Economy Eve Ottenberg Housing

Les Miserables, Living and Dying on American Streets

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

By Eve Ottenberg / CounterPunch

Statistics lie. Some lie more than others. The ones regarding unemployment lie brazenly and have done so for years, erasing the very existence of the long-term unemployed by simply deleting them from the regular tally. Statistics about homelessness lie. But they have an excuse: the homeless are hard to keep track of. So we’re told that roughly half a million Americans have no home. But that statistic is belied by one from the National Center on Family Homelessness, which says 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America. Add those two numbers together and you get three million homeless Americans. But even that statistic probably undercounts the number of people sleeping in tents, cars, subways, cheap hotels, on friends’ couches or just out on concrete under the stars. So estimate, conservatively, that one percent of Americans are homeless. That percentage only moves in one direction: up.

As the average American single-family dwelling price stays stratospheric despite the cratering real estate market (one of the miracles of modern finance) and rents skyrocket, millions of people stare into the abyss of homelessness. “The cost of living is going up so quickly,” Johns Hopkins University professor Meredith Greif told the Washington Post July 3, “—through the price of gas and food and rent – that more people can’t afford a place to live anymore. Everywhere you turn, prices are rising, but wages aren’t keeping up.” If you think this is some fluke, some mistake, you need seriously to reconsider your take on our economy. The game is rigged, and it’s been rigged like this longer than you’ve been alive.

In 2019, before the covid cash stimulus briefly and refreshingly altered the picture, 40 percent of Americans were unable to cough up $400 in an emergency. So for them, eviction often means sleeping in a car, tent or on the sidewalk. These people are modern-day landless serfs. And what’s happening to the rental market they depend on resembles enclosure: just as, centuries ago, English peasants were barred from farming what previously had been common land, nowadays many tenants are no longer allowed to sleep under a roof, because more and more of those single-family roofs are owned by big private companies who charge exorbitant rents, while apartments are reserved for those able to shell out thousands of dollars a month, a challenge even if you earn the supposedly princely sum of $15 per hour. The main difference between the English peasants and twenty-first century American tenants is that enclosure stole what had been a commons in England, while modern evictees had previously paid most of their meager earnings for a roof and a bed.

“Shelter officials in 15 states all reported a dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly single mothers, seeking services this year,” the Post reported. “In some cases, waitlists have doubled or tripled in a matter of months.” The New York Times tells us on July 15 that the problem is not enough affordable housing. Well, yes. But that’s the real estate development racket – it abhors affordable housing, because it is, well, affordable.

Invisible People, the group that publicizes the dreadful reality of homelessness, puts it starkly: “Spangled flags wave from the tents of homeless veterans. Vegas residents are relegated to sewers like rodents. New York City’s shelters fill with families torn, not by faults but by circumstances. Children’s last belongings are tossed callously into garbage receptacles [by] police…Millennials fearing poverty never leave home.” According to this organization, gentrification and vacation rental companies fuel homelessness. No surprise there. Those two markets cater to the rich, and as far as they are concerned, housing is a privilege, not a right, reserved for the wealthy.

“Inside the lawless tunnel network below the Las Vegas strip, where thousands of homeless people live in fear of being washed away,” headlined an Insider summary back on September 11, 2019. The story sensationalized the crime and drug abuse of those living in “a network of sewage tunnels.” Youtube’s “Wonders of the World” even featured a clip on the “civilization of the homeless in the tunnels under Las Vegas.” They may indeed have a civilization, as perhaps do those who have inhabited New York City’s subway tunnels for decades, but one word describes a society that drives people to such desperation: barbaric.

It’s been that way a long time. Years ago, as the lone housing reporter in Manhattan for the Village Voice, my first column described a Greek immigrant, whose corpse had been found, his face eaten by rats, in a dilapidated Hell’s Kitchen tenement unheated in winter and in every way sedulously neglected by its landlord. At least that owner did not evict his low-income and elderly tenants at gunpoint, as did some landlords, salivating at the prospect of cashing in on the real estate boom. Their crimes, viewed up close, provided quite an education on the class war, indeed gave new meaning to the term.

So it’s no surprise the destitute take to the sewers. On the street, police roust and pummel them. Their presence in public is criminalized, with laws against sleeping on benches, loitering or eating food handed out by the kind-hearted. City police routinely destroy their encampments and trash their meager possessions. Why? Because their existence offends the affluent, who find their misery unsightly, who believe they should not be reminded that in order for the extreme capitalism that serves them so well to function, millions nationally, billions globally, have been dispossessed. In this business of stealing homeless peoples’ tents, clothes, medicines and other few possessions, the Los Angeles police have been absolutely and resoundingly trend-setting.

“As politicians look to build public support for homeless encampment sweeps,” reported Jonny Coleman for The Appeal on May 26, “they’re using tactics popularized in L.A. – the site of one of the nation’s most intense battles over the unhoused.” According to Coleman, “in March 2021, more than 400 militarized LAPD officers descended on Echo Park Lake to destroy a large encampment.” Police arrested or detained over 180 people, Coleman wrote, “and brutalized many more, including members of the media and random bystanders.” The city displaced over 183 people at a policing cost of over $2 million.

