IF YOU GENUINELY THINK THAT PEOPLE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE LIVE IN REALLY NICE APARTMENTS AND CAN AFFORD IPHONES AND NAME BRAND CLOTHES AND DESIGNER SHOES & PURSES AND EAT FULL STEAK DINNERS ROUTINELY AND PAY FOR THAT ALL WITH FOOD STAMPS WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU IN COLLEGE. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU WORKING. QUIT YOUR JOB AND DROP OUT AND GO LIVE THE LIFE YOU’RE SO JEALOUS OF. WHY WON’T YOU DO THAT? IS IT PERHAPS BECAUSE YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO THAT YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT?
After 40 years of impoverished black men getting prison time for selling weed, white men are planning to get rich doing the same things. So that’s why I think we have to start talking about reparations for the war on drugs. How do we repair the harms caused?
Funny how, as soon as Ryan mentions rural poverty, the idea that there are no jobs comes in right away. But when he’s talking about inner city poverty, it’s all about the lack of a culture of work. Even when the man is trying to deny racial overtones, they slip in.
This is the backtracking of a Republican who knows he’s been just a liiiittle more blatant in his racial pandering than he’d intended and is trying to stuff the genie of his real message back into the bottle of right-wing talk radio, out of the notice of the general public. But we know what you said, Paul. And worse, we got your meaning the first time.
Paul Ryan could never make his speeches about big cities in big cities. He has to use his coded, racist dog whistles in areas that approve that type of lazy rhetoric. Come to NYC, Paul. We’ll destroy you.
Shouldn’t there be some shame involved? Why such a large sign advertising that you can have your meal paid for by your neighbors?
Wait, why should a business be ashamed of accepting money?
Also, there are only a limited number of states that allow food stamps to be used in restaurants. AND, in those states, this is limited to eligible homeless, disabled, or elderly food stamp recipients. As in, people who cannot cook for themselves.
Also, do you get this pissy over politicians going out to eat? After all, that’s also “paid for by your neighbors”.
Hate to break it to you, but with the number of farm subsidies in the U.S., unless you grow every scrap of food yourself, your food was “paid for by your neighbors.”
I don’t think you’re feeling shame for that. Don’t attempt to shame those who are benefitting from our social safety net: you’re benefitting from it too, you just don’t realize it, which is why you feel safe being so judgmental.
That’s sad! Try instead remembering that you benefit in all ways from our collective society, because you’re not paving every road you drive on, growing every bit of your own food, paying every teacher yourself, or clearing every street of snow.
And remember, too, if you can’t remember that: you’re one car accident, rare disorder or strange clump of disobedient cells away from being so tired you can’t cook for yourself, and giving an EBT card to someone so they can go bring you a hot meal since you can’t drive anymore.
Brought to you by a hard-working middle-class woman in her 30s who is typing this on her phone because her body hurts too much for her to get up today. There But For The Grace, dude.
Somehow I just knew when I saw the photo appear that underneath it was going to be an OP by some class-shaming asshole.
Homeless folks have real solutions to the housing crisis
February 27, 2014
When Bill de Blasio took office on January 1, he inherited a broken, bloated and expensive homeless shelter system that cost almost $1 billion to operate in 2013. He also inherited neighborhoods dotted with vacant buildings and lots that represent both potential housing and jobs. For New York’s homeless, there is a Kafkaesque paradigm where so-called affordable housing is in fact unaffordable due to the federal government’s Area Median Income guidelines.
Those who can’t afford housing are the same unemployed, or low-wage workers, seniors, disabled and just poor New Yorkers in the shelter system. On bitterly cold nights this winter, the shelter-industrial complex housed more than 50,000 adults and children — enough to fill Yankee Stadium. That didn’t include those using the domestic violence shelter system and the untold numbers of homeless folks sleeping in churches, mosques and synagogues. Nor does it include the thousands sleeping in trains, public transit facilities or parks. It doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands doubled or tripled up with friends and family hoping for a break so that they don’t have to go into the shelter system.
