‘Thanksgiving in LA: From Hollywood’s American dream to social nightmare’


From wsws.org, a tragic report few will ever read:

“While the Hollywood establishment is fully engaged in other matters, the social reality in Los Angeles on the Thanksgiving holiday stands in stark contrast to media depictions of the entertainment capital as the place where the American dream comes true.

Last June, a report revealed that the number of homeless in Los Angeles County jumped to 58,000, a 23 percent increase from 2016. In recent weeks, a hepatitis A outbreak among the homeless population has prompted officials to declare a state of emergency in some areas. Last month, it was reported that this year there are thousands fewer shelter beds than in 2009, with only 0.3 beds per homeless person.”

Marc Wells then notes that the LA Regional Food Bank estimates that 1.4 million people in the county experience food insecurity, meaning that a sixth of the population don’t know where their next meals will come from.  He cites soaring housing and transportation costs as pushing even two-income food deprivation, but I’d have to guess medical costs as well.

“An index of worsening conditions is given by a 68 percent increase in the youth homeless population (18- to 24-year-olds) over 2016. Los Angeles community colleges report that one in five students is homeless, while two-thirds cannot afford proper nutrition.

The situation for homeless youth is believed to be worse than reported. Bill Bedrossian, the CEO of Covenant House California, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless 18- to 24-year-olds, commented that his organization has seen an increase of young men and women in recent years. Half of them are former foster kids.”

Wells writes that the homeless are treated to two of the solutions to social inequality: hide it (them) or institutionalize (cynically normalize) them.

“On one hand the severity of social inequality is rigorously concealed by diversion campaigns. On the other, politicians, especially Democrats, propose hundreds of millions of dollars not to address the underlying issues typical of capitalist society, such as social inequality, but to make homelessness an institution with which society should learn to permanently coexist, while private contractors are given the chance to enrich themselves off public funds.

It doesn’t require exceptional imagination to foresee that the proposed tax cut bill passed by the US House of Representatives last week, which includes an estimated $1.5 trillion tax cuts for corporations, will produce deadly conditions for the socially vulnerable, as the budget for aid programs are slashed and crucial entitlement and social programs like Social Security and Medicare are threatened.”

If I understand correctly, many of the agencies of what remains of the social network require an address, which of course the homeless, even those living in tent cities across Amerika…don’t have.  And we remember well how many Obamaville tent cities like this one in CO were brutally shut down back in the day, as well as how many states and cities criminalized homelessness, as well as feeding the homeless, well as criminalizing searching dumpsters and other trash receptacles for discarded, but entirely edible, food.

A wsws team interviewed a number of volunteers at the LA Mission’s ‘Skid Row Thanksgiving at the tent city around San Pedro and 5th Street.  A commenter below the exposé  said that it’s similar in San Diego.

In March of 2016 RT had published Cynthia McKinney’s op-ed ‘America, we have a problem: Homelessness is out of control’.

“It’s hard to imagine that the country that controls so much nuclear firepower and drops so many bombs every day is unwilling to educate its children and house its own people.”

(I’d think they come from the same sick well of cavalier cruelty, myself…)

“The poor have been with us since there was an “us.” And, as much as I would like to see zero poverty in the United States, a country that spends trillions on its domestic and international security apparatuses, I know that the political will for such policies is just not there today. This, despite the efforts of thousands of people just like me all over the country to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of the poor in the US. Instead, it has become clear from the rhetoric of the 2016 Presidential campaigns, that it is easier to preen oneself by boasting of increasing such security spending, and almost never to decrease it. Not even Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders discusses cutting back on military spending and cutting weapons systems. Thus, we can have a Presidential election and not one word is uttered about the criminalization of the poor and now the crisis of homelessness that afflicts a growing number of cities on the west coast of the US.”

She’d quoted the Child Trends DataBank figures that at the start of the 2013-14 school year, 1.4 million students had no address to give to school authorities, and that while figures are supremely hard to come by, child homelessness was increasing.

