Mar 192015
 
 March 19, 2015  Posted by at 5:13 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,


Albert Freeman Mrs. Alice White at the War Fund Victory Store, Hardwick, VT 1942

On the day that Mario Draghi opened the ECB’s overly opulent new €1.3 billion palatial building(s) in Frankfurt, which led to fierce and fiery protests with hundreds arrested, amongst others from the Blockupy movement, and the IMF for some reason found it necessary to tell the eurozone that Greece is its most unhelpful client ever (really? let’s see the others) and to leak that finding to the press to boot, the Greek parliament voted in an anti-poverty law with a huge majority.

Oh, and it was also the day that a San Francisco church decided to dismantle an elaborate system of outdoor showerheads it had installed to get rid of those pesky homeless on its property. The showerheads would get the ‘rough sleepers’ soaking wet every hour or so. As one tweet said: “It’s what Jesus would do, right?” Anyway, enough protest was enough to get them backtracking.

I don’t know what the shower system cost, and who really cares, but I do know the price tag for the Greek law to help its poorest: €200 million. Or about 14% of what that one building cost (the EU has much more construction going on). Which, by the way, was announced as, I paraphrase and kid you not, “an example of what Europe is capable of”.

No comment there, I couldn’t have out it any better myself. One thing’s for sure: the building is not meant for the poor. There were thousands of cops at the opening alone to prevent them from entering. Cops paid for with taxpayer money, including that from the poor.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras labeled the new Greek law a “humanitarian crisis law”, and responded, when warned by the European Commission that Greece ‘should not act unilaterally’: “If they’re doing it to frighten us, the answer is – we will not be frightened.”

Still, EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici managed this: “We completely support the objective of helping those who are most vulnerable in Greek society; but there must be consultations on new measures. We have to be able to evaluate the budgetary impact.”

In other words, the Greeks no longer have the right to alleviate the misery of their poor. If it were up to Brussels, those poor now solely rely on people who find €1.3 billion palaces more important than them.

There must be consultations, which would take God knows how long, on a $200 million law aimed at relieving the worst misery for people that have been suffering for years INSIDE the same European Union that has the gall to build €1.3 billion palaces, and let their suffering continue as those consultations go on?

While at the same time there are negotiations going on over more than 500 times that amount in Greek bailouts, which only effectively helped global banks, especially in France and Germany, from facing their gambling debts?

We’ve not just lost Jesus, we’ve lost our way. That SF church has, the EU has, and most of us have too. We were never ‘blessed’ with some divine right to let people suffer, no matter who they are. There’s not a single religion I can think of that says it’s fine to do that, or even that you’re superior to your suffering brother or sister, so it can’t be a religious issue.

Therefore, I’m going to have to guess that it’s all down to sheer hubris, to people being so full of themselves they will never ever be able to pass through the eye of any needle, no matter how big or wide.

See, my problem is, I don’t want to live in this kind of world. It doesn’t just degrade Greece’s, and San Francisco’s, and the world’s, poor, it degrades me too. And I’m not even a religious person.

Home Forums It’s What Jesus Would Do, Right?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Jef Jelten 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #19944

    Albert Freeman Mrs. Alice White at the War Fund Victory Store, Hardwick, VT 1942 On the day that Mario Draghi opened the ECB’s overly opulent new €1.3
    [See the full post at: It’s What Jesus Would Do, Right?]

    #19952

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    Hmmm. I used to live in San Francisco, close enough to the Tenderloin to see quite a few members on the San Francisco homeless community on my way to and from work every day. I tried to keep an open minded view, realizing that many were probably down on their luck. And yet in the Tenderloin there is a lot of chronic homelessness where drug addition and mental illness are pretty common. And for those who do manage to take up residence in the Tenderloin, there is a higher than average concentration of sexual offenders. The Church that had the sprinklers installed in located just outside of the Tenderloin. They do quite a lot of charitable work for the homeless community. They initially defended this action on the ground that there were hypodermic needles found in the alcoves where people had been sleeping, that children pass by this area on their way to and from school, and some elderly who attend services at the church felt harassed. I don’t know what to think. I can see the reasons for concern. In my mind, this is a little more complicated than a simple case of the well to do having contempt for the poor. Once high rates of drug addiction, mental illness, and criminal history are mixed into the picture, well, what then? This is a chronic problem in San Francisco, and has been for decades, regardless of all the governmental and private charitable attempts to improve the situation. Am I heartless and merciless if I don’t want drug addicts sleeping in the alcoves? Hmm. Lord have mercy on me.