Coleman cited three tactics in these displacements: 1) Misleading rhetoric to portray raids as good for the homeless; 2) Fearmongering by conflating homelessness with substance abuse and mental illness; 3) Solutions directed to nonprofits that perpetuate the status quo. Who uses these tactics? Everybody. The NYPD swept away a homeless encampment near Tompkins Square Park in April, arresting eight. “Late last year in San Francisco,” the mayor ignited “a series of encampment sweeps” in the Tenderloin district, while “in Chicago, Fireman’s Park has become a frequent target for homeless removal.”

This is not primarily a mental health problem or a drug abuse problem. It is an economic problem, created by a monstrous economic system that renders millions of people redundant, disposable, deprives them of shelter, then of a living and then unleashes its militarized police, or, if you will, its Gestapo, on them. That chaotic, decaying and lethal system, late capitalism, devoted to one thing and one thing only, namely serving and enriching a billionaire oligarchy, is the same one destroying the biosphere, for those same financial titans. Whatever it touches, it ruins. It is a death cult. Whether it’s the environment or ordinary people or dying species, this economic arrangement withers everything that lives. In this, if nothing else, it is hideously consistent. The wretched of the earth, les miserables, live desperately and often die on our city and suburban streets. This has been the case for decades, but there are many more of them now, as monopolies jack up prices and average people go broke.

To repeat: there’s only one way these numbers move, and that’s up.

Eve Ottenberg

Eve Ottenberg is a novelist and journalist. Her latest book is Hope Deferred. She can be reached at her website.

43 comments

  1. Hello from Canada
    Yes and the same conditions apply across our nation as well- not to mention the sordid municipal tactics to deprive the homeless of their meagre enclosures and few possessions.
    We surely need your voice and nations wide protests to make any change.
    Regards and thanks.
    Wayne

    1. Yes, Wayne I too am from Canada and watched in horror as last summer homeless people were brutally removed from encampments by Toronto Police the guardians of capitalism and the city elites all with the blessing of Toronto mayor John Tory and the Conservative Premier (No Friend of the People) Rob Ford. Being rich is holy and indicative of your goodness, being poor is a crime to be punished relentlessly!

    1. I fear that those of us who think we are safe from this ,will eventualyn join our sisters and brothers on the street, we will have nothing and be miserable and they will have everything and be very very happy

      1. AGREED! No one, in the working class (and believe me when I say, we the 99%+, those who earn a paycheck- middle class professionals as well) that is, is safe. While working at Amazon.com (because my middle-class income was taken from me, our entire division nationwide thrown to the street), I met so many who has suffered the same fate. One gentleman, a 6-figure income gentleman, had his job (along with everyone else) off-shored to India, and the kicker: He had to go to India and train the folks there. When he started at Amazon, his wage $12hr and certainly nothing resembling a 6-figure income which allowed him to live in Glendale, ca.

        In short, revolution’s coming, can’t be stopped as those elites in possession of nearly everything (and that’s where it’s headed) will NOT stop (it’s an addiction). So, the question is, what form will the revolution take? Violent overthrow? Or peaceful transfer of power via a strong, opposition Third political People’s Party, a truly Progressive/Populist Party which represents WE The People! Working people who have had enough.

        So, as stated above by Carol GillJULY: “I fear that those of us who think we are safe from this ,will eventualyn join our sisters and brothers on the street, we will have nothing and be miserable and they will have everything and be very very happy.” This’ not a time to stand on the sidelines! Get active, leave both the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party! End the duopoly which has crippled our political system. Enough is enough.

  2. Here in the nation’s capital, Washington, the District of Corruption, there are many homeless encampments dispersed about the city. They clear them out regularly. The city government has taken to fencing off and closing many parks for supposed “renovation.” This in a bid to make sure no homeless camps can sprout up. There is a sickness in the soul of this country and, despite my yearning for some other outcome, I’m afraid it is terminal.

  3. So true &so sad. I worked in downtown LA for 10 years and there were 71,000 homeless in the LA area. some were insane, but thanks R Reagan they were put out on the streets, because “why should we pay for their upkeep?” Was the way he phrased it!, With 65,000 + factories move out of this country, I understand where they came from, and it wasn’t their FAULT!!!

  4. Don’t have any confidence in Scheer. Here is why.

    Here is a former CIA agent (whistle blower who spent time in prison for doing so) and a fairly good independent former establishment journalist. NOtice that he says that what he writes must be based on truth. BASED. May I remind you that 9-11 was engineered by US politicians (in ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH attached) and as shown a couple of days ago in this newsletter, Khashoggi was a CIA asset. These points are not mentioned in this recording.

    Compare this former (?) CIA agent information and reporting compared to Multipolarista’s reporting that I submitted a couple of days ago. IS he incapable of research? A CIA agent training behind him? A spy of his calibre and reputation does not know the truth?

    And he says that the US looks for enemies. Implying that the military industrial complex rules all, and that it is done for profit for the corporations. That is the widely held belief. But what if there was a purpose, by the ones who ultimately own the complex, but also the pharms, the politicians (bribe them and positions them),the media, etc.. What if the trillionaires have a depopulation and world rule agenda, and all this has been moves planned decades ago for that purpose?