“From California to Washington State—from the Mexican border to the Canadian border—mayors are grappling with a homeless problem evocative of the Great Depression and “Hoover Towns” known during the presidency of Herbert Hoover as “Hoovervilles.” On December 10, 2015, mayors from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Eugene, Oregon held their first Summit in Portland on the housing crisis engulfing their cities. They proclaimed that they don’t understand enough about what is happening to their citizens and in the country. They gathered because they are concerned about the impact on their cities. They also recognized that many of the homeless are veterans of the Administration’s current wars.

Ten years ago, Portland declared its ‘war’ against homelessness yet, in 2016, there are as many homeless as there were at the time of the declaration. A tech worker in San Francisco wrote a letter to the mayor complaining about having to come into visual contact with “homeless riff-raff.” I doubt that that same tech worker even bothered to defend the right of people to remain in their neighborhoods attacked by rapacious developers who have veritably wiped out San Francisco’s Black community and inner-city neighborhoods where people could find affordable housing. The nuns of the Fraternité Notre Dame who run the Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen are an example. They tend to the needs of San Francisco’s homeless. But, they, themselves are at risk of becoming homeless because the landlord raised their rent by more than 50 percent while a developer lurks in the background attempting to build more housing in the neighborhood, but is opposed by residents because not enough of it is affordable. The San Francisco Weekly News calls the city’s homeless population the result of the city’s failed policies. Seattle declared a homelessness ‘State of Emergency’ in November of last year.

She quotes Dwight Eisenhower at the end:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

Side note: Cynthia McKinney was not one of the authors of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; it was passed in 1987 and signed into law by Ronald Raygun.

From EdSource via the daily news: ‘Young and homeless in America: Survey says the problem is worsening’, Nov. 21, 2017

A few outtakes, but the numbers are horrifying, if unsurprising:

“More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released last week.”

“Among its findings:

  • Rural homelessness was nearly equal to urban homelessness.
  • LGBT youth were 120 percent more likely to become homeless than their straight peers.
  • African-American youth were 83 percent more likely to become homeless than other groups.
  • Among those homeless youth who were 18 to 25 years old, the primary reasons they were homeless were high housing costs, low wages and large student debt, according to Matthew Morton, a research fellow at University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall policy research center who oversaw the study.

The study recommends that Congress invest more in safety-net programs, such as child welfare, education and counseling, and promote more affordable housing. Better cooperation between schools, the juvenile justice system, public health agencies and other groups that deal with low-income families would also help, he said.”

Sigh; oh, yes.  That’ll be the day…  Wot?  Are there no prisons?  Are there no workhouses?

NationalHomeless.org has the most complete compendium of reports I was able to find, as in ‘just the straight dope’, not politicized, begging for donations to compromised NGOs, etc.  Report categories are Hate Crimes,  Discrimination and Criminalization Studies, (includingSwept Away: Reporting on the Encampment Closure Crisis (2016), and Other Publications, one of which isMental Illness and Homelessness’, which was based on a survey of city mayors, so…I dunno how accurate it is.

And for our fine friend of the Café J (and various other guises) who will tell some of his homeless stories one day: ‘2017 Thurston County homeless census will target veterans, youths, rural communities’, theolympian.com

“In 2016, volunteers counted 579 homeless people, which was higher than 2015’s count of 476 and about even with 2014’s count of 576.

The leading causes for homelessness were listed as economic problems, job loss, family crisis, being kicked out of home, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illness.”

The homeless in america hashtag is highly political, with plenty of reactionary rubbish, but:

 

30 responses to “‘Thanksgiving in LA: From Hollywood’s American dream to social nightmare’

  1. ich bin ein olympianer

    Mary Beard: “In the reign of the emperor Nero, when someone had the bright idea to make slaves wear uniforms, it was rejected on the grounds that this would make clear to the slave population just how numerous they were.” (SPQR: a History of Ancient Rome.) (from J. St. Clair at CP this weekend).