    #19954

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ Boogaloo

    You ask the wrong question.
    What is the reason the homeless, drug addicted, and mentally ill are forced to live like that?

    #19955

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    largi
    Therefore, I’m going to have to guess that it’s all down to sheer hubris, to people being so full of themselves they will never ever be able to pass through the eye of any needle, no matter how big or wide.

    See, my problem is, I don’t want to live in this kind of world. It doesn’t just degrade Greece’s, and San Francisco’s, and the world’s, poor, it degrades me too. And I’m not even a religious person.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bravo! Me too…

    #19957

    sprocketsanjay
    Participant

    @boogaloo
    Am I heartless and merciless if I don’t want drug addicts sleeping in the alcoves?

    With respect when you ask questions like that you overlook the obvious and regurgitate what you take in from the MSM. You don’t ask the question why these people are increasing in numbers and why are the political elite indifferent to them or some such other question. You simply blame the victim and let’s face it the victim doesn’t look very pleasant so that helps a bit too.

    When I lived in Brussels it was striking how everybody around the EU thought the same, sang from the same hymn sheet and were obsessed with money. Robots almost. These are the same people who shape our society. No wonder there is no relevant discourse at any level. I think your post is a little bit part of that. But at least you’re reading Ilargi and asking yourself some questions. You are still way ahead of the robots.

    #19959

    SteveB
    Participant

    Not hubris but rationality and rationalization–aka, money-think–masquerading as logic. It’s an epidemic.

    #19960

    John Day
    Participant

    We are unhealthy zoo animals, including the SF “tenderloin”, including “the Haight”, Haight/Ashbury, which was cool in the 1960s/1970s, but now tragic.
    We only know the zoo, and each step of the creation of the zoo made sense rationally, from some particular perspective, but it is making us, all of us, very sick.
    We can start by sleeping at night, growing and eating fresh veggies, walking and biking places, and giving hugs.
    We have to tunnel out of this, somehow.

    #19961

    Amygdalas Memory
    Participant

    Hominids survived through fear behavior… escape, kill or dominate the threat, and hoard territory for protection of resources and shelter. Inequality will be hard to overcome. It will take moral and physical courage to make the social changes that through generations would obviate the competitions of fear-based survival… it seems to me.

    #19962

    jal
    Participant

    In my travel to other countries that are suppose to be poorer than North Americas, I did not see poor people that carried the burden of being drug addictions, mental illness, and criminal history, (sexual offenders).
    The elites in those poor countries must have found ways of taking care of those people or ways of eliminating them.

    #19963

    Raleigh
    Participant

    That guy in the dumpster or the drug addict/homeless person got that way many, many years before you happened to notice him. He’s been leading up to this his whole life. Really very difficult, if not impossible, to change him now. We feel bad because we see them suffering, or we get angry because we can’t understand why they don’t want to join us in the rat race (who is smarter there?). Sometimes we take them in, house them for awhile, get them cleaned up, but almost always they revert right back to where they came from. It’s what they know, what they feel comfortable with, what their belief system tells them they deserve, or the level of responsibility they feel comfortable taking on (none).

    The damage (if you can call it that) was done very early on. We’re all different. Some are Thoreau’s who look after themselves, but want to lead a solitary life with next to nothing – a roof over their heads, a simple chair and bed. Some of the worst harm that’s been done has been when we, ever the wiser, go into places like Africa and believe we must help them because they’re just living in huts and eating insects, even though they appear to be happy. We assume that they’ll be ever happier living like us. Who are the idiots?

    These drug addicts were always drug addicts, even before they picked up their drug of choice. It was baked into the cake long ago. Same with the homeless and the poor. The damage (if you can call it that) was done very early on. If not for the constant inflation of prices and assets, many poor would be quite happy, but they continue to be squeezed more and more. They don’t aspire to be like us, and I can’t say as I blame them. We’re not looking so great. Ask any decent and honest poor person if they’d want to change places with Jamie Dimon, accepting his value system as their own. I’d bet almost every single one of them would say no, the cost is too high.

    Look to the family structure for the answer to these riddles. Where is the solid connection between parent and child? I’m not seeing it, not really. The trendy-named children are clothed in trendy clothes, loaded into trendy cars and, pulling away from the trendy house, they’re are shipped off to the trendy daycare or school while the parents are off to their trendy offices, but not before stopping off for their trendy Starbucks coffee. Everybody is plugged into their devices, no real meaningful conversation (if they even knew what that was). A treadmill of spoiled chances.

