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"Is it a crime now to be poor?" by Barbara Ehrenreich

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:43 PM
Original message
"Is it a crime now to be poor?" by Barbara Ehrenreich
"A few days ago Barbara Ehrenreich concluded a three part series of articles in the NYT by asking Is It Now A Crime To Be Poor?. I wanted to comment on the piece a few days ago, but of course, I didn't have a blog a few days ago so it didn't come to pass.

It's an excellent piece (The first two installments, which can be found here and here, were as well.) in which she makes the observation that as more people are losing their jobs and their homes and facing poverty and homelessness for the first time, cities are responding not with compassion but out of vindictiveness. And they are enacting new laws to punish their citizens for their misfortune: making loitering laws harsher, picking people up for littering, etc.

As Ehrenreich puts it: In defiance of all reason and compassion, the criminalization of poverty has actually been intensifying as the recession generates ever more poverty. "

links to the original articles here

http://fourteenpercent.typepad.com/14/2009/08/cold-as-a...

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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick to the top
:kick:
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. This whole attitude towards the poor makes me sick!
Where is humanity, caring, compassion?

It looks to me as though all I see on tv and in the
news is something relating to the economy, all
corporate and WS friendly.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. It's always been that way. Nothing new. Maybe you are just becoming more sensitive to it.
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #20
40. Do you think it's getting worse?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. In the end, does it matter? It was ALWAYS a spirit-killer.... isn't that enough?
And, what does it matter, because nobody here is going to do anything about it anyway. It's just one more thing to USE to complain about the RW.

And, don't be fooled.... we KNOW we're being used in that way.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #44
84. However, there was a time (Back in fifties and sixties) when homelessness
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 02:43 PM by truedelphi
was not so prevalent as the 50 cent a night hotels were there.

If need be, people would double up. And then gradually property prices soared, so there was no longer the places to take someone in at night. By the late seventies, were there any places like that left? Maybe a youth hostel here or there, in more remote places.

We know the drill. By the nineties, property was an investment, no longer about housing. You were allowed to survive, but in many regions in the nation, only if you had exorbitant means to do so.

And the attitude of helping people has faded into the distant past. We no longer turn on the TV to see Ed Murrow specials on poverty, but to see the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." And we watch TV to see who will get voted off the island or out of the jungle. (I used to wonder, back when those "Reality" shows first started, if they were psychological training for the days of cannibalism that might be springing up. Teaching the "TV Nation" that the strong and manipulative survive, and the "less desirable" are not worth worrying about.)

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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #84
112. Your post about the 50 cent hotels is correct. The government
took over red light and skid row districts through eminent domain and other means and redeveloped them. As a result cheap housing disappeared. We see the results of those improvements on the streets.

Another thing contributing to the visibility of the homeless is the contrast between their dire poverty and hopelessness and the extreme wealth of the very rich. The wealthy cannot tolerate the sight of the poverty of the rest of us because it reminds them not only of the extent of their greed but also where they could end up if they make just a few really bad investments.

In the '40s and '50s and before that, homeless people were called bums. They earned what they could working on family farms all over the country. My grandparents always had "hired hands" who came and went, following the farm work. Now, all that work is done by the cheap labor of immigrants who, I suspect, cannot so easily enforce minimum wage jobs. The hired hands lived and worked along side farmers who couldn't pay much more than three good meals a day and a spot to sleep in the barn. My grandmother cooked a good part of the day to feed the hired hands. They ate well, but didn't get much more than that I'm pretty sure.

The "bums" lived free lives and didn't have to explain their pasts or think about their futures. So it was a trade-off.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. May as well make it official.
The assumption that poor people are involved in crime, are criminally minded, and harbor criminals is so widespread and automatic that we should cut through the intermediate steps and just make the fact of being poor itself a felony.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
75. They are the ones who are making..
more criminals..
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. This part truly pissed me off. Hell Yeah, Lets make the poor feel like worthless Shit!
From the start, the experience has been humiliating, Kristen said. The caseworkers treat you like a bum they act like every dollar you get is coming out of their own paychecks.

Nationally, according to Kaaryn Gustafson, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, applying for welfare is a lot like being booked by the police. There may be a mug shot, fingerprinting and long interrogations as to ones childrens paternity..... psychological impact is to turn poverty itself into a kind of crime.

... the Parentes discovered that they were each expected to apply for 40 jobs a week, even though no money was offered for gas, tolls or babysitting. In addition, Kristen had to drive 35 miles a day to attend job readiness classes, which she said were a joke.


Fuck! :mad: :mad:
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. about the "job readiness classes"
It is quite possible that Kirsten did not need them, but that others perhaps do. As it is explained in the book "The Working Poor" by David K. Shipler

"Employers rarely see those corrosive suspicions of worthlessness that course beneath the surface. They see the surface behavior: the employee who shows up late or not at all, who lacks a 'work ethic' and the 'soft skills' of punctuality, diligence and a can-do attitude. Sometimes they see a worker who takes no initiative, relates badly to his colleagues, has bursts of temper, cannot take an order from a boss without a spasm of anger. If employers had to choose, many would prefer low-wage workers with those 'soft skills' rather than the 'hard skills' of reading, writing and math. A lot of menial jobs don't need writing or math, but they all require people to show up on time." p. 126

I had another friend who typically did not work. When he got a full time job, I realized that it was gonna be a huge adjustment for him to go from not working to working almost every day. It woulda been nice if he could have transitioned to part time work before going full time. As it turned out, he only lasted a day or two. A class might have helped him some.

