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(Not the first diary on this topic, but I figured it would not be a bad thing if we posted on tent slums a few times a day. --JF)

Concentrations of homeless people are nothing new in America, but a recent BBC report depicts a rising trend of shanty slums, such as a "city" of newly homeless people living in tents near the Ontario airport in Los Angeles.

If you recall your Steinbeck, the residents of the 20c Hoovervilles were largely tenant farmers thrown off their farms by the owners, who in turn tried mechanized farming to bring down costs and break even.  These displaced farmers migrated West where they became agricultural day laborers and settled into shanty camps.

The California tent slum depicted in the BBC report is quite different, because they are not migrant workers, so much as locals who have lost their homes.  It is hard to tell if the newly dispossessed are all the victims of the sub prime market.  More likely, the tent slum population is a mix of new and old homelessness--perhaps with a few migrant workers in the mix. 

(video credit:  BBC)

I do not know if there is a technical point at which a tent city becomes a slum--a boundary of some sort that gets crossed in terms of population density or length of time in existence or total acreage.  But the Los Angeles Times reports that the police are handing out wrist bands to make sure that only locals take up residence in the tent camp by the airport.  Non locals have to get out.  Passing  out armbands to make sure only locals get into the camp has to be crossing a boundary of some kind. And it is not a good one to cross.

Whatever the actual demographics, the images and the stories are heartbreaking.  If ever there was a reason to let go of market orthodoxy, and to re-embrace the American spirit of making things better by the most pragmatic means possible--this is it. Make it work better, period. No more ideology; no more grand theories about freedom from government; just come together to help people before we lose a generation to this mounting economic tragedy.

(cross-posted from Frameshop)

Originally posted to Jeffrey Feldman on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:58 PM PDT.

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  •  This video must stay at the top of the pile (331+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, paradox, Donna Z, vicki, Yosef 52, lapin, grollen, ogre, Rayne, copymark, kate mckinnon, Fenric, TrueBlueMajority, sen bob, krwada, Shockwave, Andrew C White, mntleo2, suswa, autoegocrat, Sandy on Signal, MackInTheBox, frisco, RFK Lives, object16, MarkInSanFran, zeroooo, exNYinTX, givmeliberty, Doctor Who, shermanesq, bronte17, mint julep, elveta, groggy, nyceve, susakinovember, Rupert, Dburn, niterobin, mkfarkus, samddobermann, sberel, juslikagrzly, oceanview, librarianman, fumie, sidnora, Eddie C, wader, byebyeblinkie, Moody Loner, sockpuppet, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, mrkvica, by foot, Dr Colossus, DeadB0y, pat bunny, casperr, commonscribe, Nina, cosette, flatford39, defluxion10, TX Scotia, snakelass, Oaktown Girl, zerelda, ybruti, side pocket, Silverbird, eco, dnta, SanDiegoDem, PJBurke, MetaProphet, Irish Patti, Jersey Joe, rapala, paige, Bluesee, radarlady, 3goldens, jfdunphy, SherwoodB, PBen, kamarvt, clammyc, Robin7459, 1Nic Ven, reflectionsv37, truebeliever, jimreyn, GreyHawk, ladybug53, skyounkin, Little Lulu, Phil S 33, Joy Busey, wbr, shiobhan, CWalter, dazed in pa, stillrockin, jilikins, Beezzley, playtonjr, Ekaterin, Land of Enchantment, Jim P, maryru, begone, Mehitabel9, hatrabbit, SSMir, elliott, esquimaux, trashablanca, gwilson, sierrartist, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Keone Michaels, Pinko Elephant, mjfgates, vigilant meerkat, Clytemnestra, ferallike, BlueInARedState, Mahanoy, Yellow Canary, Im with Rosey, mango, kck, Lefty Coaster, goodasgold, tecampbell, Lashe, nilocjin, Libby Shaw, Bob Sackamento, imabluemerkin, justalittlebitcrazy, real world chick, Caoimhin Laochdha, FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph, Dauphin, bleeding heart, max stirner, chemicalresult, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, doinaheckuvanutjob, MBNYC, Pilgrim X, Turbonerd, Cenobyte, rage, EastcoastChick, CA Nana, fezzik, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, buckeye blue, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, revgerry, Statusquomustgo, kurious, Bhishma, Reel Woman, DBunn, Cliss, AmericanRiverCanyon, bigchin, Drama Queen, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, Noor B, marykk, anotherdemocrat, dmh44, bigjacbigjacbigjac, Kathie McCrimmon, gloriana, Stwriley, Wino, edsbrooklyn, LillithMc, lynmar, Duccio, Matt Z, Jimdotz, deepeco, joyful, drchelo, Seneca Doane, jayden, Singing Lizard, vbdietz, keenekarl, cadejo4, Newzie, jnhobbs, Moderation, MaskedKat, cececville, MKinTN, Ms Citizen, rontun, mamamedusa, elwior, Wes Opinion, rivegauche, BlueMindState, LucyMO, TH Seed, icebergslim, TokenLiberal, MsWings, Jeff Y, NogodsnomastersMary, mofembot, ClapClapSnap, kyril, o the umanity, valsagem, luckylizard, MinervainNH, dont think, ErinW43, blueinsight, In her own Voice, Acugal, Diogenes2008, Tennessee Dave, JonBarleycorn, cameoanne, Pris from LA, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, number nine dream, Texanomaly, beinemac, AikoAdam, bsmechanic, banjolele, be the change you seek, Stranded Wind, h bridges, velvet blasphemy, JesseCW, Daily Activist, platypus60, Calfacon, oxfdblue, MooseHB, allep10, kevinpdx, synductive99, dalfireplug, Losty, mdmslle, fernan47, Sarahsaturn, math4barack, Tricky, Leftcandid, smileycreek, spankedmonkey, awcomeon, kcandm, trustno1, fedupcitizen, ArtSchmart, LaughingPlanet, Yumn, logancircledc, politik, DeminWisconsin, Interceptor7, stunzeed, CcVenussPromise, Obamacrat, chrome327, polar bear, paradise50, HartfordTycoon, Mariken, DrFitz, qi motuoche, sharonsz, Weaselina, washunate, Unenergy, alethea, farbuska, Actbriniel, SkylarkingTomFoolery, Renee in CA, Mico0109, bluebuckaroo, sowsearsoup, MaryinHammondsport, Situational Lefty, Coilette, Nicci August, Treghas, Poycer, feeny, AfroPonix, cama2008, blue husky, zukesgirl64, good grief, burana, dle2GA, Inspector Javert, Laurie Gator, junipercussion, sjr1, Prav duh, MCinNH, whoknu, Edgewater, Calvino Partigiani, greenmike, MA Mom, wide eyed lib

    The more people see it, the better...

      •  Nearly everyone... (7+ / 0-)

        ...that is foreclosed on simply goes and rents something that they can afford. If you are arguing for social services for everyone who is down on their luck (renters included), I completely agree. But preferentially helping home owners is a non-starter for me, I don't want to hear it.

        •  Of course I am arguing (45+ / 0-)

          that everyone be able to stay in their home.  Renter or home-owner.  

          Currently I think renters are probably going to be needing more help than usual because rental prices are going to go up if home-owners are seeking rentals instead of being able to stay in their homes.

          I am against homelessness unless the individual has specifically chosen to be homeless.    

          My personal feeling, although I can't cite statistics, is that most people would like to have a roof over their head.

          I have always felt that homelessness is, in and of itself, a detriment to someone being able to get back on their feet as well as being inhumane.

          "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

          by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:22:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's a new twist to the rental picture: (18+ / 0-)

            My husband told me about it last night, so I haven't any idea where he found the story (maybe HuffPo or C&L?).  Apparently some of the big corporate-run apartment complex chains are quietly going belly-up.  You know how most of those places roll your sewage, trash and water services into the rent?  Well, when they stop being viable business entities, they stop paying those bills, and now tenants are getting socked with the prorated past-due balances.  Tenants are making their own arrangements for trash pick-up and grounds care.  Maintenance?  Unless you can do it yourself, forget it.

            If you're about to be foreclosed upon, and need to find a rental home, I highly recommend doing research on the places you're considering.  You do not want to be left holding even part of the utilities bag for a failed real estate holding company.  I think it's a sure bet that the next big shoe to drop nationally will be the commercial mortgage sector, including the apartment complexes.  Florida, one of the first states to experience the housing bubble collapse, has already started seeing commercial mortgages go bad, starting this past summer.  

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:39:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (3+ / 0-)

            This is simply not true. The residents of these tent cities are a miniscule percentage of the population even now, and millions of people have been foreclosed.

            They might not be able to rent a nice place, but I don't live on Beacon Hill in Boston either...

            •  It might seem miniscule now. (19+ / 0-)

              The point is that it's growing exponentially. You need decent credit even for a modest rental.

              "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

              by platypus60 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:41:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Find me someone... (0+ / 0-)

                ...that's homeless solely because of their credit score. Anyone.

                •  Probably "no job plus low credit score" (28+ / 0-)

                  would discourage potential landlords, no?

                  Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

                  by Jim P on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:21:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You had me at "no job" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mimi9, lemming22

                    People with no job can't really get housing regardless of credit score. That's not what this conversation is about.

                    •  It certainly is (26+ / 0-)

                      millions of people are losing their job because of the current economic meltdown.  This is why they can't pay their mortgage.

                      Suggesting this is off topic is kind of silly to be honest.

                      "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                      by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:44:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bigjacbigjacbigjac

                        I said "people who are foreclosed on just go rent something they can afford"

                        to which the response was:

                        "No, getting foreclosed on screws your credit score"

                        to which I responded:

                        "Find me someone who is homeless solely due to their credit score"

                        ...to which people keep trying to introduce irrelevancies.

                        •  You want us to showcase an individual (10+ / 0-)

                          when really it's just common sense.

                          We could ask you to prove that your Bush economy has nothing to do with increases in homelessness. Prove it. Show me how the financial devastation of middle America is the express result of lack of personal responsibility, and has nothing to do with the transfer of wealth away from workers. Show me. Prove it.

                          "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

                          by platypus60 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:19:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bigjacbigjacbigjac

                            We could ask you to prove that your Bush economy has nothing to do with increases in homelessness. Prove it. Show me how the financial devastation of middle America is the express result of lack of personal responsibility, and has nothing to do with the transfer of wealth away from workers. Show me. Prove it.

                            I wouldn't want to disprove any of that, because of course it's true. It doesn't mean that we should help homeowners not be foreclosed on, though, since the same economic problems are affecting renters.

                          •  When I am (hypothetically) foreclosed on, (7+ / 0-)

                            I become one more renter in a city with 97% occupancy.

                            A hundred more like me in a city of 50K people, and all renters suffer, because demand has driven up the market.

                            My ability to forestall foreclosure is in the best interest of other homeowners (to avoid diminished property values), renters (to avoid inflated rent prices), to the bank (to avoid legal costs and find alternate pathways to profitability), and to the wider community (by having the additional resources I offer, and the additional property tax income).

                            "If the horse you are riding has died, beating it will not make it go any faster."—h/t to teacherken

                            by MooseHB on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:41:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rents are falling everywhere (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bigjacbigjacbigjac

                            Your hypothetical falls down there, rents are down, not up, since so many homeowners are desperately attempting to rent their homes out to stave off foreclosure.

                            And the rent/purchase price relationship will sort itself out on its own. If rents go high enough (they won't, but lets grant your hypothesis), it will be profitable to buy a home at that point, or buy it to rent. This will drive home prices back up again.

                            The situation will stabilize on its own if it just isn't futzed with.

                          •  rents are fallling (13+ / 0-)

                            Not in Boston. Also, when multiple family homes are foreclosed upon, the renters get kicked out. That causes a lot of homelessness too because, especially with families, it is hard to find affordable rentals large enough. At the root of the problem,however,is low wages over a decade.  People haven't been making enough to pay their mortgage/rent, and all their other necessities, so get into credit card trouble and their credit score plummets. Employers now are also checking your credit score.  I believe there should be a law against this, especially with card companies raising rates and fees and shortening payment periods. We are SLAVES to these financial institutions who can decide where we live, where or if we work, it has become so absolutely fascist, to say nothing of drug testing (which doesn't include alcohol).  My only hope is that, in time, everyone's credit score will be down, so it just won't matter anymore.

                          •  Rents are not falling. That is a myth. (9+ / 0-)

                            Rents are going up because there is fierce competition for apartments now, because so many homes are in foreclosure. I'm in Florida.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:24:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  rising in VT (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dotdot, xysea, MooseHB

                            It's simple supply and demand.
                            Nobody is building apts, and more people are in need as they lose homes they once owned.
                            Therefore, rents go up.
                            They've been climbing in VT for at least a decade.

                            During the campaign, CHANGE was always in caps. I will not settle for small change.

                            by kamarvt on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:48:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Same rise in rents where I live, too n/t (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            greeseyparrot, dotdot, xysea, MooseHB
                          •  Rents are also rising here in California (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult, xysea

                            There are so many people being forced out of their homes due to job losses and foreclosures that the rising demand for rentals has caused the rental prices to soar throughout the state.

                            We have not only tent cities (or, as many call them, Bush Villes) popping up in the urban areas but we also have many of the recent homeless living in their cars, even in such "Tony" communities as Santa Barbara and Malibu.  This is a badge of disgrace for our country which has the largest GNP in the world.  This is the condition that breeds unrest and revolutions.

                          •  It depends on where you live (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MooseHB

                            Reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine

                            by ScienceMom on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:38:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rents aren't falling everywhere. (0+ / 0-)

                            Not in NYC, Brooklyn area.

                            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                            by dotdot on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:55:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I'll raise my hand on that one. (10+ / 0-)

                          Granted it was a few years ago, but I was gainfully, full-time employed and my credit score had tanked due to a failed relationship (he left me with all the debt and half the ability to pay).  I couldn't get a single one of the corporate run apartments, ie decent ones, to rent to me.  Not that I could have technically afforded it, but we would have been apartment rich/food poor.

                          Each one of them said my credit rating prevented them from renting to me.  Each. one.

                          So, yes, it happens.  Even to the gainfully, full-time employed.

                          I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                          by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:24:05 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So you were homeless then... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...for that period?

                          •  asdf (12+ / 0-)

                            No, I found a slum landlord who would rent to me without checking credit.  A roach and rat infested apartment with water leaking in the walls.  He charged me $450 a month for that monstrosity.  

                            If you are advocating that for others, all I can say is - until you've lived in it, especially with children, don't advocate it.

                            I was constantly in fear someone would find out our living conditions and take my daughter from me.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:57:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  he doesn't have the guts (5+ / 0-)

                            to respond to you.  he is a pain in the ass.

                            i am trying to ignore his persistent piddle around here.

                            he is a waste of time and taking up valuable space.

                            he needs the equivalent of homelessness: bloglessness

                            he doesn't do anything that would get him banned and he won't go away as if he is going to change any minds around here.  blech.

                            this ain't no party.. this ain't no disco.. this ain't no foolin'around..

                            by fernan47 on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:25:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Agreed. (7+ / 0-)

                            You've argued this entire thread, Sparhawk. Do you at least have the common decency to admit you're wrong?

                            Or do you think that an apartment infested with vermin is exponentially better than homelessness?

                            Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                            by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:48:43 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wrong about what? (0+ / 0-)

                            What exactly am I "wrong" about?

                            Oh and telling me "fuck you" was really classy, much appreciated.

                          •  So, I'll ask Eddie's question again (4+ / 0-)

                            is where I was living better than being homeless?

                            I mean, considering the fact that the city was overwhelmed, and we could have gotten who knows how many diseases, and if someone had known how we were living could have lost my kid, and further that if I did report him for violations he could have kicked me out, taken my deposit and last and I would be in effect actually homeless not having the money to get another filthy, roach infested, rat infested apartment.

                            What world do you live in?

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:48:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            is where I was living better than being homeless?

                            Yes, or you would have simply chosen to be homeless.

                          •  And then I would have lost my child. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            So, no homelessness wasn't an option.  Again, you are shaping facts to fit your scenario.  

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:36:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            You've just told me that in fact the place you lived was not worse than homelessness. "Facts to fit my scenario"? You had a choice between homelessness (and maybe losing your child) and living in that apartment; you chose to live in that apartment. What other evidence do I need?

                          •  You are a bizarre individual. (0+ / 0-)

                            I could have 'chosen' to just 'lose' my child.  You may be that heartless but I am not.  There was no choice there.  I had to keep my family together and lived knee deep in shit to do it.

                            People like you are the reason this country is fucked up.  Selfishness, false choices, greed.  That's all you know.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:43:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm sorry I even got involved with this discussion with you because we are always going to be talking at cross purposes.

                            If you chose to stay in the apartment rather than be homeless, for whatever reasons are appropriate to you in total, then the apartment is better than being homeless. If it wasn't, you'd have chosen to be homeless. Your claim that the apartment might be worse than being homeless is demonstrably false.

                            We have gotten irritatingly far from the original point of this thread and my point within it, which was simply to oppose government bailouts for homeowners at the expense of renters.

                          •  Anytime. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Debbie in ME, chemicalresult

                            You know what? As a late-comer to this thread, I went down it, and moved from dumbfounded, to irritated, to pissed at what you were saying. Because you keep repeating it. People question it. People refute it. And you never reply to them -- no, you go down the thread and repeat it again.

                            I don't see you answering xysea's and my question though. Because you fucking can't.

                            And until you can, that "fuck you" applies. I read your diary the other day about credit card companies, and I disagreed, but I tipped you. Why? Because you were respectful. And you responded to people, with evidence and information. What I'm seeing here is bullshit of the highest order.

                            How dare you throw out this assertion that every American can easily whip together months worth of savings? Yes, I have. I've been fortunate enough to have a good paying job that enables me to set aside money.

                            How dare you assume that every American can save ten percent of their income, when they're receiving food stamps, government cheese, and still can't make ends meet, because it isn't enough?

                            Make a budget on minimum wage that feeds one or two children, as well as yourself. Include daycare, especially when you start to factor in the second job, or the uniquely American third job that they are forced to take. Try doing it again for someone with no health insurance and a medical condition that requires expensive prescriptions.

                            Or you can be like me, and try doing it at 15. When you're homeless, and you've seen your friends in state custody and how they live, and how awful it is. Fights, abuse, drugs. When you've seen the addicts that pack the homeless shelter, and don't know if your twenty dollars from panhandling and finding cans for the five cents is safe.

                            So you sleep under a bridge where no one else goes, and make a fire to keep warm and cook the eggs you scored from the grocery store one day expired, because you're 15 and they pity you.

                            Until the time comes when you can grasp the basic understanding that not everyone is as fortunate, or intelligent as you, yes. What I said applies. Fuck you, and fuck your goddamn philosophy. It's a crock of shit that is more suited for Red State, where they think "personal responsibility" certainly applies to the black man in Los Angeles, but when it's some guy with a tie in AIG, we need to bail his ass out.

                            And fuck you again, for good measure.

                            Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                            by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:34:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All of the problems... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...you are describing are social services problems, and should be handled as such with a robust social service agency (as I have said numerously).

                            I don't want to get into a whole debate here, this thread is dead, but it irritates me that my arguments are consistently mischaracterised and I'm cursed at, despite having the courtesy to respond to endless comments.

                          •  You kept telling us (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            to show you examples.

                            We did.

                            You don't care.

                            Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                            by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:14:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What examples? (0+ / 0-)

                            For the last ten iterations, we have been talking about a simple and narrow issue: whether a person can be homeless for no other reason than a poor credit score.

                            That is the only thing we are discussing. Anything else that you or anyone else posts that doesn't describe this narrow point is irrelevant to me. xysea gave herself as an example, but she was never homeless as she herself admitted, just lived in a substandard apartment, which there may well be legal and public policy issues with, but she wasn't homeless. Additionally, part of the reason she was declined for the rental was inability to pay, not credit.

                            There have been other irrelevancies posted as well, but all I am asking for is an example of someone who is homeless who wouldn't be if they had a better credit score.

                          •  In other words, you set up a straw man. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Debbie in ME, chemicalresult

                            Just to prove a point you thought no one could refute, no matter how narrow and idiotic it is, nevermind that living outside is sometimes healthier than living in a slum apartment.

                            That said, I worked in Section 8 for a while, and I knew plenty of people on our waiting list over time, and a few were denied for failing a credit check. Usually because a previous landlord reported them to the credit bureau.

                            It's rare, but it happens. And it isn't "inability to pay", it's "used to be unable to pay someone else". Which is precisely the idea behind a credit check. In those cases you end up in a slum house with vermin and mold -- if you're lucky. Most of our local blighted homes are being town down one by one. Good for the view and for the property values, bad for those who once lived there.

                            Our homeless shelter is full, BTW.

                            Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                            by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:30:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And as I hit post (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Debbie in ME

                            I realize what I should have said was "the opposite to" a straw man. Let me throw up this piece of minutiae and see if someone can knock it down.

                            There. I did.

                            Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                            by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            greeseyparrot

                            No guts here, it couldn't be that I'm responding to hundreds of comments in this thread at a time while job interviewing and doing other activities. Nope, not responding to one point is pure cowardice.

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            No, I found a slum landlord who would rent to me without checking credit.  A roach and rat infested apartment with water leaking in the walls.  He charged me $450 a month for that monstrosity.  

                            Why didn't you call the city if the apartment was infested with rats? It's illegal to rent such dwellings to people, same with leaking water.

                            Not that I could have technically afforded it, but we would have been apartment rich/food poor.

                            I see, so, my point stands. You had bad credit and marginal finances, so landlords wouldn't rent to you due to the risk. I wouldn't rent to someone who could barely afford something even if they had an 800 FICO score.

                          •  dude, you are completely missing the point (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult, dotdot

                            You started out with a clean statement of your premise:  nobody has a problem renting because of their credit score.  

                            Now we have someone who put their hand up and said - here I am - logically you have two choices:

                            1.  Accept that your premise was wrong and say: 'wow. Never thought that could happen.  Thanks for opening my eyes. Let me go re-evaluate my premises and get back to you'
                            1. Use the exception argument - 'I was making a broad point that credit score loss is generally not a reason for inability to rent. Yes, you may get something shitty but at least it is better than a tent. My idea was that as long as you had a job, someone will let you live in a house they own.  Your ability to rent that piece of crap proves that'

                            Instead you chose option 3:

                            'I am going to completely ignore how you disproved my point specifically and go off on a tangent. I am going to lecture you. You should have risked being turned out of the one home you could find in order to let me continue to believe that my premise was correct'.

                            Nice.

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said you can rent whatever you want due to a credit score. My specific contention is that it's unclear if anyone is homeless due to credit score issues alone.

