Aside

The ultra-liberal “Friends of Labor” Democrats in Berkeley, California are attacking the homeless… again!

Why do we need to “DUMP THE DEMOCRATS” and build a workers party?  Every passing hour brings us more examples of why it is absolutely imperative that the working class shake off the cloud of apathy and confusion that is buzzing around our heads and get started building our OWN political party to smash the continual attacks against us being led by both pro-capitalist political parties here in the US – and increasingly, by the Democrats, the so-called “Friends of Labor”!

The latest example I’ve come across is brought to you courtesy of “POOR Magazine”, an excellent, radical-left online publication originally created by a homeless woman and her daughter, who heroically seized control of a small piece of the Internet and have wielded it as a club against those who dare to abuse the homeless and poor.  The activists at POOR are writing and producing videos exposing the crimes of the capitalist class daily being committed against poor folks in the US.  POOR Magazine [http://www.poormagazine.org/magazine] takes up the cause of their fellow homeless citizens and poor people in and around the Bay Area, especially Oakland and San Francisco, CA.

In the June issue of “POOR”, we read about the current conspiracy against the poor and homeless in the Democratic, liberal bastion of Berkeley, CA, whose Democrat Mayor, Tom Bates, is braintrusting a scheme to outlaw – yes, outlaw – “sitting on the sidewalk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.”… only in all the  business districts of course.

This pro-capitalist, Democratic PIG and his Shitty… I mean “City” Council plan to gradually, humanely impose this outrageous theft of the public space from the citizenry in the name of the same bogus “Quality of Life” argument made by arch-scumbag Republican Rudolph Giuliani when he was Mayor of New York City in the 1990s.

You can read homeless-hating Democratic Mayor Bates’ memo to the Berkeley City Council here:

[http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Clerk/Level_3_-_City_Council/2012/06Jun/2012-06-12_Item_47_Civil_Sidewalks_Ballot_Measure.pdf]

Couched in that sensitive, oh, so liberal, and oh so VICIOUS language preferred by the “Friends of Labor”, Bates’ memo is a monument to Orwellian doublespeak, in which a mailed fist is hidden by what appears, on the face of it, to be a soft, warm, cozy velvet glove.  In fact, the press release is cheerily entitled: “NUMBER OF CHRONICALLY HOMELESS IN BERKELEY DECREASES BY HALF”… but the Devil, as they say, is in the details, as we shall soon see.

First of all, Democratic Mayor Tom Bates calls his proposal the “Civil Sidewalks Measure”.  You see, the presence of homeless people – who are impoverished due to the inescapable basic daily “normal” functioning of the capitalist system even when the economy is “good” – make the sidewalks “uncivil” by their mere on them.  Mayor Bates cites the following “uncivil” behaviors of the homeless: “public drunkenness, open alcohol containers, public urination/defecation, lodging in public and aggressive panhandling”!

Well, I guess if you’re a rich Berkeleyite and you can afford a taxi home to your condo with the upside-down mortgage, you can go out on Saturday night to a trendy singles bar and get ****faced drunk in public and then stagger out to the cab stand and get your sorry *** home to shit, puke and urinate to your hearts content, that’s OK.  If you’re homeless, however, and the “city fathers” refuse to provide you with a HOME to go to, where you can drink and have fun, then you get to go to jail, because your mere presence on the streets with an open container of alcohol is “uncivilizing”.

The “crime” of “public urination/defecation” could be easily solved by providing free public toilets – which would be helpful to everyone, not just to the homeless people who need them most.  This simple truth should be obvious even to a Democrat.  But if you’ve been thrown out of your HOME because you lost your job and don’t have a HOME to go to when you need to fulfill nature’s call, and none of these snotty business people will let you use their toilets because you are not “civilized” enough for their refined tastes, then what the hell are you supposed to do?  Shit in your pants?

To a liberal Democrat, spending tax dollars to provide HOUSING and TOILETS for HOMELESS people is, literally, a concept more alien than the idea of mining asteroids for their mineral content.  [This has actually been proposed by big-time Democrat Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.  We’re not kidding!  [http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/26/company-plans-to-mine-asteroids-orbiting-near-the-earth/ – IWPCHI]

Under a government run by the “civilized” working class, instead of by the greedy “uncivilized” capitalist class, it would be legal to sit on the sidewalks – in the business districts or anywhere else.  However, IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL TO DENY A HUMAN BEING HOUSING!  A workers government would simply maintain lists of all available housing in every city, village and town in the country; and whenever a person needed a home, we would ask them how many people they needed to house and then provide a list of all the available housing in the area that fit those criteria.  Then we would provide them, if they needed it, with transportation to take them around to look at the properties until they found one they liked.  Then they could let the housing service know which one they wanted, and they could immediately move in.  Any necessary paperwork, if needed, could be taken care of later.  For folks who needed mental health or substance abuse programs, they would be evaluated for their needs and that service would be provided to them automatically as part of the housing program.  All the human services departments would have overlapping fields of responsibility, so that, ideally, no one would fall through the “social safety net” as they do now by the millions.  In fact, we wouldn’t have a net;  it would be more like a pillow or something, or a catcher’s mitt.  “Homeless problem” solved!  Easy, huh?