Real Roots of the Problem
Homelessness has been framed as the result of individual dysfunction and pathology. “Oh, they’re mentally ill, or they need to get a job,” — this mantra has been repeated by politicians and media for two decades. Picture the Homeless encourages the de Blasio administration to look at the big picture, to take into account rising rents and stagnant incomes at the bottom of the wage scale. Forces like gentrification, property warehousing and disinvestment in effective housing programs such as Section 8 have led us to where we are today.
The bottom-line cause of homelessness is the high cost of housing. Real estate development here has been geared to business interests, hotels and high rises, offices and office towers. When there is new housing construction, it’s for the super rich. Banks and landlords keep buildings empty while they wait for neighborhoods to gentrify, and to get rid of protections on rent-stabilized apartments.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg took away the homeless priority for permanent housing solutions like Section 8 and public housing, replacing them with time-limited rental subsidy programs (first Housing Stability Plus and then the Advantage programs) that were doomed from the start.
Past administrations have cried poverty when asked why they don’t prioritize housing for homeless people, but that’s a lie. The money’s there, it’s just being wasted on a politically connected shelter-industrial complex. A billion dollars a year could house a lot of people. Most shelters get two to three times as much money per month for each homeless household as it would cost to pay their rent.
In 2011, we partnered with the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development to devise and execute a replicable methodology for how the city could conduct a vacant property census. We found enough empty buildings and lots to house up to 200,000 people, and that was just in one-third of the city. But the city doesn’t keep track of vacant property and the little bit of money that is out there is being used to house people in shelters.
Every homeless person is different, and it’s true that mental illness and substance abuse play a role in some people losing their housing, but plenty of very wealthy people have issues of substance abuse or mental illness. The root issue is poverty. Public policy needs to address the systemic causes of homelessness. No mayor or president can implement a policy to stop people from having mental illness or losing their jobs, but they can make it so that everyone can afford housing.
There are numerous factors that contribute to record levels of homelessness, like how people coming home from jail with a record are excluded from housing, so there’s nowhere for them to go. Banks are still redlining in certain communities. Institutional racism is also a huge problem — over 90 percent of homeless families in shelters are African-American and/or Latino. Predatory lending has been targeting people of color. Ninety-nine percent of the people who go into housing court get no legal representation, so many of them end up losing their homes.
There’s no cohesive overall plan between government agencies that serve low-income people, and that adds up to a lot of resources being wasted. There’s no unity or collaboration between housing courts and the welfare and shelter systems. HRA, DHS, NYPD — it’s a whole lot of alphabet soup that doesn’t add up to anything.
People say homeless people should go get jobs — but people have jobs! The pay just doesn’t match the rental market. Very low wages, including social security and other income forms for folks who aren’t working, plus inadequate income supports, plus high rents, equal homelessness. It’s simple math.
At Picture the Homeless, we don’t just complain about problems. Homeless people know what’s not working, and they know what needs to change. That’s why our organizing campaigns have concrete policy demands of the new administration.
For starters, it’s unacceptable that the city has no idea how much property is currently vacant. We have to have conduct an annual citywide count of vacant buildings and lots, so we know what kind of resources are out there to develop new housing — and who’s keeping housing off the market. Legislation that would empower the city to do such a count was stalled for three years in the City Council under Christine Quinn. We were heartened to see it identified as a necessary solution on Bill de Blasio’s campaign website, as well as a priority for the City Council’s Progressive Caucus.
The new administration could immediately utilize a small portion of the Department of Homeless Services’ (DHS) shelter budget (even just 1 percent would be almost $10 million!) and create permanent rental subsidies so homeless people can get out of shelters. That funding could also support a pilot project for innovative housing models like community land trusts, which have the potential to create permanently-affordable, democratically-controlled housing for folks at all income levels, as well as supporting small businesses and incubating jobs that pay a living wage.
The city should take all the property whose owners owe taxes on water or violations, and put it into a land bank and develop it for those who really need it. Property that the city acquires through the Third Party Transfer program should be prioritized for nonprofit housing developers, including community land trusts. And the city should create and expand community land trusts that will be permanently affordable to the people who live there.
The new administration could also limit what is considered “affordable housing” to the city of New York. Right now, “affordable housing” can go to folks making upwards of $80,000 a year, because it’s based on Area Median Income calculations that factor in affluent parts of Westchester and Long Island.
