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View Diary: The "Welfare Queen," The "Homeless By Choice": Reagan's Toxic Legacy (144 comments)

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  •  In the 1980's (19+ / 0-)

    I was working in a state hospital and became a witness to the deinstitutionalization that could have been beneficial, but was accompanied by the discontinuation of the community mental health law, taking money away from community mental health centers when they needed it most. By that time most of the mentally ill who could leave institutions and benefit from the clubhouse model were already living in communities. The people we were working with were the ones that people in the community could not work with and who elected, instead of complying with rules, to live on the streets.

    The middle class also became dependent on debt during those years, as wages stagnated and the cost of living went up. People no longer used credit for large items only, using store credit, and paying things off. MasterCard became the key to the middle class life.

    And as for credit rates, my first mortgage, in 1989, was at 18% and a fraction. Really.

    Like Iran-Contra, it was all done with smoke and mirrors. And we are living with the consequences. I found Reagan scary - he was Big Brother personified. With his seductive voice he was president, not in Washington, but in our living rooms.

    Nice diary, and definitely worth bringing up over and over again lest we forget how we got here.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 12:25:18 PM PDT

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