Homeless in America

No, not me – or anyone I know personally but I wonder how many people watched the Channel Four programme ‘Unreported World’ last night.

It had to compete with the World Cup and Wimbledon and so the audience would have been small but it really deserved a prime time spot.

Why isn’t the media full of these stories of middleclass Americans made homeless by the recent shenannigans in the banking world?

Some of them still have a job but can’t afford a home.

One man spends a large proportion of his wage on a gym subscription so that he can have a daily shower and look smart for work.

The ‘homeless shelters’ are over subscribed and the ‘lucky’ ones who get a place are given 120 nights to find somewhere to live.

But, for the vast majority, there is nowhere else and they end up in ‘tent cities’.

There are food parcels for the very poorest but many people who are still working cannot afford to feed their families so charitable institutions have set up food distribution centres which are now finding it difficult to cope with the demand.

It wasn’t easy for the reporter to find people willing to talk on camera because  many were too ashamed to admit their hardship and hadn’t even told their friends and families about their predicament.

One couple bravely allowed the cameras in to take a look around their lovely home which they soon had to leave with nowhere to go.

The authorities must be aware of this situation but why are they ignoring it – pretending it isn’t happening?

Most importantly, why aren’t they doing something to help?

There are streets full of boarded up houses. In this kind of an emergency why can’t they allow people to live in them – rent free – until things improve.

Why can’t they force the banks to stop foreclosing on homes and businesses that can’t pay when it’s all down to bankers’ greed and incompetence in the first place? Theses are serious, hardworking people out on the street through no fault of their own.

Is it really beyond the capabilities of politicians to come up with a few ideas to alleviate the suffering of these people?

Or don’t they care?

I’ve just found this interesting video explaining the banking system. It’s long but well worth watching. It seems that  the present system relies on lending ‘virtual money’ which is paid back by the workers in real money. At first the banks were only allowed to lend 2 or 3 times more money than they could cover but now the sky’s the limit thanks to corruption and bribery in high places.

So, if the money they lend is non-existent why should people have to pay it back?

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6 Responses to “Homeless in America”

  1. bretonne Says:

    Test-case for irresponsible lending? It’s a bit like the Kerviel case – the bank let him carry on while he was “winning” and then squealed when he lost. It’s basic morality – or lack thereof.

  2. tillylil Says:

    And this is the richest country in the world. I would hate to be homeless. x

  3. Little old me Says:

    I think it won’t be long before we see it happening here.

  4. Pat Says:

    Quite a long time ago I watched a programme heralding the beginning of this in USA. Frightening.
    Last night I’m afraid I watched Mansfield Park for some light relief after the disastrous footie.

  5. Vagabonde Says:

    I have not seen this show – I guess it is about homelessness in the US? It is a disaster here. The Republican Party just voted down to extend unemployment to the jobless, mostly because they said wars have to be paid and the 700 bases they have in the world have to be maintained. This country is totally against “European Socialism” as they say, so if you are out of a job, out of a house, you are on your own. I always find it so bizarre that 60% of the people here go to church and send money to missionaries in Africa but then won’t help their fellow citizens – it is a strange culture. A new party called the “Tea Baggers” is against helping anyone but themselves, they want to cut taxes to the bone. Already many schools are cutting their budgets (and education in this country is pretty bad as it is) and they don’t want to pay taxes for other needed projects. Georgia is no. 49 out of 50 states for infrastructure repairs (like roads, bridges, etc.) and I constantly hear TV ads for governor from the Republicans saying they will cut taxes even more – how are roads going to be maintained? There will be more accidents. Here in the Atlanta area I read that we pay an extra $96 million a year in extra gas just because of idling in traffic – too many cars, not enough roads. So, the homeless – nobody wants to hear about them. It’s getting to the point that the conservatives rather vote against their interest than helping others (that would be socialism they say, not realizing that they have it already since they have the police, fire department, etc…..) This is supposed to be the best country in the world, but they won’t take care of their poor. I have even seen ads in European papers asking to send money to poor kids in inner cities in the US so they can eat.

  6. Keith Says:

    I agree with Helen, (LOM), that it will be the same here soon. My old Dad (Silly Old Sod) used to say “What happens in America today, happens here tomorrow!”

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