Jul 12, 2011

A Change in Direction

Social Engineering: What is the explanation for, and the solution to the current on steroids supply-side poverty policy paradigm in America - seeing how it has failed to produce the desired yield and ROI for its investors, the American people. Frankly, and in deference to all of the planning, resource allocation, capital utilization and sweat equity that has been applied (the results have been disheartening, with regard to the issue of homelessness)!

Could the answer be, that an antipodal, non supply-side empowerment paradigm, that permits equal access, by all Americans (even the ones who lack capital and fixed assets), to the opportunity structures of this nation, should replace the one that is currently in place? Hegel comes to mind, i.e., "Man's inhumanity to man is based on the ownership of property, and the pursuit of power through class struggle".

At HOP, the outdoor citizen's think tank and coalition of Santa Clara County, we will attempt to answer the question, and fight to change the current dynamic.


First of all, in terms of a cost benefit analysis, have the trillions of dollars that have been spent already, by concerned taxpayers, faith-based organizations, government and charities yielded an appropriate return-on investment, ROI? The prevailing wisdom would seem to suggest that the appropriate ROI, has not and is not being derived for every dollar that has been and is still being spent to address the phenomenological American-homeless, social pandemic.

Instead of a decrease or improvement, there has been a substantial expansion of the outdoor citizens demographic, here and elsewhere, among the well-fed clothed, temporarily sheltered ... attendant outdoor citizen's demographic. If the overall objective is to keep the outdoor citizens where they are, seeking handouts, then the plan in place is working.

Westerners may 'put their money where there mouths are' when it comes to confronting social issues and war, (behavior that is often a substitute for direct involvement), however, can or will money alone, "answer all things", in this context?

The phrase, "Money answers all things", ironically, is taken directly from the Christian Canon, Ecclesiastes 10:19. Even though most westerners are not aware that this scripture exists, too many Americans, including religious organizations, often practice 'money as a solution problem solving techniques' - churches all too often practice it!

The author, apparently King Solomon (we are not related), may have been correct, whatever his pretext may have been at the time. However, we believe that out of context, the author was wrong. In fact, money does not answer all things. Human and other social problems, require more than money to deal them. For example, if your infant child were crying, would a five-dollar bill placed into tiny hands, appease him or her?

Or, might a gentle touch, a bottle, pacifier, love or touch, satisfy the infants longing or hunger? Other means or methods need to be employed besides money, to answer some things, including what is already in place, to address, not confront, the byproduct of other issues, that results in one ending up homeless in a rich western nation.

The failure to attenuate the root causes, has resulted in a larger problem, that has resulted in too many individuals and families, in a land of plenty, falling outside of, a non-existent safety net, but rather an inclusion net, in the expansive American 2-classes system.

The author of the book: The Greening of America, Charles A. Reich, recognized and wrote about the insidious nature of this phenomenon, just over 4 decades ago. And what should we conclude and interpolate, with respect to this 'living beside the housed', growing phenomenon 40 years later - and the dollars being misspent to address it.

Americans have historically attempted to address the issue of homelessness, in a similar manner that America has often addressed other issues, that has often resulted in America's engagement in war, with so many other nation's of the world. One has to wonder just just long will it take before F14, F16, F18s, drones and satellite surveillance, appear over the growing number of homeless camps, that are popping up, many of them ironically being populated with American war veterans, all over America.

It would be interesting to see if we could, what America's domestic policy for homeless Americans happens to be. Sooner or later, we all know what 's coming, Project Apache for outdoor citizens, perhaps? Sooner or later, someone will recognize, besides HOP and few other individuals and organization, that the expenditure of dollars alone, as opposed to to addressing the the insidious root causes of homelessness as a condition, will have to be addressed prior to sending in the Marines to "get her done".

We have thrown money at this expanding problem, to the tune of trillions of dollars being spent, without achieving the desired result.

Could the money have been better spent, and can the dollars being thrown at the problem, be better spent today? At HOP, we believe that it will take more than money to address not only the issue, but the root causes that result in too many individuals who choose not to do so, ending up living a homeless, not just out of doors, lifestyle!