40 jobs a week sounds kinda crazy to me. It would make applying for jobs into a full time job almost, and a very discouraging one. It also seems like you would quickly run out of employers in a medium sized town.
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. So much for the benefits of years and years and years of compulsory education. n/t
reference to your p126 quote.
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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #16
31. What many high schools don't do is to teach students how to actually get a job.
Hard skills don't matter if almost everyone has one.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
34. i subbed in some of those "job readiness courses". there may be some things of benefit
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 02:49 AM by Hannah Bell
to some people, but the classes as a package are BULLSHIT. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

punitive bullshit.

having people who barely have functional cars, who worked in mcdonald's-type jobs when they *did* work, make 60-mile round trips & pay for sitters for their kids, to attend bullshit resume-writing/bull-session all-day classes four days a week under threat of having their welfare cut off is punitive.

the requirement to apply for a specific number of jobs/week is real; you get cut off welfare if you don't do it.

some of my students had to drive up to 60 miles/d, four days/week indefinitely to attend the bullshit classes - if their car broke down & they missed or were late, they got a lecture about how they should have "planned" for that eventuality, because they'd have to do so when they worked. three strikes or some such thing & they got cut off welfare - which they only got in the first place because they had kids - whom they had to be absent from all day to drive 60 miles & attend the bullshit classes.


you can't "teach" discipline & punctuality to adults.

nor can you "teach" them to be perfect spellers, to not use drugs, drink, or fight with their family or coworkers, or not have chips on their shoulders, or make up for 30 years of dysfunction.

the other things they "learned" in those classes could have been taught in smaller groups in a week.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #34
46. PUNITIVE BULLSHIT
That deserves to be shouted from the rooftops, but "progressives" won't do that.

After all...we serve a very important function: We provide someone for elite "progressives" to look down on----to "teach" and to "correct".

What would they all do without us? How would they feel superior if they didn't have us to compare themselves to?
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
67. Thanks for sharing this, Hannah. People need to wake up to this.
And "bullshit" is precisely the word to describe it.

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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #67
91. Please. Like you don't have to endure bullshit classes when you work for govt or Corporation?
Remember TQM? Diversity training? Building The Brand? Productivity Starts With Breakfast? (OK so I made that last one up)
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #34
85. Are you serious?
you can't "teach" discipline & punctuality to adults.

nor can you "teach" them to be perfect spellers, to not use drugs, drink, or fight with their family or coworkers, or not have chips on their shoulders, or make up for 30 years of dysfunction.


I find your belief here to be disturbing unto itself.

I think that if people who move here from countries where the Protestant Work Ethic and the equipment to measure it are virtually nonexistant can adapt to a punctual and productivity oriented society where good behavior counts and work ethic is rewarded, then homegrown folks can adapt.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #34
93. The "liberal" dems in DC are imposing Gingrich welfare package THIS YEAR. "Empathy Courses" needed?
To save $5 M they want to end welfare FOR the poorest of the poor to
"eliminate chronic dependency altogether". Speak out, DUers!

The progressive mayor of DC, a friend of the new Administration,
is pushing this on PHILOSOPHICAL grounds similar to that of Reagan:
"A new covenant of personal responsibility." Using exactly the
language Reagan used.

And the yuppie assholes piling into the city hoping to get jobs in
the new Administration -- yuppie PSEUDO-PROGRESSIVE, possibly DEANIAC
young people, but assholes nonetheless -- heartily agree with him and
believe the poor don't belong in the inner city, only "progressive
creative types" like themselves who diligently shop at Whole Foods
who are "suited to make the city a better place".

What can DU do to push back against these apathetic pseudo-liberals
who only voted for Obama because they hated Bush as a kid growing up?

Is Education the key?

Mandatory "Empathy Courses" perhaps as a condition of not being fined on your property taxes, methinks?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #93
99. In short, why don't they just eliminate US, and be done with it.
It would be a lot more HONEST.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #93
110. Finally someone remembers where this bullshit came from in the first
place. Gingrich/Clinton welfare reform. This is the states answer to the 6 year limit.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #93
123. I didn't know about this. Thank you for the heads up. n/t
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #34
98. "Job readiness" courses are great as long as they're VOLUNTARY.
In a similar vein, so are life skills courses but coercive training is never a good idea and neither is pretending that classroom instruction will work magic and transform people into model workers without need of further supports.

I agree with you that much of the job readiness/life skills lessons would be more accessible in informal group settings rather than a classroom setting. They're dealing with adults who need a wide variety of supports not a lesson plan.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #34
106. resume writing, that does sound like a waste of time
and 30 miles drives are not something I can relate to. 30 miles takes me into another state and to the other side of a metro area. True, that's about where I went once a month when I was on unemployment. I kinda chose that spot though because I spent the day at the nearby genealogical library when I went. There may have been closer locations.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience. Clearly there are factors I was not considering from my small-town and childless life. Although I am not sure what the answer is either. It seems to me that I have seen the other side too, of lazy people like my friend just sponging all his life. Not that I want to be punitive, but at least enough to provide more of an incentive to get a job, which he basically refused to ever do.

There is a catch-22 for those with children though. That a low wage job is not gonna leave enough to live on by the time day-care is paid for. But I also just hate to have a society that says 'you have kids, here's a check, no questions asked'. Anecdotally, for what it is worth, on election day last year I was going door to door trying to get out the vote. One door I happened to knock on was a single mother. She had three or four kids. She said she was not gonna vote because none of the candidates were gonna do anything for a person like her. Yet she seemed to be doing well enough to have a huge DVD collection and cable TV. Minor luxuries, to be sure, but on the other side some of us are working and scrimping and denying ourselves luxuries out of necessity, and working hard at our own McJobs which we mostly hate.

And she could not even be motivated enough to help defeat McCain or Jenkins or the local Republican legislator.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. I will double your f**k and raise you 100mil. ..if I had that kind of money. nt
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 10:49 PM by wroberts189
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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. very good articles, and there's no easy answer
Much as we as a culture and a people need to cultivate compassion...there is still the stigma of poverty=failure

perhaps it is the results of hundreds of years of capitalistic and darwinian thinking

I choose to be empathetic and more altruistic...perhaps my own time done in poverty is why..
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
36. empathy = useless too. jobs or guaranteed income would be more helpful.
the stigma of poverty/failure is deliberate, socially designed.

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #36
51. "THE STIGMA OF POVERTY/FAIILURE IS DELIBERATE, SOCIALLY DESIGNED"
Also needs to be shouted from the rooftops!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
48. There are LOTS of answers, and some of them, yes, are EASY.
But it/we are not important.

