PDA

View Full Version : USA Today: Homelessness grows as more live check-to-check


zimv20
Aug 14, 2003, 10:00 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2003-08-11-homeless_x.htm


The Conference of Mayors found that 41% of the homeless are families with children, up from 34% in 2000. The Urban Institute reports about 23% of the homeless are children.


In New York, the number of homeless families jumped 40% from 1999 to 2002.

3rdpath
Aug 14, 2003, 02:05 PM
i find this statistic quite ominous:

Nearly a quarter of Americans would be late on mortgages, rent or other bills if a single paycheck were delayed, according to a 2003 poll by Automatic Data Processing.

anyone who truly thinks the economy is on the road to recovery isn't seeing the big picture. not that affluence and compassion are mutually exclusive...but i do think the country and it's priorities would be very different if more of the working class were making the economic decisions.

i had to laugh when i received my 400.00 refund check from the government yesterday...it had some silly slogan like " helping america's families" on it.

yea, 400.00 bones is really gonna change things...mere crumbs.:mad:

Desertrat
Aug 14, 2003, 04:21 PM
$400 beats a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

The last tax rebate deal, I got $8.00. Started to keep the check as a souvenir. :D No complaint, though; I've spent many a year setting up my financial structure to minimize my tax burden.

I watched the dot-com boom and the stock market bubble, and never really saw anything to it but a Las Vegas crapshoot. This country has been on a Saturday night binge for years, and it's now getting to be "Sunday Morning, Coming Down".

Folks have been spending their money as though job security was a sho-nuff given, in spite of all the warnings. Too many people seem to believe that "They're shipping all those jobs overseas (but not MINE)." And they've been racking up credit card charges as though they can do a second re-fi on their houses.

All this has been as obvious as a wart on the Pope's nose for several years, now. The single-paycheck thing is several years old; the only change is in the numbers.

This country is in deep financial doodoo. (We're not alone, if that helps any.) There ain't a danged thing the Congress or the Administration can do about it. Greenspan's expansion of the money supply has prevented a hard landing, yeah; but for how long will our creditors accept the funny money at face value? Government, itself, has no money except what it takes as taxes--and at some point nobody's gonna want our fiat paper.

I've watched all this, as I've said. Since way, way back I've had at least some six months overhead stashed away as my "zero balance". I've used debt as a working tool to do deals, but I've never had a credit card or personal loan balance I couldn't pay off in a couple or three months--and that, rarely.

Anybody else can do it. It doesn't take smarts. It just takes a bit of a cautious outlook about what the future might hold.

I haven't seen much sign of caution, though.

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 14, 2003, 05:30 PM
Hey, I've got an idea... Lets pass another massive tax cut! That'll fix things up right good.

Desertrat
Aug 14, 2003, 07:33 PM
For the majority of all taxpayers, federal income taxes are not the big problem. It's school, local and state taxes that are the biggest bite.

I "ran the numbers", one time. I hypothesized (as best I could) an "average" middle-middle economic class family. Fees, federal income tax, FICA, state sales tax, school taxes. For a $50,000/yr salary (Austin, Texas, ca 1990), it totalled out some 45% of gross income. Of this, only some 13% income tax and 7-ish% FICA payroll tax were federal; non-federal was then 25% of gross pay.

This latter number has grown tremendously during these last 30 or so years. Unfunded federal mandates don't help matters at all. It is in part the cause of working couples. Anyhow, that's why I pay little attention to noises about reducing the income tax rates...

'Rat

3rdpath
Aug 15, 2003, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
$400 beats a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

'Rat

well yes, and it beats being pecked to death by wild geese...

i just detest the way it's being portrayed as the solution to our fiscal problems( both individually and nationally).

i feel the best solution would be better monetary education starting in elementary schools and continuing thru graduation.

and then maybe the kids will teach their parents how to manage the sheckles...;)

Desertrat
Aug 15, 2003, 06:55 AM
Well, 3rdpath, first you gotta teach the little devils to make change. :D

Have you ever notice that no matter who's running things in an Administration, any economic announcement is touted as a Final Solution to all our monetary ills?

Bush' tax cut is a trivial amount, given the size of both the federal budget and the GDP. It's strictly a feel-good thing, but a good political tool come campaign time. The Republicans are wrong for touting it as seriously helpful to jumpstart the economy; the Democrats are wrong for touting it as an abortificant for mama cows.

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 15, 2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
For the majority of all taxpayers, federal income taxes are not the big problem. It's school, local and state taxes that are the biggest bite.

I "ran the numbers", one time. I hypothesized (as best I could) an "average" middle-middle economic class family. Fees, federal income tax, FICA, state sales tax, school taxes. For a $50,000/yr salary (Austin, Texas, ca 1990), it totalled out some 45% of gross income. Of this, only some 13% income tax and 7-ish% FICA payroll tax were federal; non-federal was then 25% of gross pay.

This latter number has grown tremendously during these last 30 or so years. Unfunded federal mandates don't help matters at all. It is in part the cause of working couples. Anyhow, that's why I pay little attention to noises about reducing the income tax rates...

'Rat

I was being sarcastic about the tax increase. The problems with homelessness are very complex, with some trying desperatly to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty, and others gladly using the system to skate through life. You can either ride the homeless out on a rail or you can be nice and try to help them. If you sweep them under the rug, you are an ass; yet if you help them they flock to you like the swallows to Capistrano. My hometown had major problems with homeless, partly because you can't really even rent there unless you are making $15 an hour, coupled with the fact that the city in general is very compassionate to the "residentially challenged". This has resulted in a large increase in the numbers of people living on the street, and increased street crime, drug use in public, agressive panhandling etc. Back before 1989 (and the large earthquake that devestated downtown Santa Cruz) the homeless population largely consisted of older homeless - chronic alcoholics, veterans, mentally ill thrown out on the street by Reagan. Now it's lots of hippy kids with nothing to do now that Jerry's dead, punks with heroin problems, and the large "homeless by choice" group that likes to play hackeysack more than work. Of course even if they work, they likely aren't making enough money to have a place to live anyway, so there's not a lot of hope among them. They should go somewhere where the cost of living is lower, but you can't force someone to leave a place like that... it's just not right.

And the people who genuinly need help get the shaft because of the miscreants.

Desertrat
Aug 15, 2003, 11:05 AM
Back before "urban renewal", panhandlers from the slums could at least survive, and have some sort of place to sleep. Gentrification really hit them a hard lick.

Then, the various lawsuits by the ACLU had the courts determine that those who were of no physical harm to others could not be held in insane asylums. Since many of these people could not hold down any worthwhile job, many of those with no family help wound up on the street.

Some have just flat-out been screwed by The System, through no fault of their own and hit on economic hard times.

And the dropouts, and the druggies.

One problem is lumping them all together as "The Homeless", without regard to the differences. Some can be helped back to independence; for others it's hopeless.

I'm in favor of public assistance to the unfortunate. But, somehow, the sleazoid lazies gotta be kept out. Dunno how.

'Rat

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 15, 2003, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
i feel the best solution would be better monetary education starting in elementary schools and continuing thru graduation.

i totally agree - i didn't take a financial mgt course until graduate school, and afterwards wondered why the hell i wasn't required to take one back in high school. all i had back then was one macroeconomics class, my last semester.