    As far as helping the poor, you bet it should be done. They are being squeezed and pummelled, while the 1% keep getting bailed out. They are being squeezed by the constant increasing of prices, which is brought on by too much money printing. The answer is not to keep printing money in perpetuity. It’s to let those who made stupid, uneconomic decisions take their lumps, declare bankruptcy. This would cause prices to come down, thereby helping the poor.

    There hasn’t been a market since Reagan. It’s been bubble after bubble, and then when things begin to unravel, it’s been to blow an ever-bigger bubble to reinflate. Central banks have caused this mess, aided and abetted by governments, all because they don’t want their friends (campaign contributors) to lose. Meanwhile, we all get squeezed.

    Time to cut these suckers loose, let them declare bankruptcy, and let’s begin again.

    #19973

    Birdshak
    Participant

    I dunno about all that stuff, but Janet Yellen has copied Nicole’s hairstyle.

    #19974

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    @sprocketsanjay

    Do I really blame the victim? Do I really regurgitate what I read in the MSM? I do not live the US anymore, and I do not read the MSM. I think every case of homelessness has a different story, and I try to resist making generalizations.

    @V Arnold

    I agree that we certainly need to ask “What is the reason the homeless, drug addicted, and mentally ill are forced to live like that?” And yet while we meditate on the answers to that question, what does that mean in the meantime? Should the homeless drug addicts be able to sleep in the church alcoves — or not? There are several charities that are operating in the Tenderloin to help, and they have rules that the homeless need to follow to get a bed (such as no drugs and no violence). If these charities toss out epople for breaking the rules, does that mean they are being merciless? Does that mean they are asking the wrong questions? I’m sorry, but I think this is a more complex issue than you seem to make it out to be.

    #19975

    I know from my years in Montreal that there are many homeless people who refuse beds in shelters. It often has to do with their mental state, not with breaking any rules. In the MTL case, they refuse even when it’s 30ºC below. These people, too, need help and compassion. For a church to send them away is one thing. To install sprinklers to chase them away is quite another one yet.

    #19976

    John Day
    Participant

    These folks, from homeles to politicians and the wealthy, to native Americans, to Marshall Islanders have all been my patients over the years.
    There are so many kinds of homeless folks, for so many reasons and in different ways, voluntary, involuntary, and “least restrictive environment” discharges from state psych hospitals (yep, worked there, too), though clearly not meeting their needs.
    It’s not necessarily a bad choice to be an urban-hunter-gatherer in the right setting, at the right time of your life, but there are many older people who have “fallen and can’t get up”.
    One thing about staying in shelters is that it is noisy and bright and very anxiety-making. Could YOU sleep on a mattress with the lights on and people awake and about who may well rob you any moment? It sucks, and you get sick in shelters, too. Lots of exposure.
    Anyway, being human is not neoliberal economics. It’s one specific thing to experience and understand, then another, then a heartache, then a joy, and so on.
    I always try to carry loose dollar bills to give to beggars on my 28 mile round-trip bike commute to the clinic.
    On my way home this afternoon, the Mexican guy who calls me “Jefe” was looking pretty down as he crossed the street, not even recognizing me, since I was with 2 other cyclists. “Hey Amigo” I called out, and held up the folded, sweaty bill.
    “Thank You, Jefe” he exclaimed, suddenly radiant for a moment.

    #19978

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ Boogaloo
    Does that mean they are asking the wrong questions? I’m sorry, but I think this is a more complex issue than you seem to make it out to be.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    If you think that, then you do not understand the question.
    The question has profound answers not searched for.
    It’s an intended consequence of policies instituted and executed. It was the foetus of the neo-liberal birthing.
    We say the U.S. society is broken; the neo-liberal says everything is going according to plan.

    #19999

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    @VArnold

    Okay, I see your point. Quite a dark view of the world. When does the culling begin?

    #20000

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I would say it’s a realistic view, not a romantic view.
    The culling began years ago, around 2008, maybe even earlier. Vietnam could have been the beginning; the exact moment is elusive.
    Cheers

    #20011

    Jef Jelten
    Participant

    A little late to the conversation but…

    We live in a global monetary system that is defined as No Money = You Die!

    In other words it is the sick, homeless, starving, and dying that give money value.

    The big lie that we bought and we sell ourselves and each other is that without the threat of No Money = You Die! hanging over everyones heads nothing would get done. It’s total BS. The only ones who benefit from No Money = You Die! are those who create money, those who have way more than others, those in power, in essence those who do not wish to actually have to work for it.

    Until we change the way money works we will change NOTHING!

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