    IN addition, it is very important in these matters to remind you that the Vatican rules all nations in secrecy, and the Saudis have no love for the Vatican. The US has murdered hundreds of thousands of Muslims, has manipulated Arab nations militarily and used the petrodollar to exploit the world. The Saudi leadership, although being Vatican vessels like all rulers, must put up impressions to their public (that is the establishment news media job in every nation) that they are not subservient to the US (thus the Vatican- think ROMERICA). This is all staged. Some puppets allied against some other puppets, also allied, to fight each others’ factions, and to thus destroy their nations and their citizens, and to enable a new world order to result.

    https://scheerpost.com/2022/07/22/john-kiriakou-on-biden-fist-bumping-the-dictator-we-pretend-to-love/

    By the way, today I posted that preceding four paragraphs onto his message, and he deleted me and will not allow me to submit on his other posts either. Scheer is a phony reporter. Today he has the audacity to have an article on reporting integrity and critical thinking. Do not entertain his bullshit or give him the time of day, he is an establishment phony so-called journalist who has no interest in truth. I again submit the piece from a few days ago, proving Khashoggi was a CIA asset.

    May I remind you that no world ruler is really in charge, that the Vatican and globalists call the shots. Remember Khashoggi who was a so-called journalist who was murdered in Saudi Arabia? Dry up those tears, he was a CIA asset and friend of Osama Bin Laden.

    My book ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH proves that the Vatican is the power in control, and gives the history, strategies used, and with names dates documents quotes sources

    It is attached to the newsletter you can receive for free. sign up here

    https://truthforceinternationalrevolution.online

    Furthermore, Biden’s recent trip to Saudis was to assure that the Saudis would not align with Russia and China. Saudi rulership is no longer a US puppetry, is showing independence, and the US demands fealty, no independence allowed, puppet lands must comply and obey US mandates. Vinegar.

    That may push Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states to align with Russia and China. World War approaches. Don’t cry, this all going along as planned by the puppet masters. But you need to know that there is a 500 world population goal by 2025, and few US citizens will be among the survivors. This video was done by a master journalist.

    https://multipolarista.substack.com/p/biden-saudi-china-russia-mbs#details

  5. I tried posting comments on Scheer on two posts today, and was deleted as I did so. The following is to be in my newsletter today. I have proof of all I declare. Multipolarista proves that Khoshaggi was a CIA asset, and my book ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH proves in many chapters with names dates documents quotes and sources that it is the Vatican in power. The Bush family owns the ballot machines and they are operated by the CIA, no democrat or republican politician receives any significant position without proving loyalty to the globalist (and Vatican) agenda

    Here is a former CIA agent (whistle blower who spent time in prison for doing so) and a fairly good independent former establishment journalist. NOtice that he says that what he writes must be based on truth. BASED. May I remind you that 9-11 was engineered by US politicians (in ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH attached) and as shown a couple of days ago in this newsletter, Khashoggi was a CIA asset. These points are not mentioned in this recording.

    Compare this former (?) CIA agent information and reporting compared to Multipolarista’s reporting that I submitted a couple of days ago. IS he incapable of research? A CIA agent training behind him? A spy of his calibre and reputation does not know the truth?

    And he says that the US looks for enemies. Implying that the military industrial complex rules all, and that it is done for profit for the corporations. That is the widely held belief. But what if there was a purpose, by the ones who ultimately own the complex, but also the pharms, the politicians (bribe them and positions them),the media, etc.. What if the trillionaires have a depopulation and world rule agenda, and all this has been moves planned decades ago for that purpose?

    IN addition, it is very important in these matters to remind you that the Vatican rules all nations in secrecy, and the Saudis have no love for the Vatican. The US has murdered hundreds of thousands of Muslims, has manipulated Arab nations militarily and used the petrodollar to exploit the world. The Saudi leadership, although being Vatican vessels like all rulers, must put up impressions to their public (that is the establishment news media job in every nation) that they are not subservient to the US (thus the Vatican- think ROMERICA). This is all staged. Some puppets allied against some other puppets, also allied, to fight each others’ factions, and to thus destroy their nations and their citizens, and to enable a new world order to result.

    https://scheerpost.com/2022/07/22/john-kiriakou-on-biden-fist-bumping-the-dictator-we-pretend-to-love/

    By the way, today I posted that preceding four paragraphs onto his message, and he deleted me and will not allow me to submit on his other posts either. Scheer is a phony reporter. Today he has the audacity to have an article on reporting integrity and critical thinking. Do not entertain his bullshit or give him the time of day, he is an establishment phony so-called journalist who has no interest in truth. I again submit the piece from a few days ago, proving Khashoggi was a CIA asset.

    May I remind you that no world ruler is really in charge, that the Vatican and globalists call the shots. Remember Khashoggi who was a so-called journalist who was murdered in Saudi Arabia? Dry up those tears, he was a CIA asset and friend of Osama Bin Laden.

    Furthermore, Biden’s recent trip to Saudis was to assure that the Saudis would not align with Russia and China. Saudi rulership is no longer a US puppetry, is showing independence, and the US demands fealty, no independence allowed, puppet lands must comply and obey US mandates. Vinegar.

