cities continues.

We've already named a major airport and schools and streets after Ronald Reagan. But perhaps a more fitting tribute to his legacy would be for each American city to name a park bench - where at least one homeless person sleeps every night - in honor of our 40th president.

Peter Dreier is director of the urban and environmental policy program at Occidental College and co-author of "Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century."

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #71
82. I cannot verify that either
HUD's budget was $12.7 billion in 1980 and $20.4 billion in 1989 according to the 1990 SAUS. $12.7 billion in 1989 dollars is $19.11 billion and in 2004 dollars is $29.11 billion.

So it's not about the budget of HUD, unless he is talking about how federal dollars are leveraged perhaps (as down payments on housing projects?)
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. Please go to the Fed Link.
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/publications/usbudget/page... /

There are two pieces, budget authority & outlays.

Budget authority was cut dramatically.

Outlays flatlined (inflation-adjusted).

Yes, some of budget authority is borrowing authority (leverage), which means ability to initiate & continue projects.

In 1985 there's a spike that looks like liquidation of assets, then more slide.

To understand the full picture, looks like one has to sit down with 8 years of budgets & compare what's funded & what's not, & adjust for inflation to compare, but just reviewing them casually, you can see the hits to subsidized housing, standing contracts, new building/renovation, etc.

And the difference in budget authority is as originally stated.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #82
87. The reporter would have verified the facts but here.... more verification...same numbers.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 03:43 PM by Breeze54
HUD's budget has dropped 65% since 1978, from over $83 billion to $29 ...
The Emergency Shelter phenomenon was born the same year that HUD funding was at ...
www.nhchc.org/Network/NetworkNews/Jan07NetNews.pdf

-----------

Gerald R. Ford Library
Other topics covered in this collection include HUD budget planning for 1975-1978,
Carla A. Hills appointment as Secretary, national growth and development ...
www.ford.utexas.edu/library/GUIDES/Finding%20Aids/Meeke...

------------

Latest News - Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) Website
HUD's budget has dropped 65% since 1978, from over $83 billion to $29 billion in 2006.
The Emergency Shelter phenomenon was born the same year that HUD ...
www.shal.cc/latest_news.html

--------------------

This is a working document. The age of the data prevents any ...

HUD, Budget Office, annual.0 Statistical Yearbook 1966 to 1979. ... HUD, 1978.


"Analysis of the Data Quality of the Section 8 Tenant Characteristics Data ...
www.huduser.org/DATASETS/assthsg/pic77doc.txt

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #87
95. I have read the Daily Howler too much to trust journalists
they often repeat what they read whether it comes from the American Enterprise Institute, Cato, or the Heritage Foundation.

Right now, I am not seeing how "budget authority" which is "an amount the government is authorized to spend" (meaning they can spend that in theory). Since it is not the same as the amount the government actually does spend, which are the numbers I looked up. Theoretical spending does not provide housing, so cutting it does not explain homelessness. It does make for a nice gee-whiz story though.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?
:shrug:

BTW? Your Welcome for all the links.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #95
98. Yep, I agree. Can't trust journalists to fact-check.
It's clear that budget authority declined by aboutthe percent stated.

But the question is if this had real-world impact.

I don't think it was imaginary money. I don't believe the original appropriations were made for no reason, & I'll keep looking into it.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #95
102. since you have no way to verify it
I'm gonna say 32. Yeah, 32.

Just pay no attention to what I said earlier

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #66
77. Please go to this link: HUD 1983, from the Fed.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 02:57 PM by Hannah Bell
http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/publications/usbudget/page...

HUD summary is the last page.

