While the U.S. propaganda-machine continues to spew the myth that an “economic recovery” is imminent, a national poverty-crisis is exposing the extremely inadequate U.S. social “safety-net”. A Reuters article reports that in many major American cities, homeless shelters were filled to capacity long ago.
With some states having legislated mandates not to allow families with children to be left out on the street, this means that state governments and poverty groups are left with no choice but to rent rooms in budget-motels for these people. While this is certainly an economic boon for these motel-owners, it is a costly way to deal with homelessness.
Inevitably, this will force those U.S. states who at least try to care for the homeless to dramatically increase budgets to provide minimal food and shelter for these people – requiring budget-cuts elsewhere (i.e. more lay-offs) or else begging more money from the federal government. What Reuters failed to mention is that there is generally no such relief for poor adults without children. For them, the only choice is to take up residence in the “tent cities” springing up in most large American cities.
Many Americans are quite happy to see their state governments cut funding for aid to these invisible victims, in order to close budget-gaps like the $26 billion in California (see "California: better to KILL the poor than TAX the rich"). However, surely there is at least some compassion for the children of these unfortunate Americans. Reuters cited the particularly heart-wrenching example of Tarya Seagraves-Quee, a former nurse.
While Seagraves-Quee is one of the “fortunate” Americans who has job-skills which are still in demand even during the worst of this employment catastrophe, a combination of multiple sclerosis, lupus, and anemia has made it impossible for her to continue working. This, in turn, soon left her without health care coverage – in Georgia, where she was living at the time.
She spent her life-savings for a plane-ticket to Massachusettes, where not only did she have relatives, but where she was also able to once again obtain health-care – through a program called “Health Care for the Homeless”. Previously, she had gone without health care for ten months while still in Georgia. She has now also been diagnosed with two cancerous “spots” on her breasts.
However, Seagraves-Quee's problems go well beyond her own, severe health problems. She also has four children, two of whom are autistic. Those children require a parent who can provide more than the usual amount of care – rather than a parent who is crippled through her own health problems.
Her plight is also a case-study of the American “cycle of poverty” which is becoming more difficult to escape from each year – rather than less so. Not only do the children of such parents lack proper diets and other niceties considered “essential” to more affluent families, but these children also are provided with grossly inferior educations – through the U.S.'s two-tier education system.
While Americans in affluent districts receive public educations as good as anywhere in the world, the story is quite different for children attempting to obtain educations in the crime-ridden schools of Poor America. Drop-out rates in these schools (where the vast majority of students are ethnic minorities) are roughly 50% (and higher), while inadequate funding means even those who obtain their high school diplomas have substandard educations versus their wealthier peers.
The U.S.'s white majority may be able to continue to ignore this problem today, however, that “luxury” is rapidly passing – as the two largest ethnic minorities (African-Americans and Hispanic Americans) are about to become the majority in the U.S. over the next few decades.
Perhaps this explains why Corporate America (and the U.S. government) chose to dismantle its manufacturing base (and the high-paying jobs it provided), while keeping the huge, heavily-subsidized agricultural plantations. Harvesting crops may not be a suitable job for Americans who want to live a middle-class existence, and provide their children with a future, but its an ideal occupation for the legions of economic slaves which have been created through U.S. social and economic policies (not to mention the insatiable greed of Corporate America).
For those Americans not willing to subject themselves to the subsistence living of a plantation-worker, there will soon be plenty of room for them in the private prisons springing up all across the United States. Once inside, those Americans will be forced to participate in slave-labour – while enduring even more inferior living conditions.
Meanwhile, individual Americans continue their incessant, partisan finger-pointing – pretending that it actually makes a difference which one of their political parties is currently in charge in their two-party dictatorship. Put another way, 300 million “Neros” continue to “fiddle” while America burns.