                            xysea above was not homeless due to credit score issues, so my point stands. She had bad credit and a marginal ability to pay; like I said, I wouldn't rent to someone who could barely afford it if they had an 800 FICO.

                            Plus, she wasn't homeless either: she was renting an apartment. Not a nice apartment, but lots of people don't live in nice places.

                          •  Wow Sparhawk, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult, Aquagranny911

                            so you think living in sub-standard housing is okay?

                            Holy crap.  

                            Yes, I called the city. NUMEROUS TIMES.  You need to read more carefully.  I explicitly said, here and elsewhere, that the city was overwhelmed and could not cite or check every place.  Period.  I

                            I wonder what would have happened if that guy, too, thought I wasn't a good risk.  I mean, the day I talked to him, it took quite a bit for him to not run my credit score.   I just told him up front my credit was shot.  He completely took advantage of a situation I was in, and you think that's okay?

                            I say it again.  Holy crap.  You should be ashamed of yourself, but you won't be.  Too self-interested, I guess.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:41:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't think living in sub-standard housing is OK; I think every domicile should live up to the legal construction and habitation codes in the place it exists. If this isn't being done, there are legal issues here that have to be resolved, of course! Your landlord and the city dropped the ball, but this is a situation in which public policy wasn't enforced, not a situation in which is was "bad".

                            Beyond that; no, I don't think anyone owes you or anyone else the ability to live in a "nice" place (beyond ensuring that you aren't discriminated against for race, sex, or other legally-protected criteria). If the place meets code, that's all the responsibility anyone has.

                          •  I didn't say they owed me a fancy home. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            I said I was living in substandard housing.  Not up to code.  The city dropped the ball.  So what?  Legally, what could I do about it?  No money, no resources to hire an attorney?

                            C'mon, you can do better than that.  You're fudging here to be a hard ass and you know it.

                            Nice = codes enforced.  Not amenities.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:18:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...of what I have been saying is under the assumption that laws are enforced. If they are not, then no public policy is worth anything, since no law will ever be enforced.

                            If you have a problem with substandard housing, your problem is with the law being enforced, not with credit issues or anything else, in which case the solutions are completely different.

                          •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            It is historically true that places that look at your credit score are traditionally much nicer, cleaner and well cared for.  That is how the owner protects his investment.

                            It is historically true that if you are poor and cannot afford a credit check due to poor credit, that someone is going to exploit that.

                            A poor credit score can drive up the price of anything including housing and insurance, if you can get it at all.

                            There are plenty of people denied housing due to poor credit scores or lack of credit.  Plenty of working, normal people can't get anything but substandard housing when they have a low FICO score.

                            Those are the basic facts.  It's clear from your answers you've had a pretty privileged life.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:35:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  in the extreme (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, chemicalresult

                            .... i have bullshit bills on my credit report that i refused to pay and are in collection now - $45 - and I cannot pass credit checks to open a bank account anymore.

                            Of course, I have a credit line in excess of $25,000 of which I use less than $1000 a month and pay off in full each month.

                            FICO scores are the most misused piece of personal information. Smart users of FICO scores will always look beyond the score, but most landlords cannot be bothered and will absolutely refuse to rent.  I can easily see how someone cannot own and cannot rent because their FICO scores are too low.  Didn't use to be that way, but it sure is now.

                            I should know:  I headed up Credit Card Risk at a major bank for 5 years.

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            It is historically true that places that look at your credit score are traditionally much nicer, cleaner and well cared for.  That is how the owner protects his investment.

                            So? As long as the "not nice" places are up to code, I'm not sure there's a problem here. What's the problem? That people with money and good credit can get nicer places than people without? That's how the system works.

                            A poor credit score can drive up the price of anything including housing and insurance, if you can get it at all.

                            Of course it can. A credit score is a predictor of default. A low credit score indicates that one has a propensity to default, so a bad credit risk will be charged more than a good credit risk for similar services. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about this state of affairs. Discrimination due to credit score and ability to pay in business transactions (which is what this is) is perfectly acceptable in law and I would argue morally as well.

                            Plenty of working, normal people can't get anything but substandard housing when they have a low FICO score.

                            But they aren't homeless, is my point. If the housing passes code, it's not clear to me what the "problem" is here, or what solution you are implying or think is appropriate.

                            Those are the basic facts.  It's clear from your answers you've had a pretty privileged life.

                            You know nothing of my life.

                          •  One correction (0+ / 0-)

                            A credit score is a predictor of default. A low credit score indicates that one has a propensity to default, so a bad credit risk will be charged more than a good credit risk for similar services.

                            A predictor of default is the one thing the FICO score is NOT.

                            It predicts nothing. It is simply an assessment of how a customer has used leverage (credit) in the past. No more, no less.  FICO itself makes no promises about the future pattern of payments.

                            It is a testimony to our unquenchable desire to know the future that we have gone to using FICO score as a predictor.

                            It is just plain wrong.

                          •  Come on, cynic (0+ / 0-)

                            Past performance is the best indicator we have as to what future performance will look like. The future is unknowable.

                            FICO isn't an absolute predictor; but it's a probabilistic indicator. Sometimes it's wrong, sometimes it's right, but on the whole it tends to be right more than wrong.

                          •  In my case, it wasn't a predictor of shit. (0+ / 0-)

                            I paid off ALL my outstanding debt and have good credit now, so FICO is full of shit and so are you.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:22:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  From the official FICO web site... (0+ / 0-)

                            FICO® scores provide a reliable guide to future risk
                            based solely on credit report data. FICO® scores
                            have a 300–850® score range. The higher the score,
                            the lower the risk. But no score says whether a
                            specific individual will be a "good" or "bad"
                            customer.

                            (emphasis mine)

                            You are making the same mistake again - confusing your opinion with fact.

                            Fact is - FICO scores are an indication of how you use credit.

                            I know people such as yourself and perhaps many many others assume that it is a 'predictor' or even that it is the best indicator of future behavior.

                            Sorry, but that is wrong.  The fact that many lenders use it that way does not make it any more right.

                            Credit underwriting starts with a score.  It definitely should not end there.  

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            FICO® scores provide a reliable guide to future risk based solely on credit report data. FICO® scores have a 300–850® score range. The higher the score, the lower the risk. But no score says whether a specific individual will be a "good" or "bad" customer.

                            (emphasis mine)

                            You are making the same mistake again - confusing your opinion with fact.

                            You are making the same mistake again, telling me I said things I did not say. I said FICO is a statistical predictor of your default likeihood... exactly what FICO themselves say it is.

                            I never claimed that it is some kind of inexorable oracle of the future, only that it is generally accurate in assessing credit risk, which it is. Some bad credit risks end up doing ok. Some good credit risks get into trouble. Of course things are this way.

                          •  One step away from homeless, living (0+ / 0-)

                            knee-deep in shit, but that's apparently a-okay by you.

                            And on my next trip to the homeless shelter, where I volunteer, I'll ask em how many of them are homeless due to FICO score.  They'll probably laugh me out of the place.  These are people who cannot get housing, FICO score or not.

                            I know enough to know that you have never truly suffered when it has come to basic amenities, or you wouldn't spout such tripe.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:21:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  shorter sparhawk (0+ / 0-)

                            Reality? Meh!

                          •  Plenty of people rent to those with (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dotdot

                            marginal ability to pay.  You're delusional.  Most of them are college students, for Pete's sake.  lol

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:44:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You can't read, well, can you? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            The city was overwhelmed and did not have the people to check and cite each apartment.  This is what happens to the poor.  No one gives a sh*t where they live, or in what conditions.

                            I'm happy you've been fortunate in your accomodations, but clearly you haven't a single solitary clue.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:42:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also, let's say, in theory (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult, dotdot

                            that I do report him.  Let's say, also in theory, that he evicts me for doing so.  Legally, or illegally at this point doesn't really matter.  I am without a place to live.

                            Where do I go?

                            Another shitty, rat-infested, roach-infested, water leaking apartment?  And where do I get the first/last/security for that?

                            So, a lot of poor people put up with extremely substandard housing 'off the books' and don't report it because (a) they would be homeless and (b) don't have the money to move.

                            You know all this, Sparhawk, being a landlord, so stop being disingenuous.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:46:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A landlord... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...LOL, I wouldn't be caught dead with that kind of loser investment in this economy.

                            Re your other problems, it seems clear we're never going to agree, so I'll just say that of course landlords and tenants should be held to the standards of the law. Any 'off the books' housing should be prosecuted to the extent of the law.

                          •  Yet if it hadn't been for off the books housing, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult

                            I would have been homeless.  

                            That's kinda the point.

                            I'm sick of GOP SOP!

                            by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:19:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Of course they can (0+ / 0-)

                      Section 8 housing. It's the ones that have already rented a place that are losing them now. idiot.

                      It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                      by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:55:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  In Chicago (30+ / 0-)

                  for almost every place you rent you have to pay for a credit report, otherwise you don't get the apartment.  

                  It is no longer run on a honesty system.  It has been that way since the 90's.  In other areas of the country it could be different.

                  •  This may be so... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bigjacbigjacbigjac

                    ...but I am interested in finding an example of someone who is homeless and living under a bridge or something specifically because of their credit score. Saying that lots of people in Chicago try to get credit reports doesn't prove that anyone is homeless because of it.

                    •  I understand what your saying, and your right, (12+ / 0-)

                      But if you've been foreclosed on and have a difficult time finding a rental (because of a low credit score) where do you go?  Familes can always help each other like they use to.  I worked with the homeless in Chicago, and a lot of people ended up that way because of job loss, housing fires, divorce or some crisis similar to that.  It wasn't always the fault of the person, crap happens.  

                      My neigbor just got laid off this week because they are outsourcing her benefits job.  Why send her job overseas?  This puts her in the situation of losing her condo since she is almost fifty and there no jobs around here.  

                      It's just a mess out there.    

                      •  Don't bother responding (16+ / 0-)

                        It's too bad he won't have a hook-up when he gets tossed so he can write a diary about how he did everything right and lost his rental.

                        Around here, rentals are way more than my mortgage on 1400 sq feet vs an average rental of 600 sq feet. It's supply and demand. When they were giving away money, a lot of small rental companies went OOB. Now a renter is more at risk of losing shelter if they are in a place becuase the owner defaults or walks away and keeps taking the rent money for as long as he can. Then you have people who have jobs and good credit but are in "any job " mode or underemployed and  finding rentals are  too expensive regardless of what area of town your in.

                        They make too much to get into HUD's section 8 housing. So it's tent city or RV city.

                        I'm totally fed up with these people who talk about their tax dollars bailing out home owners. What fucking tax dollars if he's living in a shit apartment? What's he going to pay: 1/10 of 1% of $5000-10,000? A coffee at Mickie D's.

                        As if people had a choice where their tax dollars are spent. See AIG.

                        It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                        by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:06:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  AIG, has me grinding my (10+ / 0-)

                          teeth and wearing my night guard again.  I agree with you, but so many people are frustrated and just can't fix their problems with simple solutions anymore.  The American people have been robbed of solutions.  Sending our jobs to other countries is becoming mainstream and it has to stop.

                          Things are totally out of hand right now, and so a lot people are afraid.  The people in charge really let everything fall apart without any checks and balances.  And now good people are paying the price.  Some people really got in over their heads and it is understandable how they are now in trouble.  However, in Chicago, around 1998 to 2001 the value of houses and condos were going up $100,000.00 per year and this scared people into buying because rent was higher than owning.  It was a game that should have never happened, period.  

                          Trouble is we are taxed on everyhting including phone bills, and gas/electric bills.  We can't handle any more taxes and AIG is just salt in the wound.  I agree, we need better choices of where are tax dollars are going.

                          •  Zaka (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Edgewater

                            I agree with you. But the last thing we need is divisiveness and a fuck em type attitude with the exception of this definition of douchebaggery below and above.

                            What we need is the leadership we were promised. No more speeches. No more sternly worded letters. We need to see action. That's why people are scared. They see those people on the Teeveee that have the nation by the proverbial balls while our leadership shows mock outrage becuase the biggest contributors to their job security is the very people that sit in front of them.

                            Those people mind remind ordinary people of the Boss that just laid them off or the boss that ordered them to take a pay cut and produce the equivalent of 5 people without overtime. They want our leaders to stand up to them with action. They won't do it. Not now and not when we start defaulting on our debt.

                            Their may be a few that are there for public service but most are luxuriating in those gold plated health care plans, those well funded PACs that pay all their relatives six figure salaries to do nothing at all funded by the people they show faux outrage too.

                            People have a damn good reason to be scared this time.

                            It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                            by Dburn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:45:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bigjacbigjacbigjac

                          It's too bad he won't have a hook-up when he gets tossed so he can write a diary about how he did everything right and lost his rental.

                          Yeah, you know what I'll do in that case? I'll just move somewhere else using money in my cash reserves, and sue my landlord for breach of the rental contract to try to recover as much of it as possible.

                          It'll be a couple of weeks or so inconvenience tops, at least some of which my landlord will be forced to cover.

                          •  You know a lot about renting. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dburn, ScienceMom

                            Have you ever tried to own a home?

                            "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

                            by platypus60 on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 12:52:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            Why would I want that headache and risk?

                          •  My God the raw intelligence is stunning. (0+ / 0-)

                            It's ok for someone else to take the risk for you and deal with a head splitting headache like you, but you'll be damned if $1.80 of your taxes would go to help this guy out. Fuck him. Let him lose the house. One less rental off the market which means less supply and higher prices.

                            Yep, I see a nice steam grate in your future

                            It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                            by Dburn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:35:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

                            at the top of a housing bubble.

                            I bought my home more than twenty years ago. It's not much, which is why I was able to pay it off by 2000, even though I've never made more than $32,000/year.

                            I bought land after the house was paid off, intending to sell the house and build. Hasn't happened, yet. Not having rent or mortgage allowed me to go back to school for a masters.

                            When I was younger, renting didn't make sense to me. You're paying to exist with a roof over your head, but not gaining anything.

                            Nowadays rental makes more sense given the crazy market. But owning a home outright gives a huge sense of security. Having a ridiculous mortgage as jobs are being cut, not so much.

                            "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

                            by platypus60 on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:15:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your landlord will have filed bankruptcy (0+ / 0-)

                            You don't have enough money to sue him anyway. Your possessions will be stolen as you work your way through those weeks of "inconvenience". Your renter's insurance , if you bothered with it, won't pay off becuase you were terminated.

                            Because you are such a terrific person,that's when Karma kicks in which means to you and your finely tuned intellect; the engine should blow on your car, you'll get laid off and that $1500 will have been spent a long time before you find a rental that you can afford on unemployment.

                            I'm betting though with your personality, you'll be one of the few who has his unemployment contested and actually loses the case.

                            What goes around comes around. I hope the come around is right around the corner for you.

                            It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                            by Dburn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:32:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  This reminds me of Bill O saying (27+ / 0-)

                      no Americans veterans are homeless or live on the street.
                      To paraphrase Keith O "Look out your window".

                      "Blue Dog Dems - putting the ick back in the Democrat(ic) Party."

                      by ZenTrainer on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:55:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Really? (8+ / 0-)

                      You think people who have been foreclosed on have managed to pay all their other bills on time?

                      How likely is it, you think, that people get to the point of homelessness but are still mailing checks to visa?

                  •  One Week Ago In Chicago- Off topic but... (13+ / 0-)

                    Last week  in the River North Section of
                    the city, we met more homeless than ever before.

                    I have no idea where they sleep or tend to their needs.

                    We were approached by several, all very nice.
                    They didn't ask for money but for the packaged
                    food leftovers we had planned on taking home from
                    a restaurant.

                    Next time in the city, it may be a good idea not only
                    to have several dollars bills ready to hand out but
                    some P& J sandwiches.

                    No kidding............. It breaks your heart.

                    Poverty in America ................. front and center this time around.

                    •  When we happen to be dining out in our (3+ / 0-)

                      downtown, we have leftovers packaged to give to people who might be waiting, just as you describe. While dining, we even separate out portions that we know we won't finish to keep the food a bit more sanitary for a potential recipient.

                      I frequent a local indy coffee shop that stamps a card for every cup you buy. When mine is full, I give it back to them to use on someone in need. The shopkeep are grateful and told me they see people in need all the time.

                      People are now hanging out by our church for  most Saturday and Sunday services.

                      They are polite. And they are desperate.

                      Breaks my heart.

                      Sorry for the continued off-topic, but I think it's relevant to bring up the issue of giving available food and other items to people in these desperate times. The person you feed may be from one of those Bushbergs.

                      You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

                      by bleeding heart on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:23:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Beacon Hill isn't *that* snazzy. n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, lirtydies

              Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse … then that would make him …

              Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

              by Jyrinx on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:16:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  They can toss your ass out (6+ / 0-)

              with no notice if you are renting especially the lower end places. Hold your ears now and close your eyes.

              It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

              by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:54:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  A lot of them move in with friends or family (8+ / 0-)

              But, yes, it gets damn hard to rent after a foreclosure.

              "Callin' it your job sure don't make it Right, but if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight" John Mellencamp ~ Scarecrow

              by JesseCW on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:58:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  When we start diminishing the tent cities (6+ / 0-)

              and minimizing the phenomenon as minuscule, we might as well renames ourselves Herbert Hoover.

              Bipartisanship: what happens when an unstoppable force tries to reason with an immovable object!

              by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:53:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  What is a 'nice place'? (7+ / 0-)

              Here, student apartments one bedroom, one bath run $600/mo.  Wow.  Family-style apartments run in the mid $850/mo range.  (usually 3/2, or 2/2).

              If you can't afford $600/mo, you can go live under a slum landlord for $400-500/mo.  I have already described what those conditions are like in a different post on this topic.  Feel free to check it out.

              If you can't even pay that, well I know of two families that share one apartment, that's 6 people in a 2 bedroom.  Some people sleep on the floor.

              And the competition for these rentals is driving prices up, not down.  It will get worse.

              I'm sick of GOP SOP!

              by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:21:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  This is not true in SoCal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            suswa

            Except for large corporate apartment/condo complexes, most landlords don't even check credit history even though it's on the stock application. The only piece that is always checked is current employment. You don't need credit to rent an apartment.

            HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

            by kck on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:11:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Those are also the landlords who walk (13+ / 0-)

              away from their property so renters can get kicked out on a no notice basis. A new trend for upscale and downscale renters. Good credit or bad, you too can lose your home on a no notice basis, anytime, anywhere.

              When that loud knock comes at your door, don't be scared, it's just the police to kick your ass out and throw your shit on the front lawn. Many people find it gone by the time they go find a truck to get it picked up.

              Can't beleive I'm reading this shit here. Never fails to amaze me.  

              It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

              by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:11:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think a lot of socially moderate.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dburn

                ....conservatives showed up here to support Obama, but not exactly progressive economic thought.

                •  Sheila Bair is a R and she was (0+ / 0-)

                  the first one to insist that a federal program be instituted to help the home owners. Her reasoning was brutally simple. The problem needed to be fixed at the source. The estimated cost was 24 Billion at the time. Paulson turned it down as it would not be an "investment". Geithner said she wasn't a team player.

                  Fortunately for us, FDIC appointments are for 5 years. So Geithner couldn't get rid of her. She is tough, knowledgeable and pragmatic. She knows that a foreclosure causes a series of cascading events which multiplies the damage to the banks balance sheets.

                  What she  didn't know is that the payout to Goldman Sachs from the bailout of AIG was 50% of what she had proposed for the entire country. Geithner knew this also.

                  The idea that this guy is a fiscal conservative and social moderate is not anything I can agree on. I can only classify him as ass numbingly stupid as are all the people who can't see the common sense of fixing the problem at the source.

                  I have no idea why this upsets people. Trillions to the banks with no end in site or three sweeps to to cure the problem at the source. Had they taken her up on her "Expense" solution, we wouldn't see the debt ballooning past the stage where there will be no money for stimulus.

                  But no, in all these people's brilliance, they believe that all of them should go bankrupt. They have no idea of the destructive derivatives behind those debts. They seem quiet when the trillions were going out to the banks. They absolutely went crazy when Obama proposed a program that would help some of the people who signed their lives away to a bunch of pigs.

                  The classic line: "Why should I help my neighbor get an extra bathroom?". Lets see, 75 Billion is less than 1% of the proposed bail out cost. Add in the 4 trillion dollar annual budget and suddenly their share to help their neihbors sinks to 0.6% of the combined totals.

                  I'm speculating that since this shit head was in a cheap apartment, his tax bill was probably more me than $5,000 of which 30-40% of that was for social security. The net cost for every $5000 in taxes up to the cap for social security would have come to $1.80.  They are going nuts over $1.80 cents.

                  Assuming the lottery like odds that the $1.80 was going to help someone that lived near him or maybe even his landlord who may have, in a last act of desperation, split the house they couldn't afford up into 3-4 units, what are the odds they would put him out with gasoline if he were on fire?

                  Fuck all of em

                  It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                  by Dburn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:24:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  that's not been my experience in LA. eom (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Edgewater
              •  I was... (4+ / 0-)

                ...an apartment manager in WeHo for many years and it was true then. I'm sure you're right, I'm just saying that there's no standard practice and people should not get discouraged. Find a decent landlord, there are plenty.

                Now, I bought several foreclosed houses in the San Diego area and it's true here. I actually polled other landlords to see what they were doing. I'm not the only one willing to take payments against the deposit. Renters should just be honest and find someone who will work with them. All I look for is that they're employed, make enough money in my judgment, and get a thumbs-up from their employer.  

                HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                by kck on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:10:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Responsible renters (31+ / 0-)

          are being evicted because of the loan problems their landlords have. Perfect payment, perfect credit, but the landlord in trouble.

          This affects everyone. Helping owners helps renters.

          "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

          by platypus60 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:38:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK... (1+ / 3-)
            Recommended by:
            skymutt
            Hidden by:
            Eddie in ME, Black Leather Rain, JerichoJ8

            ...find me a "responsible renter" that has been evicted due to this issue and is now homeless. Renters who have income simply go and rent somewhere else.

            •  Rent Somewhere Else (17+ / 0-)

              Not if they can't get enough money together for first and last month rent deposits. They may not be homeless, they may have to live with a friend or relative for a couple of months to save up some cash. We put up a friend of my wife's (and her two teenage daughters) for that very reason.

              I can't speak about the eviction issue, but I did read an article just today about people renting in a number of large complexes in Arizona where the owner/management company had gone belly-up, stopped maintenance, and couldn't get their deposits back.

              •  Re (4+ / 3-)

                Not if they can't get enough money together for first and last month rent deposits.