    Of course homeless people can also see all the empty commercial space, easily convertible to temp or perm housing. hell, there’s a 15 story abandoned office building two blocks from downtown…that’s all boarded & fenced up, cuz, you know, property rights.

    How is it that 1) there are no lack of blankets or means to produce blankets in this world? 2) there are no lack of people in need of blankets? What is it that disrupts that flow of supply to need? and why is this simple analogy true of *everything*?

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Bill Gates & his ilk’s wealth is the immiseration of the many. & he & soros & the kochies &&& are parasites & thieves. “Caesar & Antony ever do more in their officer than in their person.” wealth & fame is nothing more than stealing shit from other people, and knocking them off if they bitch about it. Microsoft steals every idea it can get away with, while all we hear about is what a genius entrepreneur that swindling swine Gates is. (fawn on your benefactors, Amerikkka!)

    • but the rulers keep us too hungry, too tired, too busy with inter-tribal warfare, the pretense that elections change anything that capital dictates, too distracted w/ important stuff like the current titillations of #meToo (although i loved the charlie rose fall from his pedestal, *if true*)…to allow us to realize that government and an economy are supposed to serve the people, not the MIC, wall street corporations, etc. and yep, we get so conned by the parasite class, especially when they’re not only ‘brilliant entrepreneurs’, but Gods in service to humanity! like bill gates.

      this piece at the olympian from 2014 may have been what some of your street homies had pinged the rumors about ICE raids surfaced.

      but it looks like police assassinate hapless folks there pretty easily, too. one cop even had a bean-bag rifle, according to his parents, who also say that he wasn’t hurting anyone, they could have stayed in their piggy car and talked to him via speaker. but he’d threatened suicide! can’t have that!

      hope you’re doing okay, olympianer. any folks there feel like occupying that building? yeah, i know….j/k

      • thanks to the endless pasta at the Olive Garden, i’m still kickin.
        I didn’t see that article about the pig on human shooting until you sent it. Are there coincidences? shortly after I read that article, someone was going round trying to get people to sign a petition for the cops to have more sensitivity training, to not harass people, no bullying zones, no micro-, much less macro-, aggressions, make the world a safe space, etc., etc. WTH is police academy for? to learn to deescalate & use the least amount of force necessary? snort. is that what the slave patrols did? Anyway, I couldn’t take any more of this idiotic liberal do-goody never raise your voice b.s., never call things as they are (murder, state murder), so I just said, “why not just disarm the police???” oh that was too much to take for the signer of very important petitions talking to the person doing the petitioning. “I want to hear the very important ideas of this nice person!”

        constantly pitting people against other, on the basis of race, sexual identity, etc., etc. in an artificially resource scarce environment, we act out our cruelties in ways & against people we’ve been taught to be prejudiced against or abuse. then we are told that gender violence, racism, homophobia, etc., exist simply between the two temples of people’s brain pans requiring psychological intervention, education, monitoring, censorship, etc. when’s someone gonna ask Hilary why she looked the other way at all the awful sexual predator stuff her husband loves to this day? how about Meryl Streep? when’s someone gonna make the obvious point that HRC, Madeline Albright, Condie Rice, Carly Fiorina, Kathryn Bigelow, Streep, etc., etc., got to be at the pinnacles of success & power precisely by looking the other way at the sexual violence & racism going on around them? but oh now we are all against sexual harassment in the workplace are we?

        Orwell had some words about inducing sexual hysteria & panic in order to keep people in a state of paranoid dissatisfaction so they are always aggressive. now when sex is used to sell cars, that’s a good use of sex. almost any other time, in public discourse, sex is not plugged into some consumerist nonsense, sex becomes about the danger of STD’s, fear of rape and the threat of harassment, how not to fall in love with an ax-murderer, and how “promiscuity” brings violence down upon oneself.

        ok…now that this comment has been all over the place….

