Archive for homeless

Middle Class Destroyed by Elites

Posted in Ethics & Morals, jobs, Legal / Laws, news, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2019 by Drogo

Wealth Inequality Dividing USA, as Plutocrats Create New Civil War

The Rich are draining the middle class in two ways. While billionaire plutocrats bribe some upper class cronies making them millionaires, most middle class are becoming lower class. Less than 20,000,000 overlords are already ruling over more than 300,000,000 impoverished masses [population estimate 330,000,000 in 2020].

As income inequality grows we are pulled in two directions; but most of us are getting dragged towards the bottom of the economy into low income poverty, as the lower class masses expand more than the upper fractions of 1% of the upper class population. The most economic critical problem for democracy is that the middle class is being pulled apart, and thus only plutocrats will rule the poor masses.

Trying to interpret USA stats today – We have 18,614,000 millionaires plus 609 billionaires expanding their wealth, while apx 312,000,000 people have less savings because they are in debt as most of the middle-class drops into the lower class, as poverty expands overall for most people. While incomes rose some, cost of living and debts rose more with less common investment returns; as high earners are bribed by richer owners to strip wealth from workers and rivals, and middle income earners go deeper into debt trying to maintain and employ both middle and lower class owned independent businesses.

I had to look at the numbers to understand why there are more and more millionaires and billionaires; despite most people getting poorer with expanding the debt, cost of living, mortgage, and homeless crises. From 2018 to 2019 we went from 4,900,000 to 18,614,000 millionaires. American millionaires increased by 13,714,000; which means they had to come from the upper middle class, rather than from billionaires (because they grew also). If millions of upper middle class people became millionaires, then why is most of the middle class shrinking, and the lower class expanding? Why is the middle class disappearing and not expanding in proportion to the upper class increases? One reason billionaires grew by 6.4% to 2,473 in 2015; is that inheritances bring in new blood [Wall Street Journal]. Also billionaires increased because millionaires helped to drain wealth from the middle-class, as many more middle-class people dropped into poverty, a few became rich, and the remaining middle class hangs on desperately while the inequality divide pulls harder.

Billionaires increased their combined global wealth to a record $6 trillion; more than twice the GDP of the UK. There are now 1,542 billionaires across the world, after 145 multi-millionaires saw their wealth tick over into nine-zero fortunes last year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said western governments should force the top 1% of earners to pay more tax to try to reduce dangerous levels of inequality [Guardian]. There are now 2,101 billionaires globally [UBS’ 2019 Billionaire Insights report]. That means 589 individuals have become billionaires since 2013, increasing the population over five years [Fox News].

Middle class is defined here for the US as those adults with a net wealth of between $50,000 and $500,000 in mid 2015. Tracking the numbers of the disappearing middle class, shows the polarity of inequality. In February 2009, The Economist asserted that over half the world’s population now belongs to the middle class, as a result of rapid growth in emerging countries. It characterized the middle class as having a reasonable amount of discretionary income, so that they do not live from hand-to-mouth as the poor do; where people start to have a third of their income left for discretionary spending after paying for basic food and shelter. This allows people to buy consumer goods, improve their health care, and provide for their children’s education.

Most of the emerging middle class consists of people who are middle class by the standards of the developing world but not the developed one, since their money incomes do not match developed country levels, but the percentage of it which is discretionary does. By this definition, the number of middle-class people in Asia exceeded that in the West sometime around 2007 or 2008. The American middle class is estimated by some researchers to comprise approximately 45% of the population. The Economist’s article would put the size of the American middle class below the world average. This difference is due to the extreme difference in definitions.

In 2015 there were 564,708 homeless people in the USA. These figures are likely underestimates as surveillance for the homeless population is challenging. Over 20,000,000 US adult citizens earn less than $5,000 a year. [2016 Personal Income stats] There was a $2,000 decline in nominal income overall for most adults from 2000-2016; it is suspected that the 2020 Census will show that reduction trend to have continued. Oddly the poverty and income charts mimic each-other; why their curves are similar is unclear. 

