Is that a fair characterization of downtown “occupy” sites? Washington D.C.’s Department of Health Director, himself an immigrant from Pakistan, seems to think so:
Akhter, who is originally from Pakistan and has worked for the District government for over 20 years, said that the situation in the two parks is reminiscent of refugee camps he has toured overseas in the Middle East and Africa during his public health career. He said he fears disaster could strike during a severe winter storm.
“Going down to these camps, it’s no different than refugee camps,” Akhter said. “People are living in very primitive conditions and they’re doing it by choice. They are very brave and thoughtful people, but my concern is that they should also take care of themselves. When the weather goes bad suddenly we’re watching a tragedy unfold in the middle of Washington, D.C. ”
I question how much “choice” there really is for many of them. Millions of people have been made functionally homeless because of foreclosures. It must be difficult for a Pakistani immigrant to imagine that he escaped those kinds of conditions in the middle east only to find them springing up in the land of milk and honey.
But that’s where we are.
…to simply and frankly face what a disaster this is.
It’s good that CNN is highlighting a few anecdotes like this. They put their spin on it, of course, the only one they know: seeing the whole thing in political terms with a slightly Marxist tilt.
Yet this is a social failure on many levels. “Income inequality” may indeed be the bottom line, but where does that income inequality come from?
It is fundamentally a function of the monetary system, in which economic power belongs primarily to lenders, and secondarily to borrowers, which may sound paradoxical but really isn’t.
The relatively powerless? Earners. The people who put in more than they take out. The monetary system has so distorted the economy, not to mention the minds and hearts of people, that we no longer recognize true earners even when they are right in front of us, and we routinely impoverish them while we further enrich and empower lenders and borrowers, who are in fact economically destructive leeches by comparison.
And then we wonder why our communities, and indeed the nation itself, are falling apart.
The prospects of the United States will improve when the Bryants’ financial situation improves, and the financial fortunes of Victor Tobin are reversed – and not before.