                Not having two months rent saved is extremely irresponsible behavior. Not to mention that they have a cause of action against their landlord for breach of contract.

                They may not be homeless, they may have to live with a friend or relative for a couple of months to save up some cash. We put up a friend of my wife's (and her two teenage daughters) for that very reason.

                It was good of you to do that. But having to be put up by friends and family for a couple of months is hardly my opinion of hardship.

                •  I'm floored by this: (40+ / 0-)

                  Not having two months rent saved is extremely irresponsible behavior.

                  Wow.

                  Just, wow.

                  It is just so damned irresponsible of people not to have any money.

                  If I wanted to shut up, do what I'm told, and like it, I'd be a Republican!

                  by MadLibrarian on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:33:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it seems to border (22+ / 0-)

                    on tasteless and stupid, if not trollish, ya think?

                    I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

                    by o the umanity on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:40:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yep (10+ / 0-)

                      I reckong SH has been in a fairly secure job for some time perhaps in defense or government work never knowing a layoff or economic hardship of any significance and developed an attitude along the gop line.  He hits correctly on economic cylinders about 2 times out of 8 but due to personal confidence that he won't be laid off thus can afford to maintain an attitude towards others circumstances that are incomprehensible to him.

                      Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

                      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:01:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am unemployed right now... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        skymutt

                        ...in a tough industry. I just prefer that the right things are done with our economy instead of the wrong things so I can actually get employed sometime this decade.

                        •  Sorry to hear that (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, Edgewater

                          sparhawk.  It is a rough road to hoe, been there.  You are spot on about manufacturing and there are a number of dkos 'kossacks' who do not get it about how serious an issue is to get manufacturing back here.

                          A lot of people bought the 'housing always go up' line and in their interest to keep from being locked out of the housing market for the rest of their lives ... they bought the bs lenders were selling.  

                          Even though I am doing fine these days (knock on wood), I was laid off twice from 2 different employers in the 2000 thru 2002 time period.  After seeing housing rising so rapidly in the mid to late 90's I bought at the wrong time, I narrowly escaped foreclosure and sold everything I owned including prized and very rare musical instruments (a rock star that worked with Ozzy Osborne bought some of it from me).  I roamed the country even leaving the country living in hovels (on tropical islands to ease the pain of being in such dire straights) in order to make what money I had at the time last as long as possible.  Moved 4 times covering over 8,000 miles...all in search of work.  

                          Snorkeling around in turquoise blue waters in wonderful weather on an island in the Caribbean filled with masses of very, very poor people and a handful of extremely wealthy people opened my eyes up to reality big time.  It was a microcosm of what exists in the US but more easily discernible.  I'm an easy person to get along with, I'm inquisitive and the locals opened up to me and told me all kinds of things about the islands and what really goes on. It was mindblowing and tourists will never hear about these things..never.  I came to know people in law enforcement, government and various businesses around the island.  The oil refinery's HR manager and his whole family were alumni from my college as well as a bunch of workers there...so bizarre but didn't get an offer.

                          Later, my wife and I were going to take over managing a large trailer park on the island but politics stateside squashed that excellent opportunity (free housing, free car for personal use and a couple grand a month each to manage it).  Quite a change from what I was used to doing. But some jesus freaks from alabama were hired by the stateside property manager's church.

                          After that opportunity faded, we decided a couple days later to leave the island and within a week or two was back in florida.  A law enforcement aquaintance called us from the island a few days after we got back to florida and said 3 masked men broke into the management office and beat the new managers to a bloody pulp, breaking arms and noses and what not...the perps didn't touch the $15k sitting in cash in the office.  We knew it was a message to the stateside owners not to send jesus freaks to manage locals and push their crap on them (I saw how they were treating the maintenance people...not good).

                          Anyways, a few months later I got a good job and moved again from florida.  I interviewed hundreds of people over the next few years for jobs with my employer, all college grads many with great GPA's and what not...all were having problems finding work despite their great credentials...this was 4 or 5 years ago.  We hired a bunch but many weren't.

                          It has been the worst job market I've seen in my lifetime...going on now for years and I cannot blame people for much, if anything, that has put them into dire straights they find themselves.  However, government policies and its slavish accomodation to wall street and free trade crap is the root cause of it...along with the mega printing of dollars by the fed to try to paper over the debacle called economic and trade policy of the US...is the reason for yours and millions of others struggles.

                          I am on your side fully but only request that you point your fingers at the root cause of all this and it is the lack of responsibility the government has had toward its own citizens and their well being.  The media always paints the wrong picture and focus their camera's and voices on the people but not on the laws and deregulation that has caused it...they are wall street and they are liars.

                          My good fortunes these days I know may very well be temporary...until I see people like yourself and so many other folks getting decent, stable jobs....my life is not secure.  So I'm not altruistic but I do care and know quite a few fairly wealthy people who are a. blind  b. don't care  c. both.  Some are on this site, don't be one of them...you're not rich and the propaganda is everywhere.

                          Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

                          by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:47:18 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  You... (4+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kck, skymutt, AJsMom, farbuska
                    Hidden by:
                    JerichoJ8

                    ...consider it responsible to not have $1500 or whatever in the bank? Even if you save $25 per week per earner, you can get that kind of money put away in 30 weeks.

                    Minimum wage of $8/hour pays you $320/week, after taxes maybe $250. That sucks, but to save $1500 you only have to put away about 10% of that. But you have to be disciplined.

                    •  Brilliant (10+ / 0-)

                      math. Stupid reality.

                      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

                      by suswa on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:55:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Unless you get sick. Unless gas prices jack your (4+ / 0-)

                      budget up. Or food. Or any number of situations.

                      Go fuck yourself, moron.

                      Geithner is AIG/China's chòu biǎozi.

                      by JerichoJ8 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:47:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  These HRs are ratings abuse (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      trashablanca, dotdot

                      HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                      by kck on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:39:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  60 weeks (25 x 30 = 750, not 1500) (10+ / 0-)

                      And if you earn min wage, it's probably at a part time job (32 hrs or less/wk so they don't have to offer benefits).

                      Food for a typical family of 3 will run over $100/wk, then there's rent, electricity, transportation, clothing, telephone. You're taking home $200/wk. You don't have $25 a week to put aside.

                      Here's an idea: why don't you take all but $200/wk of your paycheck and ship it off someplace safe, where you can't get to it for 6 months (set up auto-pay for credit cards, if you have any).

                      Then live on the $200/wk. Assume that you're paying a median $650/mo in rent, and ship that amount over to the other account with the autopay. Everything else you do for those 6 months comes from the remaining $150/mo. This includes electricity, heat/hot water, phone, food (including snacks), fuel/transit, entertainment, and any medical or dental treatment (don't use your insurance card), etc.

                      Try it, then come back and tell us how easily you set aside $25/wk from what's left over.

                      Hey guys! There's a word for bad assets, they're called liabilities!

                      by mataliandy on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:39:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, if you make $200/week... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sparhawk

                        the first thing you need to do is find some shelter that doesn't cost $650 per month!  You're likely going to have to share housing with someone else.  

                        •  ok, you guys (SH & mutt) are missing a few (12+ / 0-)

                          realities of experience that most of us understand and you seem to just totally miss. I get where you're coming from on the personal responsibility kick ... I do really. I live without credit cards and so I have to keep a little cash padding in a savings account and I understand that. However ... shit happens. It always does. And while it doesn't always happen to everyone, when it happens to you it is not so easy to get past as you seem to think it is.

                          1. you clearly have neither kids nor elderly parents for whom you are responsible
                          1. you either own new cars that do not require much maintenance or you live in an area with good enough mass transit that you do not HAVE to own a car if you want to have a job
                          1. you have never had a dental or medical emergency that cleans your savings and additionally saps another payment from your monthly income for years to come
                          1. you have never attempted to find safe, appropriate living space in ANY town for yourself and two kids that costs less than $650 a month

                          If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

                          by Leslie H on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:16:56 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  It's amazing what people think... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk, CWalter, jayden

                      ...that they are NOT capable of.  I first made the most grievous error a couple years ago here of writing a diary suggesting that the American People were in general behaving in a financially irresponsible manner, and ought to be behaving more far more conservatively in their finances to prepare for the increasing likelihood of harder times ahead.  Needless to say, I took a pretty round beating about the head, metaphorically speaking!  People just seemed to think that they could not possibly do anything more in their own lives.  Yet the parking lots of the local restaurants were packed all day, every day, at places where a meal costs the same as a weeks worth of perfectly good food from the grocery (now those restaurant lots are eerily empty).

                      It never ceases to amaze me that the concept of having a little bit of financial discipline is so controversial here.  Here we have the odd user even troll-rating the mere suggestion of it!

                      Baffling.  

                      •  Troll (10+ / 0-)

                        Financial discipline isn't being troll-rated. The sheer idiocy of suggesting that people living on the wrong edge of poverty should have a couple months worth of their housing expenses saved up is "extremely irresponsible behavior" is what's getting troll rated. Sure, in some cases, people get into trouble because of irresponsibility, but there are a lot of people for whom their situation is simply the result of bad luck.

                        •  and he's stirred shit (6+ / 0-)

                          with this same line of aggravating crap in many many diaries on the topic, with the same results: many people pissed off and off topic.
                           His 'is this bugging you' style always stops just short..and the game is to get the other to lose their temper and cuss and sound nasty. It's constantly disruptive, such behaviour totally hrable.
                              And there's always somebody trying to save him from the meanies.

                          A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

                          by KenBee on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 12:53:43 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  kenbee? (0+ / 0-)

                            i amcurious to whom you were referring to as "is this bugging you" style.. sorry but it was not clear to me..... and being new around here i do not see whom you were referring to in this manner?

                          •  Sparhawk has been relentlessly (6+ / 0-)

                            saying the exact same thing for months now, with the exact same result, just different people responding to him, the previous responders are mostly ignoring him. He has heard it all before, from dozens of people. I couldn't come up with any argument that hasn't already been used, so I guess in that he's providing a service.
                             He's getting really good at it, and the same arguements and pleas are given back to him. Jericho is fed up, I don't blame him as SH was in his diaries doing the same thing for weeks now.
                             The whole phrase is 'is this bugging you I'm not touching you' usually follewed by 'Billy hit me!'....calling someone a shit stirring troll seems harsh and it is, and it refers to this very pattern in the FAQS.
                                I'm not defending him, but I'm not going to hr Sparhawk, as he's still polite , but I'm dam tired of his aggravating pomposity and articulate thickheadedness, and he keeps it up... 8 9 hours now. You tell me. You tried, and well.

                            A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

                            by KenBee on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 01:28:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thank you for responding (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk, KenBee, Aquagranny911

                            i think i see your point......at the same time i think he made some good points that most people completely over look......in the case of this diary i do think he led it from the needed awareness of the topic.....but where i agree with him is the depth of a sense of entitlement we as citizens of this country hold....and he hit me personally with that and i think i live as simply as i can (which brings many rewards not tied to the system)....what i fear is the almost total rejection of his views which i think pushes him to his rigidness; but i respect his not walking in lockstep which in the short time i've been on here (i've lived without internet access except at the library which is timed limited so now i am priveleged to have it) seems to be often what happens but like any new community one lives in i'm learning.......and as always will fail, make errors, and learn that way.....in truth he did not disrespect me nor do i think he always got my point..but it is a two way road and alot of what i find here is say  "yes" and whine together....but i am new and finding my way.......i guess seeing someone dismissed so readily is hard because it has happened to me here,   maybe rightfully maybe not.....enough thanks for clarifying because i was not sure to whom you were pointing at.........any club has its insiders and its outsiders i guess

                          •  heh, not a club (3+ / 0-)

                            and the insiders and outsiders thing...we are all pretty much a gang of misfits here, stay with it, you will see...
                             And a little more about Sparhawk, I've always liked him until he went nutty on this housing issue..he seems to be committed to a Libertarian view, which is tolerated here, if barely, if polite, and I get the uncomfortable feeling his position is equal parts practical as it may be philosophical..that lowered rents are a good thing if you are renting bla bla bla., but I'm tired of it, I know what I think after weeks of these diaries, and I'm going to sleep.

                             The community moderation thing is a pretty subtle overlay in the comments here, as opposed to most other blogs where comments are moderated by the Invisible Hand, if at all.
                             Without harshing on the worst behaviour we would be overrun. See the Ann Coulter diary for a similiar long standing touchstone, as are the Isreal/Palestine diaries, I/P for short. Be sure to read the FAQS and read Hunter's diary there, and don't worry, these are the nicest bunch of people anywhere.
                               Just cause you don't know someone's real name, or they are not sitting right in front of you doesn't suspend the social rules we all use daily everywhere. Same here...basically, mostly.
                            Welcome to dkos..gnite.

                            A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

                            by KenBee on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 02:32:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sparhawk is a waste of time (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            louavul, Edgewater

                            Thoroughly predictable, thoroughly debunked.
                            Ignore him/her.

                    •  Savings (6+ / 0-)

                      I'm curious as to when the last time you tried to live on less than $1,000 a month was, particularly if you had kids. You don't seem to be very cognizant about how quickly a couple of emergencies -- medical bills, car accidents, etc. - - can wipe out half a year's savings.

                    •  You really need to read Nickel & Dimed. (6+ / 0-)

                      Your flapping maw is doing nothing but make you appear ignorant to reality of being part of the working poor, or appear to be a heartless prick.

                      What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and movin. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove em while arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells.

                      by Black Leather Rain on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:32:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  To quote Jon Stewart... (3+ / 0-)

                      ...fuck you.

                      Obama's campaign just transformed from "Yes, we can" to "You're fuckin'-A right we did!"

                      by Eddie in ME on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:53:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Hardship (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, KenBee, Diogenes2008, Edgewater

                  Small house, one bathroom, two women, one guy, and two teen-age girls...well, it was a hardship for us.

                •  uprated to counter ratings abuse (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  Because an unpopular opinion doesn't deserve troll ratings, even if it raises hackles.

                  You should probably, however, make the point that you're advocating for financial responsibility and frugality, and not just bagging on low-income folks. If that's how you meant it, of course.

                  •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm not attacking low-income folks at all. I just want responsibility and people to be responsible for decisions that they freely made.

                    This crisis is occurring at every level of society. Large corporations have behaved extremely irresponsibly, but so too have many regular people as well.

                    And this isn't just about poor people. A lot of "middle class" people are massively overleveraged as well. In fact, most poor people don't own a home at all, so bailing out homeowners makes even less sense: a subsidy from the poor to the middle class?

              •  To Darrelplant... Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

                I live in AZ and this has happened more than once.  This particular incident finally got some real publicity.

            •  Some areas are close to capacity rental occupancy (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dburn, mkor7, MooseHB, Losty, farbuska

              We looked for a new apartment and gave up after three weeks. We could haved moved farther out and commuted, but with only one car and no public transportation it just wasn't workable.

              The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes. -5.75, -7.18

              by Rogneid on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:45:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You asked for it (9+ / 0-)

              ...find me a "responsible renter" that has been evicted due to this issue and is now homeless. Renters who have income simply go and rent somewhere else.

              Dick Gordon talks to Nathaniel Cutler on American Public Media™s The Story, from March 9, 2009.

              I read your comment about ten minutes before posting this response.  It was an agonizing search.

              "If the horse you are riding has died, beating it will not make it go any faster."—h/t to teacherken

              by MooseHB on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:08:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  what is your problem? (8+ / 0-)

              you hate anyone who isn't rich? Oh I forgot, you're a Libertarian.

              Bad things happen even to good people. The role of society is to mitigate catastrophes, not to ignore and sneer. There but for the Grace of God go I.

        •  Afford what? (30+ / 0-)

          Most of the people having their house foreclosed have no source of income. I am always amazed at how this simple fact seems to be completely ignored. It's like people think that the people who have lost their jobs and the people lossing their homes are two completely different groups of people. It is not exactly easy to find a rental if you have no income and your credit is destroyed. Most of the people in this situation are moving in with relatives, some manage to get into public housing and others end up in tent cities.

          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skymutt

            Most of the people having their house foreclosed have no source of income.

            So, once I buy a house I am entitled to the house in perpetuity, even if I lose the income that previously supported it?

            Let me get this straight. People without income that never had a house do not get a house (right?).

            People who had income and bought a house with it, then lose that income, are entitled to a house simply because they once made the money to support having it?

            •  I am not for that (65+ / 0-)

              I am not for anything that breaks us all up into two groups at each other's throats.

              The fact is, that unless the top 1% wasn't playing us all off against each other in a fight over the tiny slice of the whole pie they throw out to keep everyone squabbling with each other instead of fighting them, this wouldn't be a big issue.

              I'm for affordable, decent, dignified housing and it isn't renters or home-owners who are standing in the way of that.

              The people who are standing in the way of that are the financial elites of the world who are making off with trillions of dollars while we're arguing about who is getting the best crumb from their table.

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:07:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This may be the comment of the entire thread. (16+ / 0-)

                ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
                -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

                by davewill on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:09:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                farbuska

                The people who are standing in the way of that are the financial elites of the world who are making off with trillions of dollars while we're arguing about who is getting the best crumb from their table.

                Bailing out homeowners simply helps these people make off with more money.

                The correct solution here is to let all overleveraged and insolvent institutions, from individual households to megabanks like Citibank, fail and go into bankruptcy (and we can add social service money into the budget to help pick up the pieces).

                We are in an economic crisis precisely because of government unwillingness to allow this outcome.

                •  Now I wonder why the government (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KenBee, MooseHB

                  would be unwilling to allow this outcome.

                  Hmmm.

                  "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

                  by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:20:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No Sparhawk (29+ / 0-)

                  we are in an economic crisis because our government is owned by the people who want to walk away with trillions while gutting the American middle class.

                  The correct solution is for all Americans, renters and home-owners to finally say "enough".  To finally stand together and say you cannot divide us anymore and we will stand together so that all Americans can benefit from the work and wealth of this country.

                  And that goes for all the other ridiculous divisions they have created from the old black-white division to the rather new employer health-insured vs. not employer health insured division they're trying to get going.

                  "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                  by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mimi9, viscerality, Katie71, farbuska, Olon

                    we are in an economic crisis because our government is owned by the people who want to walk away with trillions while gutting the American middle class.

                    And bailing out AIG and other institutions are exactly how the middle class has been gutted, a massive theft from all of us. If AIG had been allowed to go into bankruptcy, this would not have occurred.

                    The correct solution is for all Americans, renters and home-owners to finally say "enough".  To finally stand together and say you cannot divide us anymore and we will stand together so that all Americans can benefit from the work and wealth of this country.

                    Few people in our country do any kind of useful, exportable work and the "wealth" of our nation is drying up quickly. You argue so much about how the rich are working against the rest of us; exactly what people in China who make $5 a day think about all Americans. To them, all of us are the rich. The problems of someone who makes $30k a year are incomprehensible to them.

                    Secondly, it is easy for homeowners to argue that "we are all in this together" when all solutions proposed benefit them at the expense of renters.

                    •  Well, at least we agree on one thing (18+ / 0-)

                      bailing out AIG and other institutions are exactly how the middle class has been gutted, a massive theft from all of us.

                      Unfortunately this is also true:

                      Few people in our country do any kind of useful, exportable work and the "wealth" of our nation is drying up quickly.

                      And again, I would say this is the fault of multinational corporations and the government they purchased.  The government that brought us NAFTA and GAT and signed us up for the WTO.

                      Quite honestly, if Americans don't get it together to fight back against all of this we're in for a lot worse.  There are many people in China who don't make even 5 dollars a day and our government has put us in a race to the bottom with those workers.

                      Secondly, it is easy for homeowners to argue that "we are all in this together" when all solutions proposed benefit them at the expense of renters.

                      Keep on arguing over the crumb and all you're going to end up with is the crumb - that is if you can compete for it well enough.

                      "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                      by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:39:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                        Keep on arguing over the crumb and all you're going to end up with is the crumb - that is if you can compete for it well enough.

                        Fine then, easy enough, homeowners who don't want to "argue over the crumb" can just admit that I'm right and stop asking for their losses to be socialized if it's so unimportant and inconsequential.

                        Quite honestly, if Americans don't get it together to fight back against all of this we're in for a lot worse.  There are many people in China who don't make even 5 dollars a day and our government has put us in a race to the bottom with those workers.

                        Interesting. So, Americans are entitled to a high standard of living, but Chinese people are not? If a Chinese person is willing to do a job for 10% of the wages, they should be prohibited from bettering themselves that way?

                        •  It takes at least two to make a race (12+ / 0-)

                          Sparhawk and nowhere in my post is the suggestion that Chinese people are any less deserving of a living wage than American people.  

                          I suggest to you that bettering isn't the word for any of this.  Bartering is more suitable when we're talking race to the bottom.

                          The race hurts workers in both countries while enriching multinational corporations.  

                          I think you are arguing over the crumb.  You're arguing over the crumb to the point where you are now trying to put words in my mouth.

                          You would benefit from reading and thinking a little bit more than reading and assuming.

                          "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                          by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:21:15 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                            The race hurts workers in both countries while enriching multinational corporations.  

                            What if the resources do not exist for American and Chinese workers to live at American standards of living? How do we arbitrate those competing demands for resources?

                          •  Sparhawk - again you are assuming (10+ / 0-)

                            and putting words in my mouth.  I said a living wage - not wages that provide the particular standard of living that many Americans currently enjoy.

                            Unless you're suggesting that money to buy a plasma TV for every room and 18 pairs of shoes per person are required for a living wage?

                            You seem determined to put words in my mouth and then argue how the words you have put there are wrong.

                            And at this point in time I can't indulge that anymore since I have to eat and go to bed so I can work in the morning.

                            Good night.  

                            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                            by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:33:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...you agree that Americans and Chinese should both be paid a "living wage", and that many Americans enjoy a wage far in excess of that wage.

                            What do you think the process of American wages falling and normalizing to your view of the appropriate relationship to the Chinese living wage will look like?

                        •  seems to me like your frame needs adjusted (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          wonmug, KenBee, Diogenes2008, Edgewater

                          "Arguing over the crumb" seems to be a reference to you and your endless arguments over minutiae. Obtuse, much?

                          I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

                          by o the umanity on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:45:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  sparhawk- from left socialist (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, farbuska

                          i think, i understand the chinese reference.....i believe as citizens of the us we have to get over are consumption at no cost mentality which is wide spread, much wider than the rich and powerful....but i"m not sure if we (in this case you and i) would see that the same exactly but i can appreciate the attempt, as i see it, to level the question to a wider context....often difficult for us who have been spoiled on the backs of much of the world

                          •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            suresh, theran, Beezzley, farbuska, Olon

                            Re your last comment; I lost a good-paying engineering job due to the downturn and am currently unemployed. However, I am interested in solutions that will work, not just ones that will sound good.