1981 budget authority (BA): 33 billion (1981/83 dollars)
In 2000 dollars: 68,751 billion

1983 budget authority: 684 million
2000 dollars: 1.4 billion

Difference in 2000 dollars: 68.7 billion

http://www.westegg.com/inflation /

If you go through the budget, you can see where the cuts are made.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #77
93. except that "budget authority" does NOT represent an actual amount spent
there was not a huge cut in actual outlays which is what I looked at, the actual amount of money spent by HUD. There was not a corresponding huge cut in that.

http://www.nlihc.org/doc/cp04.pdf

see the table on page 6
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Morereason Donating Member (496 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #93
179. Come on now... Part of the strategy was also not to spend what had been authorized
The message of the OP still stands. You may not mean it this way, but your posts make it sound like you are more interested in winning a mathmatical point than being intellectually honest here.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #179
212. part of "whose" strategy
because the same thing was happening in the Carter administration, authorizing 80 billion and spending 15 billion. Unless I get more information, it seems like housing advocates are playing the mathematical game. They are claiming a huge cut when there actually was not a huge cut. I have emailed them for an explanation, but right now I do not see that the cut to "budget authority" having a huge real world impact. It's not the same as a huge cut in the amount actually being spent, and that's the way it is being presented.
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digidigido Donating Member (553 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #66
78. Try this Link with your major problem
http://www.heartlandalliance.org/maip/documents/NotEven...

It shows the amount of money spent on Federal Govt. subsidized housing and
it is consistent with the OP
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #78
90. thank you, now I totally feel vindicated
going back to the source within the source

http://www.nlihc.org/doc/cp04.pdf

The table on page 6 shows that the "Budget Authority" was $83 billion. However, that is a mostly meaningless number because "actual outlays" were only $10 billion. So they had the authority to spend $70 billion that they were not spending. Complaining about a huge cut in an imaginary number does not seem like an honest complaint, nor something that would have a real world impact, but I will keep reading since there may be other things there that I do not understand. It is kinda disgusting to see how much money the government spends on housing subsidies for the wealthier, but probably the wealthier are much more numerous and when I suggested abolishing schedule A, where those subsidies are found, the response from DU was overwhelmingly negative.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #90
94. As I understand, the budget authority affects their ability to carry
& maintain housing contracts. There are some things I don't understand either, but it's clear, looking through the budgets, that housing contracts & assets were liquidated in concert with the reduction of BA. So I don't believe this number is simply imaginary.

I too will look further into it.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. that sounds kinda like privatization
Working as a temp I was about two months away from getting one week of paid vacation, working at Kraft Foods for Kelly Services. I also got paid holidays and had a set schedule. Then Kraft decided to take over the temp service and do it internally. So we lost those benefits and had a flex schedule. I heard, although I had no way to verify that, the new service was actually costing them more, while at the same time the workers were getting less.

So, my long way of saying that I can see where "total dollars spent" does not reflect reality either, necessarily. But I kinda got my gist from

"Budget authority is the amount of money that the law allows the federal government to
commit to be spent in current or future years.7 Budget authority is how much money the law
permits the federal government to spend.
Outlays are the measure of government spending, recorded by the government when
obligations are paid, in the amount paid.8 Outlays are what the federal government actually
spends."

page 4
http://www.nlihc.org/doc/cp04.pdf
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #97
107. Yeah, I'm getting the impression something like that was the effect.
So far, it looks like deappropriating money "committed to be spent in...future years" meant at least two things: they couldn't carry longer-term contracts with housing providers who received HUD vouchers & they couldn't commit to longer-term projects to increase non-market housing - e.g. projects with states/counties.

Thanks for disagreeing without being disagreeable. That way everyone learns.

BTW, I'm also having trouble parsing the tax/form a thing you mentioned.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #90
99. WOW!!! You are actually saying that the homelessness caused by Raygun was "imaginary"?
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 04:20 PM by Breeze54
"Complaining about a huge cut in an imaginary number does not seem like
an honest complaint, nor something that would have a real world impact,...."


Not something that would have 'real world' impact? :wtf:

I lived through it, hfojvt, and trust me, it was NOT imaginary!! :grr:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #99
104. homelessness is not imaginary
the cause is debatable.

Conservatives blame it on Ken Kesey.