PLUS, as I said... we provide an important function.... we provide someone for the rest of the population, including "progressives", to look down on.

What would they do if they didn't have us to "fix"?
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. knr
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. Excellent article
Thanks
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. Ehrenreich is one of the most important journalists of our time
What is happening to our society?
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. The criminalization of poverty
in this country started in earnest in 1980 with the election of Reagan and has progressed every single year since then. The attitude towards the poor and the unemployed in this country now mirrors the attitude in the mid 30's.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. The criminalization of poverty was one of the founding principles of our nation
Where only the rich and landed could vote, transience was punishable by flogging. Simple poverty got you put into a work camp.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I don't think that's true about the voting
It is recorded that my patriarchal ancestor voted in the first election in 1788 and he may have been landed, but I don't think he was rich. Of course, he didn't vote for George Washington. He voted for an elector, whose name I don't recall, who then voted for Washington.
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drmeow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. OK, I revise my post
the RE-criminalization of poverty (since we had certainly made strides away from it starting with the New Deal).
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
28. Absolutely! The minorities in this country were the
canaries in the mine. Reagan and his ilk put this country on the path that we are experiencing today. Dumbing down the populace also started in full throttle around the same time.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. I was kinda under the impression that it was ALWAYS illegal to be poor.
Things may be a little harsher now, but poor people have always been treated like crap.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Yes, as opposed to the enlightened treatment of the poor in the rest of the Western world...
...at that time. :eyes:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. You have it right. Read about the Ludlow Massacre, and other frivolities.
It's nothing new.

It's just disgusting that "progressives" aren't willing to turn their attention to this.

They are very willing to let us all die and they will walk over our bodies and keep on going.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
50. "Debtors prison" used to be symbolic of everything wrong with 18th/19th century civilization
Today, debtors' prisons aren't off the table in this healthcare debate!
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well yes except there is no "now" involved
It has pretty much always been a crime to be poor in the US.

At least since the great waves of immigration from Europe in the second half of the 19th century.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. it is a crime to help the poor
In Orlando a while back, they arrested someone for feeding the homeless. Not only is it a crime to be poor, it is a crime to help the poor.

>>>

...

Denver

...The Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, said that he used to bring food to a homeless man living near him, but then he "began to realize the amount of harm that just giving food or money to homeless people does." While the Mayor has done some positive things for the homeless population, this perspective shapes much of his downtown policies.

...

Orlando

With an estimated 8,000 homeless people, Orlando has one of the highest populations of homeless people in the state of Florida. In early 2006, the Orlando City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits sharing food with more than 25 people in city parks without a permit and limits permitted groups to doing so only two times a year. In October of 2006, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance. While litigation continued, in April 2007, a member of Food Not Bombs was arrested for distributing food in violation of the anti-feeding ordinance and was found not-guilty in October 2007. In an article in Street Roots, Montanez's attorney, Jacqueline Dowd, explains that food sharing restrictions are a new trend, "Instead of going after the homeless, they're going after people who serve the homeless." Most homeless advocates have spoken out against these ordinances, however some local homeless service provider groups insist that the ordinance is not against homeless people and that homeless people do have a place to eat in Orlando.

...

Tampa, Florida

Tampa has a standing policy against sharing food with homeless persons in city parks. Tampa police have taken steps to stop individuals and groups who have attempted to distribute food in defiance of this policy. In 2004, police arrested Food Not Bombs (FNB) members for serving food in a downtown city park without a permit. However, due to the advocacy of two attorneys, Michael Maddux and Joseph Jackson, the city dropped the charges against the FNB members and agreed to cease enforcing the ordinance.

...

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/foodsharin...

>>>



Arrested for feeding the poor. Seriously.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
78. Sickening. I've been hearing about this but the Denver quote is new.
Yuppie asshole mentality which is increasingly common in the new generation that was born in the 80s and 90s. Their only notion of
liberalism is for themselves and their friends. Don't trust them
to be progressive just because they hate Bush!
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
21. This is only news if you've never been poor.
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Third Doctor Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. I've heard all of the RW talking points
Let's see.

Why can't they work?: You can work and still be poor, Your job may not provide insurance and your wages could be so low you can't afford it on the outside.. Plus people can be too sick to work regularly.
I don't want to spend my tax money on lazy people.: Not all of the poor are lazy, that is quantifiable at best. Besides a lot of the poor working people pay taxes too.

So many does not gives a damn about the situation of others until they face that situation themselves and by then it's too late. I would much rather spend my tax money on helping others and possibly myself someday that to fund unnecessary wars and the healthcare options of people that would deprive me of the same choices they have.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #23
53. "Why can't they work?" Why can't "progressives" even deal with this one?
How long are people supposed to work? Can you be excused from working when you're 70? 80? 90? WHY can't progressives UNDERSTAND that, and actually make that a fact well known?

If you're injured or very ill, then what? You either work anyway, or.... what? With all the screaming about "death panels" and "euthanasia in the health care reform bill", putting us out of your misery isn't an option, so what the fuck are ill and injured people supposed to do? NO EMPLOYER will excuse someone who can only work an hour a day, or any such thing.

Why can't any of you grasp these facts?

SOME PEOPLE ARE TOO OLD OR TOO ILL OR TOO INJURED TO WORK.

There, that's not really so hard to understand, is it?

Can you begin to speak to that?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
95. I've heard all of the "middle class progressive" talking points on poverty and they are sadly echoes
Of latent prejudice assumptions, just like the 60s generation had to convince "Adlai Stevenson liberals" to stop patting themselves on the back for associating with black people.

This is why many thinkers on the subject including Cornel West insist that we need to move to class-based affirmative action --

in order to bring these issues out in the open, and end the 200-year tradition of using race and ethnicity as a cover for simple class warfare.

It's a crutch, used to allow poor white folks to "at least" feel superior to someone else and somehow richer by virtue of their supposed opportunities that are presented to them in the guise of latent virtues that other poor folks are not assumed to have, thereby ensuring that they identify with the middle-class majority and "middle-class-ness" even when the upper middle class wants nothing to do with them and only pays lip service to the "virtue of hard work". Divide and conquer...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #95
101. goddess, i'm grateful there are some like you who are understanding this Superiority shit of
so-called "progressives"!