                            We probably aren't as far apart as you might think. I might be willing to support a European-style welfare state if the right case was made for it.

                            The whole point of a welfare state is to curb the excesses of a capitalist system, to me. The capitalist system is useful because it sets prices, interest rates, supply/demand relationships, and other things that the government is very bad at doing; and you use the government to compensate for market outcomes; social welfare systems, education, etc, I think we get something close to optimal.

                            My point in bringing up China is that no one "deserves" a house, or a nice standard of living, etc. Lots of people in China live on trash piles making 5c/pound for recycled plastic. The "problems" of people who make tens of thousands of dollars per year are incomprehensible to them. "Losing" a large house that you live in with your single family of 3-5 people? Are you joking?

                            And the "richness" that we currently enjoy is predicated on massive trade and government deficits; we would have a much lower standard of living if billions in China weren't essentially enslaved by being paid almost nothing to manufacture tons and tons of crap for us... and Americans (even people in this thread!) think they are entitled to a living standard predicated on the existence of this deficit, and blame any decreases in that standard on the rich, or bankers, or anyone else; they do not realize the import of the asset bubble of the last few years.

                            Regardless of whether you have a socialist, capitalist, or even fascist or communist system, the books have to balance at the end of the day. Your nation either does, or does not, produce enough real stuff of value to offset whatever it imports.

                          •  yes......and......no (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            in theory the market may...but in reality the market is a hoax, i think even you said that just not in such words......i do agree the 'richness" that passes for reality here in our country is not only unreal it is inhumane and self destructive; and is built not only on the economic terms you set forth but war and more war and the destitute of not only the enslaved productive chinese but also the not allowed to produce peolpe of many countries whose wealth is plundered with no return (largely in africa, but elsewhere as well)  and thankfully the southern portions of our hemisphere seem to be awakening to this condition and providing answers......as i see it our job is to help each other get out of the consumption game and back into the production and living game .........which will not be easy; and also will take us not only feeling bad for each other but caring enough to see our own complicity in the mess both nationally and globally.......excuse my not clearer staement but it runs so deep i find it at times hard to articulate it....it is not just the rich, for we in this country are all comparatively rich (except for the obvious exceptions,  i think you all know what i mean) to many, but our comfort is distressed and will take alot of re-education amongst ourselves.....may you all be warm and sleep well

                          •  I am not sympathetic to this argument (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            chemicalresult, greenmike

                            for the simple reason that it always used to tear people down who have come to rely on progressive programs like widespread ownership of home and property, fixed rate mortgages, social safety nets, union wages, etc.

                            "Don't complain. Somewhere in Bangladesh there is an entire village of people who eat their own shit."

                            So they have more of a beef with the AIG types than we do. We're still on the same side, and I unconditionally reject all attempts to play Americans against the citizens of poorer countries again and again and again—always to the advantage of the rich and the detriment of everyone else.

                            [F]or too many, the cruelty of our system is part of its appeal. - eightlivesleft

                            by oldjohnbrown on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:22:43 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  point well made (0+ / 0-)

                            i would hope that was not what i was saying/doing.  my point is that we have to choose a side.......and in choosing we need to consider not only our lives in the beast of consumption and the world consequences.....not that i always succeed....and fear not i support most of what you see as the target of my comment, so i need to find a way to communicate the need of personal choice which does not leave the impression i left with you so thank you johnb.....i will work on my communication skills because in no manner does my heart or mind nor my life side with the powers that be....my interest is in finding a way to not continue the exploitation here or anywhere......as a side note i find the recent construction of housing to be obscene: too large, too grand, for such small numbers, a problem not a solution, things like habitat for humanity are a solution and might serve as a standard for housing construction instead of the single couple "mansions"built in the last 15 years or so ....thanks again

                    •  sparhawk- from a left socialist (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk, mataliandy, MooseHB

                      i agree let AIG fail......but that is not what this diary is about.......and i want to know, because you seem intelligent and aware, do you know no one who has lost a job?  no one who has been foreclosed?, no one who is homeless?, no one who is on the verge of these things?.....and please, i'm not trying to be a smart a**.....i'm trying to understand your take on the present state of things

                      •  We already... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        farbuska

                        ...have social services to deal with homeless people... both renters and homeowners. Why should owners get special preferences? Are there any "renter assistance programs"?

                        And despite my decent earning power until recently and despite my ability to buy a home if I chose, I've never owned a home, because I was afraid of this exact outcome.

                        So, why should my tax dollars be taken to help an identical copy of myself not lose something that I've never had in my life? The conservative, careful guy never gets a house, and the less conservative guy gets to keep a house because he gambled and the government bailed him out?

                        Also, let's remember that falling housing prices help everyone (except current owners). Cheaper housing is like cheaper gas, cheaper food, etc; a good thing.

                        •  sparhawk i rent too (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sparhawk, KenBee

                          i almost bought a home a couple of years ago, but i could only see 24/7 working or renting parts of it out or disaster.......but also i have only myself to think of first.....no family (children ,so, relatives i must care for or raise or provide shelter) so i have the luxury of not providing that for others so they may live "the american dream"....i find it hard to not want to assist those who risked much to provide a decent living to others and things went wrong....job losses, health problems, misunderstood or scammed deals.....come on life is not a text-book theory it is real.....the factors are many....but as it falls apart, lets come together and find a better way

                          •  greenmike (0+ / 0-)

                            I understand and sympathize with your notions here, and I respect you and your opinions, but in reality your notions here are just a thin emotional mask over an entitlement mentality.

                            People in third world countries don't get "the American dream", they live in lousy (by American standards) housing, with generations of families crammed together. Those people don't even get the opportunity to overleverage themselves into bankruptcy.

                            While you argue that people should be forgiven and bailed out for their (I agree, understandable) attempts to gain what you would note as a "decent living" (but most Indians would consider the height of luxury), I just do not see a public policy interest in doing so beyond basic social services, legal protection, and welfare programs.

                            If bankruptcy is a risk for any institution (from a household to Citibank), they will be forced to act conservatively. Reckless institutions will go bankrupt, and conservative and prudent ones will prosper. This might mean that less families get to take a big shot at a nice house, car, etc, but like I said, billions of people already don't have those options. From the individual to the household to the biggest corporation to the government itself, we all need to live within our means, and this holds true whether you live in the most socialist country in the world, or Somalia.

                          •  yes ...and no (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            i totally agree with your "third world" comments.....in the neighborhoods i have lived in most of my adult life in this country that is true also....several families/generations living together and struggling hard to make it....i also have seen some move on to obtaining homes and losing them......i guess the difference is the third world reality is not far from the american dream i often have seen......OR it is closer to my experience but if i'm emotional you are too intellectual...no disrespect meant there may be a balance and at least we are not totally dismissing each other......that is HOPE

                          •  2nd reply (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sparhawk

                            maybe not conservatively (and this is semantics) but maybe not wastefully and/or addictively consumming.........at risk (a joke) of alienating the community i find your thoughts stimulating; but must also say rigid ....flow a little bro, i'm sure you won't fall off track

                  •  What about this? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk, chemicalresult, Karl Rover

                    I know an entire middle/lower-middle class community of home owners in SoCal with lots of Spanish-only households. This is one of two neighborhoods in the county that have obvious clusters of foreclosures...

                    It seems in 2005'ish there were a few agents who sold these 2BR/1Ba 900Sqft homes, currently going for $125k, for $350k - $450k to buyers who were (real examples) a gardener and a babysitter plus their 2 school-aged sons, or a construction worker (stands at Home Depot and waits for possible jobs) and a housecleaner and their 3 children and elderly parents. They were barely paying the mortgage prior to the ARM reset and should NEVER have been sold their homes and had nothing to give after the mortgage went up.  

                    These places rent for $1200/mon and the "owners" foreclosed on were supposed to be paying $2500/mon. Being foreclosed and lucky enough to rent the same abode (no school change for the kids) for less than half the mortgage bill was a blessing for both of these families. Besides the financial stress, these are families who take breaking their contracts very seriously. The visible emotional stress is heartbreaking. I know if it was me I would rather live in my camper.

                    The sooner the foreclosures the better for this entire community including the people being foreclosed on. Hopefully the real estate agents who probably assumed these folks could just sell and still make money before the ARM reset have learned a lesson.

                    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

                    by kck on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:34:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  We can start (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mataliandy, KenBee, farbuska

                    by not letting contrarians divide us.

                    Because that's what's happening with your conversation here. Hung up on fucking minutiae, to divide us further, courtesy of one of the usual suspects. And when I say usual suspects, edgewater, I'm not referring to you...

                    I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

                    by o the umanity on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:43:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Norma! Norma! Norma! n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1929.

                    by Bensdad on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:19:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  “Pervasive & growing fraud in mortgage... (7+ / 0-)

                    industry"...

                    IMHO, it's sad that the homeowners who are losing/ have lost their homes are being blamed for their own misfortune, but the industry professionals who pumped up the housing bubble, sometimes using fraud to do so, don't get much mention for their role in building the house of cards.

                    The FBI was aware for years of "pervasive and growing" fraud in the mortgage industry

                    "...that eventually contributed to America's financial meltdown, but did not take definitive action to stop it..."

                    Treasury Official Allegedly allowed IndyMac to backdate deposits to hide its ill health.

                    Central States Mortgage Sues Founder, Former Execs on fraud claims:

                    Central States Mortgage Co., one of the largest mortgage bankers in Wisconsin, has accused its founder and former chief executive officer along with four other former top employees of racketeering in a lawsuit that also alleges the five conspired to defraud the company of at least $15 million...

                    The FBI is Currently investigating 1800 cases of mortgage fraud involving:

                    "...industry professionals generating fraud schemes that could total as much as hundreds of millions of dollars..."It is a matter of lawyers, brokers or real estate professionals that are systematically trying to defraud the system," Pistole said.
                    Agents have even seen some instances of organized crime getting involved in mortgage fraud, he said..."

                    There are just a few of the many examples of mortgage professionals "systematically trying to defraud the system".

                    Should some homeowners been more realistic and/or cautious before spending too much for a home? Probably--but who forced the "industry professionals" to give risky loans?  No one forced them, and they, as professionals, knew better & I'll bet most of them still have their own homes.

                •  The bankers would LOVE (10+ / 0-)

                  to foreclose on EVERYONE, sell all the property off dirt cheap, have the government continue to bail them out, and start inflating a new bubble out of the ashes of the old one. That's why they aren't leaping to renegotiate mortgages, despite that being more financially advantageous than foreclosing.

                  But you just keep on fighting their class war for them.

                  ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
                  -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

                  by davewill on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:29:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have no idea what you are talking about... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    suresh

                    First of all, I neither want bank nor homeowner bailouts: all insolvent institutions from an individual household to Citibank itself should be allowed to go into bankruptcy.

                    Secondly, banks certainly do not want to foreclose; to do so would be admitting that loans contained in their portfolios that they are using to argue the bank's solvency are bullshit and must be written down to the foreclosure recovery value, which will be very low. Many banks will be forced into insolvency and bankruptcy if they are forced to foreclose.

                  •  Once people look carefully (8+ / 0-)

                    at Credit defualt swaps , they'll see that foreclosure was the desired outcome on these sub-prime to alt-a ,Ninja and Option ARMs. Multiple bets could be made on the failure of the homeowner to make the payments. We aren't talking all expensive housing here. Even the $100,000 and under got burned.

                    Once the bookies (Lehman, AIG etc) couldn't pay off the bets, then Uncle Sam stepped and picked the book up so AIG can cover all the bets.

                    No, not everyone wants to live in cheap rentals where the landlords can't make the payments or keep up with maintenance.

                    Expanding out to the big picture, the failure of the housing sector and the financial sector along with all other asset classes are causing job hemorrhaging at a unheard of rate and I was out of college and working in 80-82. I never saw the twin dip recession accelerate this hard and this fast taking out such a wide breadth of wage earners to small business owners. Bankruptcy firms are booked up. Rentals are raising their prices and so are bankruptcy attorneys.  

                    Just because there are assholes on this site whining about the $3.00 of their tax dollars going to help home owners,  had jobs on Friday doesn't mean they'll have one on Monday.

                    The justification that everything will get cheaper so they can afford it is so painfully stupid it's hard to even get it out. If they can't afford a house now, and if prices have to go much lower , they won't get one anyway becuase there just won't be a job to supply them an income to pay for the fucker.

                    JHC,  if we have this kind of stupidity on this site. I can't even imagine it over on right wing row.

                    It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                    by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:40:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Edgewater...Excellent! n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Sparhawk (8+ / 0-)

              Can you play any other notes besides this one? Geez, it's tiresome. I am beginning to wonder if you're just downright envious of anyone who happens to own a home.

            •  Investment (9+ / 0-)

              So, once I buy a house I am entitled to the house in perpetuity, even if I lose the income that previously supported it?

              In most cases if you lose the house to foreclosure, you're going to lose any money you actually did invest in the house. Not so much if you bought it with the proceeds of a series of house-flipping operations, but quite a lot if you put in savings for a down-payment and paid your mortgage for years.

              •  Certainly bad... (0+ / 0-)

                ...but it's the same thing that happens to any other investment that goes south. Some people lost almost everything they owned in the recent stock market collapse, no one bailed them out.

                •  the futures (5+ / 0-)

                  traders did just fine...made billions off shorting the market and stowed their profits offshore or operating offshore due to deregulation.  They made billions going long in the market during the fake stock market runup since 2003.

                  The premise of the stock market being a free market of course (and I know you know this) is false.  Its been heavily manipulated by dark pools of liquidity floating in shadow banking or investment circles that manipulate at will.  Its all a lovely corrupt thing chock full of opportunity for insiders.

                  Homes aren't investments unless someone is buying them strictly to rent out. That whole premise calling it an investment is nonsense...its a home, a place to live, taking on debt like a mortgage for investment purposes is insane.  Might as well invest in the stock market with your credit card.

                  Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

                  by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:42:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry my friend (0+ / 0-)

                    You and I agree on a lot, but buying a home is buying something that has a fluctuating value that is worth multiple times your yearly salary. You are usually buying it on 20% or less down. How is this not an investment? Of course it is!

                    With such a large leveraged investment there is a nontrivial probability of bankruptcy, credit ruination, and losing large amounts of money. Even if it is your primary residence, a home purchase is a risky endeavor, and it is incumbent on the buyer to evaluate risks such as job loss, market conditions, the economy in general, the terms of their loan, etc.

                    •  the (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sparhawk, mataliandy, Silverbird, Olon

                      ability to evaluate risks has changed radically in the past 10 to 15 years.  This globalization thing has put variability into the equation of analysis that is not predictable that even historical references are now irrelevant because there is no historical basis of a globalized economy such as has been created.

                      We do agree on a number of things but historically the 'american dream' was based on a stable economy with a healthy percentage of it based on manufacturing (its now 16% of our GDP, financial markets in the high 70 percent range...all bad news). I know we may or do agree about that.  We've had nothing but bubble based economic runs the past 10-15 years and people have been desperate and programmed to think that the American Dream® is to be had by hard work and persistence which is true only in certain sectors of the economy anymore.

                      If you, Sparhawk, looked over what you wrote in your 2nd paragraph ... its funny ... I agree with you..but at first I thought you writing about the banks and their leveraged investments... they're leverage 30 or 40 to 1 by the way.

                      I bought a house after much thought and kind of wished I had just plunked the money into my investments (my investments dipped for awhile which I knew was going to happen but have recovered nicely and are poised to do quite well over the next few years perhaps to around 2016).  But I bought a house that cost about 1/4 what the so-called housing market 'expert' realtors or loan officers would say I could afford in a area of high cost of living.  I did that so could run around the country working in various locales without too much burden of hanging on to the house as an anchor point.  (father-in-law needs care and attention).

                      I kind of went nuts buying a couple of boats (little one for smaller lakes and a big one for bigger waters) and a truck to pull em around with but paid cash for everything and didn't buy what the numbskull creditors would say I could 'afford'.  Could've bought nicer fancier boats but no thanks...I just want to freakin go fishin and zip around occasionally in puget sound or in the lakes. 45 mph with 4 or 5 gal/hr is more boat than I will ever need anyways.

                      I love screwing with the auto and boat dealers by paying cash...they EXPECT people to go into all this debt.  They want debtors not cash but will take the cash to move stuff off their lots.

                      Anyways, I think homes are lousy investments as an 'investment'.  A person pays 3 times what the 'value' of the home is when the deal is struck at the end of a 30 year term.  Its better with shorter terms of 15 years but valuations are such that it is difficult these days for most to do that over such a time period.

                      I know people or have relatives who bought 150 acres in addition to their 60 acres to build an equestrian center but bought the land in the 70's for $200 or $300 an acre.  Now its worth millions which they're trying to sell now but I think they're stupid...they waited too long and are greedy.  One of the owners wants to put a housing development on it and the other wants to just sell it all.  The one wanting to put a housing development on it is going to be dead or in a nursing home before the housing market returns and the other has the right idea but waited till the market fell off a cliff to sell.

                      Another guy bought a couple of houses in the early and late 70's for around $17k and $25k but keeps on renting them.  I think he's pretty foolish, should sell and go into investments that I've told him to go into or at least research.  He'd be able buy back all those houses and more in a few years time...but alas, he won't listen...great guy but he's been programmed by the financial media.

                      Economics run in cycles and this cycle is not going to end until around 2015 or 2016.  Without manufacturing jobs in this country and a more sustainable trade deficit, I don't expect the housing market to recover until a number of years after the end of this economic cycle.  Just like it acted in 1920's thru 1950's.

                      Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

                      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:31:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Risky (0+ / 0-)

                      Even if it is your primary residence, a home purchase is a risky endeavor,

                      This is just silly. Investing in a house or other real estate is one of the most stable ways to stash your money that there is, so long as you're not buying into a hyper-inflated market or paying more than you can afford. Plus, if it's your primary dwelling, you're living in it, something you can't do with your stocks.

                •  Housing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Silverbird

                  Except that for most people housing isn't an investment in the same way that playing the stocks with your extra money is a gamble. And unlike stocks in a bankrupt company, if people can manage to hold onto their homes they can maintain the equity they've invested unless the price they purchased at was seriously inflated.

                  You really don't seem to grasp the fact that there's a difference between real estate and stocks.

        •  Not so sure, Sparhawk (16+ / 0-)

          I can understand your resentment, but most of these folks --I would wager 90%--probably lost jobs, got in on homes with an ill understood ARM mortgage that blew their limited supply of cash, or had some kind of life crisis that strapped them for cash.

          Bad luck, in short. I tend not to believe bad luck needs to be punished by such an extreme measure as ripping out someone's home and their corresponding credit ratings and whatever equity they might have in that home (for lot's of folks, their major investments).

          Moreover, foreclosed homes tend to bring down the value of neighborhoods overall so that foreclosing on some further exacerbates the cycle and creates a vicious circle.

          I've rented for long stretches of time and can understand your resentment, as I say. But the thing is, crucifying the homeowners, even if you think it truly justified, in the long run is going to end up biting everyone--including renters. There's a lot of injustice right now, but folks like the assholes at AIG, who created this mess and continue to profit from it, should enjoy far more of your righteous wrath than unlucky homeowners who fucked up or got fucked in some way. For those of us on the poorer end of the scale (making below, say 150,000/yr) I think we all get out this together, or we don't get out at all.

          DelicateMonster a slightly left of center reading experience

          by DelicateMonster on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:57:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)

            I understand your position, but no one is "crucifying" anyone. Simply not helping isn't the same as "crucifying"; it's just allowing the normal course of events to take its course so our economy can return to a sustainable and healthy place instead of constantly being subjected to distortions.

            If your argument is that health problems can strike at any time, I can't help but agree, which is why I'm a massive single-payer advocate.

            But lost jobs, bad ARM mortgage that they didn't understand, etc, loss of home value, these are all risks that homeowners sign on the dotted line that they will be responsible for. Renters don't. Who should pay? Those who agreed to be responsible, or those who did not?

            •  And re: AIG... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kck

              ...thank Barack Obama and other Dems for that travesty.

              The correct public policy here is to allow all overleveraged and insolvent institutions to go into bankruptcy, from individual households to megabanks like Citibank to insurance mega-conglomerates like AIG.

              •  How do you allow the largest insurer of banks to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                fail without the entire financial system falling into instant Depression? Not just the American, but the entire global financial system. How would it have played out if you were in charge? This is not a snarky question - I am truly interested in your view.

                'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'." -BHO

                by silentreader on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:48:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Easy(ish) (0+ / 0-)

                  You zero out the stockholders, probably zero out the bondholders, and put the institution into receivership, which doesn't require any immediate dismantling of the institution, like you'd do with a bank.

                  You fire most of the people who run the place, voiding out all their pay contracts (since their pay contracts were with AIG, which doesn't exist anymore), and you go through it with a fine-toothed comb to get a sense of the accounting situation and the company's exposure. You carefully bail out selected sections if absolutely necessary, as you would do with the FDIC in charge. Decisions will need to be made about what types of AIG counterparties get screwed and what types get bailed out. I do not generally know what the rules are in this cse.

                  Then, you slowly disassemble the business, selling off different parts of it over a few years.

                  Net result:

                  - All stockholders get zero
                  - Nearly all executives are fired and don't get bonuses
                  - Rank-and-file employees stay on, some get laid off, some are transferred to new businesses as different arms of AIG are sold off. Some get laid off, others are successful.
                  - AIG continues to exist until its operations can be successfully wound down or transferred to new, solvent companies

                •  AIG already failed, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, Aquagranny911

                  past tense.  The question at hand is what to do with the failure.  Right now, our money is being put to work to perpetuate the failure.

                  They should have been nationalized months ago so we could have Treasury officials look at their books, unwind their trades, and unlock whatever value there is with the company.  Their executives should be the first in line to clean out the outhouses at these tent cities.  Instead, they'll be getting millions of dollars in bonuses, armed guards, and only have to put up with a few angry phone calls from Tim Geithner.

                  Your dog likes it when you sing for her.

                  by aztecraingod on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:50:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Markets are man made (8+ / 0-)

              and man manipulated constantly.

              There is NOTHING normal or 'natural' about markets or our economy--it is all man made and man manipulated. And your implicit metaphor that the economy is an ill body that just needs a little rest to get 'healthy' coyuld have come out of the mouth of your most avid rightwinger.

              The underlying assumption behind terms like 'healthy' and 'distortion' is a far right laissez faire view of economics that is shared by such insightful chaps as Herbert Hoover and Milton Freidman.