At the Strategic Investment Conference 2018, Karen Harris from Bain & Company gave a thought-provoking keynote titled, “Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation, and Inequality.” Karen Harris sees a big economic shift that began in the 1980s. Driven by demographics and automation, the world is gradually moving from a supply-constrained to a demand-constrained economy. Harris said the combination of a demographically shrinking workforce and increasingly cost-effective automation will aggravate inequality, curb demand, and put a cap on economic growth.

High-wage workers will reap most of the gains and low-wage workers will bear most of the cost, at least in the short run. Someone has to buy the goods robots produce. As the middle and lower classes suffer, spending will decline. The result will be “demand-constrained growth.” It will get much worse and not just in the U.S. Many won’t initially notice because rising productivity will mask some of the job losses. But eventually, job losses will overwhelm productivity. Harris called this the “Wile E. Coyote” moment. It’s hard to pinpoint, but probably coming in the next decade.

The growth of spending by Baby Boomers will begin to decline in the 2020s. Now add in the growing inequality with up to 25% of the workforce displaced by automation, and the middle-class markets seem to disappear. Investors and businesses should be asking, “Who will be my customers a decade from now?” [Patrick Watson, Forbes 2018]

[GREG DAUGHERTY, Investopedia 2019]

The American middle class, once the envy of the world (and occasional object of its derision) is shrinking, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. The report, which looked at the U.S. and 11 Western European countries, found that in the nearly 20 years from 1991 to 2010, the portion of American adults living in middle-class households fell from 62% to 59%. The Pew report defined middle-class households as those with incomes of anywhere between two-thirds and twice that of their country’s median disposable household income. In the case of the U.S., that meant a range of roughly $35,000 to $106,000 a year for a household of three. 

In the USA: 26% are lower income, 59% are middle income, and 15% are upper income. 

In Denmark: 14% are lower income, 80% are middle income, and 7% are upper income.

The middle class in the U.S., as defined by median household income, is shrinking, with some Americans moving up and most others down. Compared with 11 Western European nations, the U.S. has the smallest percentage of population considered middle income and the largest percentages in both the lower and upper income categories. (See also – ‘Why the American Middle Class Is Shrinking’)

Economists have debated the reasons why the American middle class is shrinking for years now, and a new study highlights one key reason: The jobs that pay enough to support a middle-class lifestyle are disappearing. Although the total number of American jobs is projected to increase by around 7.2 million over the next five years, this growth largely leaves behind the middle of the income spectrum. More than 60 percent of 173 occupations projected to decline are middle-class jobs [Career-Builder’s Economic Modeling Specialists International]. Between now and 2021, the number of low-wage jobs will increase by 5 percent, but middle-income jobs (those that pay between roughly $14 and $21 an hour) will only grow by 3 percent. 

“Jobs that have a lot of routine aspects are easy to automate and those are going away,” said Glassdoor.com chief economist Andrew Chamberlain. “Those jobs are just disappearing, and that’s the hollowing-out we’re seeing,” he said. For middle-income workers, a combination of automation and wage erosion (from weak worker unions) erodes the economic stability of the middle class. “Middle-wage workers will become increasingly susceptible to unemployment or will have to move into lower-paying roles that may not support them and their families,” CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson warned in a statement. This isn’t just bad news for middle-class families, he said; it also can weaken consumer spending, the housing market and Americans’ ability to invest in the stock market and save for retirement.

