Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CAUTION: Rant to follow

There's a crisis brewing in the good old U.S. of A.

It's not just about the burst bubble in real estate, the credit crunch, the exportation of jobs overseas, and political corruption based on campaign dollars (ie bribes).

We have lost track of fairness.

Those of us with money complain about taxes, complain about poor people and their housing subsidies. We create a system that tolerates people living like animals outside because they can't earn enough to live inside, and berate them when they give up and turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the physical and psychical pain, or when mental illness undercuts their ability to earn a living wage. We don't really want to get people into their own apartments and out from underneath bridges, because we resent the fact that it takes public money to make this happen.

But what if I told you that middle and upper classes in this country enjoy billions more in government largesse through our mortgage interest deductions we claim every year. Way more help comes to people of means through this system than is ever delivered to poor people with no options, sick people who can't work, and the wage slaves who provide us with cheap services -- burger flippers, maids, and nursing aides.

Why is slavery illegal, but paying someone $8 an hour without providing health care or a place to live is okay? Why should someone have to live in their car when they work everyday? "Loss of jobs?"

If we paid people $1 an hour we could have full employment and still starve.

I hate using Henry Ford as an example of enlightened tycoon, but as horrible as his politics were, he saw the wisdom in creating a work force that could afford to purchase the product they were producing.

Watch for greater emphasis on home security and police state, as the inequities continue to grow.

Wake up, people


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