              Hoover fucked the US over in the 1st Great Depression and it was the idiotic deregulators who followed Freidman's ideological rigidity that has led us to the second Great Depression.

              Not to put too harsh a point on it, but your perspective is seriously out of sync with most literate economists right now (including Nobel Prize winners) who are all tending to suggest some form of Kenysian stimulus is necessary (I agree). The only people who don't agree are basic economic illiterates or the fucking hacks on CNBC--but they have an excuse--they belong to a class that will actually benefit by the continued imposition of laissez faire capitalism.

              If you rent, I somehow suspect that's not the case with you. So why the hell do you want to put your neck willingly under the iron heel of these fuckwits? Or use the langauge and arguments of those who would rather see you earn pennies an hour for your labor on any given day, and in the best of all worlds from their perspective would simply make you a company slave?

              That's so breath takingly dumb, I'd almost think you were a Republican.

              DelicateMonster a slightly left of center reading experience

              by DelicateMonster on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:53:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skymutt

                I am an advocate for social services spending, single-payer health care, and other useful social spending. I support government spending on scientific research, I am pro-separation of church and state, and a First Amendment absolutist.

                However, if wanting insolvent institutions (households, banks, businesses) to be allowed to go bankrupt is "right wing" then I guess I am a Republican. If opposing the "privatize the gains, socialize the losses" principle is right-wing, I guess I am.

                Re: Keynesianism; there is little evidence that it works. Every dollar you spend in stimulus just has to be paid back later at interest; all multiplier effects you get today, you pay a bigger anti-multiplier later.

                The last fifteen years have been a Keynesian dream, and what has it gotten us? This disaster. I'm not going to get into a huge discussion over this (tired and probably going to bed soon), but I have good reason to think that Keynesian stimulus can't and won't work in this case, and will just make matters worse. Lets just put some social service spending in place to help people displaced by the crisis, and leave the business side to the business sector to unravel.

                •  Fair enough (9+ / 0-)

                  I'm sure we can pick up this thread some other time. We have a fundamental disagreement about what government should and shouldn't do that's not going to get worked out any time soon, I suspect.

                  I do want to correct what I think is an error of fact, however. You write:

                  The last fifteen years have been a Keynesian dream, and what has it gotten us? This disaster. I'm not going to get into a huge discussion over this (tired and probably going to bed soon), but I have good reason to think that Keynesian stimulus can't and won't work in this case, and will just make matters worse.

                  The last 8 years have seen a highly directed stream of government stimulus money that has successfully risen the profits of a select number of companies. Namely oil (Exxon had its third year of record breaking profits and now stands --I believe--as the most profitable company on Earth), defense (Haliburton and KBR have all done swimmingly in the last 8 years despite massive incompetence, corruption and failure of contract delivery)and a selected swath of other investments that had little or nothing to do with stimulating the wider domestic economy--in many cases, laws were promulgated and companies aided whose business strategy was essentially the evisceration of the US middle class.

                  That's not Keynesian by any stretch of the imagination. Calling it Keynesian is bullshit, it's just a lie.

                  If you need a term for what we've experienced in the last 8 years, why don't you try 'crony capitalism'. The term has the distinct benefit when applied to this last lost decade of American business of being true. Unlike your  assertion.

                  Sleep tight.

                  DelicateMonster a slightly left of center reading experience

                  by DelicateMonster on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:26:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think what you've said is right (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DelicateMonster, Aquagranny911

                    but the term I'd use is economic colonialism.  The multinational corporations have been allowed to treat the whole world as their empire.  

                    The economic mess we're in is, in part, a result of the multinationals being allowed to treat the workers of the world as their serfs and the wealth of nations as their plantation-holdings.  

                    "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                    by Edgewater on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 03:53:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  He doesn't rent just thinks everyone else (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DelicateMonster

                should.

                "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

                by thethinveil on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:11:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That's funny (0+ / 0-)

              sure seems like a crucifixion to me, if you're basing any of your current positions on the assumption that the last 15-20 years or so of the American economy resembled a "normal course of events" to begin with.

              I'm not an anarchist, but it would be good if people started realizing the difference between political propaganda and the truth. --John Lennon

              by o the umanity on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:53:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It is fairly obvious (6+ / 0-)

          that you have never had to rehabilitate a home that stood empty for months. Nor have you had to sell your home into a market in which your neighborhood has had several foreclosures. Why do you resent the idea that someone else might get help from the society at large? Are you so tired you need some too?

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:04:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. (9+ / 0-)

          You know, like those people who have kids who are blind or retarded, and they're all like "Wah, wah we need money, we need special schools and teachers." If those parents get money, then everyone should get money, so its fair.  And like, all those WIC moms getting free diapers and formula. If they get free stuff, then I want free stuff too.

          "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

          by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:14:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Care of children... (0+ / 0-)

            ...has solid public policy reasons for doing it. Bailing out homeowners at the expense of renters has none.

            You think that I oppose any policy that might slightly be redistributive. I don't; I only oppose things that have no or negative public policy impacts, as this does.

            •  I guess I'm not seeing how this (5+ / 0-)

              is at the expense of just renters. I also don't see how you can say that trying to prevent huge numbers of home forclosures and people forced into the streets isn't reasonable policy. Houses in foreclosure drag down every house around them. Empty houses invite squatters. People break in the steal the wiring. Assholes looking for something to do graffiti them.

              "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

              by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:27:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  First of all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rachel Q

                Falling home values only help renters. Every dollar that values fall is a direct gain to me when I purchase a home.

                Secondly, foreclosed homes that are worth something will be bought at some price or other. Banks' and sellers' unwillingness to sell at actual market price isn't a reason for public policies to be altered. I agree that blight is a problem, but cities can deal with this in other ways than bailing out people who are functionally bankrupt.

                Falling prices is a risk you take when you buy. Renters never signed up for it. Buyers did.

                •  So your thinking is simple (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mataliandy, chemicalresult, Edgewater

                  Just pay cash for a house when it falls to $5.00 right? It's your right to rent, but the home or apartment you rent from is owned by someone else taking a risk. If he loses out, so do you. The difference being he'll get notice, you won't. Your shit gets dragged out on the same day. If you have too much to load in your car on the first run, it won't be there when you get back.

                  That's why a renter should be real fricking concerned about the homeowner becuase the place he may be renting may be owned by someone in deep fucking shit.

                  In other words, other people should take risks on housing so you can have a place to rent but if the economy goes in to depression, you don't want to pay $2.98 to help them to help yourself becuase you can't get your brain to go that far.

                  Homeowners gets foreclosed by the thousands. Guy who owns a few rentals or even a large complex can't get credit to make improvements. He may be doing it part time and loses his job. He will continue to take your rent as foreclosure proceedings move along month after month after month.

                  You may very well be paying rent to some guy who lost on his risk and not even know it becuase you need people to take those risks so you don't have to or so you think. Have you checked your landlord out?

                  The idea that home prices going lower will help you with lower rent or buying one is laugh out loud wrong.

                  It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

                  by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:06:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  His/her thinking is even more simple than that (0+ / 0-)

                    Every dollar that values fall is a direct gain to me when I purchase a home.

                    It's all about Sparhawk. Everything should be ordered so that it benefits Sparhawk.

                    Direct gain for Sparhawk = good.  Direct gain for those "other people" = bad.

                    "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                    by Edgewater on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 04:02:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Don't look now, Sparhawk (8+ / 0-)

              But many of the people you think should lose their homes because that's the risk they took have CHILDREN. So CARE OF CHILDREN enters into this, too.

              •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                So the parents took financial risks while having children? Is this responsible behavior? Should we call DCYF? (I'm being facetious, obviously).

                What about the parents who never bought a house and just rented the whole time with children, living in a smaller place and enduring a lesser standard of living? Why should their money be taken and given to the first family?

                •  with you 100% (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  If the govt wants to help with relocation assistance or some other program to ease the pain of the transition I am ok with that.

                  We need to let the foreclosures happen and then move on.

                  Did you know 60% of home owners that do any form of workout/assisted refi end up in default within the first 12 months.

                  This is what no one is talking about. They will bail them out with our tax dollars and they will still end up getting foreclosed on.

                  Sometimes you need to take the hit and move on. Someone else will buy that house from the bank at the real market value.

                  •  Oh (0+ / 0-)

                    It's about the house?

                    Someone else will buy that house from the bank at the real market value.

                    Do you speak from experience?

                    Sometimes you need to take the hit and move on.

                    Yes. It's just a house.

                    "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

                    by suswa on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:47:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  How about when they throw renters out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mataliandy, Edgewater

          on a no notice basis. Not inexperienced speculators getting foreclosed on who had tenants. How about the big complexes? Is that a non-starter for ya?

          The air must be thin way up there. It must hurt when you think.

          It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

          by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:52:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sparhawk simply not true. (7+ / 0-)

          Foreclosed people usually lose EVERYTHING, including their credit, and dignity.

          I know 3 people that just lost their homes.  Regular people like me and presumably you.  

          First one refinanced to lower her payments after she lost her job.  Meanwhile predatory lenders charged her $17,000 to refinance, no problem, roll it into the loan. Then her interest jumped to 8% then 12%. She lost her $40,000 down payment and they made over $75,000 in late fees and interest. And now some fat realtor is living in her house.

          Next ones owned their home outright, lived there 40 years. He got sick (don't get sick), had bills not covered by insurance.  Took out a 2nd.  Then the rates doubled and they fell behind. Lost everything, beautiful home on 2 acres. Now some fat realtor is living in their house.

          Last one had an older house that was falling apart.  Didn't have enough to fix the plumbing, sewer, and the roof at the same time.  So they refinanced and took money out to get the repairs done.  Then their interest rate jumped to 8%, etc, you get the story. Now some fat realtor is living in their house, enjoying that plumbing.

          Yeah these were irresponsible people, living high off the hog! They lost everything.

          Rent something affordable?  First lady is living in a rented room with her teenage daughter so she can continue to go to the same high school.  A room, for pete's sake!Second ones had to move in with their daughter's family. Last ones have left the state in search of something affordable.  Yep, that was easy.

          Meanwhile, housing values plummet and these good folks aren't even taxpayers any more. It's so catastrophic, it's not simple like you make it.

          So I agree with Edgewater, we need to keep everyone in their homes.

          Except maybe the bankers and the fat realtors.
          Sorry fat realtors.

          Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

          by truebeliever on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:45:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. I guess my experience is a bit different. (5+ / 0-)

          Let me share my experience with you.

          As a single parent with virtually no income, I could afford a $385/mo apartment, 2 bed, 1 bath, full of mildew, rotted carpet and roaches.  Pest control was not included.  It took me 2 years to apply for subsidized housing grants, because the list was so long and the funds so short.

          Even after getting a job, I had to stay in this apartment.  I had to save to get out of it, you see.  First, last, security deposit, application fee, background check fee (all of those I paid for).

          It took me 3 years of living in a roach-infested, and occasionally rat-infested, hell to get the requisite money to get out.  Why should I have to live like that?   I am a clean person.  I even improved that apartment by doing my own repairs (properly) and painting it, planting flowers.  Even though I was poor, or had lost a job through no fault of my own, I should not have to live in a garbage dump of a place. It affects your ability to do a lot - your morale, your dignity, your drive.  Having to come home to that nightly contributed, in my case, to situational depression.

          The laws vary from state to state, but landlords are not required to provide pest control, lawn care or anything more than the basics of repair.  My landlord often did his own (bad) repairs to avoid having to pay a plumber.  The A/C leaked through the ceiling, the dishwasher NEVER worked, the washer was full of rust that stained and ruined countless clothes and the refrigerator leaked all over the floor.

          The housing agency here was too overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who needed assistance to properly check and cite every single apartment out there available.  Forget getting into a housing project - those things had been (a) full for 30 years, no vacancies and (b) were sometimes in worse shape than the ones independently operated or contracted.

          Decent housing is one of those things I believe is a right.  If you CHOOSE to be a landlord, you have obligations towards your tenants.  If you do not have means or interest in doing proper repairs, or maintaining your apartment, do not become a landlord.   Certainly, do not become a landlord subsidized through Section 8.

          I think preventing people from living through that is a worthwhile cause.

          I'm sick of GOP SOP!

          by xysea on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:17:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  10's of thousands of renters (7+ / 0-)

        losing their homes because developers were walking away from those big ass apartment complexes. Didn't hear about that? Might be coming your way. So before you post about those irresponsible "losers" who got in over their heads, or didn't sacrifice enough, read on...

        These aren't the speculators we hear so much about, who bought houses to flip. These aren't those stupid loser home owners. Nope. This one is is much bigger. A new wave , if you will,  because developers are walking away from those big ass apartment complexes. where presumably some of the Kossacks live who have been whining about a bail out for irresponsible homeowners. I heard things like "I sacrificed and rented. Why should I have to bail out home owners with my tax dollars".

        Guess what, Losing shelter is just not for "losers" who wanted extra bathrooms anymore. The one difference between them and you "responsible-sacrificing-do everything- right" renters is, they get a warning and a long time before they get booted.

        A renter can be sitting there on a quiet Saturday with your wife and kids writing on Daily Kos about those irresponsible home owners and your tax dollars when BOOM BOOM BOOM -The door is bending inward from the bad ass knocking on your flimsy ass door. Fear runs through you as you hit "post" on your Mac . Your wife opens door holding your three year old and a few big sheriffs are there saying "get out NOW"

        They pull all your shit out and put it on the lawn and you have 24 hours to pick it up.

        The next wave is coming and everyone is getting wet.  

        It's a long way to go , just to get to back to when it was bad.

        by Dburn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:49:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How do you (6+ / 0-)

      "make it work?"

      What does that mean?

      Sure, employee people, feed people, but if you think you n avoid real moral choices regarrding the system we will have by hiding in "pragmatism," I think you are msitaken.

      President Obama sees a moral aspect to this.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:17:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  President Obama's goals (23+ / 0-)

        and means have an ideological compnent, and I'm glad they do:

        If elected, Mr. Obama said he would to try to forge a popular mandate for policy changes that could reverse a generation of slow wage growth and outlast any one administration. At the top of his list would be shifting the tax burden more toward the wealthy and making investments — in health care, alternative-energy research and education — that would cost a significant amount of money but could ultimately lift economic growth.

        "The project of the next president is figuring out how do you create bottom-up economic growth, as opposed to the trickle-down economic growth that George Bush has been so enamored with," Mr. Obama, an Illinois Democrat, said.

        2/08, NY Times

        More recent:

        I want to repeat something that those of you who joined us for the Task Force announcement heard me say: I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, and to my administration, labor unions are a big part of the solution. We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests – because we cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement.

        snip

        And as we confront this crisis and work to provide health care to every American, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, move toward a clean energy economy, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act, I want you to know that you will always have a seat at the table.

        Remarks of President Barack Obama, Video to AFL-CIO Executive Council, Miami, FL, March 3, 2009

        Whatever works is defined by President Obama with a "moral" or "ideological" component.  The choice of building a strong middle class is ideological in nature.  We're not rebuilding a Bush/Reagan economy, but an economy based on principles of fairness and decency, which is inherently indeological.  Our goal is based on our ideology, and ideology that values a less stratified society over a more stratified society.    

        "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

        by TomP on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:26:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the crap you just dropped on me (7+ / 0-)

        has nothing to do with anything I wrote.  Nowhere did I say anything about avoiding morality nor did I critique the President.  

        Honestly, I have no idea WTF you are on about...

        •  You stated the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Predictor, thethinveil

          following:

          If ever there was a reason to let go of market orthodoxy, and to re-embrace the American spirit of making things better by the mostpragmatic means possible--this is it. Make it work better, period. No more ideology; no more grand theories about freedom from government; just come together to help people before we lose a generation to this mounting economic tragedy.

          Making things work.  What does that mean?

          Yes, I get that you call right wing views ideological, but that does not make left wing or centrist views any less ideological.

          I did not accuse you of critiquing the president; nor did I accuse you of stating one should avoid morality, except in the idea that whatever works was non-ideological.  

          "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

          by TomP on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:30:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tom, if you need a definition of 'pragmatism' (8+ / 0-)

            you should ask me first, then accuse me of betraying labor after you disagree with my answer.

            Pragmatism is the tradition of American thought running through Emerson, Whitman, James, Dewey and Rorty.  It consists of rejecting the foundationalist split between theory and reality (e.g.,neocons pushing free market theories to explain what future reality they hope will unfold).  The end result is a political philosophy based on useful actions for advancing towards a more just and equal democratic society.  

            There is no contradiction between 'pragmatism' and the labor movement.  Dewey and Rorty were both supporters of labor, and as a pragmatist, so is Obama. As I have argued many, many times before, Obama succeeds because he is a pragmatist.

            The morality in American pragmatism does not reference some external universals, but references the grounded principle of moving towards an ever more inclusive and just democracy.  

            If you've got some quotes for me disproving that Obama fits into the pragmatists tradition, I'd like to see them.  So far, your quotes fit squarely within what I've laid out.

            •  I think the two of you are talking past (13+ / 0-)

              one another while agreeing on the main point.

              Obama has stated his desire to pursue a Pragmatist philosophy like what you outline above.  

              But choosing to use that to advance a more just and equal democratic society indicates that Obama has the ideological viewpoint that a just and equal democratic society is a worthy goal.

              The real movers and shakers in the political elite of the Republican party have a different ideology and a different strategy.

              Great diary Jeffery Feldman :)

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:53:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I never accused (5+ / 0-)

              you of betraying labor.  I do not see where you get that.

              I understand Roty, Putnam, Dewey and James.

              I am not unintelligent and likely read them long ago.  I undersand anti-foundationalism, and think my comment is well withing the pragmatic tradition.

              My point is your definition of things as pragmatic, as whatever works, includes an explict ideological element:

              grounded principle of moving towards an ever more inclusive and just democracy.  

              Your goal is ideological.  Rorty admitted that he could not provide a foundaiton for his project, but could only base it on the shared western historical tradition.  

              President Obama is not in the Rortarian line at all.  He actually is within the social justice tradition of Christianity.  His use of "pragmatic" often is more rhetorical than anything.

              "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

              by TomP on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:14:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Inclusive and just democracies work. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pris from LA

                Therefore they are pragmatic. I must be an ideological ideolog.

                "We are willing to observe core standards of conduct. Not just when it's easy, but when it's hard." President Barack Hussein Obama

                by platypus60 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:56:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, I see what's going on here (0+ / 0-)

                Your idea that 'ideology' alone drives policy is immovable, in my opinion.  No matter what I say, you will not budge on that because you seem convinced right now that the big political goal in this country is to displace the bad ideology that got us into this mess with the good ideology that will get us out. If I tell you that making decisions based on what is most useful to drive towards a more inclusive and just democracy is not ideological--you will just keep telling me it is.   If I tell you that democracy is not ideological, you will not believe me--or worse, you will tell me I am talking down to you. And you could switch the words in that opening statement and say the same thing about me. Fair enough.  This exchange has reached its end.  

                Let me say, though, somehow you've taken the most non-combative, non-argumentative, non-critique diary about people living in a difficult situation and pulled a fight about 'hiding' from ideology out of it. I have no idea why you would choose to do that, but I hope in the end it was worthwhile.

        •  JF i feel you (0+ / 0-)

          thanks for the diary...if it does not slap the faces of the ideologs, the theorists, the word users; do not worry or fret....most get it.....we all have views, theories, politics, etc....but sometimes reality hits hard......just the sharing of this will have more power than all the rest.....THANK YOU!!!!!!........and for others this is not a naive emotional response, it is the recognition that the reality has hit all previous solutions over the head; we cannot be stupid nor can we forget history but we better grab some unity and some compassion.....those are people not actors in an economic or political drama......thanks JF

    •  A telling part of the story: (7+ / 0-)

      From your LA Times source:

      Tina Gove, 39, was evicted from her Pomona home and has been at the encampment for three months. Like many others in Tent City, her life has been marked by drug problems and mental illness.

      Her four children, she said, were taken from her because of a past methamphetamine addiction.

      This economic crisis is merely revealing a lot of cultural problems in our society, rather than just causing problems.  Persons with drug or alcohol addictions are not likely to be able to maintain stable homes or families or jobs without a lot of luck on their side.  They also are more prone to alienating friends and loved ones so that they have nowhere else to turn when they lose a job or a home.  It often says more about a person than "market orthodoxy" when they have no personal acquaintance who will lend a hand when they run out of money.  This is not true in all cases, but when I see so many people living in tent cities so soon after a financial crash, it leads me to believe that a lot of people have foolishly burned a lot of bridges in their personal lives in the past thru their own selfish and short-sighted behavior.

      •  Maybe some of the people there burned bridges (33+ / 0-)

        maybe others found themselves in a situation that too many of their friends and family share to count on friends and family to help them out.

        Still others are probably too proud to let the folks back home know how dire their straits have become.

        Still others may have escaped a dysfunctional environment and will not return to it even if they have to stay homeless to do so.

        And perhaps there are people whose friends and family are too judgemental to take them in and help them out.  As in, if you're homeless there must be something wrong with you - take some personal responsibility and don't come crying to me for help.

        You say:

        when I see so many people living in tent cities so soon after a financial crash, it leads me to believe that a lot of people have foolishly burned a lot of bridges in their personal lives in the past thru their own selfish and short-sighted behavior

        I say there are a wide variety of reasons why someone might end up homeless - and many of those  reasons don't require me to imagine the individual in question is selfish or mentally ill.

        "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

        by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:44:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was thinking about this: (5+ / 0-)

          When I started to read these kinds of stories about the new homeless class that is developing as a result of the financial crisis, I just kind of naturally thought about 1.) what I would do if I lost my job and then somehow ran thru my savings and other individual means of support, and then 2.) who I would personally let move into my home if they needed a hand, since I have some extra space here and am reasonably well off.  There's actually a pretty long list of people who I would be glad to let stay here for as long as they would like, and a few people who I would not let stay here, foremost on the list being a very longtime friend who is also a very heavy drinker and a belligerent drunk.  It's just a line that I'm not willing to cross; I'm not living with a substance abuser.

          Unfortunately, it probably is the case that the people who I would most likely not allow to live here are the ones who are also the most likely to need that help.  It's a sad fact of life.  Most of us have limits to how generous we will be to people who are not pleasant having around.

          So when you say this:

          And perhaps there are people whose friends and family are too judgemental to take them in and help them out.  As in, if you're homeless there must be something wrong with you - take some personal responsibility and don't come crying to me for help.

          I would defend myself by saying that I'm not being judgmental as in judging in ignorance.  These are my friends and family and I know these people, and the very few I would not help out have some very serious problems that are of their own creation.  My friend who I spoke of before has worked very hard at becoming an alcoholic.  