Income inequality in the United States is the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among the American population. It has fluctuated considerably since measurements began around 1915, moving in an arc between peaks in the 1920s and 2000s, with a 30-year period of relatively lower inequality between 1950–1980. A 2011 study found that US citizens across the political spectrum dramatically underestimate the current US wealth inequality and would prefer a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth (Ariely – ‘Perspectives on Psychological Science’). The top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country’s wealth in 2016. In September 2019, the Census Bureau reported that income inequality in the United States had reached its highest level in 50 years. [Wikipedia]

If there must be a new Civil War, it should not be poor against poor; we have done that. Perhaps we need a real Class War, to stop World War 3 from happening. We are aware that terrible leaders caused the last ones, so having actual democratic power is one way to stop pollution and war. Plutocrats have been using corporate politics and media to smear and ignore all opposition to them; they will create distractions like war rather than risk cutting any profits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homeless In America

Posted in Economics, Ethics & Morals, Interviews, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2019 by Drogo

After writing a book on Economics and interviewing several homeless friends, I feel confident enough to address the subject of homelessness in several states. I have studied homeless issues in CA, UT, NV, WA, GA, WV, MD, DC, VA, KY, MO, MI, NY, and a few others. The best states for homeless people usually seems to be those where there are large expanses of rural country (GA, WV, MO) for poor people to survive without getting jailed or harassed as often as in cities, but they are also more likely to stay monetarily poor (although land and space rich). The best cities for homeless are Salt Lake City, UT and Las Vegas, NV because of annual weather climates and liberal policies. Cities are the best places in general for homeless people to beg or busk for money, due to population stats; however it is important to note that due to larger economic forces more people with jobs are homeless, as the cost of living outpaces even employed income.

Salt Lake City started a program that gave tiny homes to homeless people; and yes that attracted more homeless people (who existed regardless previously without help), but compare that to most other cities. Los Angeles (LA), CA and New York City (NYC), NY (both huge cities) have huge homeless populations many of which are employed and get income but not enough to own property or rent; and despite the ability to bum or busk, the quality of life on the street is not improved as illegal shanty towns grow and get raided and removed. LA has a more hospitable year-round climate on the streets than NYC; but as long as the aristocratic ‘annoyance’ attitude about homelessness persists in US culture, it is likely that the causes will increase as the ‘unsightly’ problem gets pushed out of sight of official agendas.

One point about the ‘Liberal City Homelessness’ thing that i never hear people bring up, is that homeless people are taken better care of by liberal programs; therefore it is ironic but logical that homeless people will migrate to places they are treated better. Also cities with large populations on the coasts are more liberal because the masses are so mixed culturally it would not make sense to be conservative dip-shits to each-other, nothing would get done (it would be like Jerusalem and Palestine in every neighborhood).

The Homelessness crisis in America is always connected with the larger civil rights socio-economic problems of living wages and worker rights in a Capitalist culture.

SCOD Interviews and Talks about Housing, Jobs, and Homelessness:

SCOD History of Modern Philosophy

Calvin in Chicago about Homeless Shelters

[look for more on that Audiomack account near those recordings]

2019 – Drogo

 

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Medicines Are Drugs

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Medical, news, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2019 by Drogo

Drug possession and health care are so related, drug possession it basically means medicine possession, albeit overdose abuse.often they are exactly the same. heroine is fundamentally linked to morphine in composition and use. pot is much more of a medicine than alcohol, but both are used as medicine by poor people. natives do not see a distinction, for spiritual reasons. ‘drug’ means illegal medicine usually, the health issue is usually about pain treatment and dependence on the substance, whether addicted or prescribed for persistent problems. regarding pill addiction, they really are usually prescribed medicines. medicines always have side effects and toxicity levels that can add up when used frequently.

In AA and medical practices people use one ‘drug’ substance to use as a crutch or addiction, to switch with the one they want to get off of. In the case of heroin and methadone they are almost the same strength from what users and social workers told me. In my college roommates’ case it was coffee in trade of cocaine. 3 homeless people i know were not homeless because they were drug addicts, because they had more serious problems in their lives like family relations and disorders; so i think the law enforcement part of the war on drugs is often not appropriate, and some law enforcement people are speaking out about martial law abuse now. Studying the results of the social programs would be interesting for sure, and how much force or legal threat is used to get them to do what is wanted by property owners.some medicines are safer than others for sure, as chemicals with toxic levels can vary.