They can't even begin to understand why they are seen as elitists.

And they refuse to hear it, so they just keep defending themselves and blaming those they see as beneath them.

What crap!
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #101
126. That is really true.
Edited on Wed Aug-26-09 01:04 PM by truedelphi
I found when I ran for City Council in Sausalito, that my so-called friends who were Dems were horrified that I was running. I didn't have their money, or their wardrobe or their hair stylist! (Which is to say - I wasn't "CLASS-Y" enough to run for office.) Fer Pete's sake - who was I, a lowly elder care worker, that I thought I could or should run for office?

I actually found more support among the wealthy Repugs than this pathetic style of Dems.

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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
24. I think I will give this another kick. Lets start a war on poverty !
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 10:45 PM by wroberts189


on edit ...I mean HELP THE POOR.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #24
55. Good luck on that "war on poverty" thing... there is NO INTEREST.
We're only useful in providing one more way to dump on the RW.

Never mind that the LW IS DOING NOTHING.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #55
65. Shhh ..there is but big media is not telling us about the poor.
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 12:05 PM by wroberts189


Once enough tent cities spring up. The masses will demand it.


Its all happened before ... 1929 it started


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression#Political...


Political consequences

The crisis had many political consequences, among which was the abandonment of classic economic liberal approaches, which Roosevelt replaced in the United States with Keynesian policies. These policies magnified the role of the federal government in the national economy. Between 1933 and 1939, federal expenditure tripled, and Roosevelt's critics charged that he was turning America into a socialist state.<77> The Great Depression was a main factor in the implementation of social democracy and planned economies in European countries after World War II. (see Marshall Plan). Although Austrian economists had challenged Keynesianism since the 1920s, it was not until the 1970s, with the influence of Milton Friedman that the Keynesian approach was politically questioned.<78>
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #65
73. Fuck big media! Do you see these articles in The Nation? On Air America?
Do you see ANY of this on/in ANY so-called "progressive" media?

It's waaaay past time to stop blaming the RW for everything and start looking at our OWN complicity in poverty.

What has DU done?

Pretty much zilch.... give once a year to a food bank.

Whooopeee-fucking---do.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #73
89. once we are all fighting for the last of whats on the market shelves.


You will see fury like that which thou has never seen.

I have seen what a storm can do.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #73
96. actually you do, although I am not sure how often
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030317/newfield

The March 2009 issue of the Progressive has an article by Ehrenreich although it was more optimistic. It was about the noveau poor bringin attention to the plight of the poor. Something which her current series seems to be saying has not happened as cash-strapped local governments are becoming more stingy just as the needs increase.

As for what DU has done. Well, much of DU was behind Edwards campaign and he was supposedly focused on combatting poverty. We had a series of posts in January which was declared Poverty Awareness month. Although I think this issue is often ignored over more pressing matters like Michael Jackson or whatever else is on TV, I am gratified that this little thread made the front page with 80 votes. Mostly because I put the name Ehrenreich in the title. My last post on the same topic, although it was a link to the same blog, got zero replies.

As for Progressive TV on M$NBC, I am thinking ABC news has done more stories on the recession than they have, although I think Rachel did great work on the stimulus bill.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #96
100. thx..nt
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #96
131. Are you aware who instigated and coordinated that series of articles in January?
I realize that you want me to be "hopeful", but I would hope that you could understand the suffering of those of us who are IGNORED. Sometimes listening to the pain is the most helpful thing you can do.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
25. k & r nt
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
27. We need a war on POVERTY, NOT the POOR.
This "I've got mine, fuck you" mindset has got to go!
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #27
56. Quite right. So, what is the first step?
Saying "it has to go" doesn't make it happen.

What do you propose?
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HughBeaumont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
29. Good ol' Uhmerica. If you want success, you'd better have GOBS of cash.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
30. The entire series is worth the read
It is desperately sad and infuriating.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
32. K&R, yes.
It has been for quite some time.


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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
33. yes, it's a crime to be poor.
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
35. All these so-called Christian conservatives out there ranting and raving against health reform ...
... and spitting on Jesus' very message about taking care of the least of our brothers.

Fucking bible-thumping hypocrites. I'm SICK of them.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #35
58. Of course, it's all the fault of your favorite whipping boys. We poor folk are soooo very glad
we can give you this USE of us.

What have YOU done to change things?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #58
80. Bobbo, don't worry I think most of the people on this thread, at least, agree.
But it is true we are all in the minority WITHIN the progressive movement.

Many, MANY progressives (not to mention Obama voters who consider themselves centrist or apolitical) do not click on threads like this one and agree with Clinton style "carrot and stick" policies directed at PENALIZING those who "CHOOSE to remain poor."

It is all connected with this end of history notion Clinton and Bush both pushed that capitalism and technology have somehow triumphed over all human frailties and that anyone who is still suffering in today's economy has only themselves to blame... they can't be suffering all that much if they are "DESERVING poor" (e.g. a recently laid-off info tech worker who "ordinary middle class people" can "identify with").
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #80
82. Not to mention the utter lack of support for renovating (not tearing down) public housing.
And the total support within the "progressive movement" (e.g. the Mayor and Council of DC, the most Obama-voting jurisdiction in the nation) for the Gingrich plan to end welfare....

To save $5 million.

Meanwhile $250 million will be GIVEN as a grant to Marriott Corp. To build a privately owned convention hotel.

"DC officials admit it's not just about money, it's an issue of PRINCIPLE" according to the Washington Post. People who continue to use welfare do not belong on it; it should only be temporary assistance and everyone else needs to be booted off of it, the mayor wants a "NEW COVENANT OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY" between the government and the poorest of the poor. This is worse than Reagan talk.

And it's what a majority of so-called "progressives" (most of whom are upper middle class suburbanites) believe.