    That may push Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states to align with Russia and China. World War approaches. Don’t cry, this all going along as planned by the puppet masters. But you need to know that there is a 500 world population goal by 2025, and few US citizens will be among the survivors. This video was done by a master journalist.

    https://multipolarista.substack.com/p/biden-saudi-china-russia-mbs#details

    my newsletter with books attached are free here

    https://truthforceinternationalrevolution.online

    1. Whatever Robert Scheer may or may not be he continues to allow you to comment on HIS website. If it were up to me, you’d be long gone. Stop winning already.

      1. Now regarding terrorism. We have some very real and dangerous terrorist organizations in Al Queda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, and others. And ISIS. But let us rethink and reconsider the situation.

        ISIS is clearly the most dangerous and evil organization. It’s leader al-Baghdadi, is not profiled in the news. We have been told only minimal information about ISIS’ leader, and none of his origination, by the establishment media. They don’t seem to know much about him.

        But some people have done some research, and it is rumored that one of them was Snowden. According to viral information some time ago, somebody reported that ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is an Israeli Mossad agent born to Israeli parents by the name of Simon Elliot. Snowden’s lawyer Ben Wizner denies such claims that the information was originated by Snowden, but Snowden has not denied such.

        Al Qaida’s leader Ayman Zawahiri said that Al Baghdadi had been a member of Al Qaida, but they broke ties with ISIS in early 2014. Supposedly they have a similar mission, so why the rejection?

        Al Baghdadi had been “trained” in Camp Bucca, a US prison camp in Iraq. He was third in the terrorist hierarchy, and the two above him were killed by US military, yet somehow, Al Baghdadi was freed.

        Now observe who ISIS attacks. Not Israel, not the US, but more than anyone else, they target Shiite nations.

        Notice that when they attack the US and its allies’ forces, they do so from within Arab citizen habitats; and in retaliation, U.S., Saudi, and Israeli (as well as others) bomb the civilian areas to rubble and dust. Syria is nothing but concrete destruction. Yemen is almost gone. Iraq is a graveyard.

        The US forces somehow can’t defeat ISIS, but Russia and Hezbollah have success. As much as we are told that Hezbollah are evil, the truth is that they are freedom fighters that remind me of the black panthers. Defending Iran and their allies militarily, they also provide medical and social services, to their credit.

        ISIS is a dangerous terrorist organization, and are obviously a covert US and Israeli operative. “Oh heaven forbid, how could you have the nerve to accuse the US of terrorism? They are the good guys.” “Oh yes, and they would be the first to tell you so.”

        What is the motivation? One deeper level I mentioned already was oil, and I have spoken in my previous book of it being a show and example of military might, a warning. Now let us go to the ultimate reasons, the core root of what is happening here; the devious and unthinkable concept that is so hard to comprehend and accept.

        I have displayed clearly that the Vatican is evil, and that the United States is an extension of Rome. First, remember what the Jesuits teach, and the meaning of INRI on their flag. Now, recall the crusades, the planned number of people to be inhabiting the planet circa 2025.

        You saw the letter written by Albert Pike, and the very real existence of fema camps. It has been common knowledge passed around the internet for the past half dozen years (according to my awareness-but it may have been out there years before) that when martial law is passed, and the expected herding of the people to be slaughtered, that those targeted first would be rebels, then blacks, then Latinos, and so on.

        The letter I disclosed was not common knowledge. If you put the puzzle pieces together, you might come up with the conclusion that I have. The first peoples to be eliminated are the most rebellious, those who have least conformed to the Vatican’s agenda; in the past, and today.

        The evidence points to a more devious, deeper level of purpose for the destruction of the twin towers, the blaming of Arabs, their vilification by church and state, and the slaughter of whole Arab nations. The Arabs in general, do not have western values, are not motivated to abandon principles for money, refuse to be sheeple, are intelligent, and have some power in oil. When they are eliminated, the strongest resistance to the beast is eliminated.

        The powers’ plan is to neutralize the most powerful opposition first, to neutralize us before we know what is happening. Was it a mistake that I was falsely imprisoned, then further incarcerated as I was exposing what was occurring? I was aware that ISIS was a US and Israeli operative since 2015, maybe earlier.

        Time is fleeting, we need to unite in resistance, and quickly. Knowledge is power, but it must be channeled into proper action, or it is useless. I suggest that you start packin’ and I am not talking about luggage. The time that weapons will be

        Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (pp. 116-118). Kindle Edition.

  6. Some evidence of what I say is factual and scientific, just a little of heaps of evidence

    According to a French book “Bin Laden, La Verite Interdite” (Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth), the United States had decided to invade Afghanistan in the interest of profits, long before September 2001. In February 1998, congress discussed ways to deal with Afghanistan to enable a US –held oil pipeline. Jane’s Defense Newsletter dated March 2001 revealed that an invasion of Afghanistan was being planned. July 2001 the planned invasion was reported by George Arney of the BBC. “Times of India” stated in June 2001 that the US government told India that there would be an invasion of Afghanistan in October of that year. But the US media insisted that the 9-11 terrorist attack instigated US invasion of Afghanistan and the Taliban regime. The twin towers had no flag bearing responsibility. The right legitimate thing to do would have been to prove who the culprits were, and to bring them to justice. The US blamed Afghanistan, and attacked innocent people, showed no evidence of anybody’s guilt, and endeavored to install a puppet government. Then they did likewise with Iraq. After much futile and senseless destruction, the death toll of Arabs fanned the flame of Islamic radicalism and anti-imperialism. Bush’s “war on terrorism” and the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan in particular were strategically successful in giving new life to Islamic radicalism and made violent resistance popular among Arabs, playing into the elite’s plan of genocide of Arab peoples. The US, after all, has to defend itself.

    Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (p. 147). Kindle Edition.

    Of course, the state of Israel was formed after World War II, but several other significant events happened also. While German generals were brought to trial and prosecuted, their scientists and secret service were imported to serve the United States. The NSA was formed in imitation of the SS. Here is a short but significant timeline:

    ➢ 1947-Tavistock Institute and the CIA are formed
    ➢ 1948-The World Council of Churches is formed
    ➢ 1949-Billy Graham’s ministry started
    ➢ 1950- National Council of Churches initiated

    The initial beginnings of Tavistock dates back to 1921, but it was officially incorporated in 1947. It was a collaborative effort of British Military Intelligence and the psychiatric establishment. Tavistock was intended as a coordinating center for planetary social control using “psychological shock troops” –psychiatric professionals in white lab coats who have been infiltrating organizations in order to implement policies that are deemed productive by Tavistock strategists.

    The Freemasonic British Intelligence and “intelligencia” of world psychiatric leaders have two main goals:

    1- A one-world order in which the nation states are abolished and all peoples are under a single totalitarian control center.
    2- Psychological control of the world, creating a “societry.”

    Jim Keith, in his book “Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness,” states on page 32: “Tavistock Agents have penetrated American Intelligence agencies, psychiatric institutions, industry, media, and political organisms, firmly guiding these bodies in alignment with the purposes of the Tavistock controllers.”

    The National Council of Churches is the largest ecumenical body in the United States, uniting about forty Christian faith groups. Its members include mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, Orthodox, and others. Together, they include over 100,000 local congregations and 40 million adherents.

    A policy of the planned totalitarian police state, otherwise known as “the New World Order” is a uniting of all faiths into one religion. The Vatican is aligned with these plans. Billy Graham was a tool of the Vatican who was useful towards that goal.

    In “Smokescreens” by Jack Chick, it says on page 53 that publisher Randolph Hearst used his newspapers to promote Graham as a leading evangelist who would never attack Rome. Jesuits filled stadiums in central and South America to boost the church’s power, to win back converts who had left Catholicism. Rome spent millions of dollars promoting Billy. You may be shocked to learn that the Hearst media empire had a $400,000 a year contract with Hitler to carefully slant their “news.”

    Franklin Graham told the Indianapolis Star (June 3, 1999) that his father’s ecumenical alliance with the RC Church and all other denominations was one of the smartest things his father ever did. “In the early years, up in Boston, the Catholic Church got behind my father’s crusade.”

    When asked about the pope, Billy said: “He and I agree on almost everything.” He praised Pope John Paul II multiple times as a “great Christian” and “was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years.”

    Billy Graham became the advisor (and close friend to some) to several presidents, all of those in office from Truman to George W Bush Jr.. Many wars and secret actions were engaged under these presidents, and millions of people died as a result. It is curious that US military policy transformed from laissez-faire to becoming the world’s “policeman,” involving itself in aggressive foreign involvement during that time. When Nixon was impeached, Billy stood by him.

    Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (pp. 69-71). Kindle Edition.

  7. It is rumored that this is the destination of many homeless. I live near Newark NJ, an urban city of over 150,000 people, New Jersey’s biggest city. I moved here because Paterson, another option, while having more homeless services, there the people are addicted and defeated. In Newark, they are angry like me.

    >>>>We are in the crosshairs of an army of demons. Running, cowering, and obediently letting them round you up is to let yourself be slaughtered. There are a thousand “fema” camps located in the United States. These are prison-like compounds, and many have containers each capable of holding half a dozen dead bodies, and they are piled high to the tops of the fences surrounding these camps. What are they for? You may conjecture. An article in the April 20th, 2015 NY Times stated that 1 ½ million blacks were missing, and that they were not in prisons or hospitals. My guess is that they were the first victims. You need to protect yourself, your children; and you need to unite with others in resistance to the evil establishment. We are all lost if we don’t, as a peoples, fight back, in a united effort.

    Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (pp. 114-115). Kindle Edition.

    1. You really want to know who rules this world? Look into MONEY & Banking, do the work, do the reading. A good start, read Ellen Brown: ‘The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free’ also ‘The Public Band Solution’ as well as ‘Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age’ And while you’re at it, try this on for size: ‘The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man’ by John Perkins, truly shocking. The VATICAN? PLEASE, get a grip.

      1. YOu need to read my books. I have three, and I name those in power. The Vatican formed an alliance with bankers back in 1776

        According to Gerald Posner in his book “God’s Bankers,” page 15, the Vatican borrowed (on top of previous smaller loans) in 1851 over $21 million from Rothschild (104 million francs), which was added and consolidated to a thirty million dollar loan in 1859(page 16). Noting that Rothschild was Jewish, the Vatican removed their dealings with Rothschild in 1860.