          If it is the case that we have innocent people who have generally done the right thing and been good to people ending up in these tent cities, and they want help from their friends and families but have been cast aside, then I have a real problem with those friends and family who aren't helping, but I just do not think that that is the case very often.  

          More likely is your supposition that some people are too proud to ask for help and so they keep friends and family who would be glad to help in the dark, but that's a personal choice on their part, and if someone would rather live in a tent city than be humble enough to ask for help from someone who would be glad to help, then I have no problem with them living in a tent for a little while, because nobody's forcing them to do so, they have options.

          •  Hmmm (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skymutt, thethinveil

            I would defend myself by saying that I'm not being judgmental as in judging in ignorance.

            And with the anecdote of your life you blanketly sweep away the issues that lead a person to being homeless.

            I didn't say you're being judmental - I just pointed out situations which the anecdote you just offered doesn't encompass.

            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

            by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:26:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, my life is anecdotal (0+ / 0-)

              But I did consider the situations you provided as they applied to me.

              You thought that maybe friends and family were already stretched too thin from helping others.  In my case, that wouldn't apply, because I still have spare room here.

              You thought that people might be too proud to ask.  Well if I have a friend on my mental "green light" list, and I found out that they had lost a job, I'd let em know proactively that they were welcome here for as long as they needed.  

              As far as the dysfunctional environment, that might account for some homeless people, but you wouldn't expect those numbers to explode in particular because of a financial crisis, so I doubt that that category of homeless person is representative of the new homeless in tent cities.

              •  And what I'm saying is that arguing (3+ / 0-)

                from anecdote isn't really arguing from reality.  It's arguing from the echo chamber of your own life.

                Open your mind and consider the fact that there are a lot of people out there who aren't you.

                "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:51:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Over 40% of us (11+ / 0-)

                have watched our wages stagnate or fall for 30 years. For the bottom two quintiles of Americans there is no accumulated wealth. When the Republicans crow about home ownership growing to 60% (recently reversed) they neglect to mention that there is no urban area in the USA where a single worker earning the minimum wage can pay for a room. The tent cities have to do with the ragged edge of a society that has been bled dry by the owning class. Drug and alcohol use are a symptom, not a cause. Most people don't have the slack of a wealthy family home to return to, sober or not.

                "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                by johnmorris on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:00:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Myth-Busting Homeless Statistics... (11+ / 0-)

            The lack of affordable housing was rated third highest cause of homelessness: (emphasis mine)

            While it may be true that a significant proportion of homeless people have mental and physical health issues, problems with alcoholism or substance abuse, none of these are the most common cause of homelessness. As part of the United States Conference of Mayors, Hunger and Homelessness Survey, December 2007, cities were asked to record the top three most common causes for both singles and households with children. The lack of affordable housing was rated third highest (43%) behind mental illness for singles and came out a clear cut winner for families, scoring a staggering 87%..

            The largest growth sector in homelessness is homeless families...37% of the total homeless population are persons in families...

            ...one in every seven children will have run away from home before they reach eighteen...46% had been physically abused and 17% had been forced into unwanted sexual activity by a family or household member.

            Figures concerning homeless veterans vary but it is likely that they represent between 12% and 17% of the total homeless population... almost 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and around 400,000 will experience homelessness in any twelve month period...The primary cause of homelessness among our veterans is PTSD...  

            The causes of homelessness are complex, and to say that people are homeless because of their own mistakes demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the reality, as well as IMHO, a lack of empathy for the suffering of fellow human beings.

            •  Gap between wages and rental costs (4+ / 0-)

              is really significant in terms of housing stability.

              The National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes an excellent report every year, Out of Reach.  The national "housing wage" in 2008 was $17.32/hour to afford a 2-bedrrom apartment.

              In 2007-08, even after increases in the minimum wage, there was no county in the U.S. where an individual working 40 hours per week at minimum wage could afford a one-bedroom apartment.  The Coalition considers "affordable" to mean costing 30% of income.

              Check out the link for an eye-opening summary, and delve further in to see how your city compares.

        •  some people (8+ / 0-)

          don't have families or their families are too small to be of much help - or their support system is in the same shape they are - hand to mouth

          lots of reason - judge not lest we be judged

        •  And "mental illness" is not necessarily all that. (12+ / 0-)

          A friend visited me last night. He was unshaven, with deep circles under his eyes. He asked if he could lie down on my bed, and slept for four hours while his wife and I talked. "The voices are very loud today," he said. "I don't know if I can keep ignoring them."

          His wife was tense and unhappy, miserable for him. She had urged him to take some of her medication, one that had worked somewhat in the past; it would put her short, but then her problems would be in a couple weeks, after he got his. We talked a lot, she and I, about how to manage stress, how to organize things so this didn't happen again.

          You see, both of them have major mental illnesses, and through a quirk of just bad scheduling, he'd run out of meds. The rest of the time, he's a tall, attractive man in his forties, a non-traditional student studying philosophy at the local university. They are both officially disabled, and grateful because it means they can afford to see the psychiatrists and get the medication to keep them both sane and functional, and make sure her daughter grows up in a safe and happy enviroment.

          Some people with mental illnesses do very well in life. Some others can do well, but they are always going to need to structure their lives so that they do not encounter too much stress all at once, just as some of us carefully wrap a tricky joint before we start exercising. It's not hard to imagine that the loss of a job and the loss of the house is too much stress all at once.

      •  What's telling about that? (19+ / 0-)

        You find mention of one person who's had drug problems, and you paint everyone in the tent city with being "selfish and short-sighted".

        That is what's wrong with this country. There was a time when people pitied those less fortunate. Now we look for excuses to scorn them.

        ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
        -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

        by davewill on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:02:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't just one example (2+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          CWalter, PointGuard
          Hidden by:
          gerbilmark

          The article says that there are many in the tent city with histories of drug abuse.  That sounds about right to me.  And that doesn't count the people who can't turn to family or friends because they have alienated them in other ways.

          That I am not a drug addict or alcoholic is not a matter of my good fortune-- I have chosen not to use those substances (except for a very occasional drink).  People who have developed drug addictions and have lost their children and their homes as a result are not "less fortunate" than me-- they have made bad choices!  There are people who are less fortunate than me but having a drug addiction does not qualify someone for being on that list.

          What I say, of course, does not apply to everyone.  People can and do fall thru the cracks of our society thru no fault of their own.  All I'm saying is that when I look at the tent cities, I don't necessarily count the majority of tents as representative of innocent victims of market forces.

          •  Fault... (12+ / 0-)

            People can and do fall thru the cracks of our society thru no fault of their own.

            The fact that you care about fault in these circumstances is the basis of our criticism. Even if they were ALL there because of their own shortcomings, the fact that there are so many homeless that tent cities are popping up is a grave concern.

            There but for the grace of God go I...

            ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
            -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

            by davewill on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:48:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that says it all (7+ / 0-)

              There but for the grace of God go I...

              That's the difference between the liberal and the right-winger.

              And that is why the ranks of the liberals always swell during tough times.  All those right-wingers are suddenly confronted with the "yes - bad things can happen to hard-working, motivated, normal people just like me" facts of life.  Then all of the sudden they're all about government giving a helping hand.

              Until the bad things happen to them there are some people who would rather sit back and think they actually are better than everyone who isn't well-off.

              It's like some people never grow out of their teen years - they live their whole life thinking "that will never happen to me".

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:58:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Right, it's alarming, I do not disagree (0+ / 0-)

              But if you don't examine causes beyond the usual bogeymen like "market failures" or "Wall Street" then I think you're missing a big part of the problem, which is us-- the people of America-- and our bad habits.  

              •  Skymutt - you're living in a dream world (9+ / 0-)

                if you think the "usual bogeyman" is market failure or Wall Street.  All we've been hearing for thirty years or so is how great the market and Wall Street are.

                The usual bogeyman is a "lack of personal responsibility" and you have fallen for it completely, hook, line, and sinker.  All we've heard for the last thirty years is that if someone isn't doing well they must have some personal failing - and here you are parroting that old meme again.

                The problem is the multinational elites who have been waging a class war on this country for generations.

                Open your eyes.  Somehow I think that's not going to happen until someday all your hard work goes up in smoke.

                "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

                by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:15:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not an accurate representation of my beliefs (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Prognosticator

                  You've never heard from me about "how great" Wall Street is.  The fact is that the excesses and abuses there are well documented, and the fact that we are paying a high price for that is also well documented.

                  But none of that changes the fact that huge numbers of people tragically and unnecessarily make a mess of their own lives thru their own choices.  The only reason I focus on the "personal responsibility" side of things on DailyKos is that so few others are willing to put any part of the blame for any social ill on anything but, well, the "usual bogeymen", in many cases abstractions like "Wall Street", "free markets", "free trade", "greedy bankers", etc.  

                  •  you're missing the larger point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    shenderson

                    that people with social problems create a whole slew of problems for the others even if they have loads and loads of "personal responsibility".  

                    a very benign example--  i spent most of the afternoon going out of my head because the guy across the alley with no manners saw fit to blast his radio out the window for three hours.  I would never do that because i'm more "responsible"; i would have a little consideration for my neighbors.  however, all it took was this one person with bad manners to make everybody in my building miserable.  

                    of course, the consequences are much more severe to "responsible" society when we're talking not about noise but about crime, abandoned property, and social instability.

                    ( p.s.  get a clue! )

                    •  But blaring your radio is irresponsible. (0+ / 0-)

                      And you even concede that. So the person blaring the radio wasn't responsible-- and he probably has a diminished chance of making a friend in the building that he can room with if he loses his job.

                      P.S. I've got a clue already, but thanks anyway.

                  •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chemicalresult

                    But none of that changes the fact that huge numbers of people tragically and unnecessarily make a mess of their own lives thru their own choices.

                    People to mess up their own lives, all the time. Lots of people.

                    But the real question is do they deserve to get thrown out in the street, left to live in a plastic bubble outside?  Or as a "civilized", "compassionate" society is it not up us to see to it that everyone has all the basics (housing, healthcare, food, education), so that those who make mistakes can have an opportunity to learn and recover from those mistakes?

                    Isn't it best for ALL of us, that NONE us are living in poverty in tents?

          •  Skymutt - there is a matter of fortune involved (13+ / 0-)

            To begin with, the idea that people become addicted to drugs for absolutely no reason whatsoever is most likely not true.  I think there is budding science which demonstrates that there is an "addictive" personality in the same way there are people born with an inborn trait that can lead to disease.  

            Secondly, should everyone who has made a bad choice face homelessness as a result?  

            What about someone who chose surfing as a hobby and was rendered quadriplegic as a result - should we, as a society, throw that person away?

            What about someone who is mentally retarded because their parents "chose" to have a Down's baby?  If those parents are suddenly removed from the picure should society cast that person onto the street?

            There is a whole world of people who don't fit into your neat description of responsible and irresponsible people.

            Additionally, there are a lot of people who are drug and alcohol dependent who still have their kids.  Should the children of these people be living in tents too?

            You say:

            All I'm saying is that when I look at the tent cities, I don't necessarily count the majority of tents as representative of innocent victims of market forces.

            then answer me this - why now, when the economy is melting down - are we seeing this when we didn't see tent cities before?

            Perhaps some of these people were what you consider "marginal".  The thing is, the "marginal" people wouldn't be living in tents unless an economic meltdown pushed them over the edge.

            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

            by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:49:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That would be (9+ / 0-)

            mostly because of your inherited arrogance. Born with your nose that far in the air you obviously have a hard time seeing the ground. Now listen carefully, there is a global recession rapidly spreading through the entire world. The people in the tents are the canary in the coal mine. You are the road bump in the path to a healthy society. There is no merit to your argument that some of them deserve it. Most of them do not. Your silliness only serves to slow down any attempt at repair.

            "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

            by johnmorris on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:50:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Many? (6+ / 0-)

            How many people in many?

            Apparently it is enough that it tars everyone there with the same brush. Which is probably why it is in the story. Wouldn't want people to feel sorry for the homeless.

            Who then is deserving of your precious compassion, so valuable to you that you give it out by the dropperful? Who do you feel for? I'm not asking for money, but who do you look at and say, "Man, that is rough. That sucks." What tests do they have to pass to measure up to your high standards of human behavior?

            "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

            by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:48:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My sympathy really doesn't matter that much (0+ / 0-)

              But if someone wants it, how about laying off the drugs for starters?  How about they treat their friends and family well for starters?

              Every time I get embroiled in these kind of discussions on "personal responsibiliy" on Daily Kos, it usually ends up with people criticizing me for my lack of empathy-- that I am tarring everyone with the same brush, that I am somehow saying that everyone should always be able to make in on their own.  But actually, just the opposite is true.  I am coming from a perspective that many people are going to need help in their lifetime.  I'm actually criticizing the fact that so many people in this country live as if they will never need help from anyone else in their life, carelessly destroying the bonds of family and friendship thru selfish pursuits such as (but not limited to) substance abuse.  And to those who have lived their life like that?  Why yes, my precious compassion gets meted out by the dropperful.  For those who that shoe does not fit, it's a different story altogether.

              •  Okay. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mataliandy, ClapClapSnap, Edgewater

                Not really okay, I've just decided I don't care about you or what you think because I've made a snap judgement about the way you conducted your life, and you also fit into a personal stereotype I have of this guy I once knew who was a real dickhead. Nothing personal.

                "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

                by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:06:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  drug addicts don't just materialize (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ClapClapSnap, Edgewater

                if you can't even imagine becoming one yourself, think of how different a type of person it takes to fall that far.  i don't have an addictive personality at all, and i can't even imagine what it would be like.  but, i don't sit and pass judgment on those who do.  

                everyone is not like you.  this invalidates a lot of your arguments.

                •  Is there even any such thing... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...as an "addictive personality"?  

                  There has been such a scramble to find a way that will allow people to shed responsibility for their addictions, but yet there appears to be no real scientific consensus as of yet that "addictive personalities" even exist.  I wonder whether the emergence of the concept of the "addictive personality" isn't at least partially an American rationalization of its own rampant substance abuse problem.

              •  But don't you think (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chemicalresult

                that these very people who you don't have sympathy for are the ones that need it most?

                Do you really think drug addicts truly enjoy going thru life with that never ending gnawing need? A need so persistent that it clouds their judgment and in many cases makes them physically ill?  Doesn't a person who lives with that deserve a little "gee that must really suck, I hope you get better?" Instead of just the "personal responsibility" speech?

                And the person who has, thru their behaviors alienated their family and friends...don't you have sympathy for them that they must essentially spend their life alone without support or friendship?

                I generally have sympathy for people whose lives are fucked up...even if it is of their own making.  

                Doesn't cost anything to offer a kind word, or a prayer, or just to refrain from piling on.

                •  They don't need my sympathy (0+ / 0-)

                  Outward expressions of sympathy doesn't help an addict; it enables them to continue their addiction.  Kind words generally don't help because they do not force the addict to face their problem.  They need to be placed against their will into some sort of treatment, or they need to be subject to drastic action from those closest to them, if they haven't already pushed all such people out of their life because of their destructive behavior.

                  For some addicts, finding themselves without a home might be just the shock that cuts thru the fog and causes the addict to face up to their addiction.  For others, it is during their brushes with the criminal justice system where they finally get help.   Recovering addicts often speak of having to "hit bottom" before they recover.  It is these kind of pitiful, lonely events that seem to more often lead to a catharsis rather than kind words or expressions of sympathy, at least that seems to be the recurring theme in the stories of recovering addicts with which I'm familiar.  Perhaps "piling on" might even hasten that process, as opposed to offering prayers or expressions of sympathy, but of course I'm not really piling on any particular addict here anyway, because the addicts in question are not present.  

        •  yes it is (5+ / 0-)

          totally telling of apathy and ignorance.  

          If the situation gets so bad for Brooke in Seattle, OPOL or Roger Daddy (or any other kossacks who are finding themselves in a shithole from the GOP planned crisis) and they wound up resorting to a tent city (I hope the hell not) they are apparently meth addicts who did it to themselves and deserve their misfortune by burning bridges with the world.

          Bullshit.

          Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

          by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:36:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are they living in tent cities yet? (0+ / 0-)

            If they are unemployed despite generally doing all the right things, but currently have better options than living in a tent city, then that bolsters my argument.  

            Not saying that everybody in a tent city is a meth addict, by the way.  But more than a few of them are, I'm positive.  And I think that our cultural failings of using too many drugs, too much alcohol, not saving for a rainy day, and just generally not treating the people around us as well as we should have contributed to the fact that people are feeling such dire hardship so quickly in this crisis and are not getting help from friends and family.

            •  Oh skymutt (5+ / 0-)

              we should all be as perfect as you.

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:01:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Edgewater

              don't understand reality for people, grow up.  You've lived in a cocoon.

              Hope. Don't make into another 4 letter word.

              by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:07:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  another thing> (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chemicalresult, EastcoastChick

              what's your family background?  if you got in a pinch, could you crash with your parents or would they give you a loan?  ( i don't know your age, but bear with me... )  

              I find that it's hard for people who come from very stable backgrounds to realize sometimes exactly what it means to have no margin for error.  My partner for instance recently had his pay cut in half (thankfully he has since found another part time job to supplement).  But, had things not turned around quickly, could he have fallen back on his family (with whom he has definitely not "burned bridges").  

              Well-- due to high health bills among other factors, his parents have been living in a trailer in an RV park and renting a room alternately.  (Once upon a time they owned a house, and subsequently rented multi-bedroom apartments long term).  Rather than being able to call up his parents when he's short of cash, he scrapes together extra dimes to send their way on anything remotely like a holiday and sends them gift certificates for restaurants because he's afraid they might not be able to afford groceries.  

              Is he stupid?  Is he behaving irrationally?  A rational person would just cut them off, right?  It's their fault that they're not on more financial footing, right?  That's what the free market it all about-- rational people making rational decisions that are in their best interest.  

              WELL FUCK THE "FREE" MARKET!!  People are not islands.  We have obligations and responsibilities to our families and loved ones.  He is a good son and he will watch after his parents no matter what.  If you were in the same situation, what would you do???  

              •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                Is he stupid?  Is he behaving irrationally?  A rational person would just cut them off, right?  It's their fault that they're not on more financial footing, right?  That's what the free market it all about-- rational people making rational decisions that are in their best interest.  

                This is certainly NOT my philosophy, nor do I think it has anything to do with "free markets".  No, as a matter of fact I do help my parents, as they have helped me in the past.  It would not be rational for me to "cut them off", because I love these people and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did not help them out.  I would do the same for my friends and other members of my family.

      •  German TV has reported on tent cities (12+ / 0-)

        (don't find the link right now), but surely there were a lot of people, who were interviewed and  simply lost their homes through losing their jobs for too long and who had no other support from family. There were also families living in the tents. And there are several tent cities popping up.

        NO need at all to blame the victims. The people you seem to address in your comment live on the streets under the bridges or inside of storefront entrances.
        It's not the same.

      •  There may be more to the drug angle than (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skymutt

        appears. Ontario is in San Bernardino County, the epicenter of meth culture in California, and one of the hardest hit sub-prime enclaves. There's a flourishing drug economy that's been destructive to the general social fabric, so it's not a shock that a tent city would pop up there. You have to wonder how you go from being a homeowner to living in a shantytown, thereby completely bypassing renting an apartment as an option in an area where rents are quite affordable by California standards. I suspect these are not all foreclosure cases and that an array of social factors are contributing to the problem.  

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:29:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FYI-rents in California are a lot more than (11+ / 0-)

          most mortgage payments.  I pay $1800. a month for a dinky 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment in the San Fernando Valley. I also pay for my utilities, which have skyrocketed, and trash, which has doubled in the last year.  You can get a 2 bedroom in a bad area for less, it's still going to cost you about $1500.

          The cost of rentals may very well be a reason that Calfornia has a tent city(s).  

          •  The San Fernando Valley is a long way from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            goodasgold

            San Bernardino and it's a lot more expensive. Still, any house in the Valley is going to cost at least a half-mil. By contrast, rents in San Berdoo were low before and have gone lower now. In general though, rents in California are higher than the rest of the country, excluding New York.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:03:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  san berdoo (0+ / 0-)

              i live in san berdoo and that is not true.....the last place i lived (before my present which i moved in in feb) they were glad to see me go.....everyone was paying more than me and i had only been there 21/2 years...go figure

              •  Median rent has dropped (0+ / 0-)

                though your mileage may vary. My advice in any case is get outta Berdoo and don't look back!

                I never liked you and I always will.

                by Ray Blake on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:43:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no thank you (0+ / 0-)

                  i like my life here....i think the picture you drew is unreal......and i have lived in sacramento, oakland, berkeley, santa monica, silverlake, long beach, westwood, carson, garden grove  and personally am quite happy with the life i have here, the community i live among, the work i do......and i have never commuted any great distance to work in my life.....so appreciate the concern just find it misplaced and possibly judgmental

                  •  Okay, it's not all meth labs, foreclosures, and (0+ / 0-)

                    tent cities. And I wasn't commenting on your work or your lifestyle, since I know nothing of either. In general though, San Berdoo has some serious problems and it's getting clobbered in this recession as evidenced by the BBC story. Personally, I'd take Berkeley, Santa Monica, Silverlake, Long Beach or Westwood in a heartbeat. But that's just me. Carson and Sacramento? Not so much.  

                    I never liked you and I always will.

                    by Ray Blake on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:11:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  much truth to what you say (0+ / 0-)

                      san bernardino was deep in trouble long before the current recession, it has long been at the short end of the stick......but has a very vital population looking for change and sadly often survival......the diversity is so great and is not enclaved into neighborhoods as much as other areas i lived: meaning that within five blocks you will find such extremes it almost doesn't make sense......it is not easy and the problems are great, as you say, but it also makes for much potential because the common boat breaks barriers; sometimes in positive ways sometimes in negative ways sometimes in a seemingly neutral way....but it is a vibrant possibility......many levae for greener pastures, others came here for greener pastures, others stay to help regreen the pastures..........something interesting to me david sirota's the coming uprising (i may have the title wrong, i just moved and can't put my hands on it) a book i loved and really respect, i noticed that the one place he went on about at length (and the only place that seemed to be secondhand impressions not personal)was san bernardino/inland empire in a fairly negative way...now i'm bias i live here but did not recognize the view given, rather recognized a stereotypical view from LA or Orange....but what can one expect from an area that once served as the red light district for LA, had economy based in citrus, RR, Kaiser Steel and military bases....at this time if you can believe it the largest employer is the local based so cal grocery chain store which most of the jobs areless than 30 hour  

                      •  I know what you mean about diverse and (0+ / 0-)

                        undefinable communities providing unexpected and sometimes transcendent experiences. Long Beach is like that, another area that Angelenos look down their noses at, but which is more like LA 40 years ago--the land that time forgot. Sure, it's got Snoop Dog's gangbanger mythology, which scares off some white folks, but that's as it should be--LBC doesn't need the Melrose crowd, right?