        • dagnabbit, me three! i’d just told mr. wd that the last time we’d herd from you, you were off to see the ‘it’s going down’ anarchists at the blockade. so on a break, i was a-gonna duck-duck to see if you may have gotten yerself arrested or somethin’. er…i mean to say, glad you’ve been at the pasta bar instead.

          but oooof! what a fine rant. break’s gotta be over, so more later. take care of yerself, tom joad on the road. long live piggy power! long live blindfolded women at the pinnacle of their careers! (meryl streep? dinnae know…)

        • p.s. i’ve been totally pissing away my life trying to present evidence that #bill gates is a megalomanic pigita of the first order at ian welsh’s digs. a # of them seem to think he’s magnificent…or something. see? (self)advertising can work, even w/o sex! brrrrr. just got a shiver seeing sex and bill gates in a sentence. sorry.

  2. oh, fie and tiddly-pom; i just lost my long comment. i need a break, so i’ll try again later. so glad you’ve surfaced, olympianer, and the quote is right fine…and do true, as w/ ‘rise like lions from your slumber’ we are many…they are few’.

  3. Years ago here there was a bank that began to lock its foyer doors close of business Fridays until Monday morning. It had otherwise been an open access point to people withdrawing cash from its machines or getting printouts of their accounts. They locked it to keep homeless people out. It made me think of a homeless person who’d finally got a job but couldn’t get paid because he’d been banned from the bank for life.

    A council has been called “cruel and callous” for proposing £1,000 fines to homeless people sleeping in tents in the city centre.
    Stoke-on-Trent council in Staffordshire is consulting on a public space protection order (PSPO) that will make it an offence for a person to “assemble, erect, occupy or use” a tent unless part of a council-sanctioned activity such as a music festival.
    Under such a scheme anyone who fails to pay their £100 on-the-spot penalty notice can be prosecuted and could be fined up to £1,000 in court.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/24/council-proposes-1000-fines-for-homeless-sleeping-in-tents

    • wot? were there no Payday Loans to cash their checks at roughly 36%?

      srsly, i’m so old i remember when some churches kept their doors open for the homeless, at least still in the early ’70s in boulder, colorado. but of course back then, the same conditions as the current ones meant: far fewer homeless.

      thanks for the link, mein herr. i’ll add these two bits from it:

      ““Last year, freedom of information requests by the Vice website discovered that at least 36 local councils in England and Wales “have introduced or are working on PSPOs which criminalise activities linked to homelessness”.

      ““There is a range of support in place to help homeless people in the city. The city council has given one of its buildings to be used as the Macari Centre for homeless people, alongside work in partnership with organisations including Brighter Futures, Salvation Army, YMCA, Voices. We work closely with churches and have launched street chaplains teams to work in the city centre” said a stoke-on-trent councilperson.

      we know how all of those blessed alternatives actually pan out, don’t we? iirc, john bleeping hickenlooper, gov of CO, created the only (first?) state law that immunized homeless from being charged with ‘vagrancy’…and ending up in jail, a modern-day debtors’ prison. fancy that.

      and in berlin? elsewhere in germany? i’d meant to search for homeless stats for you, but i kinda ran outta steam…and time. or most of the homeless…refugees from the empires’ multiple and endless wars?

      • In re the matter of developing homelessness in Berlin: I’ve fictionalized recency at the end-link but here’s an excerpted rough translation of the ingermanity to spare you from machining it. The two problems mentioned and the numbers are accurate, as far as I can tell:

        »As I said, the fire-bringer came into the land for two purposes defined by two critical problems. For a generation, as has already been learned from the research class, the native insect population has dwindled dramatically. As a consequence the fire-bringer received Task A. In the city, as one’s learned at the same time from the priestly caste, in ever increasing numbers the ”unlanded” were landing, whereby the clergy meant mostly tramps from neighboring countries. As the year before, and the years before that, as always, but this time, seriously, for real. The fire-fighter’s fate was sealed by the solution to this problem.«
        [snip]
        »There was a lack of beds. Please. Not just because of that! You hear, forty-thousand with no permanent home, under which no doubt all of those count who at some point managed to have no registered residence but could be found in the data base of one or another authority. Only ten thousand, it is assured, are considered to be living on the street. At any rate, countless newcomers, who self-reliantly until vacated, had made themselves at home in makeshift camps.«
        [snip]
        As far as insect extinction goes: »I can only say that neither do some of these live off the books nor are their numbers deflated by the responsible officials to make the unemployment numbers look better.«
        and »I miss both the fireflies and the seasonal shelters.«

        https://davidly66.blogspot.de/2017/11/der-parkbank-pinkler-ruckdreiundzwanzig.html

        • my, oh, my, davidly. i wish i felt i had any sort of handle on your fire-bringer/firefighter metaphor…but i suspect i’ve failed; check that: i’m sure of it. but i do at least see how your essay relates to the previously unknown to me hume quote. ;-)

          but dwindling insect population as biosphere failures and native germans dwindling as well? but this arrow pierced my heart: “At any rate, countless newcomers, who self-reliantly until vacated, had made themselves at home in makeshift camps”, and your ‘loving fireflies’ as well. also, may one ask what or whom ‘getwattert’ be? so many wonderful quotes and thoughts there in your what, twitter feed?

          wsws was noting that after a million dollar a minute sales for amazon on black friday…bezos the terrible now owns $100 billion, and what that could actually do to help the global immiserated. appropriation? redistribution?

          • They’re excerpted paragraphs are ripped from their context; you weren’t supposed to get the firebringer allegory. Sorry. The translation is harder than writing the original. Otherwise I’d oblige.

            • lol. you might have told us not to overthink it, mein freund. i’d reckoned that jason might have come on and tasked me for my ignorant and abysmal cluelessness. by the by, did you ever tell us how you ended up living in germany? my apologies if you had, and…i’ve forgotten.

              but srsly, i’d chuckled earlier over imaging asking you if you might give me a…third translation? but at least now i know it was an allegory, not a metaphor, smile.

  4. Asset inflation
    Wage/salary deflation
    Two-tier financial system

    America’s cyclical migration to the mean

    • Oh yes, I forgot:
      Legal tax theft
      Municipal sponsored organized criminal gangs with inter-city trading networks

    • you been readin’ a lot of haiku lately, amigo? succinct as anyone could like, but if you mean ‘mean’ both in the mathematical sense, and the cruelty sense: yes.

      explain please: “Municipal sponsored organized criminal gangs with inter-city trading networks”? how might homeless due to mental crises (including so many veterans) and addictive self-medication caused by unrelieved fear fit into your construct?

  5. The epithet, Hooverville galvanized the ”29 Republican Depression; but ever since teh US’ BushC0bamanable GRATE DEPRE$$I0N 0f ’08-’09 with Barry-0 as the BANK$TER$’ bagman/getaway driver; N0 0NE has epitomized their evicted victim’s foreclosed homes as the “0bamavillas” they are (in order to at least $hame the Company $0N$-0f-BU$H$ and their BU$H $HAD0W Precedent). I even provided ‘0bamavilla’ as a pejorative to http://stopforeclosuresandevictions.org/ back in 2009, to draw attention to US’ foreclosure on BarBarack and eviction from his 0bamavilla at 1600 Pennsylvania in the 2012 ($)election ! Alas, no one’s ever Employed IT, including the above-referenced Bail0ut People Movement (trying it again, as I type this) !! 0r Well.