No mayor or president can implement a policy to stop people from having mental illness or losing their jobs, but they can make it so that everyone can afford housing.
As my mother, a/k/a tillyjane, explained to me once when I was a young man, in our society we don’t pay people according to how hard they work, or how important their jobs are. If we did, teachers would be at the top of the pay scale. In our society, we pay people according to how well they can make the money move.
The examples easiest to perceive are top-tier athletes and actors. Because a big name star can increase the take at the gate or the box office, they’re paid more. Essentially, it’s a form of commission. Likewise people who work in high end sales, or Wall Street level finance. They’re commissioned, either directly or indirectly, because of the financial transaction volume they generate. Likewise C-level officers of major corporations, who are compensated as highly as they are because they are supposed to be able to influence corporate revenue.
The 1% are where they are not because they work harder, or because they work smarter, but because they are able to influence the flow of money.
Men like Perkins and Schiff and the shills at the Wall Street Journal have a profound lack of empathy, something that is common in narcissistic personalities. In fact the criteria listed for the psychiatric condition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are present in many highly successful and powerful people, in politics, business, government, entertainment and even religion. Thus the criteria serve well to illuminate the attitudes of such people, even if they themselves do not match enough of the criteria meet the clinical diagnosis.
When men no longer can empathize with other human beings, and only see others, especially the weak, the poor, those different than them and the disabled as a means to their own riches, power or success; the stage is set for great human tragedy.
One manager at the apartment complex where I worked while in college told me, repeatedly, that she knew I was “Okay” because my little Nissan was clean. That I had worn a Jones of New York suit to the interview really sealed the deal. She could call the suit by name because she asked me about the label in the interview. Another hiring manager at my first professional job looked me up and down in the waiting room, cataloging my outfit, and later told me that she had decided I was too classy to be on the call center floor. I was hired as a trainer instead. The difference meant no shift work, greater prestige, better pay and a baseline salary for all my future employment.
I have about a half dozen other stories like this. What is remarkable is not that this happened. There is empirical evidence that women and people of color are judged by appearances differently and more harshly than are white men. What is remarkable is that these gatekeepers told me the story. They wanted me to know how I had properly signaled that I was not a typical black or a typical woman, two identities that in combination are almost always conflated with being poor.
More snippets from this article about why people in poverty buy expensive products that they “can’t afford”. When it comes to upward mobility and standards of living, being able to own and wear status markers makes a HUGE difference.
definitely important to understand
There are tens of millions of people unemployed, looking for work, wanting to work (and) there are huge resources available. Corporate profits are going through the roof, there’s endless amounts of work to be done – just drive through a city and see all sorts of things that have to be done – infrastructure is collapsing, the schools have to be revived. We have a situation in which huge numbers of people want to work, there are plenty, huge resources available, an enormous amount to be done, and the system is so rotten they can’t put them together.… …There is plenty of profit being made by those who pretty much dominate and control the system. We’ve moved from the days where there was some kind of functioning democracy. It’s by now really a plutocracy.
The true enemies of Christmas – and of Christian hope, as articulated in this season by Pope Francis – are those who pretend to befriend the poor by taking bread from their children’s mouths. Both the mean old Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge were saved from villainy before their stories ended. Our modern political misers, clothed in self-righteousness, have no such prospect of redemption.
Lorinda Fox of New Albany, Ind., hasn’t been to a doctor since her last child was born 21 years ago. Poor and uninsured, she treats her illnesses with over-the-counter remedies.
At age 58, she knows she’s taking chances with her health, especially since she recently began having heart palpitations and chest pain.
“I’ll do the same thing I always do — gut it out,” said Fox, who lives with her hearing-impaired daughter and earns about $12,000 a year working in retail. “I don’t know what else I can do.”
If Fox lived in Kentucky, she would qualify for expanded Medicaid next year under the Affordable Care Act. But she lives in a state where she makes too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid, and politicians have chosen not to expand Medicaid as Obamacare intended, contending that Indiana taxpayers can’t afford it.
Her predicament reveals an irony in the way Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has played out: Residents in similar circumstances face vastly different health coverage options, depending on which side of the Ohio River they live.
It wasn’t supposed to work that way.
twelve thousand dollars a year.
too little to live on. too much for medicaid.