Reagan was a dishonest, tax-cutting, wealth-pandering, mostly-heartless dickweed, but I am not sure that he really slashed housing expenditures. That he could have done so even over Tip O'Neill's dead body. In fact, $20 billion of that supposed slash in the HUD budget came during Carter's Presidency.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #104
156. Raygun and his cronies (who weren't convicted until later) were the culprits, pure and simple!!
You have the fucking nerve to blame Carter! FU,

you're sounding like a RWer looking for a way to justify you're asshole 'leader' as guiltless! :grr:

!
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #156
172. the "blame" for Carter comes from the same place
The data I questioned was the cut in the budget authority that went from 1978 to 1983. Well, Carter was President from 1978-1981 and the chart clearly shows a $20 billion cut in budget authority for HUD from 1978-79. Which is just more evidence to me that the cut in budgetary authority was not a cause.

Of course, I am a big defender of Reaganomics

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/hfojvt/53

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/hfojvt/67
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #90
121. "kinda disgusting to see how much money the government spends on housing subsidies for the wealthier
Could you post those numbers?

I'd be very interested in seeing the comparison, and would be grateful for this info.

Thanks!
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #121
133. well, it is at the link
http://www.nlihc.org/doc/cp04.pdf

But by the numbers, the federal government spent $27.7 billion on low income housing subsidies in 2005 and gave $121 billion in tax deductions for housing in 2003. Of that total $62.2 was for mortgage interest, $22.5 for property tax, $20.6 for capital gains, and $14.14 for investor deductions.

In 2004, of $119.3 billion in tax deductions, $57.2 billion (47.9%) of it went to the top quintile and $37.2 billion (31.1%) went to the next quintile. Thus 79% of those deductions are going to the richest 40%.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #133
136. Fantastic. Thank you so much! This is a great help to me in a project I'm
working on!

:applause:
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Utopian Leftist Donating Member (204 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
69. Thank you so much!
This is such a devastating issue for so many lives here in America. It is downright criminal that the most prosperous country in the entire world has virtually no safety net whatsoever. Good people fall through the cracks every day. It really breaks my heart, but nothing is going to change until we collectively as a nation accept the fact that private charity alone will never be enough to combat a problem of such staggering proportions.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
72. I read every word of this
and I will be passing the link to some friends as well. It won't stop me from increasing donations to food banks (I should do that anyway, and I know it) but it serves as a reminder to all of us who care, that this is in no way the solution to the real plague on our society - and that economic justice, achieved through true grassroots political action, is the cure for this disease.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this post.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
74. When he fired the Air Traffic Controllers it became
open season on Unions. But that was just part of the whole plan....

My pick for the worst President of our HIstory until the Esteemed Mr. Bush arrived on the scene in 2000.




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dajoki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #74
81. Yep...
I lost a great job because of the union busting tactics of Raygun!! But I used to think that it couldn't get any worse than it was during Raygun's era, I was wrong, it was only the begining!!
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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
79. I dont know if anyone else remembers this, but when Regan got elected
I was in college. I remember watching his 'victory' on a TV at the college bar during which at some location, I don't remember, they had a huge sheetcake in the shape of the 48 states. They then tried to hold it up so the TV cameras could get a better look at their culinary marvel. As the tipped it forward - it cracked right down the Mississippi River!.....cracked right in half. I remember thinking then - 'yep, that pretty well describes what's going to happen to the country......break in two.' little did I know that A) I was right and B) it would be just the beginning of worse things to come.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
83. The root cause of most of our problems is the offshoring of manufacturing jobs which created ...
a huge trade deficit and enormous debt owed to foreigners.

Since we buy almost all of our "everyday" goods from foreigners, we have become totally dependent on them for survival. It is equivalent to the servitude of miners to the "company store".

The proposed "corporate" solution that you get a technical education and produce high tech items to sell a comparable amount of high priced goods to our trading "partners" is a fool's solution.

If we buy staple items (food, clothing, toys, consumer electronics) from foreign countries, how many CAT scan machines or MRI machines would we need to sell them to break even? Many, many more units than they would ever be able to use in a hundred years. Moreover, the corporations are transferring all the technology to China anyway so that they can produce high-tech items over there just as well as here. The purpose for forcing the workers to buy from their employer's store was that they could never pay off the debt, and so became virtual slaves to the company that they worked for.

This is the system set up by NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and don't forget the Fed.