        Putting on an appearance of not being involved in worldly monetary affairs, the Vatican did not show evidence of proper bookkeeping. After much pressure, the Vatican bank (Ior Instito per le Operi di Religone) was formed June 27, 1942. Because its only branch was inside Vatican City, the IOR was not subject to any wartime regulations. It could function anywhere in the world, did not pay taxes, was not necessary to show a profit, did not need annual reports, didn’t have to discuss balance sheets, nor was required to account to shareholders. In addition, it did not have audit requirements, and shredded its files every decade until the year 2000. (“God’s Bankers” pages 117, 118).

        Since before 1910, United States moneys have been ruled by England’s banks. J P Morgan, Brown Brothers Harriman, Warburg, Kuhn Loeb, J Henry Schroder, all are under Rothschild. N. M. Rothschild controls the price of gold, and that determines the state of world economies, manipulating recessions, inflations, and depressions.

        The Vatican now has investments with Rothschild of Britain, France, and USA; and with Hambros Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan, National Bank of NY, Bankers Trust Co, and more. It owns billions of shares of the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, TWA, etc.. Jesus supposedly came up with this truism:
        “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” The bible states: “You cannot love both money and god” But as I have shown, the bible has no foundation of truth, and neither does the Vatican. But the first mentioned quote from the bible does hold verifiable truth.

        Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (pp. 53-54). Kindle Edition.

        Whenever it served Rome’s interest to incite the people to rise against their rulers in Europe, the Vatican knew it could count on the Jesuits as being able in cunning, daring to participate in intrigue, propaganda, and even to incite blatant rebellion. The confessionals and the potential manipulation that they enabled, offered the Jesuits the means to secure a lasting political influence.

        Currently, the black (called such not because of his race, but the color of his garb) pope, also called their “general,” rules over the banks, freemasonry, and secret intelligence of virtually every nation. The “white” pope, is in comparison, a figurehead. The current black pope’s name is Sosa Abascal.

        On May 1st of 1776, Adam Weishaupt was approached by the banker Maier Amschel Bauer to devise a plan to destroy monarchies (to establish their own empire). Weishaupt was highly informed and proficient in the occult, having been a Jesuit. Bauer was first in the Rothschild lineage, and in thirty-five years had grown his bank to be the largest in Europe, ten times the size of his closest rival. Bauer and Weishaupt began their plan to start a new world order, initiating the illuminati. The Rothschild family insignia is an eagle with arrows, similar to the one in the back of the United States one dollar bill, and of the Atonist solar cult of ancient Egypt.

        Kahn, Michael Lewis. ANGRY LOUD AND CLEAR TRUTH SECOND IMPROVED EDITION: THE GROWTH AND MECHANISMS OF THE ROMERICAN EMPIRE (pp. 52-53). Kindle Edition.

        Now here is a quote from Josiah Stamp, who lived from 1880 to 1941: “If you want to remain slaves of the bankers and pay for the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control the nation’s credit.”

        Now for another quote from Solomon, wisest king of Israel: (Proverbs 22:7 KJV)  The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

        Congressman Louis McFadden brought charges of conspiracy, unlawful conversion, fraud, and treason to the governance of the Federal Reserve Board on May 23, 1933. You may also want to research his comments in a speech to congress as recorded in the Federal Reserve Corporation Remarks to Congress in 1934.

        Before the time that he was assassinated, he also wrote the following: “A world banking system was being set up here. A super-state controlled by international bankers, acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure. The fed has usurped the government.”

        You may think that: Yes, it looks like the bankers control the economic system, but that doesn’t mean that they are evil, or that they want to control everything. WAKE UP!!! There is much more. First, let me identify the family “trees” of the illuminati by their names: Astor, Bundy, Collins, DuPont, Freeman, Kennedy, Li, Onassis, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Reynolds, Krupp, Russell, the bloodline of the Merovingian family, including the royal families of Europe. In addition is the Van Duyn illuminati heritage.

        It was reported in 1917 by representative Callaway that J P Morgan had hired twelve top journalists to advise him how to control the media. They counseled him that by controlling the top twenty five newspapers, he could control the news released to the majority of the public. He then did just that, buying the top twenty five publications, changed their policies and made certain that all the news that was published conformed

        Kahn, Michael Lewis. EXPOSING THE MONEY MACHINE: TYRANNY THROUGH GOVERNMENT, RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS, AND MEDIA DECEPTION (pp. 18-19). Kindle Edition.

  8. The “Barbarism” of homelessness in the richest country in the world completely defines “Capitalism”.

    1. In my business, fortunately / and not, I have contacts with people in Asia. They can not understand or believe that America has thousands of homeless when we also have no qualms over spending $13 billion for a warship, or complain lustfully that our navy needs huge increases.

      They ask if it is fake News that our bridges are rusted out and collapsing when a 4 billion dollar Zumwalt gets early retirement.
      Those Asians can’t grasp that we need more and more billions for new nuclear missiles but we won’t spend on health care for low income Americans ( over 1 million covid deaths).
      Old Joe demands billions in weapons and aid for Ukraine but Joe M blocks any spending for America.

      Those businessmen in Asia just keep wondering what’s going on.