    • at first i was a bit confused as to your assigning importance to the actual houses foreclosed, bruce, but now i see that you meant that barry’s white house gig should have been foreclosed. but do you mean you’d tried to interest that site in using the meme? how weird is that that there’s not one year assigned to any of those action dates? i’d even clicked into one w/ march dates wondering… but no.

      such a flash from the past though about the ilwu at the port of longview; i’d covered the ‘occupy strikes back‘ story at the readers diaries at firedoglake back in the day.

      in this one, ‘Crisis Averted? Obama Set to Use Coast Guard Against ILWU in Longview, WA [Updated]’, i’d called “ILWU Deputy Communications Director in San Francisco, who told me that Gov. Gregoire was able to get EGT back to the negotiating table, and I found news that both parties have reached a tentative agreement that could end the years-long dispute over hiring local ILUW union workers.” not long afterward, the ilwu quit the afl-cio due to comprador trumka’s total disinterest in the story.

  6. InDepravedDeed ! Nearly 10 MILLION Foreclosed homes (~ 40 MILLION family members); and NADA peep, but for me; that their former homes became 0bamavillas. Yes, I tried to get the Bail0ut PeopleMovement to use the meme, From the 2009 0bamanable outset. Co-opted “crickets” ?

    • yes, ‘villas’ v ‘villes’. but beyond that, did the folks there object to foreclosing on obomba himself as a bridge too far? but in any event, there must have been simililar sites back in the day, no? david dayen (formerly FDL) was big in the movement, and i’d found his site for someone at ian welsh’s. but last month, yves smith at NC and a guest poster called epic bullshit on his newest contentions. eric schneiderman in NY, maybe? too lazy to fetch the link, unless yer willing to pay me my tandard $1.99, of course. ;-)

      kinda thought you’d get a kick out of sir ‘i’ll put on my walking shoes’ fukkery at the port of longview, though (and trumpa’s).

  7. oh, and while i was at shadowproof to fetch those links, i grabbed KG’s nov. 15Chicago’s Attack On The Homeless: After Tent City Evictions, People Are In Hiding

    “As temperatures drop and the winter months near, the city of Chicago remains committed to ensuring homeless individuals are unable to erect “Tent Cities” in the Uptown area of the city near Lake Shore Drive. Authorities also contend the city has no obligation to offer alternative housing for homeless individuals.

    The Chicago Police Department is prohibiting any “protest tent encampments” in Uptown and anyone who attempts to setup tents will be subject to arrest, as of September 19.” hey, rahm! love ya!!!

  8. Because, Chi-Town is run (down) by Another DEM 0botomized “Fucking Retard” (in his own words); and here’s the link I left off, confirming the numbers of fellow US’ “folks” whom DingleBarry-0 put on the streets : https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/obamas-failure-to-mitigate-americas-foreclosure-crisis/510485/

    • yep, the self-same david dayen i’d mentioned above. and while his numbers on foreclosures may be spot on, i did dig out yves smith and michael olnick’s trashing of dayen’s reports at the nation magazine. ‘The Nation Depicts a Mortgage Vulture Who Foreclosed on Homeowners as an FDR-Like Hero To Demonize Chase When It Was Actually Helping Homeowners’</strong, November 2, 2017 by Yves Smith warning: it’s really 2L2R for non-speed-readers….like myself.

      here’s about of a fourth of a comment by smith toward the end of the stream:

      Yves Smith , November 3, 2017 at 1:08 am

      “You weren’t personally involved in this fight on a daily basis for two and a half years, as I was, and you aren’t expert in this topic, so with all due respect, you are in no position to judge. I was there live and I will confirm that Dayen’s book is rife with errors, including many technical errors and incorrect timelines.

      The fact that Lynn Syzmoniak, one of Dayen’s three heroes, in a sworn court document called Dayen’s book “not reliable” should give you pause.

      But most important, he tells a fundamentally misleading story of why this issue got to the point that state attorneys general took interest in the issue and the Administration had to bail out the banks via the National Mortgage Settlement. I was on listserv with all the protagonists in the story along with over 100 other people, 40ish of whom commented regularly. That was the main vehicle for activism, a fact Dayen completely leaves out. He gives barely any mention to Matt Stoller, who organized the listserv and also did a great deal in getting various activist groups on the case as well as getting Democratic Congressmen and Senators on the various finance-related committees interested.

      The reason this struggle got anywhere is that two Alabama attorneys that Dayen does not even mention, Nick Wooten and Bubba Grimsley, figured out the failure of mortgages to get into securitizations trusts. This was before Stoller set up the listserv, which was the critical vehicle for making this a political fight. I was one of two people who issued the invites for the meeting in Washington that officially kicked off this event and was one of the three administrators of the listserv.”

      folks were by and large blown away, as so many of us had thought he was a mensch. bummer.

  9. as for addictive self-medication and hopelessness, i’d missed this earlier. Phil Rockstroh’s ‘Denying the Imperium of Death’, consortium news. He opens:

    “According to a nationwide study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a greater number of U.S. Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses last year than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War.
    All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate.

    The root of addiction is trauma. The soul of the nation is a casualty of war. There is not an Arlington Cemetery for these fallen, no hagiographic ceremonies will be performed over their graves nor statues erected in memoriam. Their ghosts will howl through the long, dark night of national denial. Listen to their wailing. It is an imprecatory prayer. A curse and augury … that admonishes, our fate and the fate of the nation will converge … as the nation will stagger, keening in lament, to the abyss.”

    (his ‘solutions’ section may be worthy, but purely aspirational, thus…unlikely, except in some great concerted effort…) later he even gets to homelessness, partially by way of gentrification:

    “Hostility directed at the poor is the shopworn, demagogic sleight-of-hand trick used to distract from realities such as: Every McMansion and high-end luxury high-rise constructed creates multitudes of the homeless. Every low pay, no benefits, no future Mcjob serves to decimate an individual, heart and spirit. Moreover the beneficiaries of the system promote the lie that shame should be the exclusive dominion of those broken by their system, a system, which is, in essence, a form of government-sanctioned gangsterism, by which they, the ruthless few, and they alone, benefit.”

    perhaps that was where you were heading, thd, that i’d asked you to explain?

  10. First of all, thanks for Yves’s critique of Dayen’s book. Unfortunately, Dayen’s book is all we have for the moment in our medium city library. Her points are well taken; a summary of the key posts of that listserv would be a useful record to preserve for the future. The general impression of what I have read is specific seven layers of industry “innovations” that were profitable because they were fraudulent, although they sometimes helped homebuyers (fraudulent mortgage applications) but mostly destroyed people’s financial live and often made them homeless.

    Is it haiku? It was just random notes. In the back of my brain are the consequences if Trump gets his tax changes. More of the same, but worse.

    What has been going on since 2000 has been asset (homes in 2000-2007 period, other assets since 2007) foreign money has been seeking a safe haven with investments, sometimes just for the appreciation value, that are not driven by use demand. Asset inflation prices out people who otherwise could easily afford houses. And that frothy market has once again brought in the speculators, driving prices up further. That drives up prices of even orginally (when they were built) modest working class homes that were then near factories and now are near universities or high-tech or information economy high-salary offices. Asset inflation.

    Wall Street insists that corporations are not building toward profitability unless they are squeezing wages and salaries of everyone and generously tying executive to performance bonuses and profit sharing. Wage deflation.

    Resulting society. Two-tier financial services. Banks/credit unions and payday loans. 9% credit cards and 20%+ credit cards (double payback in 3 years for just paying minimum payments).

    It is very easy to even with the most careful planning and payment to lose your house through the mismatch of income and the liability on assets. And once lost, there’s a downward spiral through rental housing, each more corrupt and higher priced compared to its lower value. Until landlord eviction.

    Addiction hastens the downward spiral. Medical payments can make the bottom fall out completely all at once. And you are on the streets, where the government of the locality does not want to see you; if you hide they will tolerate your presence and some even your begging. But as with the tramps of the 1890s depressions and the hobos of the Great Depression, for homeless they all try to be sundown towns.