The buzz word used by the corporations is "free trade". Wake up folks. There is NO "free trade". The term is a total fraud. NAFTA, the WTO, etc. are all trade agreements designed to stifle competition, destroy workers' rights, and turn the U.S. into a feudal society of serfs.

There is ONLY one serious solution to turn this country around. Get rid of NAFTA, the WTO, and all the other corporate-run institutions and agreements and set up import restrictions and tariffs to enable U.S. firms who want to produce goods in the U.S. with American workers to compete with the multinational corporations.

The main purpose of offshoring by the corporations, was not to produce goods more cheaply to sell here, but to create new consumers in China so that they can have new markets to sell goods in, after they impoverished Americans with their economic tactics.

GM spent a billion and a half dollars to build a Buick plant in China to sell cars to the Chinese. They refuse to build the fuel-efficient, low-polluting cars Americans want and, at the same time, the Chinese government allows them to sell their gas-guzzling, polluting Buicks in China.

This is the U.S. last chance to turn this country around. The problems we have are not due to government per se, but is due to the privatization and corporatization of government. You cannot develop a solution if you don't understand the problem.

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #83
88. Don't forget the War on Iraq and the Tax Cuts for the Rich...one big ball of crap!
:grr:

Good post!
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digidigido Donating Member (553 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #83
113. Excellent Perspective, and absolutely correct
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #113
159. Not if he doesn't include IRAQ!!! n/t
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #83
117. That's not the root cause of homelessness.
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 05:24 PM by bobbolink
The root cause of homelessness is fast-rising home prices, and stagnant wages and Disability and Social Security payments.

Many of us have been totally priced out of housing, period.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #117
120. The conditions you noted are not the ROOT cause, but the result of exported jobs and huge deficits.
Stagnant wages are due to the lack of jobs and American workers competing for jobs against Chinese workers who are paid one-twentieth the American wage rate.

The Social Security Fund is not growing because fewer wage earners in the U.S. means a lower collection of FICA taxes. More American workers would mean more Social Security taxes paid into the fund.

Fast rising home prices are due to the huge Federal deficits plus consumer debt coupled with the Fed setting artificially low interest rates that fuels speculation in real estate.

The causes you mentioned are intermediate causes. The wealthy elite point to those causes to convince people that the ruling elite somehow has no control over the situation. That is nonsense.

The sending of jobs overseas with the resulting trade deficits plus artificially maintained low interest rates are the mechanisms used by the wealthy elite to subjugate Americans into a modern form of serfdom.

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #120
123. I beg to differ. The real HOUSING CRISIS was before Nafta, et al.
I realize it is an important issue to you, as it should be.

But don't confuse it with ANOTHER important issue, and that is the extreme shortage of low-income housing BEFORE Clinton, even.

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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #123
143. If you are out of work or work for minimum wage, you can't afford any housing, low-income or not.
About twenty years ago, I was discussing housing prices with a neighbor. I mentioned that I was looking at houses in a nearby upscale middle class suburb that were selling back then for $150,000 to $200,000, which was more than we could afford.

I pointed out that the houses were not that large and the lots were rather small. I wondered why they cost so much money. He told me that those houses were built in the 1960's as an affordable middle class housing development. His father bought a brand new house in that suburb in the mid-1960's for $24,000.

The same house in 1989, then about 25 years older, cost 6 to 8 times more money. Today, the cost of the same housing is somewhat higher than it was twenty years ago.

Low-income housing is a meaningless term. Housing prices fluctuate with inflation. You could make a case for there being a lack of affordable housing. However, then you get into a discussion of inflation, interest rates, wages, and family-supporting jobs, which gets us right back to the ROOT cause of the problem, namely the exporting of jobs overseas.

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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #143
157. The root of the problem is a combination and Iraq would be at the top! n/t
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #143
197. What jobs were being exported in the 1960s, since you insist on this?
Oh, and "low-income housing" may be meaningless to you, since you can afford to buy a house, but to many of us, it has GREAT import.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
84. BLASPHEMER!
Reagan was GOD! Reagan was more popular than Jesus OR The Beatles. We need to stop disparaging his name and begin plastering it to more public facilities...like sewage plants and toxic waste dumps.