      1. What’s going on, you might answer them, is this: EMPIRE is dying, and like all other Empires in the history of Civilization, it will get ugly as we are witnessing daily, all around us.

  9. What our more fortunate proved incapable of grasping is the concept of $0 incomes. They can read that US job losses long surpassed job gains, and surely they know that not everyone is able to work and viable jobs aren’t available for all, but they cannot comprehend the consequences — the lack of income. People can read that, say, there’s a job boom in South Carolina, and conclude that “there’s no excuse” for people to be jobless in Nebraska. But mostly, they just don’t think.

    Job loss and home loss tend to go together, one reinforcing the other. (Can’t get a job with a home address, phone, etc., and can’t get a home address, etc. without a job.) This is how we have created a permanent, growing poverty crisis. It is simply not possible to address this without restoring poverty relief. But our better off oppose this “as a matter of principle” (at least, until it’s their turn to go under).

  10. I don’t know where to begin.
    I ‘ve been homeless since November 2019, when I moved back to Minnesota, one of the most progressive states in the country. It took the county four months to process my application for Medical Assistance. It took them 2 1/2 years to complete my request for a mental health case manager.
    I stayed in the shelter system for two years before I bought a van and moved into it to escape the constant browbeating and abuse of the shelter staff, who rely on a public perception that, since they are Doing Good to Those Less Fortunate, are filled with kindhearted and compassionate people.
    I never thought that I would survive a Minnesota winter in my vehicle, but I did.
    I’m now 76, and like a lot of the elderly, I have no one to turn to in case of an emergency. The social workers that I fought so hard to get have Scruples and Ethics preventing them from doing the very things I need most, like getting the money from my debit cards and moving it to my bank account. I was in a car accident at the beginning of June and I have been in the hospital for a month for multiple surgeries. I can’t do these things for myself the way I usually do. You would think that these circumstances would be enough to get some help from the agencies that are there to give assistance to people like me, but Nooo.
    Well-off people, when they read an article in their morning newspaper about what Mr. So-and-so, the Director of XYZ County Social Services, said about the [latest social crisis], believe that the social services, for which they pay taxes, are out there functioning. You don’t know, unless you suddenly need their help, or have a family member in that position, that they are a hollow drum.
    I follow Invisible People and even support them with a pittance. It’s a great channel.

  11. While some societies do a better job than others with homelessness, I would suggest that none have eliminated it. That means it is not ,as suggested here, a “problem” detached from a “solution”, but rather a feature of the human condition. Nor is it “decades in the making”, but as old as civilization itself. In many locations a primitive hut, made from discarded materials, is considered a “family dwelling or home”, and may be occupied for generations, yet the same structure in a different country is considered a pile of garbage. The point is this: the notion or concept of “home”, is a subjective mental framework, not a concrete reality. If a journalist wanted to be “accurate”, they would have to make that point from the start, ie “there are 3 million plus people in the US, who use unpermitted structures / vehicles as homes, in violation of zoning laws. When you are in a profession that is rooted in linguistics, it is important to be impeccable with your words. In this case the words “home”, and “homeless”, do not convey the vast grey area in between, or the concept of those who see themselves as “home-free”.

    1. May I remark that few are home-free, most cry over their situation. I have been home-free, and am still free, even though I have a home. IT takes special circumstances to be free even when you have impediments to freedom such as housing, belongings, comforts, and ease; that are so influential if you have not been exposed to the freedom of being without them, that allows you to not hold onto those trappings so strongly. I have been without housing, incarcerated, etc.. and found them to be far from being the worst situations. Living without purpose had been the worst torture, being forced to have a useless life, despite so much desiring to help humanity as I was and am in the position to do. Being without housing does not remove your value to humanity. Exercise that, and there will never be a time that you do not love life. Purpose is what makes life quality living instead of existence.

    2. My reply to this semantic “HIT PIECE” just has to be: BULLSHIT! If you need to make excuses for this country’s abject failure in taking care of its citizens (all of them I mean, as in, the common welfare clause of the US constitution), do a better job next time Mr. Brooks. God damned pathetic.

  12. Eve Ottenburg,

    Thank you for your excellent article about homelessness on the time of late capitalism.

    Here in Vancouver I live now in China Town after moving out of a tent last month when I miraculously found a decent room for cheap.

    But one street up on East Hastings tents have taken over five city blocks.

    It is hard to pass on the sidewalk due to numerous wide tents that have been allowed to stay since the cops stopped sweeping a couple weeks ago.

    I don’t know if that is a good thing because the tenants are all pretty miserable looking with constant fighting, scabs on their bodies and dirty clothing , no washrooms or showers.

    It is a sad situation especially for those sleeping on the street but also for passersby whose experience is badly degraded.

    There is no solution coming, only more nights being homeless.

    The Miserables are there to remind us what is waiting if we stop working.

    1. You wrote, “The Miserables are there to remind us what is waiting if we stop working.” And that is exactly how I see it as well, and I think it is what defines the ‘precariate’ class in our society. Homeless people are necessary to keep everyone else awake to the prospect of homelessness that hangs over your head constantly, should you stray from the path of obedient wage-earning servitude.

      We talk about being a ‘wage slave’ in a casual way, as a form of joking about our condition; the implication is that we are not slaves but are working at dull jobs. But more and more I see ‘wage slave’ as a literal description of the ordinary person’s condition in a modern, money-based, ‘free’ economy. It’s a sorry situation; the economy is free but the people are not.

  13. US society has always been a posterboy for Social Darwinism, a society where winning is all that matters and if you happen to be on the losing side then it’s your “own damned fault”. This narrative became the mantra of the Establishment who pulled all stops to prevent any social reform from taking place in the nation. Not only did it drill into the public’s head this ideology of “no quarter given” but it reinforced with periodic purgings of foreign governments who had the temerity to challenge this inhumane approach to nation building.
    The vehicle for this purging is the almighty military.
    We cannot avoid seeing on our city streets the adulation bestowed on mere enlisted men and women, occupying a place of honor, not by virtue of heroic deeds, but by merely enlisting.
    Will the bastion of rapacious Capitalism ever change?
    Will the powers that be admit to the destruction they have sown around the world? I doubt it.
    Even bats can navigate better than these narrow-minded servants of imperialism.

    1. To be fair, bats navigate extremely well, both locally and in migration. And they do it in 3-dimensional space while we only have to navigate in two dimensions.

      Other than that, I cannot disagree with what you say.

  14. Of all you decrying the brash disbanding of homeless encampments, let me ask; How many of you have opened your doors, your schools, your yards to the homeless? I don’t mean just tossing an occasional pittance coin or 2 their direction, but actually opened your doors and let them stay in your sparsely used home offices, dens, empty bedrooms, or detritus pilled basements? None? Then be silent, for your armchair bellyaching solves no problems. “allowing’ the miserable to throw up a discarded tarp on public property does not solve any issues but your indigent self-righteousness.

    1. Excuse me, but I was homeless for about nine months 1982-83 and again in 2017 for a month. I founded ALLIANCE AGAINST HOMELESSNESS In 1989 which was eventually funded a million by HUD and NJ and bought and created four group homes. I have placed about a hundred people in permanent housing over the years, and over the years, have had 15 homeless people, most were strangers, living in my home on the couch, until I was instrumental in their acquiring an income and then helped them find housing. Yes, for many it was welfare and rent subsidy, but a few got jobs, and others had another income. I walk the walk and talk the talk. I have penned three world-changing books and live in poverty gladly, as my purpose is what matters. Been imprisoned for my books and got survival training in an institution, also learned courage there, being assaulted two dozen times, sustaining some fractures, and learned to fight back. Was also taught to have hope when all hope is gone, to overcome impossible obstacles and debating skills. All of them by doing them. I do not have much college, just 23 credits, am self-educated, not being spoon-fed information to memorize and regurgitate. I have read hundreds of books critically, skeptically, and analytically, and my writings show it.

      https://truthforceinternationalrevolution.online

  15. May I also add that I was a community organizer for THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING NETWORK OF NJ, and lobbied in DC and Trenton for them as well. I also co-founded SOLUTIONS TO END POVERTY SOON (STEPS) of Bergen County and NJ, and helped develop welfare reform for governor Whitman there. SO YOU CAN LET ME BE A LITTLE SELF-RIGHTEOUS thank you. To go further, while I don’t even have one year of finished college behind me, I had been hired by professor Gene Yellen to lecture his graduate students of social work at Fordham University once or twice a year for 15 years, and every time the students asked questions beyond the bell going off, not wanting it to end. HE said that my lectures, which were also contemporaneously delivered question and answer sessions, were the highlight of all his student’s educational experiences

    1. To you sir, I tip my hat and thank you. Few are those willing to risk themselves for the plight of others. You are a rarity indeed. Let us trust your actions inspire and rally support from others.

  16. Compassion, long thought of as as an essential factor of life, such as hunger ir shelter, has been reduced to an option. With a new version of Social Darwinism
    ruling the decaying roost, those who express sympathy for the ever-increasing numbers of homeless or for the 100 million or so refugees tend to be dismissed as idealists or worse.

  17. not one comment nor the article addresses the truth…americans are mean and bitter; they treat animals better than people….”for an American poverty is an embarrassment; for a Serb it is a Socratic symbol of family unity of struggle”. E Kustiricia
    Tocqueville found that individualism—US #1 followed by other anglo nations produces a self doubting, conformist antagonistic anxious—fearful people…amerikans rarely are on good terms with extended or nuclear family members…in collectivist societies where individuality exists helping and supporting distant relatives or friends is required….something obvious for those that have lived in such societies…inter-dependence is woven into the fabric of relations, and life
    “no people are as keen or alert in their love of private property as Americans”. Tocqueville
    “private property makes people stupid”. Karl Marx… the antagonisms directed at people near property, neighbors etc is staggering in USA. . This is not capitalism—it is Americanism—alienated from God, nature, people so depersonalized unable to make eye contact, resolve conflict—numbed to reality….”busy busy numb–amerikans cannot feel themselves alive unless they feel themselves busy…america is a vast goo of meaningless stimulation”. Thomas de Zengodita
    an ex gf from Romania that moved to USA 12 years ago, sent me a text after 8 months in Spain Austria, Germany Romania: “nowhere in Europe do I feel the tension and animosity that is inevitable in amerika”

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