Part of this is because of the suburban collapse of mixed-income neighborhoods. A majority of Americans have lived their entire lives in suburbs and never seen a mixed income neighborhood. Realtors can't even market EXISTING mixed-income neighborhoods; to get people of a certain income group to buy even in an old neighborhood they have to promise that anyone who does not look like them will be booted out by the marketplace. People WILL NOT BUY unless the investment is contingent on the notion that every house will be worth within $20,000 of their own in 5 years time, and nobody not like them will be in the same SUBDIVISION, lest it lower their Ponzi scheme real estate appreciation that we have come to rely on instead of manufacturing income. (based on a continual influx of low-paid immigrants into redlined neighborhoods, increasing demand for the exclusively upper-middle-class neighborhoods, including the "hip" urban areas that young suburban porgressives with no desire to associate with poor people that do not share their "values" (i.e. worth.) Hence, gentrification.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #82
104. Much of the older public housing should be torn down. It's more economical than renovating it.
Tearing it down and rebuilding it with lower density, modern structures is a good policy move. Many older developments have been operating below capacity for years because units and buildings are in such bad shape that they've been mothballed for lack of funds to rehab them.

The core problem with public housing is there isn't enough of it. HUD essentially got out of the business of building new units in the 1960s. Some newer units were produced by state and local agencies with HUD backing but the bulk of new publicly assisted units were in the form of privately-owned new construction or existing units, Section 8 programs being the primary production method.

This shift to an emphasis on privately owned housing stock has never really bridged the gap in terms of meeting the need for low income housing. A return to Federal production of new units is long overdue IMO. New public housing doesn't need to repeat the mistakes of the early high density developments which limited public spaces and often warehoused people far from services and jobs. There are many successful smaller scale developments produced by local agencies and CBOs. HUD has the knowledge on creating these communities. All it needs is the direction (and money) to do so.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #104
107. Yes, tear it all down and leave people homeless, then tell us it's our own fault we're homeless.
Maybe you don't understand that NOTHING IS BEING REPLACED.

Maybe you don't understand the post... PROGRESSIVES AREN'T PUSHING FOR MORE HOUSING.

We're just left on our own.

Then blamed for being homeless.

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #107
113. bobbolink, please read my post again.
I am not advocating tearing down housing without replacement. Far from it. As you may recall from exchanges that we had a while back I'm in favor of greatly EXPANDING public housing instead of pretending that Section 8 can adequately address the shortage.

The only thing that I advocate is tearing down the woefully out of date developments and desperately decrepit buildings. People deserve decent affordable housing, not the stuff that's been worn out. When it would cost $200,000 to renovate an existing unit and only $100,000 tear down the old and build new ones, why wouldn't the better choice be to tear down and rebuild, provided that proper consideration is given for the retention of community and the tenants' housing during and after that process?

I fully understand that many progressives aren't pushing for more housing. I also understand that the current administration isn't making it a priority either and I don't see it changing until after the health care "reform" is settled.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #113
117. And please read again what *I* said.
NO NEW HOUSING HAS BEEN BUILT IN YEARS.

So, what you are advocating results in the loss of badly needed housing.

And I sure as hell don't see "progressives" taking *any* action to reverse that.

Thems the facts.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #117
119. Sigh.
Do you remember that we had a long PM exchange on HUD and the history of public housing programs when you were putting together a presentation on subsidized housing?

Again, I don't advocate removing badly needed housing. I advocate removing the decrepit, out of date crap that no one should live in and replacing it with decent housing. I also advocate changing the HUD focus back to the days nearly 50 years ago when its mission DID include production of additional public housing to meet the need.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #119
121. Your ideas are fine. What I'm saying is that it ain't happening.
It's being destroyed.

More people homeless.

I guess we are at a standstill.

Ideas are great, but when there is NOBODY to push it, the worst happens.

On to other topics....
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
37. Thanks for this!
K&R, and I'll be sharing...
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dajoki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
38. K&R
This has been going on for a long time, I hope people are starting to realize it.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
39. Another kick for the "under the bridge and tent city" people. nt.
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 08:02 AM by wroberts189
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #39
97. "This one goes out to the bridge and tunnel crowd"
That'll have a whole new meaning if present trends continue.
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smokey nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
41. Kick!
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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
42. I have always said that we should open the empty forcosed homes up..
to those who need it. It's the only fair thing to do.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #42
72. Yes, Yes and Yes....
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
43. K & R!
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
45. Rec 49
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
47. K/R. This healthcare bill is about criminalizing poverty, mandating participation "in the market".
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #47
94. Yep. Exactly. Ironically, they don't understand basic economic theory
Not just capitalism, but liberal economics (which predates capitalism) i.e. Adam Smith and the opposition to a mercantile state. You know the idea of a "free market" and "freedom of choice" for the purchaser or "freedom of contract" meaning you are not compelled to sign a contract.

These are foundational ideas to the whole edifice of the supposed free market that the US and Holland/Britain fought a war against the European monarchies in order to set up -- the "capitalist" system.

Capitalism is not merely a bad idea if you impose mercantilism on it -- it doesn't work. The whole notion of basic economics is the supply-demand curve. Demand-side restrictions (mandating purchase of items) completely breaks the curve, impoverishing the masses and enriching the few by making demand completely inelastic.

It's like solving the energy crisis by mandating purchase of fuel.

thereby "ensuring" high prices to keep consumption down and a steady supply of income for research and development to identify new oil and gas fields.

HEY, I may have just hit on an idea I can SELL to these neoliberal guys!
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
49. Kick
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 11:03 AM by Orwellian_Ghost
and rec.

I've not heard much from the current prez on homelessness, poverty or the american gulag system. Aren't we all just one step away, one medical disaster, one job loss away from the street and the capricious nature of the US non-safety safety nets?

Now back to gigantic profits for Big Pharma and Insurance syndicates and weapons contractors.

Don't mind me.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #49
59. No, the prez isn't "engaged" and neither are our representatives, and neither is the "progressive
media"

We're on our own.

Poverty isn't SEXY, donchaknow.

