Homeless in Paradise
America, Land of 371 Billionaires and 3.5 Million Homeless
By Stephen Fleishman
In the United States of America, the greatest country in the
world, as many as three and a half million people experience
homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire US population or
10% of its poor) and of that, 1.37 million (or 39%) are children
under the age of 18.
The total number of billionaires in the world is 793 with 371 of
them being in the United States of America, that's about 322
more than there were 20 years ago.
If it can be said that people with money and power run the
world, then 1% of America's wealthiest and most powerful run
America behind a fašade of democracy. The fašade is coming apart
and the true nature of this government is plain to see.
After four years of a useless war, costing Americans their lives
and treasury, and enriching the multitude of corporate entities
slurping up billions at the Iraqi trough, we have allowed the
new robber barons, Bush and his crony capitalist friends to
continue conning us out of house and home, our country. Our
constitution is in shreds and our economy is about to crash.
Don't let any of the Wall Street freaks try to fool you. They're
as scared as we are.
What happens when an economic system reaches the end of its
days; when purchasing power dries up and workers can no longer
buy the products they produce?
When Capitalism still had some vigor, Henry Ford said he would
price his cars so that his workers could afford to buy them.
Do you find that kind of insight in Corporate America today? Not
on your life! First, they break the unions and then they
outsource their high-paying manufacturing jobs. It's a race to
the bottom. Go to wherever the lowest wages can be found. All we
get to hear is that giant sucking sound that Ross Perot talked
about when he was running for president American good paying
jobs and manufacturing plants leaving the country. Let's call it
"globalization". Some economists, like Milton Friedman, seem to
think it's a good thing.
I hate to sound like an old-time Trotskyite, but I'm beginning
to believe now that our political and economic system will have
to get worse, before it can get better. We're going to have to
take some "shock and awe" in this country to knock some of the
lethargy out of our citizens, brainwashed by the corporate
media. And it's not just the media. The almost deliberate act of
dumbing down the populous has been built into the fabric of
society"from public education to academia to computer games to
radio and television talk shows. To keep the sheep compliant, I
When was the last time you heard the labor theories of value or
the theory of surplus value discussed anywhere in the public
media? They'd rather give us Brittany Spears and O.J. Simpson.
You wouldn't know, from what you learned in school or read in
the papers, that Franklin D Roosevelt, when he became president
in the depth of the depression in 1933, saved capitalism by
providing a "safety net" for the millions of destitute
Americans. He did it with the NRA, WPA. TWA, CCC, AAA, Social
Security and other "socialist-like" programs such as Aid to
Families with Dependent Children.
So where have all the alphabets gone"along with the flowers of
the "new left" of the 1960s? We thought they'd re-descend in the
1990s, but they haven't shown up yet.
So I think it's a matter of taking matters into our own hands.
We have a line-up of presidential candidates, Republicans and
Democrats, most of them in the pockets of corporate interests,
who will take us back to the same old stand, except, perhaps for
Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich. But they have
already been ruled out of the running because they have
something helpful to say to the American people. Not allowed.
Now, Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has just announced that he
will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran. Isn't that
courageous! Doesn't Joe have enough evidence of high crimes and
misdemeanors right now and hasn't he had them for the last three
or four years; enough to move those proceedings from the Senate
which he can't because impeachment must originate in the House
of Representatives? Joe must know that. But he needs something
to grandstand on while running for president. This is typical of
the kind of tactics candidates like to use in futzing with the
minds of the voters.
It appears that our system is heading into the perfect storm.
With the sub-prime mortgage disaster, a dismal forecast in
consumer spending, the maxing out of credit cards and the Fed
fighting the credit crunch, can a recession be far behind? We
might be lucky if it's only a recession. We could get the kind
of economic collapse that would make the last depression look
like a tea party. With friends like China, who needs enemies?
We've fought this Iraqi war (which we're still fighting) on the
cuff"about two trillion dollars worth. China, a prime creditor,
could call in some of this debt if they wanted to be mean.
Bush would like to get our minds off Iraq by attacking Iran.
That way, he could get one more war under his belt. Go get him,
Meanwhile, we wander around aimlessly, homeless in paradise,
waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Stephen Fleischman, television writer-director-producer, spent
thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC, starting in 1953.
In 1959, he participated in the formation of the renowned
Murrow-Friendly "CBS Reports" series. In 1983, Fleischman won
the prestigious Columbia University-DuPont Television Journalism
Award. In 2004, he wrote his memoir. See: http://www.ARedintheHouse.com/,
Click on "comments" below to read or post comments
Be succinct, constructive and
relevant to the story.
We encourage engaging, diverse
and meaningful commentary. Do not include
personal information such as names, addresses,
phone numbers and emails. Comments falling
outside our guidelines – those including
personal attacks and profanity – are not
See our complete
use this link to notify us if you have concerns
about a comment.
We’ll promptly review and remove any
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)