Pot & Paranoia

Sometimes medicine reduces anxiety, and sometimes it can amplify it. Perception of which occurs is behavior based, but internal thoughts can differ from physical action. This is why philosophy or psychology can be used to guide the process of psychiatric alterations.

30 Million Tons of Free Food!!! Want Not, Waste Not America

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by Drogo

Americans waste an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption (according to a government study). Unopened food waste happens at supermarkets, restaurants, cafeterias and home kitchens. For every citizen of modern America a pound of perfectly edible food is thrown out every day. That means 30 million tons of food is wasted each year (according to the EPA). Donating excess food to Civic Cooperatives is SCOD, because it may sustain civilization in your area a bit longer against hordes of starving ex-consumer victims of the perpetual Recession/Terror-War!

Frederick City Soup Kitchen

Feeding Those In Need

Free Food in Frederick, Maryland

Frederick Community Action Agency
100 South Market Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701
301-600-1506

Food Donations:

Frederick Soup Kitchen accepts FOOD donations (including bread): The building is open Monday-Friday 8-4 and Monday and Wednesday evenings 6-9pm; but 24/7 drop off on loading dock.

Soup Kitchen Operation:

The Soup Kitchen Program provides a full evening meal, seven nights a week from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to anyone in need of a hot, nutritious meal. Most of the men, women and children using the Soup Kitchen are homeless, but some are very low-income renters (including senior citizens) who come to the FCAA for a free meal in order to help make ends meet. The Soup Kitchen Program has been in continuous operation by the Frederick Community Action Agency (FCAA) since 1984. Volunteers are needed Monday through Friday from approximately 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to set-up and serve meals (we have a paid cook during the week) and then to clean up the dishes and kitchen area after the meal is finished. Groups of volunteers (e.g., religious institutions, civic groups, companies, and other organizations) are used to staff the Community Kitchen on weekends (Saturdays and Sunday) and on major holidays. Groups are responsible for cooking, serving and cleaning-up after the evening meal.

Directions:

Route 355 (Market Street); bear left onto Market Street and turn right at the fourth traffic light onto East All Saints Street. The Frederick Community Action Agency is located at the corner of East All Saints and South Market Streets. one block before Carroll Creek intersects Market Str.

Just pull into the parking lot and the loading dock is on the right.

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Additionally:

Foodbank Program

The Foodbank Program operated by the Frederick Community Action Agency (FCAA) provides a 3- to 5-day supply of food to families and individuals who are facing an economic crisis and cannot afford to buy their groceries. The FCAA Foodbank serves between 300 to 400 households each month ranging from very low-income families who use the foodbank on a regular basis to moderate-income families who are facing a financial crisis and need food assistance. Volunteers are needed to: 1) sort food and re-stock the foodbank shelves; 2) hand-out groceries to families using the foodbank; 3) perform data entry on the computer system to track the number of families using the foodbank; and 4) perform light maintenance around the foodbank (e.g., wiping down shelves, recycling cardboard boxes, etc.).

 

* information from website and email from Coordinator Sarah McAleavy

Trainor Poems: Flame Daggers

Posted in Poems, Rhymes, Riddles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by Drogo

1:
They burn brightly when close
Their bodies casts shadows and each is eclipsed
Both fail to act and plan to act again tomorrow
Wearing smiles like makeup but not getting too close
To avoid the wrinkles and their rightful focus
Broken promises have become currency
Words now light and meaningless
unless sharpened and used as intimate daggers
Intent to invent reasons to destroy us
Without understanding how deeply connected
Alone they cannot sever the soul tendrils
That will pain them forever

2:
Thoughts spark and memory burns
Cloaked as smoke the past escapes
Returning to the chamber of conception
I try to remember what it was
Replete with emptiness new and old
Yesterday is homeless and emotion is gravity
Folding in on itself like a star
Back to the confinement of cells
Whatever it is I feel it in my arms

– The Trainor