:nuke:
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #49
62. +1
:thumbsup:
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
52. It's been a crime for the last 200 years n/t
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #52
60. Right on. So WHEN are you going to take it seriously, and TAKE ACTION?
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AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #60
120. Doing it everyday, just don't tell me that if I care about the poor I have to give up
all my goods, thats the most common statement of those who don't care about the poor
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
54. "Now"? As opposed to when?
:shrug:
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
57. Often a capital crime. n/t
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
61. Too many people in denial that it could happen to them
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
63. Anyone who has ever been in the cycle knows the hell - been there - done that

Cars breaking down on snow covered moutains in January with infant in car.....

Not enough food to eat while pregnant........

Fines for being unable to pay fines....

Isn't it ironic that this 'christian nation' does not act very Christ like, at all?
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
64. It was indeed criminalized during the Reagan era, quite purposely.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
66. Its ALWAYS been! Nothing New!
Anatole France:

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
68. It's all about protecting private property
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
69. Now more than ever, perhaps, but it's hardly new.
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
70. Poverty is an industry
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 12:30 PM by mntleo2
As an advocate for the poor I find that poverty is an industry, with people actually living off the backs of the poor in "services" and while many are "non-profits" they contract with the government to offer these "services". We sadly call them "welfare pimps". An example is in Wisconsin where Goodwill receives $86.5 million plus $6.1 million for mothers forced into McJobs that will leave their families in lifelong poverty. Their track record is horrible, taking in far more money than in the services they provide, spending on the average of $56,000 on each client while many clients are regularly and illegally denied services in order for them to make a profit. They were actually caught by their legislature for fraud and are still being contracted. Wisconsin is only one state, these non-profits are in all states and SOMEBODY is making money off the backs of the poor with money like that pouring in from "contracts" that are now being forged through the government for these services, from food banks to childcare to housing.

The poor pay the highest percent of their meager incomes in taxes, far more than even the middle class. In my state the middle class pay about 7% of their incomes in taxes, while the poor pay 19% in taxes.

The punitive attitudes for the poor is more than evident in every DSHS office across the nation, even though the people working there are employed in good jobs with benefits because of the poor. They barely conceal the contempt they have for their clients (and they are being taught this contempt in their in services). We call those people "gatekeepers".

Poverty is an industry and billions are being made.

Cat in Seattle
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Thanks for this post.
:kick:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #70
105. You see, THESE are the facts that need to be published, spoken of on Air America, etc.
People keep saying I'm wrong, that "progressives" care, yet how many even begin to know anything about all of this?

Just this morning I was once again told about all the "options" I have and that it's my "choice" to be where I am.

It's ignorant shit that like that make people just give up.

I really wish what you have posted here could be a feature article in a prominent "progressive" media!
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #105
108.  I know why they don't write about "welfare pimps"
...it is because these non-profits depend on private donations as well as the government contracts they get and even their critics are afraid if the fraud and waste were to get out, then people would stop donating, as well as perhaps losing government contracts. They are ALL scared to death that the truth will come out and then there won't be ANYTHING for the poor. I have heard this again and again from well meaning advocates, "SHHHHHH! Don't say that too loud Cat or somebody might investigate and then there won't be anything ..."

I am not making this up.

Cat in Seattle
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #108
115. Would you be willing/able to write an article about this?
I realize that you have to protect your own safety and anonymity, but this is something that hardly anyone even has a glimpse of, let alone understands it.

What you are talking about here is so important.

This is why we must have JUSTICE, NOT CHARITY!

Thank you for being a whistle-blower on this!
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #115
129. lol our "advocates" would freak but
Edited on Wed Aug-26-09 01:58 PM by mntleo2
...I would love to write about these "poverty pimps" all done under the innocent umbrella of helping when in fact SOMEBODY is raking in the dough and it sure ain't the people they are supposed to help.

I have thought a lot about my fellow advocates' fears if more people knew the truth about the gate keepers and poverty pimps who live off the backs of the poor ~ particularly extremely wealthy people who use their "charities" as tax havens. they are terrified if we "tell" then ie will be making it so then there would not be anything at all for a safety net.

Doesn't this kind of seem like the bribery an abuser uses to shut their victims up? You get beaten up for merely stepping in their doorway, have to prove and give every detail of your life just for a roll of toilet paper or a meal, have someone look at you as if you are a perpetual liar and assume you "want" your situation, but ohhhhh, don't tell anyone about how you feel when we treat you this way, or maybe someone will believe you and then we just might have to take it ALL away so everyone you care about suffers ..."

Perhaps it is time to RUMBLE. My low income friends of color are bemused and amused about how suddenly when upper income people are losing it, ohhhh, suddenly it is a "crisis" when it has been going on for almost 30 years now full force. the newly poor are shocked, shocked I tell you when they get treated like crap, and left hung out to dry, after applauding so wildly with the decimation of our safety net in the '90s by Clinton and Co.

And now that these newly poor face even some of what so many have faced for decades, perhaps the torches and pitchforks would truly come out, but ...

Just sayin' ...

Cat
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #129
130. Yes, it is INDEED time to RUMBLE! The "progressive" media won't hear us, Air America shuts us off
rudely, the magazines don't run informative articles.... but I do have ONE idea. Don't know if it would be accepted, but they have put their foot in their mouths saying that they are supportive and open to ideas.

Are you willing?

And, yes, I'm also laughing at people who are "Shocked" by reality.

And it will happen more. Tough.

However, I spoke with two women yesterday about this article,(Criminalization of Poor Folk), and surprisingly, they both have experienced it first hand. I plan to print it out and give it to them, as they have been listening to me.

The real disappointment was that the one who is 65, raising her grandson and talked about being HUMILIATED trying to get health care for him, said, "Well, it will be over soon. He will be 18, and they won't offer anything, so I just have to hang on til then."

I replied that it may be over for HER, but not for those coming after, which she agreed with, and asked her to begin writing a list of how she WANTS and SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXPECT to be treated.

I brought back two wondeerful posters from Indian women who are working with battered women, and their words and artwork about being treated with respect are wonderful. This woman copied them, and I asked her to use them to stimulate her writing her own expectations. We'll see what happens.

I wish I had them digitized so you could see them. I really believe they could be a springboard to DEMANDS of being treated WITH RESPECT.

