28 Comments
Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

I love Breakfast of Champions and I teach part of the opening every year when I talk about narrative to my freshmen English classes. I think there's a lot of emphasis on disparity but not enough discussion about actual wealth inequality. Walter Benn Michaels has often pointed this out along with Adolf Reed and others, so I'm not saying anything original. It feels like under capitalism, so many people work all the time and just barely get by and while you think that would create sympathy with people who have fallen through the cracks, often those people who work all the time are buying into narratives about those "people who don't work that get more benefits than I do." I'm not sure if anyone has ever read the immaculately titled Deer Hunting with Jesus by the late (great) Joe Bageant but that goes into these issues in a way that's both fun to read and really eye opening.

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

The city I live in has made it illegal to give money to "panhandlers", and if they catch the "panhandlers" they haul them off to a huge tent city close to Palm Springs near the Morongo tribal lands. I guess we're using the "out of sight" approach to solve it.

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm retired, so I'm living off a fixed income and barely getting by myself. I just don't understand this nation's hatred towards Russia and this dumping of funds and materials to another nation that honestly shouldn't even be our concern. Simply irritated with our politicians that are in love with the MIC and don't take care of our own.

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Firstly, housing as a human right is blocked by the dubious right of speculation. Housing as a pot of gold replaces housing as a survival necessity.

Secondly, the sight of the homeless serves as a means to keep people working in alienating jobs.

The US needs a Marshall Plan for journalism since 5 or 6 firms dominate 90% of housing and 90% of broadcasting. Economics controls politics instead of political regulation restraining greed for profit.

Thirdly, reducing working hours is a socio-economic strategy that could lead to better long-term health, more time sovereignty and a breathing space for nature. Productivity would increase as people explore their hidden gifts as writers, poets, translators and researchers!

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

Homelessness and poverty are policy choices. Building an aircraft carrier is more important than affordable and subsidized housing. Nothing changes because the foxes are in charge of the henhouse. Our "representatives" refuse to change campaign finance laws. There should only be public financing for political campaigns. I'm pessimistic about a solution. The foxes are addicted to the donations and there is no sign that they will ever give them up.

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

I think that whether people consciously know or admit it, there is an understanding at a subconscious level that most people who are homeless find themselves that way after prison, after felonies and background checks and parole officers make it nearly impossible to get a job to support yourself, after credit checks and rental histories and gaps in employment all raise to the surface in-built forms of systemic discrimination, built to continue punishing people for the rest of their lives even after the legal system acknowledges that they've "paid their debt to society." As a convicted felon myself, I can say that were it not for my having had a rather in-demand, high value white collar skill, I would very likely be homeless right along with them.

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On a conceptual or ideological level, the homeless person is the other side of the "Rugged Individualism" coin. Put another way I think it's fair to say that the American system glorifies the so-called "Self-Made Man" who flaunts his success in the form of wealth accumulation, and the homeless person is the polar opposite or inverted symbol of this paradigm, living proof that the system itself has failed in a basic way despite all of the success-worshipping going on. Although not an exact analogy, maybe the way Dwayne Hoover and Wayne Hoobler represent distorted reflections of each other in Breakfast of Champions. Just to wrap as I ramble, I think the failure of the American system to form a real community is a root cause why the Homelessness situation has not been resolved, why there is no collective political will to address this issue. Hey, "Goodbye Blue Monday!"

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

Homelessness is a human rights problem. That is obvious, and I think most of the population see it that way. However, the problem will not be solved using the current policy tools in the current economic system that we live in. Any policies toward solving the problem must address the fundamental economic forces that have created the problem. I see four forces that have played a major role in creating the homelessness crisis. First, high housing costs driven by massive speculation in the housing market. Second, reduced public funding for affordable housing driven by a rigged tax system that results in lower government revenue. Three, the erosion of the bargaining power of labor leading to lower earnings. Four, the de-funding of the mental health system which leaves millions of people untreated. These problems are too big to be solved at the local level (cities and counties), yet that is where the efforts are focused. The homelessness problem will not be solved without fundamental changes to the balance of power in the national economy.

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I’m not sure it can be fixed as a stand alone issue. It’s a byproduct of so much other rot. In my opinion we need to convince people that the American dream is for all. Lack of anti trust enforcement, citizens United, glass Stegal, tele communications act and a resulting propagandist media, right to work, and broadly regulatory capture have destroyed the viability of capitalism. To help folks see how none of this was accident, it worth pointing out that much our systems abandonment of guardrails came communism’s implosion. Those guardrails kept us from the excesses we see today. Both excess poverty and wealth.

