Capitalism is the state religion of sociopaths
Capitalism is why there are six empty houses in this country for every homeless person but thousands still freeze to death. Capitalism is why we waste 40 percent of our food while children die of starvation. Capitalism is why 200 species went extinct today. Capitalism is why we’re all going to war for oil under the North Pole. Capitalism is why your kid is going to die in a water riot.
- Holly Wood
Around 600,000 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Meanwhile, Tanuka Loha, then-director of Amnesty’s Demand Dignity program, pointed out that "there are 18.5 million vacant homes in the country.”
“Homes are built for people to live in, if they’re not being lived in then something has gone seriously wrong with the housing market.”
- David Ireland, chief executive of the Empty Homes charity
According to capitalism, there's nothing wrong with the market. Things are functioning exactly as they should. In other words, people are supposed to be homeless while homes sit empty.
Back in the U.S., another report last year highlighted the 77,000 empty government buildings that could be refitted to house the homeless....In October, the Atlantic reported that activists in Baltimore are pressuring lawmakers to house that city’s 30,000 homeless in its estimated 16,000 empty homes. “Clearly there’s a moral crisis when you see so many people in need of homes and there’s such a glut of vacant ones,” said Rachel Kutler, an organizer with United Workers.
The problem isn't that it doesn't make economic sense to house the homeless. The problem is that housing the homeless doesn't generate a profit, and without a profit capitalism doesn't care.
For example, in Dallas 40% of home sales didn't go to owner occupants.
Nationwide, 30 percent of homes were bought by investors and vacation home buyers—1.14 million investment properties and 721,000 vacation homes.
Food, like housing, obeys the rules of capitalism.
Americans toss about 40 percent of their food. Meanwhile, nearly 50 million Americans don't know where their next meal will come from.
...Stanley believes that dealing more effectively with food comes down to shifting the way food is perceived.
“Culturally... we need a reframe on how we look at food. On how we value food. It’s not just a commodity, it’s not just something that we’re producing, it’s not just something that we’re importing and exporting. We talk so much about food being a right, not a privilege, people having access to healthy food. I think we’re seeing the consequences of that not happening in extreme ways.”
Capitalism strongly disagrees.
Food, like housing and health care, is a privilege. Only profits are a right.
Don't believe me? Just check out your local laws.
The National Coalition for the Homeless counted more than 70 cities in the U.S. that have or were considering laws restricting the sharing of food with homeless people. McHenry says that some cities–the latest being Phoenix–are working with consultants who claim that “street feeding” programs perpetuate the cycle of homelessness. Robert Marbut, one such consultant based in San Antonio who’s worked with cities like Fresno, California, and St. Petersburg, Florida, told NPR in 2014 that access to free outdoor meals is “very unproductive, very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs.”
It's interesting how "serious people" apply the same behavioral traits to homeless people that you would to feral cats. (aka "if you keep feeding that mangy animal it'll keep coming back".)
Well, that's not true. No one will throw you into jail for feeding a feral cat.
For the past year, the Jimenezes have set up shop every Wednesday on Manatee Island in Daytona Beach, Fla., where they feed hot dogs, chicken, pasta salad and other BBQ staples to about 100 homeless people, WFTV reported. Handing out meals is just one aspect of the ministry the two founded, Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word, to help people living in poverty.
But on Wednesday, the Jimenezes said that without warning, they and four other volunteers were accosted by police, fined and told that they could be thrown in jail if they continue their program, according to NBC News.
Just imagine how different things would be if you could make a profit for feeding the homeless.
Not only would it be legal, there would be tax credits, public/private partnerships, and you could follow it all on Bloomberg TV. Alas, there is no profit from doing the right thing.