                        I never liked you and I always will.

                        by Ray Blake on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 11:23:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I'm an exception to that. (13+ / 0-)

        I ended up with the kids in a tent only after spending six months sleeping on various friends' floors. No drugs, no "bad choices", just couldn't find a job for two years straight.

        •  Good luck to you. (0+ / 0-)

          I gather this is no longer your present situation?  I'd like to hear more of your story.

          BTW, I've tried to say in many ways that I recognize that people can and do fall though the cracks and end up homeless without making the kind of "bad choices" I'm criticizing.  It's a case where I know that I'm going to have a hard time making my case without causing some offense, and if I've offended you, let me offer my apologies.

        •  sorry (0+ / 0-)

          hope it is now better for you and yours

      •  Wow. (6+ / 0-)

        Mental illness isn't a behavior, it is an illness. It isn't a suprise that mentally ill people get hooked into alcohol or some other drug. They do it to treat the pain of the illness, just as you might do if you had a painful physical illness and no medicine or pain killers to treat it.

        It is horrible that people who are suffering from real, debilitating and often treatable illnesses have to live on the street and are stigmatized and shunned. I just have got no words. I refuse, absolutely refuse to sit in pious, self-righteous judgement against a woman whose children were taken from her because of mental illness and addiction.  

        "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

        by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:41:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the article mentions her meth problem (0+ / 0-)

          It does not say she is amongst the mentally ill.

          With regards to mental illness... I personally do not believe that mental illness can come close to explaining away the level of drug abuse in this country.  Mental illness can't explain that our level of drug use and abuse is much higher than most other nations.

          Also I would add that drug abuse clearly can cause mental illness itself.  So just because a person has abused drugs and experienced mental illness does not necessarily tell you that their mental illness caused them to use drugs.  It's a chicken and egg situation.

      •  I submit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chemicalresult, greenmike

        that in this "first world", "affluent", "christian" nation that noone should have to resort to living in a tent.

        It shouldn't matter if you are strung out on dope and/or booze, if you are an asshole and nobody likes you, if you gambled all your money, if you are unlucky, or stupid, or lazy, or were greedy and got caught holding the bag...none of these things to me qualifies a person to a fate of living outside in a plastic bag, not in a "rich" country like ours.

        Homeless people should be rare, and exception to the rule, not a common sight.

        I think we really need to stop with the "but, it's really all their own fault" theme. That does nothing but gloss over the fact that our society has huge gaping holes in our safety net where more fall thru than are caught.

    •  I even heard a story on NPR today (9+ / 0-)

      about the Sacramento tent city.  I guess it is getting more attention.  We need to keep this issue in plain sight.

      Nature's laws are the invisible government of the earth - Alfred Montapert

      by whoknu on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:44:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NPR did a report (5+ / 0-)

      on tent cities on Morning Edition this morning as well.  There's some good info there as well.  

    •  Pretty sure we decided on "Bushvilles". (9+ / 0-)

      GOP supported their standard bearer and all they got was this lousy minority status.

      by AfroPonix on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:05:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tent City vs. Slum (4+ / 0-)

      Once the people start erecting semi-permanent buildings (shantys, concrete blocks with lean-tos, etc.), when peoples' tents have deteriorated to the point where they realize that they have to build something that will hold up to the elements better, then its a slum.

      American favelas.

    •  Ironic that it takes foreign press... (9+ / 0-)

      ... to do the story.

      "The river always wins" - Mark Twain

      by Land of Enchantment on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:45:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I only scrolled through half the comments (6+ / 0-)

      And skimmed the flamewars (I hate goddamned libertarians, I might add) and didn't see this mentioned, so I'll say it:

      Your diary is referencing events that took place one year ago. (Click on the link to the LA Times article, and you'll see a date stamp of March 18, 2008.)

      That's not a bad thing. There have been recent reports on similar phenomenon here in California, especially around the Sacramento tent city.

      I do not know what has happened to the Ontario tent city you referenced, but I suspect it is still there. And more importantly, I am certain there are many more tent cities now than one year ago.

      So this diary is still worth having up there and I'm glad you wrote it, but I thought you should know.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:10:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a 'Bushville' In Sacramento, CA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClapClapSnap

      I'm going to see for myself this Friday.

      I'll take my flip camera and take some pictures.

      RMD

      The Bushiter's Iraq 2004 - 1268 Dead, about 25K Medivacs and 9000 Maimed... It's the Bushiter Way, wasting other people's money and lives. And it's worse now.

      by RedMeatDem on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:06:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think we should call them GOoPervilles n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Barack Obama. At last.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:21:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Marc in CA wrote about this w/heartbreaking pix (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClapClapSnap

      we at dK need to be the ones who chronicle this because we certainly cannot count on the tradmed to do it.

      read it and weep:  Bushvilles: the new Hoovervilles

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Barack Obama. At last.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:31:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ontario, CA is NOT "in" Los Angeles. (0+ / 0-)
      It's not even in Los Angeles County.  It's in San Bernardino County.
        You'd think a linguist would be more careful about the description of the facts.

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:36:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for bringing this up (29+ / 0-)

    The difference now is that these tent cities are attracting international attention. The EFE had a Spanish-language report, which I found in my newspaper in Guatemala this morning. It's shameful that this is happening. A good friend, a Salvadoran, just returned from a vacation in San Francisco and he was shocked by the large numbers of homeless people there.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:03:46 PM PDT

  •  Why aren't these "refugee camps"? (49+ / 0-)
    These people are economic refugees, and a bunch of people staying in tents is in a loose sense a camp.  What would Americans think about this economic crisis creating refugee camps across America?  We can call them Bushvilles if we like, but that only creates a partisan gloss on a deeply serious development.

    NBC News just last night reported on Orange County residents losing their homes and being forced to pile a whole family in a single cheap motel room.  These tent-dwellers have fallen off even that low rung.  Are we a country that can still take care of its own, or are we not?  That's the question that needs answering.

    Plus, I'll send $20 to the first reporter who asks Mark Sanford or Rick Perry or Bobby Jindal what they think should be done for people living in tents because of the recession.  Sadly, I expect that money to stay in my wallet.

    Dear Republicans: You can't repeat a lie enough to make it true.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:05:26 PM PDT

  •  shruburbs (23+ / 0-)

    They're called shruburbs. This one gets all the play - I used that video in a diary long ago. Where are the new ones? We need a census of them ...

    I'm an Emersonian Transcendentalist. What's your excuse?

    by Stranded Wind on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:05:49 PM PDT

  •  let's get AIG execs a tent (12+ / 0-)

    and make them pee in a porta potti and sleep on the ground.
    Better yet, they can sleep in the porta potti and pee on the ground.

    -7.88/-4.41 "The blood sucking aristocracy stood aghast; terror stricken, they thought the day of retribution had come." - John Ferral, union leader

    by Interceptor7 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:08:54 PM PDT

  •  It will get 100 times worse before it gets better (13+ / 0-)

    I am thinking of paying a visit to this Bushville this weekend.

    Who wants to come along?

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:10:22 PM PDT

  •  Tent slums are ignored (23+ / 0-)

    by our government and by the media, while millions/billions of tax dollars go to bail out the already-rich whose homes are far more than adequate.

    To my knowledge, President Obama has not yet addressed the issue of tent slums. Kudos to you, Jeffrey, for keeping these American tragedies prominent in the public's attention.

    "We are not quitters." ...President Barack Obama 2-24-09

    by Ekaterin on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:16:49 PM PDT

    •  Hawaii has a number of tent cities... (9+ / 0-)

      and has for quite sometime. It gets talked about in the news regularly as they try and displace them from one area after a number of complaints. They just move from one place to another. They have been getting more attention recently and the State legislature is even considering providing one way plane tickets to the mainland for those that want them! Hawaii's solution to the homeless problem is nothing more than displacing them and if that doesn't work, they will send you some place where they don't have to worry about it!

      Attention Waxman Staffers! Clean up on aisle 1600! huttotex 3/27/07

      by reflectionsv37 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:46:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has anyone sent the info to the WH? (0+ / 0-)

      Obama lives in a bubble.  He does request that 10 letters a day sent in by individual Americans are selected for him to read.  In short, he wants to know what is going on.  The best bet would be some residents there writing in.  But at least some people here can write him and let him know.  Maybe I am naive, but I think he would want to know about this, which no one here should assume that he does.

  •  I Mean This Totally In The "Right" Way (46+ / 0-)

    if you have lost your house and you need a place to stay and you live in St. Louis you can give me a call. You can find my contact info in my profile page and one or two links.

    Now I have offered stuff up like this in the past and not always worked out so well. But I have space. A ton of space.

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

    by webranding on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:19:02 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure they have "sprung up" exactly (9+ / 0-)

    or if they have more likely just "grown at an alarming rate of late."

    But that's just semantics.

    Your last few diaries have been great. Thanks.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

    by LaughingPlanet on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:21:38 PM PDT

  •  This here, just pisses me the FUCK off... (20+ / 0-)

    This government can care about the likes of AIG, Citibank, Bank of America, etc.,but the little guy always gets thrown under the bus.

    Enough of this, it is time to take it to the streets...for real....

    •  Devil's advocate (0+ / 0-)

      You know where I stand on this, overall. I am as mad as the next guy about it.

      But let's bear in mind that the people whose homes were foreclosed, frequently, are folks who bought more house than they could afford, didn't have a backup plan, lost value on their real estate, and then ended up upside down.

      Easy to blame "predatory lenders" but truthfully, real estate was seen as the "next gold rush" in California and elsewhere.  Speculative investors and homeowners over-reached.  It's not everyone, but it's an awful lot of folks.

      As Barack said on the campaign trail, "The pain trickled up".  The results of bad loans, unpaid, left banks with foreclosed and overvalued property that they couldn't get rid of.  This showed up on their balance sheets as "toxic assets".  Add in the Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and derivatives, and you've got a serious mess.  But it's built on the bad loans, and the people who bought more house than they could afford.

      Are the lenders to blame?  Yes.  But so are the buyers who tried to "flip their house" and lost money.

      It's a God-awful mess.  Period.

      Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

      by Benintn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously, this may be simplistic but... (0+ / 0-)

      I think it would have been more beneficial for the economy and the people if the government had simply used all of those billions in bailout money and just paid of all of the mortgages of less than $1 million...regardless if the homeowner was in default or not.

      That way everyone keeps their home.  No huge tracks of vacant house in neighborhoods to drag down values and attract crime.  Everyone now has more cash available to spend in their monthly budget...to buy more crap to keep stores open, to save more in case of a layoff or illness.

      I think it would be cheaper than "saving" AIG and their ilk.  

  •  Armbands? (11+ / 0-)

    Seriously?

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask for initiative rolls.

    by Moody Loner on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:48:56 PM PDT

  •  I still like the name "Dubyavilles" (9+ / 0-)

    Ignorance makes the world go flat

    by sleipner on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:51:47 PM PDT

  •  And yet (4+ / 0-)

    people on here still want more immigration.

    Its like talking to a creationist about evolution.  Inconvenient facts get in the way of their religion, so they ignore them.  

  •  How Sad that We Have to Depend on the BBC (22+ / 0-)

    for our news.

    I guess Chip Reid of CBS "News" was busy with his head up his butt.

  •  We have all these vacant apartment buildings (10+ / 0-)

    surely the government can buy them and convert them into low income housing.

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

    by Micheline on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:02:40 PM PDT

    •  I can't tell you how much vacant office buildings (10+ / 0-)

      we have in Washington DC. Most probably the rents go never down. I am sure  you could fit in more than two or three major cities' homeless people into it, if one wanted to help them.

      But how dare one could think out of the box and allow the conversion of zoning from office building to residential building and just find SOLUTIONS.

      •  Most probably the rents go never down... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTwister, Pris from LA

        seems to be the trend for commercial property, especially retail.  

        There seems to be a strong preference by landlords for long-term (multi-year) vacancies instead of cutting rents or renewing leases at reasonable rates.

        Probably connected with something in tax law.

        •  i'm guessing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59

          you're in the BX by your user name.  Well, in nyc landlords increasingly will hold out for national chain tenants b/c they know these companies can blow a lot of money on rent just to have a "flagship" or to "maintain visibility" even if they're losing money at that particular location.  the mom and pop's simply can't compete.  also, nyc used to have laws on the books that required a certain number of merchants to be non-chain within a certain distance.  obviously, those laws don't exist anymore...

    •  I saw someone suggest on another (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CWalter, ClapClapSnap

      diary that owners of commercial property left vacant should be forced either to get the property occupied or turn it over to local governments on the basis that buildings if unoccupied and unmaintained turn into dangerous nuisances and there's no particular reason why taxpayers should deal with the consequences.

      There's an apartment building a few blocks from where I live that's been unoccupied for years and it is indeed falling apart. In fact, some people who were either squatting or partying burned down the interior of one of the buildings last year. A good thing that the fire didn't spread to any of the homes next door.

      Nobody needs that sort of thing in our neighborhoods.

      Maybe we should strengthen "squatters' rights" laws so that property owners who essentially abandon their properties for x amount of time will lose their properties to people willing to occupy and maintain them.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:39:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  eminent domain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ClapClapSnap

      One of the very simple public policy options we have is for governments to declare abandoned properties public nuisances and seize them. That would provide a great incentive for property owners to take care of their property, and for those that don't, that would allow governments to prevent a bad problem from getting worse.

  •  Saw video today of cops destroying peoples tents (14+ / 0-)

    It's in a diary today, can't remember which one though .They were cutting them to pieces .

  •  That's what 30 years of deregulation'll do. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, Cliss, Pris from LA, washunate
  •  Where is the "Press"? (7+ / 0-)

    Where are those photos, and the stories about just how this has come to pass??

    Oh, I forgot.  We journalistically live on that great river of pseudo reality known as "De NiaL".

    Life vests anyone?

    "..The paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and every day the paper boy brings more...." - Pink Floyd

    by LamontCranston on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:14:19 PM PDT

  •  Call them Fedvilles. (6+ / 1-)

    ... since they are a result of the Federal Reserve System (a GOVERNMNET SYSTEM) expanding credit.
    When you expand credit, you create a boom. Then when the market is saturated with credit and servicing the debt becomes a problem, the bust begins. Same as the 1920s/30s.
    The idea that this is the result of free-markets is laughable.

  •  What would Bush or Cheney say? SO! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Cliss
  •  I just heard that Sacramento (15+ / 0-)

    has an enormous Shanty Town or "Tent Town" which has sprung up by the river.  

    This one is big and growing.  I believe we are seeing a trend, and it should spell 'Red Alert' time for the Obama administration.  

    First of all, it's a good thing the weather is getting warmer in California at least these people don't have to freeze.  When you live in a tent, hygiene goes down the toilet ~ speaking of which, there is none. So what do you do?  Pee in a cup inside your "home" and hope your neighbor doesn't hear it?

    How do you cook dinner?  This is not a camp ground, so they don't have fire pits.   Maybe everyone just eats cold meals, like cole slaw and peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.  Either way, sanitation and cleanliness becomes non existent this is going to be a health hazard mark my words.

    Security is a huge issue for these people.  If they leave to go look for a job, "Home" they can't lock the front door.  

    Just wait till there's a good rain, with dirty water sloshing around inside your "house". With your neighbors, arguing all night long you can't sleep because there's no walls between you.
    A nightmare pure & simple.  

  •  Do you mean BushTowns? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, Cliss
    That's what I'm calling them anyway.
  •  Star... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Phil S 33, Cliss, ClapClapSnap

    Trek: Deep Space Nine did a two-part episode called "Past Tense" about social and housing problems run hopelessly amok in an America of 2024. Looks like we're nearly there a decade and a half ahead of schedule...

  •  Middle Class is Discovering Homelessness (6+ / 0-)

    Holy Crap...where have they been the last thirty years?  Oh yeah, they were Reagan Democrats...

    voting FOR deregulation.
    voting FOR W...once.
    voting FOR the Republican Revolution.

    take your medicine...it'll learn you good once this crap is over.

    (These comments were directed at the middle class and not the diarist.  As a 3rd generation Michigander I have the right to question johnny-come-latelys.)

    "Seeing every side of the argument causes paralysis." - (paraphrased - Abbie Hoffman).

    by angry liberaltarian on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:47:03 PM PDT

  •  Al Jazeera English had a similar story (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Cliss, Pris from LA, Losty

    of the homeless in the US and also in the UK.

    Also, AJE had a story of US H1B visa holders who had been laid off and had lost those work visas and were going home---to India.

    But the sad aspect of the BBC and AJE coverage was of the US homeless, living in tents.  

    What we need to do is set up a tent city across from the White House to make the point to Obama that the USA is not just Wall Street and the banks that he and his advisers are handing trillions to, but there are actual human beings who are hungry, homeless, or about to be so, due to a variety of reasons, who are not bankers, but deserve help---asap.  

    I fail to grasp why the Obama White House has such a fetish for handing trillions to the banks, but virtually nothing to Americans---it's like India here, where unless you are a banker, you are 'untouchable' and allowed to rot in the rain.  

    This is not what I voted for in November.  Can't tell that Bush or McCain lost here on Main St.

    •  I guess the changes in (5+ / 0-)

      unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies, and increases in Pell Grants just sort of just passed you by, then?

      ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
      -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

      by davewill on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:56:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In order to get COBRA subsidies ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... you still need money to pay the remaining 35% which, for families  on unemployment, is no small amount. COBRA subsidies are a joke. Unemployment benefits are a joke in CA and are becoming so in other states and if you don't have money to put food on the table what the hell use is a Pell grant?

        I'm beginning to think we were conned ... big time.

    •  well...they are running a 3 part strategy (4+ / 0-)

      and the first 2 parts are to make sure that we don't get a lost decade like Japan because we failed to find a way to stabilize the banks.  Even if it's supposedly not big enough, yet, their relief package is still the biggest effort in history.  So it's going to have an impact, but the recovery is going to be many steps forward hindered by a few steps back.  I wouldn't write off the Obama economic team just yet.  

  •  Here's what I say to the Republicans: (6+ / 0-)

    Until this crap stops, and until every American has healthcare, you stop saying that America is the "greatest country in the world."  

    Some are much worse, to be sure, but a truly great country does not let this happen, and does not leave its citizens to go without being able to see a doctor.

    "Man's inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn!" ~Robert Burns

    by trustno1 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:56:05 PM PDT

    •  I honestly believe that (7+ / 0-)

      the republican mind believes that we are a great nation BECAUSE we deny people healthcare... as no other first-world nation does.

      You know, all those people who failed at life not sucking the rest of us down... and the example they set for younger generations of what not to become.

      That really is, honestly, what most republicans would come up with if they were pressed on that point, i think.  Even if they weren't able to articulate it because they were too fucking stupid....

      'Spreading the wealth!!!'  'SOCIALISM!!!'

      Fucking Morans.

      The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

      by wastelandusa on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:35:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fuck the poor. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trustno1

        If God had wanted the poor to have health care, He would have made it free.

        /channelling my inner Libertarian, as no one will admit to being a Republican anymore.

        No one is coming out and saying it, but you don't have to read between lines to get the message.  Actions have consequences!  Government can't force me to be charitable!

        Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

        by Kingsmeg on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:24:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Shrub-burbs" is a good meme (13+ / 0-)

    shrub-burbs
    I drew this in Illustrator when we had the last diary on this - we need to give credit where it is due...

    Still think this should be the new logo for the GOP:
    G NO P logo

  •  As Obama's puny stimulus fails to... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss

    ignite the economy, these may become known as Obamavilles.

    Since only about one third of the necessary spending was included by Obama, and this just to hold on to what we have, let alone stimulate, it's likely his inadequate spending plan will fail.

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:00:12 PM PDT

  •  Sparhawk, lets brake down what You think should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thethinveil

    happen. To hell with the messed up system, let the chips fall. Good plan, That knock on You door is the owner of Your rented apartment telling You to leave because they can't make the payment on the Complex You live in.

    I have never said a bad word to anyone on this site
    before, but You push the limit more times then I can accept.

    "Where are We going, why is it so hot, and what am I doing in this handbasket"

    by vzfk3s on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:06:10 PM PDT

  •  Did you say "armbands"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, ClapClapSnap, Pris from LA

    Jesus Christ.

    Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

    by Benintn on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:19:54 PM PDT

  •  This is not new (7+ / 0-)

    Come to Vegas, start at Owens St and walk south on Main street. It makes shanty towns in South Africa look livable

    Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama must win so our children can fly.

    by LoLoLaLa on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:32:29 PM PDT

  •  SAN DIEGO SHRUBVILLES (8+ / 0-)

    at least two in downtown San Diego ... rows of tents up against buildings at 16th and Market and under the B Street viaduct beneath Fwy. 5.  These are brand in the last few months.  Depressing and frightening...

  •  Headlines --- AIG gives out Millions in bonuses! (6+ / 0-)
  •  Bushvilles or... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snud, Pris from LA

    Cheneytowns... very sad.

    •  GREENspan ACRES (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mftalbot, kerplunk, Snud, Tanya, Cliss

      nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. - Barack Obama

      by Lefty Coaster on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 06:55:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grammvilles (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cliss

        He's done more than any other politician to help bring this about. Perhaps we can breakdown the Hooverville 2.0's for the Great Depression 2.0 into categories for those responsible: Bush, Cheney, Gramm, and Greenspan. For example Cheneyville's would be probably be heavily armed camps with people wearing Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris t-shirts.

        "You know what's more refreshing than having a President who speaks in complete sentences? A President who behaves like a responsible adult."

        by londubh on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:38:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cheneytown--I'm starting a list n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Barack Obama. At last.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:24:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "These people should stop whining (6+ / 0-)

    and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Take responsibility for not paying attention in school."

    Republicans offer no solutions. A Kossack said the above to me today. To say the least he pissed me off.

    "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

    by thethinveil on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:08:09 PM PDT

  •  identfying bands and camps for displaced (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kingsmeg, ClapClapSnap
    Should be the death knell of anymore free market fantasies.

    "We drink liberally, they prefer a weak tea ..." quoted from ZappoDave

    by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:18:01 PM PDT

  •  There's a tent city in Lakewood, NJ (9+ / 0-)

    But the media doesn't report it. People don't talk about it. Denial, denial, denial.

    The newspaper industry is collapsing by the day. Maybe it has something to do with BS-ing the public all these years, taking a position that strongly favors the advertisers and screwing the people.

