Who are these homeless people anyways? Folks down on their luck who have just fallen through the cracks? Drunken bums? Drug addicts? Criminals? What does the rank and file in this empty faced army consist of? Do we even care? . . . or do we just want these losers to disappear from our streets so we don’t have to look at them.
As I see it the only difference between ‘us and them’ is that the homeless, for whatever reason, lost all their stuff. Therefore since we judge one anothers worth by the amount of stuff we possess, these people are deemed worthless.
This ‘haves and have nots’ attitude is so screwed up on so many levels that it is hard to even write about it. The changes it will take to actually create the society we love to brag about are almost insurmountable . . . but not quite.
Many years ago in this country we were snookered into believing that a monkey dressed in a three piece suit was no longer a monkey. Even if he had lied and cheated, even if he had killed to get that suit, it didn’t matter as much as the fact he possessed it.
Today we have a corporate owned government in this country filled with psychopaths and charlatans every bit as evil as the homeless thugs who enjoy strong arming other homeless persons as they sleep under a bridge. The only difference between the two classes of thugs is that the official has learned to cloak himself in respectability and hide in plain sight while his brother hunkers in the shadows. We need to break the spell . . . we need to wake up and get our priorities in order.
I got out of the military sometime in the mid 60’s, came home to the States and got a factory job right away. In those days hundreds of men physically manned the steel mills that ran three shifts 24/7. A large majority of these guys were black. It wasn’t too many years later that computerized machines were introduced into the factories and a steady shrinking of the work force began.
The black communities were hit very hard. Unable to find work the men lost their pride, they became drunks and druggies in order to cope. Many lost their family ties and ended up living in the streets. The army of the homeless began to grow in size.
Many soldiers came home from the war with PTSD and problems that drove them into the streets. The army of the homeless was strengthened. They say 30% of today’s homeless are veterans.
A 1985 report from Los Angeles estimated that 30% to 50% of homeless persons were seriously mentally ill. The study concluded that this was in part the product of the deinstitutionalization movement….The streets had become the asylums of the 80s.
So, basically we have three main reasons for homelessness: Loss of employment, veterans and their PTSD, the release of mentally ill through the deinstitutionalization movement. There are many others . . . and the army of the hopeless grows.
Today there are countless numbers of people who, although they are fine at the moment, are living off credit and only a couple days away from the streets themselves. It’s scary in America these days and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
You know, you’d think this country, especially since the corporate takeover at least, would begin to realize that coming up with a solution to the homeless problem would be GOOD for business. Remember what happened to the rich and powerful in Russia’s Bolshevik revolution? (see Dr. Zhivago)
Globalization may not be a bad thing, but just dumping our citizenry overboard for cheap off country labor and a higher profit margin to the corporation is so short sighted that I have to wonder just how intelligent the CEO actually is. As is, when he/she takes the podium I’m having a hard time seeing nothing but Cheeta in a three piece suit.