.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #84
91. and catsup bottles, it is a vegetable after all....
:eyes:
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
85. Remind me again....
Which branch of government votes on the budget for the federal government?
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #85
89. Are you defending Raygun?! Please say it isn't so....
I think I'm going to be sick. :puke:
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #89
201. No, I'm defending accuracy
The president can't cut funding anymore than Congress can declare a law unconstitutional. The president can propose a budget, veto a budget, and stand on a soapbox and tell us what we should spend our money on, but ultimately it is the legislature's job to approve and allocate spending. It's the equivalent of someone saying that Congress ruled that a law is unconstitutional. Much is said about the dumbing down of America. We should at least retain the basics of our high school civics classes.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
92. Hmmmm... 65 billion... what might government be doing with that money?
Well, it would almost be enough to pay for a year of a pointless, immoral war of aggression, for one. :grr: :banghead:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #92
118. And, once again, stopping the war does NOT automatically mean the $$ would be put into housing for
low-income people.

On every DU priority list, there is very seldom a mention of homelessness and the need for low-income housing.

The money would go elsewhere, still, because it's not important to progressives.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. The point was that defunding housing helped feed St. Raygun's war machine
The money would go elsewhere, still, because it's not important to progressives.

Sad to say, you're probably right. You'd think that four-figure rents in cities from Boston to Honolulu would wake people up, but then again, you'd think the same about $3.50-a-gallon gas...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #122
125. Ah, you were talking about the other wars... there are so many, it's easy to get confused.
I'd add a smiley to that, but... it's just not funny.

:cry:

"Sad to say, you're probably right."

Mahalo. Progressives don't want to see that they have some complicity in this, too.

another :cry:

:hi:
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #125
132. I was talking about them all
St. Raygun's buildup is what made this war (technically "these wars", as we're still in Afghanistan, too) possible.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #122
158. 81% ARE awake and have been complaining for years...maybe "they" weren't listening?
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 08:54 PM by Breeze54
Or didn't care....
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otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
101. "True charity means more
than throwing coins to a beggar. True charity means recognizing that an edifice which produces beggars needs to be restructured."

Just thought that quote might be appropriate today...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #101
119. Where does that quote come from?
Reminds me of the parable of the two fishermen rescuing people falling into the river.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #119
128. not sure where the quote is from
:kick:ing
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #128
129. mlk? n/t
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otherlander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #119
131. MLK said it.
That's why I thought it would be appropriate today. But that's just from memory; I might not have gotten it exactly right. I think it was from his "Beyond Vietnam" speech that I read when I was doing my history paper last year.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #131
135. "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It
comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. " Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank you so much.... your clues gave me enough to google.

At the end of his life, Martin Luther King came to the conclusion that poverty was more of an issue even than racism.

This search led me to more great quotes, so I thank you!

:hi:
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
114. Wonderful post!!!!
:applause: :applause: :yourock:
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
127. all "trickle-down economics" means is that the people on the bottom are getting pissed on.
nt
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
139. K&R n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
144. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
146. Reagan - No wonder the rich adore him!
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 07:23 PM by 1776Forever
When 1980 rolled around I had no idea that Reagan had a plan to get "rid" of the totally disabled in the United States that received Social Security Disability. My husband was taken off of it without any notice. This sure looks a lot like Bush is trying to do in 2009 budget!

