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article imageReview: America — Home of the homeless

By Alexander Baron     Feb 14, 2012 in Politics
Last night, the BBC 'Panorama' programme sent its reporter Hilary Anderson to interview people who are living under canvas and worse in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
According to one source, 47 million Americans are now living below the poverty line. Although this is probably using an extremely liberal definition of poverty, there are some objective criteria that cannot be dismissed so easily, like couples living in tents, and families including those with young children, squashed into third rate accommodation, and living on hand outs - not from the government, but from charities. In Florida, the sunshine state, around three hundred people are living in tent cities, and an estimated 5,000 throughout this once great nation. This does not include the chronic homeless such as winos, drug addicts and people with serious mental health issues.
The programme Poor America can currently be found here for those who can receive it. There are always dissenting voices of course, including here. According to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, there are no poor in America, at least not so anyone would notice. Obviously he hasn't , but then he does wear a suit and tie and is paid to do what exactly? Well, according to the blurb on its website, “Rector played a major role in crafting the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation, which, for the first time, required recipients to work or get job training for their benefits”. This ludicrous approach to so-called unemployment and the alleviation of poverty is in any case a pseudo-moral non-solution rather than an economic one. Rector is obviously someone else who has never heard of Major Douglas. Probably he has never heard of the people who are living in drains under Las Vegas either, or if he has, he has certainly never interviewed them as Panorama did.
The people this programme focuses on are from all backgrounds, white as much as black, and increasingly from the middle classes. Most shockingly though the kids are the ones who are suffering the most, or who will be, because what sort of start can this be in life for anyone?
The person with whom everyone appears to be disappointed is Obama, with especial reference to the failure of Obamacare, but as the programme points out, this is not entirely his fault, to wit, the spirit is willing but his hands are tied. Is this necessary? Of course not!
Click here and read Lynn Herrmann's article about how the American Government has just allocated $63 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration to spy on American citizens, among other things. And to what purpose? To reduce the risk of subversion and those wicked terrrorists?
Here is a better idea, how about Uncle Sam spends that $63 billion on rehousing the homeless, medical aid for those who have to queue up for 3 or 4 hours to see a free physician or dentist, and to provide a decent standard of living for all? In addition to that, America could stop sending aid including military aid, to Israel, Egypt and everywhere else, including Afghanistan. If foreigners want to kill each other, let them do so at their own expense.
Two years ago, there was a massive earthquake in Haiti. Within days if not hours, the world was there. Last year there was a major disaster in Japan: an earthquake, a tsunami and the little business of a potential nuclear meltdown thrown in. And the world was there, including America. The US and indeed the world can go to war at the drop of a hat, and afterwards the infrastructure can be repaired likewise at the drop of a hat. Perhaps the country needs a lesson in Greek economics. It appears not to need another four years of Obama, until that is, one remembers what is the alternative.
More about Panorama, Homelessness, Depression, Recession, robert rector
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