Capitalism can impoverish the soul. This curmudgeonly system treats life as cheap and makes those psychologically under its sway mean. Homelessness in America illustrates.
While homelessness has been slowly declining nationwide toward the end of this decade, the number of homeless in major American cities has risen precipitously. This locational discrepancy owes to unaffordable housing in urban areas, which partly owes to oligopolization of home building after the Great Recession. Exacerbating homelessness is a cruel jobs market with low pay and no way in for the unskilled or otherwise disadvantaged; part of the dynamo of “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer” which capitalism engenders. Government employment figures are rigged to make the situation look better than it is.
California cities have been especially hard hit with large homeless populations. Compassion is in short supply, and government aid largely nonexistent.
The Economist magazine: “Insults like ‘financial parasites’ and ‘bums’ have been directed at the homeless, not to mention rocks and pepper spray. Fences, potted plants and other barriers have been erected to keep them off sidewalks. Citizen patrols have been organized, vigilante style, to walk the streets and push them out.”
Most homeless people are locals out of luck. Lucrecia Macias, a nurse in Los Angeles before cancer financially wiped her out and now has to live on the streets, observed, “They’re making parks for dogs but they’re not building housing for us.”
Many long-term homeless are mentally unfit. American cities have increasingly taken to criminalizing poverty, and so ensure its perpetuation. Jail has long been the American insane asylum.
A government that serves the rich at the expense of poor is a societal parasite. A government that is inequitably parasitic deserves a revolution. America is long overdue.
Ishi Nobu, Spokes 6: The Fruits of Civilization, BookBaby (2019).
Ishi Nobu, Spokes 7: The Pathos of Politics, BookBaby (2019).
Thomas Fuller et al, “As homelessness surges in California, so does a backlash,” The New York Times (21 October 2019).
“Homelessness is declining in America,” The Economist (17 October 2019).