If we don't start demanding that, part of the problem is US.
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. Poverty is institutionalized, many don't get that
I know what you are speaking about. It is sick to assume that someone "wants" or "choses" to be poor and homeless. GAWD what idiots! But I am not making this up that I have actually heard DSHS high up Suits call someone's poverty a "choice" and they had to be publicly corrected to their embarrassment.

Who would REALLY want you to get out of something that makes them a lot of money and/or gives them a job? It is a perpetual circle if you ask me.Especially when it is an $91 MILLION industry for ONE agency, much less the other 8 agencies who are also getting that much as "contracts."

Also it is not against the law to discriminate against anyone if they are poor, this goes for a job, housing, or anything, it is perfectly fine to discriminate because a person is in poverty. Because see, most poor people have bad credit and if you check their credit records, it doesn't matter if you always paid your rent on time, if you couldn't pay that heat or phone bill, well too bad no home, or too bad no job.

While the criminalization of poverty is a veiled attempt at racism since many people of color are poor, it is really now about classism and many people of color are seeing this as well. They know they are being used as the "face" of poverty, when in fact there are as many if not more whites in poverty as any other ethnic group, particularly white women.

In reality now they can discriminate against EVERYONE they so choose and poverty is the "legitimate" reason. This goes for added fees, taxes, and service costs because everything has to be paid for up front by the poor and if they don't have enough to pay it on time, well add another 15% and refuse to take what they do have to pay ~ all or nothing. Bad credit checks are the death of any hope for most jobs, housing and any credit. How can you repair credit when you don't make enough to even afford the necessities and therefore are robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Cat In Seattle
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #111
116. That was EXACTLY what was said to me just this morning!
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 06:37 PM by bobbolink
By one more person who considers herself so aware.

NOR would she hear anything to the contrary.

Then people wonder WHY I'm angry..... why so MANY of us are angry! You can't live with this shit day after day and NOT get angry! Well, you could, but you would either have to drown your anger in drink or drugs, or get into fights or just kill yourself.

"Saying that homeless people chose to be homeless may help you to sleep better at night, but bears no relation to reality." Mitch Snyder

edited to say....thank you so much for standing up to that idiot and setting him or her straight! At least he or she had the grace to be embarrassed.... most do not. They just get defensive and justify their ignorance, as we see so often right here at DU.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #111
128. Thank you for your post.
The credit checks for job approval are a scandal. And in A "Christian" nation, none the less.
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theaocp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
74. Two words: Debtor's Prison
Straight up, yo. These non-boot-strap-wearin' lowlifes need to get themselves a job. I mean, WTF? Make lemonade you morans. /sarcasm
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
76. You people aren't thinking right.
There is too much poverty in this country. We have to discourage it. Like if we don't want murder, we outlaw it to discourage people from doing it, right? So outlawing poverty should discourage people from becoming impoverished, right?

Why do you think they call it the RIGHT wing? Their solutions are always RIGHT.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #76
86. It certainly works for mandatory health insurance coverage and irresponsible phone conversations
:yoiks:

I mean, if the middle class is willing to give up their own freedoms and concede that they have responsibilities, not rights, to things such as health care or privacy, then they will be nothing but angry and vindictive when the poor are not subject to even harsher restrictions than they are. The "lucky duckies" don't pay income tax, they aren't required to pay for health insurance, they aren't required to drive an automobile or pay mortgage payments! There should be a law against that... just look at all the Dems who prised the HOPE VI plan to "educate public housing residents about credit" and get them to sign baloon mortgages in order to experience the "joys of homeownership" while those without credit were quietly evicted and the public housing demolished to make way for developer driven $600,000 garage townhomes in the central city -- with $300,000 "affordable units" available on balloon mortgages to poor people "responsible enough" to adopt a "sensible credit policy". Which it is naturally their responsibility to maintain (by not buying meat, when they have payment obligations, the lousy freeloaders! Steak eating welfare recipients! There should be a law!)
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #86
127. Yeah, I'm getting on your page.
The middle class has been snookered, so the poor should be snookered even more.

(Hoping sarcsm tag ain't necessary here.)
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #76
88. +1. n/t
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greengestalt Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
77. No crime is greater than poverty
You might look up the essay "The poor pay everything"... It was in most people's "Sociology 101" texts.


Not that I agree with it.


And, we can use this to our agendas, since with more people becoming poor and the reality cracking the illusion of "Just go to college and work hard and you'll prosper" more people will embrace more progressive programs and can be made to see the rich as not "smarter or luckier" but parasites that already own far more than they deserve and that isn't enough for them.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
79. My story-
I just paid nearly 600 bucks to the police man and the towing company because they said I owed child support that I didn't owe. Called up the DA, called up the Child Support agency, hell I even called my ex-wife that I haven't spoken to in years, and guess what? I don't owe shit. But the computer said that I do... so I pay.

I've been back in my home town for about a year and I've been pulled over twice, both times they take my car, both times I show them there is no reason, but I never get my money back. Last time it happened I was told I had nine tickets I didn't pay. When I went to court I explained to them that at the time those tickets were issued I was in the service of my uncle so I couldn't have gotten them, the judge, an nice looking lady with wonderful teeth, dismissed the tickets but of course you still have to pay for impound fees, towing, storage and this wonderful thing they call a lean fee. No big deal, just an extra hundred.

When you ask what you can do they tell you to get a lawyer. I'm a licensed driver, I have insurance and I have a clean driving record, but it's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to drive any more. In one year this has costs me more than three thousand dollars. I'm grateful that I have a roof over my head, but the rest of this month will be without food, unless it comes from my garden.

And shit like this happens to people everyday. Espically in shit cities like mine, Stockton Ca, because the city is running out of money. This happens to people who are even worse off than I am, stuff like this is what makes some people homeless.

There are NO jobs out there and people start doing whatever they need to do to survive. It just seems that there is no way to even get even, much less get ahead.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
81. It's always been a "crime" to be poor.
Look inside almost any jail/prison. You won't find many people who were NOT poor.

That said, being poor does not MAKE one a criminal, but it sure does prevent getting decent legal representation when an infraction of the law occurs.

