Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Homeless Encampments Growing in a Supposedly Health Economy

This summer, on my way down Route 40 into the heart of Baltimore city, I’ve noticed a little homeless encampment of maybe seven tents that never used to be there.

They’re pretty much permanently parked too. Out for all to see, they maybe move once every month or two when – I assume – they’re told to pack it up and vacate public property. But give it a day or two, and they’re right back there all over again.

Then, this morning, I stumbled onto an article on Zero Hedge, which says:

“Just like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day.”

Moreover, “it isn’t just adults that we are talking about. It has been reported that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60% since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.”

And here’s what I felt to be the real kicker: “Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale, things have just continued to deteriorate.”

The reason why I found that particularly profound was because of what I addressed in yesterday’s article: I watch the stock market for my 9-5. And what it’s telling me is that the rich with their investment portfolios and the shrinking middle class with their 401(k)s, whatever those are worth, are completely dependent right now on the Federal government’s heavy-handed interference in the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep national interest rates near zero.

As for the growing numbers of poor Americans? They’re apparently not worth any serious attention from our policymakers.

None of this is any indication of a sign of a healthy economy. It doesn’t point to a 4.9% unemployment rate either. And it’s certainly not a sign of successful policies coming from our leaders.

What it is? It’s pathetic. And so is our government.

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