America is not based on hard work. Get it out of your head that this society is set up to be fair. Fair would be everyone with a roof over their head.
By Lee Camp
Special to Consortium News
Congress’s inability to actually represent the real-live human beings of America, combined with an economic system that rewards lack of empathy and an excess of greed, has brought us to a dark time when an oncoming tsunami of financial ruin, destitution and evictions towers over our heads, blocking out the sunlight.
The impending evictions may soon kick 28 million people/families out of their homes. To put that in perspective, only ten million people lost their homes during the 2008 economic crisis, and that was considered by anyone paying attention to be the craziest thing to ever happen.
What we’re facing now could be three times crazier, getting to Charlie Sheen levels. (I almost wrote “Kanye West levels” but everything he does is in hopes of being mentioned in the media, and I’m not falling for it. …Shit. This parenthetical has betrayed me!)
To talk about the impending homelessness tsunami, we have to first get past the fact that our government could totally bail people out and keep them in their homes. Not only have they already bailed out big banks and Wall Street to the tune of $4.25 Trillion, but on top of that the Pentagon has over $21 Trillion of unaccounted-for adjustments on their books over the past 20 years. This is to say – there’s plenty of money.
Money is an idea, a concept, an imaginary metaphysical belief, and it’s high time we faced the fact that the U.S. government has an unlimited imagination. As philosopher Alan Watts once put it: Money is not a thing, it’s a measurement. Saying there’s not enough money to do something is like a builder saying there’s not enough inches to build a house. He has the wood, nails and hammers. He’s just out of inches.
The U.S. government could easily give every American $2,000 a month for the foreseeable future, which would keep almost everybody in their homes and apartments. In fact, Canada has opted to give $2,000 a month to those who lost work because of the pandemic.
But ignore the fact that there’s enough money. That’s not what we’re here to discuss.
There are also enough empty homes. As of 2018, there were nearly 1.5 million vacant homes in the country. Compare that to the estimated 553,742 people homeless on any given night. So even before the pandemic, there were three empty houses for every homeless person. Three. That’s not even accounting for empty apartments, yachts, sheds, extra bedrooms, garages, condos, cubbyholes, attic spaces, basements, barns, pool houses, and walk-in refrigerators […]