Part 2

When I, and a group of outdoor citizens came together to form a badly needed self-help empowerment organization 2 years ago, among the yet to be named 'outdoor citizen's demographic', we did so with this idea in mind: We recognized that an army of helping organizations and individuals were already in place in the Santa Clara Valley that were in need of conversion. We also recognized that an incredible amount of resources were apparently being misspent to address the problem of homelessness.

We immediately recognized, that although dollars were changing hands that were to be used to address the problem, that not much had changed for the targeted group of outdoor citizens. In fact, the majority in the outdoor citizen's demographic,were still living in cars, camps, parks, ravines, backyards, garages, foyers, floors, standing in food and feeding lines, or riding buses and the lite-rail into the wee hours of the morning.

In the land of plenty, there have been an abundant amount of resources, financial and other, spread around; who can deny that? However, given the current state of America's, and the worldwide economy for that matter, in the final analysis, those scarce resources have begun to slowly dry up, and in some instances, and in some instances have ended up in the pockets of the few, at the top.

Where there used to be a flood of available resources being spread around, today the Ronald W. Reagan styled trickle down system- dynamic, is firmly in place – something that the misguided late President, worked hard to achieve for his favored class group.

It kind of reminds me of what the Prophet Elijah experienced, when the brook at Kidron begin to produce a trickle, and subsequently dried up, read the old testament scriptures. Can a ocean, river or stream of dollars ... dry up altogether? The answer is in the question my friends, and most Americans are painfully aware that the stream is no longer trickling in some neighborhoods. Nevertheless, the late President, posthumously, got what he wanted, a massive transfer of income for his favored group of Americans!

At HOP, we are hoping to motivate the 2 interested party groups, both the providers and recipients to change course, rather than adopt or adapt to Ronald Reagan styled trickle-down/voodoo economics, (something that his successors are championing to this day). If we succeed in changing the mind of the misinformed, I can envision living in a time when there will be a policy shift in the massive compensatory bureaucracy, that manages supply side programs. Meager resources that pacify the the under-served, will be replaced with opportunities for the under-served, to become viable self-supporting individuals again.

With respect to the outdoor citizens demographic, the recipients of the dwindling welfare streams, we are hoping that each one of them, will recognize the value-ad, in terms of buying into our proposition. We reject the legacy and the current proponents of the Ronald Reagan voodoo economics paradigm. , And as a result, we are teaching outdoor citizens to begin thinking outside of the customary dependency box.

The policies of the former president, have resulted in what appears to be an expanding and firmly entrenched 2-part, haves and have not system, with subsistence programs for a permanently unemployed and underemployed underclass - and at the same time a boundless, unlimited financial opportunities cache, for a near wealthy, wealthy or uber-wealthy tax-avoidant upper class.

We believe that waiting for the recipients of Ronald Reagan's voodoo economics largess, to alter the course of Ronald Reagan styled trickle down, for veterans and other excluded Americans, is simply a waste of time. Instead, HOP has been aggressively moving in a radically different direction. We have been reaching out to other organizations, and outdoor citizens, encouraging both groups to change their missions as well as their strategies. We have asked all concerned, on both sides, the would be helpers and those who are need of help, to HOP on board, before it is too late to change course!

The reification of the 2-classes, welfare-state dynamic, that is to continue subsidizing the welfare state and its expanding permanent underclass, is neither the correct response nor the answer to the expanding problem. HOP hopes to pull the rug out from under the harbingers, as well as the protectors and protagonists for the current paradigm. We hope to have them to join with us, and to funnel wasted resources into recovery initiatives, instead of permanent underclass maintenance programs.

The latter will result in dynamic retraining programs being put into place, also to underwrite the new emerging working class of former outdoor citizens ... who will rise from the ashes of despair, and become contributors in the new inclusive American economy, perhaps an economy with a 30 trillion dollar GDP.

The time has come for all reasonable Americans to not only think outside of the box, but to get themselves out of the box, that has been and is being imposed by the privileged in America, once and for all. We need to work on reform, and whatever is done, in the meantime, please government officials: don't send in the Marines. Besides, someday, many of them will likely end up living in civilian homeless camps themselves, when you are done with them!


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