Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 7 (8 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   16 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Mean Country

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 11   Valuable 4   Well Said 3  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H1 10/2/09

Become a Fan
  (89 fans)
- Advertisement -
Last winter I wrote a story about the number of people who were dying in house fires after having their utilities turned off. I began to do some research on the growing numbers of tent cities springing up across America. How, I wondered, will these people deal with the coming months of winter cold?

But, as I find is so often the case, I start off on one story and end up doing another. Officially there are over fourteen million unemployed in America. That is the official number that the politicians will own up to; in actuality the number could be as high as twenty million.

I have been unemployed myself for well over a year. I have twenty years of management experience, and I have a great track record with a proven record for results. However, I am over fifty years old and to prospective employers that is the kiss of death. They perceive you as about to keel over from a heart attack at any moment.

There are very few jobs to be had; the department of labor reports six people looking for every one job available. Because of the economy I became homeless and now live in a garage. I am not an alcoholic, and I'm not hooked on drugs. I'm just unemployed.

So as I began to research the tent cities across the country, what surprised me, although it really shouldn't have, was the attitudes of my countrymen towards their fellow homeless Americans.

Several years ago I read a book about a woman who was a holocaust survivor. She described how she would drag out the dead bodies from the barracks in the morning so that she could have the corpse's clothing. She could then trade the clothing for extra food or necessities. She said something that has always stuck with me. "Many people gave up on life because this was a world where it was very easy to give up on life. When you gave up then you just died."

When you are homeless it is very easy to give up on life. Every activity is an uphill struggle, cooking food, doing laundry, looking for work, etc. The industry in which I worked has virtually ceased to exist. Many unemployed workers were employed in industries that have now ceased to exist. Their jobs and careers are gone, and yet the public sneers, "Get a job." They also offer up the following helpful solutions, direct quotes all.

"As others have said..does it really help the homeless by providing them with a free home? I bet not. There are other solutions. I notice that when I give things to my children it does not tend to make them more responsible.. Just the opposite."
- Advertisement -

"I don't know the actual number, but what, isn't it like 70-80 percent of all homeless people have drug/addiction problems? Even if it's less how is tent city doing anything but enabling this problem? I know this is more about tent cities in general but honestly giving someone a free place to live along with free meals is not really motivating them to change."

"The poverty pimps will not allow the homeless to be housed without 24/7 babysitting. Without the babysitting the homeless could move on with their live and thrive; NO MONEY IN THAT FOR THE POVERTY PIMPS!"

Homeless people are not children. For the most part they want the same things that any other citizen of this country wants.

In my two decades in management I have had to deal with employees with both drug and mental problems. Mental problems are sometimes masked by drug problems; just stopping the drugs does nothing to solve the emotional issues. It is not uncommon for a widower or a divorcee to struggle with depression and to then medicate themselves with drugs or alcohol. Why should it be so difficult to understand that a person who has lost everything they've owned and worked for to use the same treatment?

Many of these people have lost husbands, wives, and children. Why is it so hard to understand their pain? These people are not made of wood or stone; they are breakable. "Many people gave up on life because this was a world where it was very easy to give up on life."
- Advertisement -

"You don't have to go beyond the first page of a Google search for "homelessness and criminal behavior" to find several links to studies, which find much higher rates of drug use, crime, and mental illness among the chronically homeless. It's sad, but some people are truly beyond saving."

"I understand unemployment is up and some people have lost homes and need a hand to get back on their feet. These tent city's are not for these people. History shows that this is just a party camp for the homeless. Help the people who want to help themselves not the ones who just want a hand out to support their criminal activity."

What is truly sad is how these people tend to view crime. They worry about the homeless man who might steal their purse but don't give a thought to the corporate executives who might steal their pension. They want all drug abusers locked away in prison because they are beyond saving. Then they listen to and watch talk show hosts with long and chronic histories of drug abuse and bob their heads, agreeing in unison.

Next Page  1  |  2


I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hobo's Lullaby

100 Reasons for Revolution

Guns or Butter

Taken at the Flood

When will the Economy Collapse? You're Looking at It!

In this Country at Least, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
15 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Thank you, my friend, for your endeavor tounclothe... by Rafe Pilgrim on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 8:26:15 AM
Mahatma Gandhi, the founder of modern India who fr... by Eugene Elander on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 8:30:18 AM
Author Cox is dead right on all counts. His commen... by Larry Retzack on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 10:54:08 AM
Bravo! You have left me nearly speechless. I live ... by Carol Crown on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 11:12:12 AM
...this is an excellent piece. I have been devasta... by Jeannie Dean on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 12:41:49 PM
As soon as I read that the writer is living in som... by Roberta McNair on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 1:04:09 PM
That grace is present in anyone who offers a helpi... by Carol Crown on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 5:29:37 PM
If i lose my home for some reason, as a british pe... by Roy Madron on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 1:19:48 PM
It is my theory that until we ensure that the basi... by daveys on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 4:55:08 PM
a wife and political party swapping Ronald Reagan ... by Stanimal on Friday, Oct 2, 2009 at 10:46:40 PM
It was the hippies who suggested we try peace, lov... by Perry Logan on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 5:55:35 AM
About 60% of america's(no you don't deserve a capi... by Beth Lyles on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 6:28:33 AM
Yeah Dave...I was born and raised in the forties w... by Jim Calderwood on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 7:12:10 AM
Thank you for an editorial that reflects our inner... by sometimes blinded on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 11:38:09 AM
You stated, "So I've stopped worrying about the co... by shirley reese on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 2:08:23 PM
I have seen almost all of the quotes you have offe... by Terry Adcock on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 4:01:34 AM