Under capitalism, where all property is held by private persons or corporations (oh, I forgot: those are “persons”, too!), this simple solution to the homeless question is quite impossible.  To pretend that you will “solve” the “homeless problem” under the capitalist system is to delude yourself and to lie to everyone else.  Homelessness and poverty are caused by joblessness, which is endemic to the capitalist system; the capitalist system does not function without a reserve population of unemployed people, who help the capitalist class to keep down wages, thereby maintaining their sacred profit margins.  So the lying pro-capitalist politicians of every reformist hue – liberal Democrat, Social-Democrat, “moderate” or Libertarian – have to twist themselves into a pretzel trying to justify driving the homeless people out of town while making it look like they are “helping” “solve” the homeless “problem”.  The problem isn’t homelessness – it’s the capitalist system itself.  That’s why the Independent Workers Party intends to gradually abolish the capitalist system and replace it with a rationally, democratically planned economy.  That is the only real way to “solve” the “problems” of homeless, poverty and unemployment.

According the Democrat-run City of Berkeley website, the current population of homeless people has been on the decline, thanks to the Democrats’ increasingly aggressive efforts to make the homeless feel unwelcome in Berkeley.  [http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/PressReleaseMain.aspx?id=41902]

They make no attempt to explain how these numbers have decreased.  Where did all these homeless people go?  Did they get awesome jobs and start paying rent for apartments?  Did they win the lottery?  The website pretends not to know, but in reality, these “Friends of Labor” do not care what happened to the strangely “vanished” homeless: all they know is that they are gone somewhere else – that is all that matters.

The Democratic Party-led City Council of Berkeley is being asked to support a proposed $0.25 increase in parking meter charges in order to raise one million dollars to provide services to the homeless population.  Now, it’s hard to actually deduce from the Berkeley City Council’s feel-good press release about the 48% decline in the homeless population the actual number of people who remain homeless in Democratic Party Paradise, but let’s try to parse this thing.

At the end of their happy article about the “48% decline” in the “chronically homeless” population of Berkeley, we see that, in fact there has been discovered a new category of homeless living in town: the “hidden” homeless!  And their numbers have risen by 1000%!  Oops!  Better reschedule the “Victory Over Homelessness” celebration at Democratic Party Headquarters!

They say in their press release that the population of “chronically homeless” has declined from 529 to 276; a decrease of 253, or 48%.  But this same press release states that the number of “homeless adults with dependent children” INCREASED from 94 to 125; an increase of 31 people.  Then you also have this strange, enormous increase in the category of “hidden homeless”, from 14 to 144… an increase of 130.  Add up all these increases and you get a total of 161.  So, it looks like what actually happened here is that there was an unexplained decrease in the overall homeless population of just 92 people (253 minus 161 = 92)… and the rest just moved into these other categories.  So the actual decrease in the total homeless population in Berkeley was something like 7%, not 48%.

According to the Democratic Mayor’s self-congratulatory press release, Berkeley’s got 276 “chronically homeless”… plus 680 “living on the streets, in shelters, or in transitional housing programs”… oh, and an INCREASE in the “literally homeless adults with dependent children” [as opposed to “not literally homeless?? – IWPCHI] category to 125 (including both adults and children)… and then 144 “hidden homeless”.  That’s a total of 1225 human beings who – despite all the Herculean efforts of the entire City of Berkeley and all its wonderful businesspeople who are doing everything they can to stamp out homelessness with a whole slew of programs designed to do just that – are still homeless!  And for just a $0.25 increase in the parking meter fees, those people can all get homes!  It’ll cost just a million dollars!  Woo Hoo!

Uh, wait a minute… let’s do some more math. $1,000,000.00 divided by 1225 equals… $816.326530 per person… and this $816.00 per person PER YEAR will provide – not actual HOMES, but just “social service, outreach and support programs aimed at helping individuals secure housing and services…”?

You can see very plainly here that, once again, the “Friends of the Poor”, the “Friends of Labor” have been caught lying through their teeth.  Because there is no way that one adult could be housed for just $816 a year in Berkeley, where (according to the “My New Place” website, which provides basic cost data to prospective renters) the average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment is $1450.00!  Never mind utilities… never mind all those “social services” that the Democrats in Berkeley pretend that they’ll be able to provide their growing homeless population at a cost of merely $1 million a year!  So let’s just spend the million on “services”, i.e. give it to private charities ‘for the homeless”, where the majority of the money will go into the pockets of a handful of the “Friends of the Democrats” who run these charities.  How many of them are friends and relatives of the Democratic Mayor and his cronies in the Berkeley City Council?  We don’t have to live in Berkeley to know how this kind of “charity” works; we see it all over the place, wherever the Democrats are running any city government.   “Charity begins at home” as the saying goes; and no one puts that old truism to work like the Democrats!

What a bunch of liars the Democrats are!  Don’t tell us how much worse the Republicans are;  that means nothing – we know the Republicans are even worse.  The problem is that you claim that we should support the Democrats because they are the “lesser of two evils” – but that still makes them “evil”, doesn’t it?  Voting for them is like voting for wolves because you’re more scared of the grizzly bears.  We can do a whole lot better than supporting the union-smashing, homeless-hating capitalisim-loving Democrats by building our own working class party that will not be “evil” to anyone, except the greedheads in the capitalist class, who own both the Democratic and Republican parties – lock, stock and barrel.

And think for a minute: if the Democrats in that famous left-wing liberal bastion of all things wonderful about life in the US – Berkeley, California – are a bunch of lying sacks of shit, what do you think is the case with the Democrats in New York, or Chicago, or Detroit?

IWPCHI

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