Four in 10 homeless US citizens live in cars, abandoned buildings, or on the streets. While the official homeless rate has declined slightly from 2009, a higher proportion now find themselves outside of the shelter system. During the winter months, hundreds of thousands of homeless people are at risk of hypothermia.
A brief human interest story in USA Today took up the life of a Battle Creek, Michigan, resident who was living in his car. “Phil Bell sleeps under three sleeping bags and two blankets in the back seat of his 1998 Buick.” Parking in lighted lots at night for safety, Bell explained, “You can't leave the car running because it calls attention to you and burns too much gas," he explains. "Being in the car is better than being outside or in a tent, but it gets really cold."
"I'm lucky," he added. "At least I've got the car. Most people out here on the streets don't have anything."
Bell, 39, has been homeless since September. He was laid off by a Detroit auto parts producer and couldn’t afford his rent.
That is awful news and would tear your heart out on a good day. But this isn't a good day. Citigroup is laying off 11,000 workers. It's 20 days before Christmas. Well I guess Citigroup's only real concern was making sure they made it past the election.
We are still in the Great Recession. It has not ended.
Remember at the start of October when they started lying to us and saying that it was over?
Of equal importance, Barry Grey (WSWS) reports:
Both the Democrats and the Republicans are using the artificial fiscal emergency to call for cuts in the basic federal health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security, the government pension program for the elderly, along with reductions in outlays for education, transportation, food stamps and other social needs. At the same time, they are pushing for a revamping of the tax system to slash rates for corporations and the rich and eliminate or reduce tax deductions that benefit working people.
The real impact of the changes being negotiated—their profound and reactionary implications for a large majority of the population—are being deliberately concealed behind a stage-managed and cynical show of partisan warfare. President Obama is attempting to con the public and give his liberal and “left” backers a fig leaf to cover their support for anti-working class policies by insisting that any budget deal allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich to expire on January 1.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday: