Greed: The American Dream

Posted: November 19, 2007 in Bureauacracy, Health, Homeless Shelters, Homelessness, Housing, Money, Morality, Senior Citizens, Veterans

One homeless gentleman that I spoke with late yesterday afternoon is a senior citizen. He just celebrated his 72nd earlier this year. He is also a Veteran.

While he tries to stay as active as possible, he does have some medical concerns. Among these medical issues are Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and now, what appears to be the onset of Parkinson’s Disease.  

He doesn’t stay at the homeless shelter, because he is one of the few homeless openly voices his views on how the homeless are actually treated by the staff workers at the shelter, and consequently it causes him trouble from time to time via being "suspended" from receiving any services from either the shelter or the day center – sometimes both.

The end result is that here is a man, who has lived nearly three quarters of a century, has served in our nation’s military as a combat veteran, has medical issues that do require ongoing medical treatment. In addition, he must now live on a fixed income that doesn’t really afford him the ability to get a place to live.

The reason? Everything is just too expensive!

Even though the SLO Housing Authority does give out low-income housing vouchers (Section 8) there is still an over all lack of affordable housing units – not only in this area, but all through out the United States. This is due to the ever rising costs of everything because of corporate greed.

I find it amazing that giant corporations and conglomerates are always complaining about how they’re NOT making any profits. But then, they go ahead and make these outrageous predictions about how much money they expect to make in any given quarter. Those predictions always run into the millions of millions of dollars.

If and when they don’t reach those predictions – even IF they’ve made a profit – all of the "analysts" on Wall Street will start talking about how the company isn’t as strong as it used to be and the company’s stock get devalued.

Consequently, because the investors get all scared out of their pants because the stock goes down, they sell and the value of the company goes down as a result of those sales.

Now, I may not be a big shot Wall Street investor or analyst, but I seem to recall basic mathematics – especially when it comes to personal finances. It seems to me that if, at the end of the year, I’ve been able to pay all of my bills and still have managed to save something: I’m ahead of the game.

I don’t think that big business is any different. If at the end of the year they’ve managed to pay their bills and have posted a profit – even if it’s not as large as they predicted – they’re ahead of the game.

Perhaps, if they stopped bragging about how much money they expect to make and begin focusing on how much of the profits they’ve managed to save everything would work out better for everyone – including their employees and their consumers.

Then, maybe there wouldn’t be as many layoffs going on as there are, or as many job cutbacks. Because when big business raises its prices everyone else has to do the same thing just to keep up. And these price increases "filter down" to even the most poverty stricken.

I seem to recall a saying about not counting your chickens before they’re hatched. But it seems to me that that is exactly what all of these large corporations are doing. Unfortunately, when all of the eggs DON’T hatch it’s the little guy who gets hurt. The big wigs at the top still get their multi-million dollar severance packages.

The net result is that more and more people are going to find themselves homeless because of corporate greed.

Some will undoubtedly end up like the homeless elderly gentleman I was talking to yesterday.

So much for chasing the American dream!

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