http://www.monthlyreview.org/1000edit.htm

Social Security, the Stock Market,
and the Elections
by The Editors

*snip

Enter Reaganomics

The first major confrontation over Social Security occurred in the early 1980s during the Reagan presidency. Reagan had promised to balance the federal budget. But the budget that he sent to Congress in 1981, because of the heavy expenditure on the military, would have led to record deficits, despite deep cuts in social expenditures. David Stockman, Reagan's budget director, decided that the only possibility of avoiding these huge deficits would be to raid Social Security. Rather than state this openly in the budget, however, he included forty billion dollars in "future savings to be identified." As Stockman later admitted, this was nothing but a euphemism for budgetary reductions to be won by "storming the twin citadels of Social Security and Medicare" (Stockman, The Triumph of Politics, p. 124-125). The Reagan administration's frontal assault on Social Security began on May 12, 1981. It included substantial reductions in benefits for those seeking early retirement at age sixty-two, plus cuts in basic benefitsaltogether forty-five billion dollars in "savings." The Democrats, looking for political capital, rallied within days in defense of Social Security and, with public opinion solidly behind them, were able inflict the first major defeat on the Reagan administration.
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JFN1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
147. Outstanding post
Thanks for the great info.
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happygoluckytoyou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
148. IM A REPUBLICAN AND I DONT BELIEVE THIS CRAP
.....sorry.... just having fun with the subject line....

YOU MEAN PEOPLE ARE FINALLY REALIZING THAT HIS REAL NAME IS---->

JOHN "THE REPUBLICAN" MCCAIN....

and that he would govern and torture and lie in the spirit created by....bush cheney rummy condi snow fliesher

JOHN "THE REPUBLICAN" MCCAIN....

does anyone else think he looks like a PEANUTS character?
a really old PEANUTS character?
a really old REPUBLICAN peanuts character?
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #148
154. I read Ayn Rand and I agree
I am also a total dick. :)
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
152. Bless you
for all the work you've done.

I didn't know the HUD budget was cut like that. That explains a lot.
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
161. Reagan did create homelessness in Houston
That's when I started noticing folks on the street downtown. Yes, we had a few schizophrenics before that, but in the eighties, I started noticing how so many more were out.

I had a family come to my door one night saying they had been evicted after foreclosure, the mother with a baby in her arms. She asked for nothing but milk for the baby's bottle.

Broke my heart.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
163. Part of Raygun "getting big govt. out of our pockets".....
while filling their own.
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
164. OK, we know that happened, but that's in the past.
Now we have to figure out how to clean up Reagan's mess. There is no excuse for homelessness in a rich country like this regardless of how the problem started in the first place. So let's roll up our sleeves and fix this. Every American regardless of their circumstances deserves the dignity of having a place they can call home.
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Breeze54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #164
168. It lingers and that's what people don't understand...it takes YEARS to overcome being homeless...
The clean up started, finally, when 'P. Clinton' was browbeat into releasing Section 8 housing vouchers to massive amounts of
homeless American women with children living on the streets, no thanks to Raygun and now B* has done the exact same thing! :grr:

We NEED a law that prevents the "asshats in thiefs" from doing this to poor people in the future!! :grr:
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boilerbabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
166. This is a great post..
I have always been concerned about people with no home. What can be done? I will gladly help out as best as I can, and have been trying to also help by voting for people that might be able to undo this. I hear ya on the "one step away from being homeless" aspect. Have over the years come very close. Just lucky I had family to bail me out. I now have a nice job and make good money, but still I see the shadow of possiblity...You were so right as regards to the housing prices being driven up. I don't know of any single area where there is actual "Affordable Housing", that has to be some sort of myth (i.e. bullshit)

Thanks for the best definitive post on this problem that should not exist. Let me know if you have any plan of action.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
167. Thanks!
Thanks for a brilliant, old-school post which reminds me of what the DU used to be all about.
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greengestalt Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
173. Bring back Marx, or invite Muhammed
The fact is, start waving the hammer and sickle, the rich elite will back off a bit because they are scared.

Happened after the Great Depression. Simply put, enough desperate people not afraid "The reds under the bed" will take anything away from them, but a few rich elite deserving ample "Wealth Re-Distribution" and the more soldiers and strikebreakers they called, the more serious they became. Even if the elites 'won' every battle, they'd have had no society in which to buy things for themselves with the wealth they had hoarded. Without civilization, money is kindling, more possessions tempts robbery and gold is only prized as it originally was, a good piece of Ammo for a sling, since it was easily malleable into a ball and shiny enough to find easily.


Likewise, they'd probably be as or more scared of Islam having more appeal. Not just for a social mandate of charity, but also for the forgiveness of debts and the banning of "Usury"...

