Americas Hidden Shame: Tent Cities
By David Noble
The idea of living out of a tent, especially in the winter months would be unthinkable to most Americans. Yet for many this has become a reality with the tent city phenomenon that is happening across America. The loss of millions of jobs which have been shipped overseas and the business-crushing regulations has resulted in the longest extended period of unemployment in the United States since the Great Depression. While the government claims that unemployment was 8.8% in March of 2011 a truer figure could be nearer 20% if not above.
More than one million U.S. homes were repossessed by the banks in 2010 as many struggled with job losses. Things are not looking any better this year with five million borrowers at least two months behind on their mortgages already. The sad fact is that while the American people are not only having to pay the price for bailing out the banks, they are also having to contend with tougher credit conditions, high unemployment and falling home values. It says a lot for those in power that they seem more interested in fighting wars overseas than fixing the many problems that exist on their own doorstep.
Decades of Government Debt and Mismanagement of the Economy has resulted in the growth of these tent cities. Try to imagine experiencing the soul-crushing despair that comes from being forced to live out of a tent through no fault of your own. Having to endure living in cramped conditions with no air conditioning in the summer months, along with the even greater problems of winter. Finding work also becomes harder when you have no fixed address. The hopelessness of feeling trapped in the hellish existence they are being forced to endure is nearly unimaginable.
History will judge us on how we treat those who are the most vulnerable. It is easy to say it is their own fault that they have lost everything when you have a good job and a comfortable bed to sleep in at night. Ask yourself this, what happens if you become one of those unemployed, if you find your bank less than sympathetic to your plight. Would you be so quick to judge yourself or a loved one if they found themselves in this position? Many of those who are now living in these tent cities had good jobs and nice houses. We cannot turn our backs on these people or pretend they don’t exist. These tent cities may look unsightly but remember before complaining to the authorities that they should be moved, one day it might be you in their position. The only difference between you and them is that you still have something to lose.
What they need are jobs and a chance to get back on their feet. This can only happen when those that run this once great nation take measures to stop the shipping of jobs overseas and start investing in jobs for Americans. While moving manufacturing overseas seems like a smart business decision, paying little to no taxes and taking advantage of cheap foreign labour. The cost is a broken economy and high unemployment that will be difficult if not impossible to fix.
David Noble is a political activist who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife. They are co-founders of the Edinburgh chapter of We Are Change. He is now a freelance journalist whose work has been published in the Sovereign Independent and picked up by many online news sites such as JimCorr.com, Real News Reporter, and Northland New Zealand Chentrails Watch, to name a few. In his thought provoking articles he focuses on exposing the controlling elite along with their puppet politicians and their corrupt political agendas.