Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tent Cities, another reality about this economy

Many of us, over the years have just turned a blind eye on homelessness. Now, with many Americans one pay check from the streets, the eye is not blind any longer. Tent Cities are popping up all over.

Like a dozen or so other cities across the nation, Fresno is dealing with an unhappy déjà vu: the arrival of modern-day Hoovervilles, illegal encampments of homeless people that are reminiscent, on a far smaller scale, of Depression-era shantytowns. At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”

I agree. No one should go to bed without a roof over their head, food in their stomach, a job to go to. This country is too wealthy for this, but the reality is that this country has been trending rich vs. poor for years now. Many Americans work harder for their money, while making much less. Inflation has hit the middle class and working class in this country hard. Food prices have shot up in grocery stores all over this country. There was a time that $50.00 could get you a lot for your money in the grocery store, now 100.00 hardly gets you two bags of groceries. And let us not even talk about college. College was pride and a show of elevation in the middle class that your child can go higher with better paying jobs in this country, now college is definitely for the haves (as in money to afford college) vs. the have nots (as in I want to go to college but it is too expensive).

Obama said three things on Tuesday night at his presser, we must tackle education, energy and health care. He is right. If we don't all these Tent Cities popping up it will not be astonishing, but become part of the norm in this country. And that is scary.


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