    And they own the biggest and best-armed gang, whose job under cover of the law is to get you out of town any way possible. Any way–including firing at your sleeping body point-blank.

    And the PTB promote this insanity as trickle down of prosperity even as they are shrinking the total pie available for sales and underinvesting in nonfinancial businesses so they can keep their options open. Exact and precise fools as the consequences should the Republicans get their “tax reform” become reality and they screw up the raising of the debt ceiling. The PTB has a Christmas present this year.

    • welcome for adding the critique, and i reckon you’ve read the entire thing by now, including the pdf michael olnick provided in the comments section. thanks for expanding not only on what you’d meant, but also what’s afoot in other venues as contributing to the insanely burgeoning homeless population in the US. side note: in the guardian piece davidly had brought re stoke-on- trent, ‘begging was okay’, but threatening begging (or close): not so much.

      it does appear that the scheme for T’s tax reform and jobs bill will actually happen in two phases, but how hard the Ds fight is up for grabs to me. (consider the extra billions they accorded the military over the amount the prez (really, the prez? yes, the almost logical next step post-obomba) considering what the NYT bent over for.

      oh, fiddlesticks, amigo, i just hit the wall for tonight. long day of reading, making my offerings at one or two quazi-goofy posts at ian welsh’s, and working toward a multi-part ‘hit pieces on wikileaks’ (actually assange… allegedly). more tomorrow, but my eyes and what’s left of my mind…need a bit of a holiday for tonight. (my dreams suck lately, so sleep isn’t much of a reprieve, but…there it is.) :-)

  11. Guardian on an organized squat in Sao Paulo.
    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/27/resistance-sao-paulo-homeless-reclaim-city-occupations

    An organized squat and agricultural land is the basis for the homeless not being idle (a key complaint of the city PTB). Acquaintances from Chicago are organizing squats and agricultural spaces in Oregon with some assistance of willing landowners and legal help.

    • good on your chitown friends, and good on the willing landowners and attorneys. funny that was under the ‘rockefeller cities’ rubric. i totally understand why the various homeless activist groups are leery of ‘public-private partnerships’, though. the ‘start small as we can’ from the housing sect’y presents an interesting choice dilema, given that the next director might switch policies, possibilities.

      telesur had coverage yesterday, and an internal link from sept. names temer’s short tenure as creating X number of homeless, though the number seemed low to me. wonder what it would look like now had dilma not been putsched? many said she’d become fairly neoliberal herself, but a whole hella lot better than the uber-oligarchical temer.

      when i look at the massive tent cities, it’s hard not to see a sea of mud when it rains, no way to shower, wash clothes, hands, no toilets; my god. it never had to be this way.

  12. And then there is Salt Lake City. Full availability of enough shelter space and fully funded services is not enough to repair lives quickly is the system is tossing people out of homes faster than the services can get them back into homes on a resilient basis. And the pressure always is cut costs, cut costs. cut labor. Cut labor.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/27/utah-homeless-shelters-housing-first

    Yes on public-private partnerships. Too often the funds flow from public to private with non-existent or highly-sacrificed delivery of goods and services producing a nice profit for the non-profit private entity, which is taken out in executive salaries. For-profit entities can take the slush out in earnings as well, which then flow to executive bonuses or other “incentives”.

    • i actually do remember utah’s great effort, and the ‘hurrah!’ reports as well. now that ws from april 2016; i wonder whassup there now? but so good to hear that the one mayor got the disabled into permanent housing, wasn’t it? also interesting was that men, women, and chirren were housed together. many shelters only take males or females, or at least back in the day.

      and many would-be shelterees were fearful about the lack of safety inside, as well as…sad to say…theft. thanks for expanding on private-public partnerships, and dah! there was another explanation upstream from your not-haiku i’d forgotten to note.

    • kinda need to drop this and run, but it doesn’t sound great by way of a quick scan. from the tribune, feb. 24, 2017.

      http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=4979717&itype=CMSID

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