Probably most of us here, have an "incident" in our past, that could have gone WAY differently if we had not been "lucky", or if there had been a cop present when it happened.

Poor people tend to be less educated (many reasons there), and their infractions are magnified, often to help local politicians build up the "notches on their belts", for when they run as "tough on crime".

Poor people must spend every dime they have, just to keep food & shelter going, so there is nothing left for extras. When you have no safety net, you take chances, and some of those chances lead to illegality, especially for the younger crowd.

Poor people live in blighted areas, that are always under assault, by police, by urban renewers, by various scamming do-gooders, you name it.

Poor people always wear bright red..in a sea of tan..they stick out...
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
83. Bobbo sent me the following article excerpt. Read it and weep:
"In the research of Fisk and her colleagues, people were asked how different social groups are viewed by their society. When asked a series of questions about social warmth and the competency of different social and ethnic groups, the answers clustered around four emotional responses: pity, envy, pride, and disgust. For example, people routinely reach to the homeless with disgust. This is puzzling enough. You might have thought people would pity the homeless, empathize with their position, and feel sorry for them. Not at all. And in a functional MRI study, when study participants were presented with pictures of members from each social and ethnic group, the medial prefrontal cortex--the site that registers the potential for an object's social action--popped for all but one group: the homeless. The homeless maybe seen as human, but not fully so, not as social actors." The Empathy Gap by J.D. Trout 2009 p. 30
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. That is truly disturbing. n/t
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Krakowiak Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #83
125. This deserves its own OP (nt)
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
90. When was it not a crime to be poor?
Workhouses and poor farms were essentially punishment for poor people lacking the proper amount of industriousness. Poll taxes were another way of separating good citizens from bad, where the quality was judged based on the ability to pay.

The difference now in this country is we're codifying it in ever more perverse ways. Goodbye, Great Society, hello Dickensian America.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
92. Imagine if we weren't a Christian nation!
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 02:54 PM by WinkyDink
*sarcasm galore*
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #92
103. Yes indeed, since churches are the ONLY source of charity.
You ever see any ATHEIST charity?

The problem is, we need JUSTICE rather than charity, and atheists aren't doing anything about that, either.

But,, I'm sure that won't actually cause you to THINK.
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change_notfinetuning Donating Member (750 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
102. Examples abound of the B.S. that honest, law abiding citizens have to
put up with if times are rough, whether a period of unemployment, underemployment, illness, or whatever:

You can have a perfect driving record for 30 years, but if your credit rating is not so good, you are charged more for car insurance. They couldn't find a pre-existing condition, like tickets or accidents, so they manufacture one - bad credit. No relation to risk to the auto insurer, however. Yet legal and commonplace.

You can be one of the millions who have lost their jobs since the Reagan years who couldn't find another job for a number of months. We all know unemployment payments don't even cover the basics. You are forced to take from savings, if you are lucky, or go in the hole. Yet, thanks to Reagan and every session of Congress since then, you will pay federal income tax on your unemployment compensation. The unemployed who pay income tax are subsidizing the top few percent who benefited from the Bush tax cuts that we are allowing to run its course.

You have lost your job and can't find anything comparable to what you were doing. Then you do. You jump through all of the hoops and they offer the job, SUBJECT TO A BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION. Again, your credit rating has tanked during unemployment and the subsequent battle to survive on credit cards or whatever. Now your offer of employment is withdrawn because you are a risk. HUH? A risk for what? Unless you are taking a job that comes into contact with money or payments, WTF is the risk? Yet, no job.

You lose your job and you are trying to keep up. You bounce a check or checks as you fall behind, thinking that you have money (like unemployment compensation) on the way. Bad move. Each check costs you around $30 and the banks pay them in the order that costs you the most fees. They could pay five little ones that you had the money to cover and bounce the one big one, but NO - they pay the one big check and bounce the five little ones - $150. And how much does the bounced check really cost the bank and how much is obscene profits?

And if you are delinquent on credit card payments - 29% or more! That is bullshit. How can an honest person catch up, even without further disasters? Can you say usury?


I know these aren't crimes, but these practices should be illegal, but . . . .

I'm sorry, but which party is the one that is supposed to be on the side of you and me? Oh, I forgot, the one that still doesn't exist.

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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
109. I want to scream when I see the police tearing down tent cities....
This is NOT the time to be assholes to the poor. This is the time we should be working together.
As this keeps up we can expect things to get a lot worse. There is no recovery without jobs.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #109
118. Why don't you? Silence is acquiescence.
While I appreciate very much your sentiments, I get really exhausted having to remind everyone of this...

NOT EVERYONE CAN WORK.

OK?

Can we finally agree to that, and quit harping on jobs being THE answer?

By doing so, you leave out all of us who are too old, too sick or too injured to work.

What would you have us do?

Find the nearest ice floe?
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #118
122. I am sorry you somehow read that I want the old and sick to have to work....
I am not for that either.
And I do speak out..and I write letters to my representitives in congress etc and to the local papers.
You are assuming much from my post speaking out for the homeless that I never posted or implied.
However I also can tell you are having a hard time and I wish there was a better support system for our people.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #122
124. You apparently missed what I said FIRST. You might want to go back and check on that.
"There is no recovery without jobs."

When EVERYONE keeps stressing JOBS, you really think those of us who can't work don't feel left out and isolated?

There are people right here at DU who are hurting because of being bypassed in this way. You try being isolated in this way from people who insist that they care, and find out firsthand how it feels.

Tell ya what.... I'm just as tired of reminding people of this as you apparently are of hearing me say it... so here's the deal.

You pick up onn all the posts stressing jobs and comment on it and remind people of those of us who are left out of that scenario, so I don't have to do it so much anymore.

'K?

Deal?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
114. It's always been a crime to be poor.
When you don't have enough money to pay rent and sleep in the street, they accuse you of vagrancy. If you don't have enough money for food and try to make ketchup soup in the diner, you can sometimes be arrested. If you can't pay the ticket for jay walking you will be arrested. There are so many ways the poor are made illegal just for not having enough.
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