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Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:41 AM

The economic gas chamber

Last edited Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:32 PM - Edit history (1)

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

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

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

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

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply The economic gas chamber (Original post)
Kalidurga Oct 2014 OP
raccoon Oct 2014 #1
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #2
raccoon Oct 2014 #3
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #10
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #4
paleotn Oct 2014 #5
newfie11 Oct 2014 #6
redruddyred Oct 2014 #7
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #12
woo me with science Oct 2014 #8
KingCharlemagne Oct 2014 #9
moondust Oct 2014 #11
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #13
woo me with science Oct 2014 #14
Kalidurga Oct 2014 #15

Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 06:17 AM

1. K&R. ITA with your premise.


where does the 37,000 figure come from?

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Response to raccoon (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 06:25 AM

2. I buried the link in the post

I wasn't sure of the best place to put it. http://www.nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/HardColdFacts.pdf

I have to go now, I will be back sometime this afternoon or evening. I am not abandoning the post. But, I sure won't be able to respond again for a while.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 06:50 AM

3. Yeah, I looked at the link but don't see that figure. nt

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Response to raccoon (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 05:40 PM

10. Thanks I have been trying to find my source for a while now

I was reading a lot and I mistakenly thought the link was where I got that number and it isn't. The real number may or may not be that high. But, now I am a bit more ticked off. It shouldn't be this difficult to find out how many people die due to lack of housing or the complications of not being housed. It just shouldn't. Statistics it seems are kept sporadically at best and not at all at worst. Some cities make an effort, but as you can guess it's difficult to find the numbers of people who are homeless, criteria varies some stats wouldn't count couch surfers and people who live with relatives in unstable situations. It is still an issue that I think more attention should be payed attention to. But, I think it won't be because it is an issue that affects far more minorities and people with mental illness two groups that by and large don't seem to matter to the moral majority. But, as near as I can tell from the few cities I have looked up hundreds of people in major cities and probably just approaching an average of 80 or so for smaller metro areas and an average of a couple for smaller cities and rural areas, the actual number might be below 10,000 that is the closest I can come to a guess. I could be wrong, 37,000 might be the actual number. The fact that we don't know IMO just adds to the tragedy.

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 07:02 AM

4. K&R...

Too often we forget that one of our central focuses should be on those who have nothing, and no way to help themselves. While the country panics about Ebola this winter, how many will die from the cold, from hunger, from illness? An economic gas chamber is the sad truth of the nature of poverty.

Thank you for the piece. Preaching to the choir or not, we always need the reminder.

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 08:05 AM

5. Well said. (nt)

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 08:18 AM

6. K&R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reagan left a great legacy! NOT!

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 08:48 AM

7. domestic violence would be cut in half if we had an adequate social safety net.

 

I'll bet it would do good things for the economy, too.

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Response to redruddyred (Reply #7)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 07:58 PM

12. I think it would be more than half

It might be half in the short term. But, it would have a ripple effect. I think to the point where it would be so rare that people would be in actual shock when it got reported. As it is people seem to think it's just part of the news cycle.

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:39 AM

8. K&R

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 11:46 AM

9. Emma Goldman said it best 100 years ago:

 

"Ask for work. If they don't give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.

~Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 06:38 PM

11. K/R

Speaking of gas chambers...

I've been pondering whether or not Ayn Rand, who has inspired many Republicans including some in Congress, would have been happy to contract with Adolph Hitler to build his gas chambers. Big job! Megabucks! As long as SHE wasn't the one who pulled the levers releasing the gas, and Hitler paid her what he agreed to, well, what's the problem? I'm not too familiar with objectivism/libertarianism so I don't know the answer, but isn't that sort of how it works with them?

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Response to moondust (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 26, 2014, 08:02 PM

13. I am not sure how it works for them.

On one hand they condemn big government. On the other they applaud more jails, more detox as long as it's very stark and jail like, more fines for being homeless, and just more draconian punishment for the poor all around homeless or not. The end result is we are a nation with no safety net and people literally die in the streets. I apologize sort of for not knowing the numbers. The statistic I found before I can't seem to find again, and I didn't save the web page. Which as I said before makes me madder. This problem is literally non-existent to the powers that be. If rich people were dying at the same rate as homeless people you can bet big bucks the problem if solvable would be solved tomorrow and we would have stats on it.

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Response to Kalidurga (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 06:28 PM

14. kick

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 06:39 PM

15. Thank you

After seeing a weakness in my essay that was pointed out, I went to search for exact stats. I should have updated. I still don't have hard numbers on how many people die. But, I found this after much searching. 600,000 people on any given night are homeless. I hope the majority are in shelters at least. And I am still PO'd that this is no longer a public concern that in fact that not only are the jobless, single mothers, demonized when they need public assistance, the demonization is on the working poor as well now. And what's even worse is many of them are among the homeless. No one should be deemed to demonic for shelter, but it's especially wrong IMO when they do have jobs, but they have to choose between shelter and food.

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