    If these tent cities go unreported, it reinforces the denial, which only serves to worsen the problem.

    Like Frank Rich has been saying in the NY Times the past few months - Anerica's "Culture of Denial."

    It is an epidemic.

  •  homeless kids (7+ / 0-)

    we just studied this topic in psych class. I can't believe how many kids are now homeless thanks in part to bushco. we have decided to become temporary foster parents to try to help.

    •  Thanks so much (4+ / 0-)

      foster homes are so badly needed, especially for older kids.  Good luck.  Try to keep your sense of humor, and remember that when the kid is in your face cursing you out like you've never heard before, he's really not addressing you.  It's every other person who's hurt or disappointed him in his life.  For many of these kids, the list of horrors is long, and healing takes a long time.

      Thank you

  •  Refugee Camps From The Bush Administration. (0+ / 0-)

    America needs foreign assistance from Canada.

  •  Bush Tents (0+ / 0-)

    Every new model comes with a hook so when you walk inside you can just hang your dignity at the door.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:51:39 PM PDT

  •  Springfield, MA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClapClapSnap, j b norton

    Had tent villages in 2003 (and I bet they still do.)

  •  Bushvilles (3+ / 0-)

    the new visual of the second Republican Great Depression.

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:59:00 PM PDT

  •  I'm pretty sure someone mentioned it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard

    by now.

    Someone else had a diary about this and they coined the phrase- "bushvilles"

    We need to keep using that title for them- from now until the end of time.

    bushvilles.

  •  now that we have named the tent cities... (6+ / 0-)

    what are we going to do about them.

    Almost every post is one of outrage or blame.

    I am not seeing many suggestions on how to deal with the situation.

    If these people have no employment, no money and no job skills what can we do?

    Do we give them free housing? Do we set up low income housing knowing it leads to more crime.

    I am not saying I have an answer, but I am not seeing much here other than a concensus to name them Bushville, which I am sure those living in there must love this thread.

    •  On another site, (0+ / 0-)

      I asked just this question, with a poll.  Because we have some pretty heavy-duty Fox nutters (it's been non-stop "We surround them!" for days), I was rather curious to see if people could even talk about the issue.

      Sadly, no.

      The only responses I'm getting are OMG! from the left or the center, and attacking the figures using Fox talking points from the right.  So far, solutions?  Nada.  

      Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

      by Kingsmeg on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:19:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Having had some personal experience... (0+ / 0-)

      with homelessness and now continuing contact with homeless here in Austin, Texas I thought to present to the Kos Fellowship Program some solutions that helped me as an individual.  I note the individual because one on one concentration with support of a small community I believe was responsible for getting me back into my own home with a survivable income for the past 11 years. It's not about walking the BushVills of your community but rather using the web to find specific solutions to specific problems for specific individuals.  I thought a reply to your comment here might help me judge interest in solutions before jumping into something like the Fellowship Program.

      Beer, politics & pizza - must have died and gone to heaven.

      by mrgardon on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 08:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I (0+ / 0-)

      didn't see this post before I posted my "Bushville" comment below. I guess that in my daily routine of reading news and maybe responding if I have a minute, my "action" is expressed through speech and so this terminology stuff can seem pretty important.

      But you are absolutely right to note that it is not the most substantive portion of any discussion on this issue.

  •  I guess it makes everyone feel better (0+ / 0-)

    to spend time looking for clever ways to blame Bush for this widening disaster  but shouldn't we be more interested in what's being done  now to  try to correct it? I want Obama to explain to me again why Geithner is the best man for the job?   If he  is so great why  can't he get anyone to work for him?  Why is a tax cheat a good choice  for a job that oversees the IRS?   I would like Bernanke to explain to me again why throwing massive amounts of debt  at  a problem  caused by massive amounts  of debt is a good idea.      I would like to know  why Dodd and Frank  can even speak  authoritatively   on fixing this mess after  the kind of oversight  that allowed to Freddie and Fannie  to be jam packed with  liar loans from  people who had no business  buying a house,  encouraged by bankers who had no business  lending to them.   Sure republicans   did their part to get us here but  the greed and crookedness being uncovered  cuts broadly across party lines.

  •  The More Things Change (0+ / 0-)

    Ry Cooder, from Into the Purple Valley:

    How can you keep on movin'
    Unless you migrate too
    They tell you to keep on movin'
    But migrate you must not do
    The only reason I'm movin'
    And the reason why I roam
    Is to move to a new location
    And find myself a home

  •  Ontario airport??!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zukesgirl64

    That's a high density area. I wonder where the camp is located. I did see an old abandoned winery this summer when we were departing the airport. The winery was just on the outside of the airport. Otherwise, the airport is in the middle of the inland empire.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:27:27 PM PDT

  •  Should I point out that Ontario Airport ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zukesgirl64

    ... is in the Inland Empire a good 50 miles from LA?

  •  I'm getting to that point myself... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, ClapClapSnap

    can't afford my apartment anymore. What now?

    ...inspiration moves me brightly

    by wbr on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:40:04 PM PDT

    •  A roommate? (5+ / 0-)

      That's what I did back in my 20's, during the recession of the late 1970's - 80's.  It's a lot harder for me to think of doing it now, but I'm preparing myself mentally to offer to help a friend who is probably going to lose her house soon.

      •  Unfortunately, it's a one bedroom (4+ / 0-)

        I've pushed my luck too far. It will soon be a year since I was laid off. I have very little recourse left at this point.

        ...inspiration moves me brightly

        by wbr on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:59:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rental assistance? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wbr, chemicalresult, jayden, ClapClapSnap

          there are some funds in the stimulus bill that are supposed to be used to help people stay in their housing, or get into new housing quickly.  Renters are part of the deal, and you'd probably qualify if you haven't had a job in a year.  

          Each state has a lot of latitude in how they spend their allocation, and it's going to be a little while before the money actually hits the street.  But it might be worth checking out before you throw in the towel.

          Good luck.  I'm fortunate to have paid off most of house over the years, but my job isn't looking very secure right now so I'm trying to figure out in advance how I'd get by on very reduced income.  Sharing housing looks like a real possibility in my future.

          •  I will look into renters assistance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ClapClapSnap

            Do you know who to contact about renter's assistance?

            I have been making it on Unemployment all this time and drawing from the meager savings I had. The EUI I received seems to be all I will get at this point and that just ended. Colorado did not receive another Emergency Unemployment package at this time.

            I still have a hair of savings in the bank (I'm hoping it will be enough to fund my cross country move back to Florida to family), which seems to make me inelibible for food stamps.

            I thought about shared housing, but that would also burn through the little I have left even if I don't pay my rent and hope my landlord will just keep my deposit for next month. I thought about putting my life into storage and renting a room for a while to see if I can pull out of this nosedive.

            Good luck to you too Maryru. Thanks for your suggestions. Somehow we'll get through this I guess.

            ...inspiration moves me brightly

            by wbr on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:19:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Call your United Way (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wbr

              they usually have a listing of every place that might be of help, or can steer you in the right direction for more information.

              Unfortunately, every state is different and I don't know how emergency help is administered in Colorado.  And you're right that even a small amount of savings/assets can disqualify you from some forms of assistance. It's really frustrating, but it comes from the Republican boogeymen about "welfare cheats" etc.

              The programs I've heard about that are in the stimulus bill are just getting set up now, so they might take too long to be of help to you. But I know there is some funding that's supposed to help keep folks from getting evicted.

              Whether that's your best route, or if moving back to family is a better option, only you can know. Best of luck.

              •  Thanks again, I will check with them (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, I'm getting closer to having made the decision to move back east...i have to stop paying all this rent. As hard as it may be there, the nearby emotional support will be good.  

                If something happens here, I'll certainly go for it! I hope it does, I am really in love with it here & can't see myself living down there again...oh well, got to take the good with the bad, I guess.

                (You're right about the Republican boogeymen...I think that's a fitting nickname for AIG & the banks these days, if you know what I mean!)

                ...inspiration moves me brightly

                by wbr on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 10:44:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Hold away despair... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ClapClapSnap

          hang in there wbr.

          Peace...

    •  my suggestions> (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbr, ClapClapSnap, Black Leather Rain

      >start looking for something cheaper now, not when you really have to move fast.  

      >it's possible to make two studios out of a one bedroom apartment depending on the layout.

      >if you're in an area where rents are falling, you might be able to cut a deal with your landlord.

      >try applying for food stamps to help ease your overall financial burden.  they're generally the easiest type of government assistance to get and can cut back on your bills pretty substantially (especially if you have kids)

      •  I've been looking for something cheaper (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ClapClapSnap

        haven't had much luck. My apartment is a less than 1000' loft style, so it's not even a 'real' one bedroom.

        I have been toying with calling my landlord, though he's usually out of the country. I have paid my rent faithfully all throughout this ordeal, but at this point, I think I have to blow off the rent this month, let him keep my 1 month deposit and try to get out of here by May. I haven't decided if I'll call him before the fact, or wait for him to call me looking for the check next month to buy some time.

        I am alone, so no dependents or spouse. As I said in the comment above, when I checked into it last week, I was ineligible for food stamps. I guess after I pull my savings out of the bank I may be eligible. I have however found out about food pantries in my area that may be able to help me.

        My fear of moving back to S. Florida is heightening. They have worse unemployment levels than Colorado, but most of my friends and support here have moved out of my area, so I'm pretty alone here. The family and friends in Florida is a postitive. I will probably still have to go through bankruptcy if I can't find work.

        I know so many others have it so much worse...I am grateful for the little I do have. I feel battle weary at this point though. I do not want to live in Florida again but now I feel that Colorado has rejected me and I absolutely love it here. :(

        ...inspiration moves me brightly

        by wbr on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 06:38:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Video: Lakewood NJ Tent City (a NYC suburb) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    math4barack

    This was once a resort town for NYC orthodox jews. In the day, year-round residents were working-class, blue-collar whites.

    It is now dominated physically and politically by hasidic jews, with large sections of poor black and hispanic.

    It is on the edges on NYC suburbs. All of the towns to its north and east are middle-class white NYC-working commuters.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Trickle Down...R.I.P. (5+ / 0-)

            Jared Bernstein [TPM Cafe]

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 08:54:21 PM PDT

  •  I'm struck by how much the Bushville/tent city/ (3+ / 0-)

    tent slum reminds me of this:

     title=

    This is a picture of the poor and Afghan refugees in a camp in Islamabad Pakistan taken August 2008.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:35:04 PM PDT

  •  It is going to get far... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oaktown Girl, adios, Losty

    ...worse before it gets better. The tax cuts for the super rich of the last 30 years have stripped both the poor and middle classes and the government of the resources needed to keep the economy going without ruinous borrowing.
    _________________________________________________________________________________  
    Seeking to use the tax system to modestly redistribute wealth has nothing to do with Robin Hood, but is all about simple economics. We need to put money into the hands of those who will spend it to stimulate our consumer economy. The super rich now possess a huge stagnant pool of wealth while ninety percent of the population don’t have the resources to keep the consumer economy going, nor to save enough to provide for their economic security.
    Photobucket
    To see the data go to UCSC.
    The proposed Obama "socialist" tax increase for the super rich is the modest up-tick on the far right of the graph.
    Photobucket

    Source: John Cole

  •  Comparisons to Grapes of Wrath (5+ / 0-)

    are unbelievable.

    I often wonder how about how badly we treat undocumented aliens from south of the border, and compare that to the way the Joad family, and their compatriots were treated in the novel.

    But now we get to see that we will even treat our own fellow countrymen in the same way, when we see our pretty views of the world threatened.  Just what happened in the novel.

    Every school kid should now be reading Steinbeck's book, so they can put the current situation in perspective.  We have been here before, and got out of it.  We can get out of it again, but it ain't gonna' be fun.

  •  Thank you for writing this ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, truebeliever
  •  I believe 1 in 8 people are now in foreclosure (5+ / 0-)

    or behind in their housing payments.

    That's just a staggering statistic.

    It's not sustainable.

  •  Something to do for Sacramento (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, Losty

    Something to do for tent city in Sacramento Loaves & Fishes

    We do our best to help them simply survive; we serve a hot meal everyday, provide a place to get out of the rain during the day, basic medical care, stocked restrooms, an emergency school for children as well as simple things such as rain ponchos, dry socks, toiletries, and warm showers.

    We can’t do it alone! The number of people needing services is up and donations are down. You can help those who have slipped through the cracks in our system. You can help provide essential life sustaining services to the neediest of the needy. We need your help.

    Please consider donating camping items. Especially in need are Tents, Large Tarps, and Sleeping bags. Items can be brought to our warehouse.
    If you can’t bring items please consider donating online instead.

    Donate Online Now
    or send donations to:
    Loaves & Fishes
    PO Box 2161
    Sacramento, CA 95812

    Do we cross the line and make better tent cities in the short term? Seems to me that things to relieve "today" are OK even at the risk of buy in to the concept...I imagine most cops would want to help simply as humans especially if they can't offer anything from the city...

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:54:04 PM PDT

  •  The Seattle area has several Tent Cities (3+ / 0-)

    The one I am familiar with rotates around a number of host churches, where they are allowed to set up camp in the parking lot for several months. When this Tent City first got started, a number of the cities where they were located sought to block them, bringing legal challenges against them. Heaven forbid that people be allowed to live in tents close to million-dollar homes!

    In the end, Tent City won the legal battles.

    They have very strict rules of conduct. They also screen their members for any kind of criminal record. Most of the members work but cannot afford even an apartment.

  •  Rihanna and her boyfriend are back together!!!!!! (4+ / 0-)

    Blame the fucking TeeVee in this country. They keeps us ignorant by bombarding us with such stupid stories as if the world spans only from one coast to the other coast of this country. Once in a while BBC or shall I say Al-Jazeera come here and tell us what really is going on in our oun land!

    Each and every day our TeeVee journalists show us stupid stuff filled with something remotely connected with the situation we are in.

    1. Why is Britney's thong hanging
    1. Will Bristol break up with Stupidstol...
    1. Some teenage girl missing (..and covering is for more than a year! and each and every fucking day!) Yes, I'm so sorry that it is a tragedy but something much bigger in size is quietly happening and we can't even talk about it for 10min in this country. Its such a shame. Shame!

    I am sick looking at that video and live in the greatest country on earth!

    "allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out of in 30 seconds if you spot the heat around the corner". - movie HEAT

    by HEAT on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 11:41:02 PM PDT

  •  This has been going on for awhile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClapClapSnap

    These folks are lucky in one respect -- they are in southern California where the weather is nice.  People up here in the northwest are freezing their butts off living under bridges, in their cars, and in parks.

  •  Late to the party but (3+ / 0-)

    Reading through the comments I see a sort of polarization. I see it slightly differently. I think a fair amount of the people in trouble now are in trouble because they either made foolish choices or were lead to make foolish choices by bad people in good suits.

    But, I also think it doesn't matter. People fuck up. Everybody fucks up. That doesn't mean you should suffer in debtors prison for it. Sure, maybe some folks are chronic fuck ups, but I bet a lot of folks have learned some really hard lessons and will act differently given the chance. The point being, people should be given help regardless of the reason why they are down and out. It's the christian thing to do. Isn't this a christian nation? You help people who are down and out even if they are your worst enemy.

    The fable of the ant and the grasshopper is a model for a cruel society. Sure, the grasshopper was a dick but the ants were bigger dicks to let him die when they could have helped. That is the message of Christ. And you don't have to believe that Jesus was God or that even God exists to take away the value of that message. Personally I don't believe Jesus was God, but the basic ideas of what he said are sound. We are all in this together, those of us who "did the right thing" those of us who were lucky, those of us who weren't and even those who did really dumbass shit like using their already percarious house equity as an ATM machine.

    It's in everybody's intrest to help these people.

  •  Bushvilles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon
  •  They should always be called Bushvilles (2+ / 0-)
  •  Again, non-American newsmedia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EastcoastChick, ClapClapSnap

    shows us the mirror.

    I have seen some mention of this at BBC News, but i watch and read a LOT of news, and this does not seem to be getting much mention here at home.

    CNN is crazy about stories on thrifty living right now, but the much, much worse side of this Bush-Cheney depression -- the side exposed in this report -- they don't seem to want to cover.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 05:31:30 AM PDT

  •  Police cut up tents in St. Petersburg, FLA (5+ / 0-)

    Just after the BBC report on LA, I found this video on Youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/...

    The police are slicing up the only shelter these people have.

  •  breaking - there are homeless people in America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lascaux, Black Leather Rain

    It's sad that more Americans are having trouble finding a place to live.

    But at the same time, it kind of makes me wonder where people were back when the fundamentals of the economy were sound. Where was the outrage then? What's different now? That more 'middle class' people are homeless? That more of the faces are white?

    This is precisely what happens when we don't deal with poverty and injustice in times of relative peace and prosperity. I hope we remember this the next time things seem good for most of us. This is more important than Iraq and Afghanistan and GWOT and homeland security and missile defense and corporate welfare and being tough on crime and making a drug free America and every other enormous waste of resources we've prioritized more highly than meeting the basic needs of our own citizens.

    Poor people aren't some unwashed mass of lazy bums who deserve their fate. They are us. They want to be part of society, to add value to, not subtract value from, our collective experience. They are our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues, our family. They are black and hispanic, Native American and Asian, and yes, even white.

    When Congress debates next year's budget, I hope we remember that. When Dow 7,000 (circa 2009) seems as remote a memory as Dow 7,000 (circa 2002), I hope we remember that. When people talk about locking other people up and throwing away the key, I hope we remember that. When people once again say wealth inequality isn't a problem, I hope we remember that.

    •  I agree, but on the other hand (4+ / 0-)

      there's a kind of sour grapes bitter attitude in this comment that I find unnecessary--critiquing people for caring because they did not care before.  I understand the frustration, but when people show up, that is not the time to say, "Where the hell where you?"  It's the time to say,"Glad you're here."  

      •  the point is looking forward (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, there is some sour grapes. It's outrageous what we have done to poor people (who tend to be people of color in disproportionate numbers) and even now continue to do to them.

        But the main point is looking forward. We have to understand that we have largely ignored poverty in the past in order to change our behavior in the future. For, we will come through this. Most middle class Americans will remain middle class. Most rich people will stay rich.

        And most poor people will remain poor. The big variable is whether we will remember poverty in 5 years or 10 years, or if we will once again marginalize it to the unseen realms of our social consciousness. Now is precisely the time to question why people care about poverty, because people do care right now. There is attention that has not existed for a long time.

        If the only thing we say is, 'glad you're here', then we're not doing anything to challenge their perspective or engage a long-term audience; they will leave as fleetingly as they arrived.

        And then to be more specific, this has real policy implications. Every liberal that advocates occupying Afghanistan has to explain why some abstract concept of national security is more important than material support for our own citizens' basic needs. Every liberal who supports the drug war has to explain why it's acceptable to lock up poor and minorities who do the same things rich people do. Every liberal who supports the home mortgage interest deduction has to explain why they think home owners should get tax deductions that renters don't get. Etc, etc.

        This is about the future, but the future doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's guided by the past and the present. Just like prosecuting war criminals is about more than backward-looking vengeance, reminding people of the pain that our public policy has been causing for a long time is a necessary part of doing something different going forward.

  •  "No more ideology" (0+ / 0-)

    Exactly right, from both sides.

    Just implement the solutions that John Maynard Keynes advocated in 1936:  Stimulate consumer demand with massive government incentives to clear the gluts of inventories on the market so production will increase and workers will be back on the job.

    It's not rocket science people, but Pres. Obama and the Dems need to find the political will to get it done now, not years from now.

  •  Jeffrey -- hat-tipped you and posted the video (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Jeffrey Feldman, DeadB0y, Losty

    on the front page of ePluribus Media as an Open Thread this morning.

    A corrupted government. Patriots branded as renegades. This is how we roll.

    by GreyHawk on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:10:22 AM PDT

  •  Oh! How uniquely American (3+ / 0-)

    These fine folks decided to camp out in order to get closer with nature.

    If they would have been working three jobs then they'd be three time more likely to still be employed.  

    "...one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."

    by adamsrw on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:43:13 AM PDT

  •  Bushvilles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libbie, AmericanRiverCanyon

    Thanks to JF for posting this and I enjoyed his comments on the pragmatist tradition. Everyone should read Rorty's "Achieving Our Country" and have a big debate about it.

    I just wanted to make a small propaganda point.

    When we first saw pictures of these things in Sacramento, everyone was quick to call them "Bushvilles."

    This was smart - it recalls "Hooverville" and every time you say it, it fights the GOP attempts to lay the recession at Obama's feet. It insinuates the truth about whose policies were responsible for this disaster right into everyday "non-ideological" discourse.

    But everyone seems to have forgotten about this and is calling them "tent cities" or "tent slums" or something.

    It may not be a major or substantive point, but I just think it would be smart to retain the usage of "Bushville." Unless we have serious objections or reasons not to?

    •  OK So (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      I skipped a lot of the middle posts in this was all already hashed out, and now feel a little sheepish for throwing it in again. That'll teach me to comment when I don't really have time, I guess...

    •  The Reagan-Bushvilles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon

      Reagan started the deregulation and Bush just expanded on the theme and sat and did nothing while the Phil Grahams screwed the country.  The boy king just put the Reagan nightmare to the test and it was a big failure. Bush - Reaganvilles Hey look world.  See what the Republicans have done to America - Look!

      Bring back the Constitution of the United States.

      by libbie on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:00:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Funny you should mention Steinbeck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon

    I've been thinking about The Grapes of Wrath all morning.

    Scary stuff.

    If I could find a souvenir just to prove the world was here.

    by Muskegon Critic on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 08:54:58 AM PDT

  •  Slab City has been here in California for years (2+ / 0-)

    fucking tragedy..  about two years ago I watched a news story of kids gathering water for their mom from sewers and desert puddles.  Very few people give a shit about homeless and disabled people, it really pisses me off.  I have gone out there and dropped off food water etc. but everytime I go the population grows.

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over -6.88/-4.31

    by DeadB0y on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 09:10:30 AM PDT

  •  The New Nomads: Think Burning Man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClapClapSnap

    on an involuntary basis. There's an opportunity here to challenge the tenant/landlord, private property system that defines how most of us live. No, I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat. Artists and visionaries like Vito Acconci and Marjetica Potrc have been positing notions like urgent, mobile and parasitic architecture for some time. As suburbs dry up and more people are red-lined from the system, creative alternatives become a necessity. We should be thinking about new models of living rather than subsidizing a rigid, broken one.

    I never liked you and I always will.

    by Ray Blake on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 10:31:15 AM PDT

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