That is, convert to Islam and one is freed of debts. Furthermore, Usury is a crime, so anything a "Usurer" supposedly owns is stolen property. People could get back their homes, their cars, money stolen by 'credit' of one form or another and demand charity.


So, the threat of either becoming Marxist of one form or another, or worse, going "Islam" will scare the rich elite white and into not blocking Obama doing some real "Reform Measures". They'll just bide their time for the "Leftists" to make things prosperous again, then appeal to greed and apathy like they always do.

I'd suggest more activism towards these parts. Not online, but in the real world.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
174. FUCK! I was too busy at my "new economy" job to catch this in time to recommend.
You've laid it out very accurately, and much more gently than I would have. Thank you.

Bottom line is that WE DID THIS WITH OUR ENDLESS COWARDICE AND ADAMANT REFUSAL TO EXERCISE OUR POWER!

For almost 30 years we have sat passively and allowed the thieves to take over our nation.

When will enough be enough? Do they have to kick your door down and take everything from you to make you see what is happening all around you? Are you so stupid that you actually believe it can't happen to you?
:grr: :nuke: :grr:




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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #174
198. Thank you greyhound, 1966!!!
:applause:

If *I'D* expressed it with this much vehemence, I'd have been excoriated all week long.

Thanks for expressing my frustration for me!

:loveya:
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
177. Great post. Thank you for your work for change. REC.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
183. It's funny,

how many read the OP and want to throw the whole thing into Raygun's lap. While he was the worst Prez until this one came along he couldn't have caused near the damage that he did if his road wasn't well paved for him. The heartlessness, the willingness to accept any amount of nonsense if it was sufficiently self serving, these are implicit in our society, sometimes in the background, sometimes to the fore as demagoguery demands. It is the evil of class society, where some are assumed to be better than others as a given, which allows all inequality with the condescending "we know better" attitude so insulting to the recipients of such largess.

Humans are the product of their society, the actors play their parts. In another kind of society the likes of Raygun might not be so damaging, might be no worse than a ditzy uncle. Capitalism brings out the worst in people.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #183
199. If we were to all recognize the truth in what you are saying, we would indeed have HOPE!
:applause:
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #183
211. Reagan was a symptom, not the disease.
Congress could have undone the disaster that was his HUD budget many years ago, and have not. No president since has given the homeless much more than a nod.
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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
184. you are a very dangerous person to the establishment
thank you for speaking out.
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agincourt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
185. Until Ronald Reagen is something,
most Americans would rather kick than praise, the downward spiral will never end. He symbolizes everything wrong with our political system. A petty little man pumped up by a fellating billion dollar media into some type of "hero". Until most Americans see through the lie, we'll always be in reverse until the US falls apart. Propaganda crap over substance. The essence of conservatism today.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-05-08 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #185
216. And how is that going to happen?
We're so bizzzzy with any other issue besides poverty, that we aren't getting the truth to the citizens of this country.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-06-08 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
219. We have to overcome the brainwashing. This is not America. n/t
:kick:


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Gold Metal Flake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-07-08 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
220. Kick
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-07-08 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
221. There are a lot of mentally ill on the streets in Los Angeles...
The influx of families is relatively new here.

There are a lot of good groups helping out here, but you're right, it will never be enough.

I donate to Chrysalis regularly, and I have another bundle of business suits that have more wear left in them... those make up gifts with purchase that don't always get used... these help young women get jobs... but it's just a band aid.

So sad.

Good post. We need to keep these stories in the public eye... I purposely drive through skid row several times a week... counting my blessings and trying to come up with ideas.

One of my ideas is now being used... much in line with part of your message. The city has hired many homeless to clean the streets. They beam with pride at having a job, and they are serious about their work. It clearly gives them self-worth... and that cannot be donated by charity.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-07-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
222. Thom Hartmann gave this piece a strong shout-out and commentary!!
Monday, 7 April, last half hour of Thom Hartman's show discussed this Hannah Bell post. Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and Sam Sedor have given shout-outs to us on occasion but this is the first one that I have heard mentioned by Thom Hartmann and the only one given such a lengthy discussion by anyone to my recollection. Definitely bookmarked!
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