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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Health, Housing, and Public Services
UN Special Report on Poverty in SF, LA & Rest of USA
The initial report of the UN monitor on human rights standards in the USA has been published describing the horrors of life in San Francisco, Los Angeles and the rest of the USA for the 41 million people who officially live in poverty, including the 9 million with ZERO cash income.
The detailed interviews and photos are found at:
“A Journey Through A Land Of Extreme Poverty: Welcome To America” by Ed Pilkington, 12/15/17 at
This MUST-READ report comes just after 8 years of a Democratic Party president who in his first 2 years had a Congress with both houses in the same party as he is, and before the end of 1 year of a Republican Party president who is about to unleash the most vicious attack on all gains of the workingclass since 1932 with his tax bill for the rich, destroying Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all anti-poverty programs.
As to San Francisco and Los Angeles, both cities have had Democratic Party administrations for decades, since before the homeless crisis started under Democratic President Carter in 1980. While Los Angeles had a Republican, Richard Riordan, for mayor 1993-2001, the others since 1980 were Democrats and San Francisco has not had a Republican mayor since George Christopher’s last year in office in 1964. Both cities have a lot of empty housing units that could be taken over by right of eminent domain, and both spend a fortune on the police to harass the homeless. In San Francisco, the police budget is $583 million, more than enough to house the homeless at public expense, and provide all the healthcare and job training they need. San Francisco has 147,400 millionaires and 26 billionaires who can and should pay to house the homeless. Los Angeles has 16,507 millionaires and 22 billionaires with surrounding counties having more millionaires. See https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2017/02/21/where-the-los-angeles-millionaires-are-located.html
We have had a Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, since January 2011, who has refused to provide public financing for affordable housing for the workingclass, the 80% of Americans who sell our labor for less than $80,000 a year, and refuses to exercise the state’s right of eminent domain to take over all empty housing units to permanently house the homeless at taxpayer expense. The California Legislature has had a Democratic Party majority in both houses since 1997, and most of the time since 1959, so this Democratic Party governor can easily obtain legislation to permanently house the homeless instead of building prisons, and increase the progressive income tax on the rich, the 663,000 millionaire households including 124 billionaires in California to pay for affordable housing for all, including paying to house all homeless regardless of income.
There are another 120 million people, who along with the 41 million in official poverty, also live in poverty since they cannot provide $2,000 for an emergency within 30 days. Some 80% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, including the 50% in poverty.
As to the entire homeless crisis, which could easily be solved by public financing of all housing, instead of financing the war machine and/or simply taking over the millions of empty housing units by right of eminent domain and house the homeless at taxpayer expense, and provide them with free healthcare including drug treatment programs if needed, job training for all those under age 50 or a full pension for those over age 50, plus a paycheck from the taxpayers to meet all monthly expenses until they get a decent paying job.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and Republicans together just gave Republican Trump $700 billion for the war machine, more than he asked for. WE CANNOT HAVE GUNS AND BUTTER. Democrat Obama gave $1 trillion a year to the war machine. Further,
We remember from 1995 to 2011, HUD (public housing authority) dismantled 290,588 units of public housing and 360,000 Section 8 units (2009 to 2011 Democrat Obama);
We remember from 1996 to 2017 HUD (public housing) funding for new public housing units has been ZERO since 1996 (2009 to 2016 Democrat Obama);
We remember 2010-2016 HUD (public housing) housing and community development funding fell $4.6 billion or 8.7% since 2010 (adjusted for inflation) (Democrat Obama);
We remember the 2011 Budget Control Act requiring a mandatory cap on government spending annually until 2021 in its sequestration process; (Democrat Obama)
We remember a decline in life expectancy in 2015 for the first time in 20 years due to increased poverty, despite 8 years of Democrat Obama being in office (See https://www.liberationnews.org/u-s-life-expectancy-falls-for-first-time-in-20-years-as-inequality-rises/ and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db267.htm);
We remember Democrat Obama cut auto workers’ wages in half during the takeover of the bankrupt General Motors in 2009 (See http://labornotes.org/2010/10/uaw-members-protest-50-wage-cut-gm-plant-demand-vote, https://socialistworker.org/2009/06/02/a-giant-falls-and-workers-pay);
We remember Democrat Obama cut $8.7 billion in food stamp funding in the 2014 Farm Bill: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-signs-food-stamp-cut;
We remember Democrat Obama bailed out Wall Street but not Main Street: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104 and http://www.commondreams.org/news/2009/12/13/obamas-big-sellout-president-has-packed-his-economic-team-wall-street-insiders;
We remember Democrat Obama froze federal worker wages from 2011 through 2013 and came up with a paltry 2.1% raise in 2016: http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2017/01/obamas-track-record-federal-pay-and-benefits/134485/
Only the socialist and Green parties on the ballot can abolish poverty. Socialist parties, such as Peace & Freedom Party in California, are on the ballot in many states, and the Green Party is on the ballot on 45 states plus DC, and often is a write-in party in other states for the presidential election. All of these parties are growing as the Democrat-Republicans together would rather pay for the military, but not affordable housing, socialized medicine, free education from preschool through university, free public transportation and all other necessities of the workingclass. You can register online at: https://covr.sos.ca.gov/?language=en-US
For more information, see