But instead we’ll shuffle the homeless camps around town and vilify politicians.

You can put the police in this same “how ever do we fix this “ silo. The police are certainly a dumpster fire but they’re asked to serve and protect some of the most petulant turds imaginable. When you tell Johnny lunch pale that his own selfishness and ignorance is at the core of the problem, he’s been so indoctrinated that if you try to reverse any of the issues that compromise capitalism, he’ll call you a socialist, because fox said. Or some ass hat like Richard Wolf will outline everything I just did, and say “That’s why we need communism “. Let’s try an information campaign first. Let’s role back some of legislation that fucked us. And let’s shame the baby boomer assholes that got us here. Sadly minimum wage is at $7.50 while social security recipients receive a cost of living increase. They may not be capable of shame.

Or look at Alabama’s recent success in reducing homelessness. Your choice

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Hi Matt. You’ve every right to feel the way you do. I'm not American but I come from Aaron’s hometown, Vancouver in Canada, where because outrageous housing costs have been the norm forever, we’ve had homelessness issues for a long time and things are only getting worse.

During the nineties and two thousands I worked for 17 years for a non-profit in the Downtown Eastside about half a block away from where Aaron’s father, Gabor worked. There was always ongoing discussion among the NGOs, progressives and government people about how complex and intractable the homelessness issue was - homeless people needed a continuum of care, mental health supports, addiction services, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. As if people with these problems don’t just deserve a place to live. It was all bullshit talk and an excuse not to spend money building affordable housing. How much help can mental health supports provide when a person lives on the street or in the bush? What good will addiction services do if you are exposed to violence and abuse because you have nowhere to live. This kind of debate also presupposes that everyone that is homeless suffers from these issues. Many don’t, they just need a place to live.

Money is NOT the issue. Everyone can be housed when billions are spent on totally useless shit. In Vancouver we spent literally billions in 2010 to host the corporation friendly 2010 Winter Olympics. It was a multi-billion dollar party and we are still suffering the hangover today. It still boils my blood to this day thinking about how many homes could have been built if those same billions had been spent on social housing. We would probably not have a homelessness problem today.

In the US you spend trillions to kill people around the world so you definitely have enough money to end homelessness. Don’t let any arguments steer you away from the main goal. Just build the fucking hosing and they will come.

So yes, homelessness is an emergency human rights crisis and should be treated as such. Progressives should be fighting just as hard for social housing as they do for Medicare for All and the $15 minimum wage.

My suggestion to progressives in the US is to get together with Kshama Sawant and whatever third party thing she is trying to organize. Now there is an effort you can get behind. If anyone can get a third party off the ground and become a viable contender it’s Sawant. Such a fierce, tenacious and brilliant person. She took on fucking Jeff Bezos in his hometown. How awesome is that?

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

The 10% doesn't get the trials and tribulations of the other 90% of the country. They don't get how their owning a Beach house and Air B&B increases housing costs and creates homelessness. They don't get how their fighting against public transportation through their neighborhood increases misery. They don't get how taking advantage of the tax break, a government handout if there ever was one, for their half a million dollar home makes them a complete hypocrite when telling others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. It has always been thus.

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founding
Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

Like you, I am appalled at the lack of concern about people who are unhoused. But I am also appalled at the lack of concern on the part the public. Many people I know look down on the unhoused, even people who work for organizations that purport to serve the unhoused. If we who vote are not concerned, how will anything change?

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

My thought is this - those people we "elect" to Congress and all of those who serve them - they are all living off the fat of the land. It would be a good start if House and Senate members (not DiFi - she'll get lost) spent time in the neighborhoods with the working class people they serve, they'd have a long overdue reality check. Maybe then, when they've recovered, they could venture into the camps and shut up for a change (democracy, bla bla) and listen to the people. More than a few years ago, a couple of the "servants of the people" aka the R & D gang tried to live on what the people they never visit have to live on - even worse, far worse now. They lasted a few days and then had to go back to "real life." If you want anything fixed in this country, don't ask the people who are paid to fix it. Mayor Pete - the King Charles of the Dem party - waiting for the Queen to go - he had no idea. The people who are living with and one-step from being homeless themselves could provide lots of ideas but you'd have to mingle with them.

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Jan 31, 2023Liked by Matt Wilson

Yes!!! I totally agree! I’m currently trying to work on a way to expose the homelessness issue, so that people can see the neglect and broken promises that the each state system offers to the people who legitimately will change their lives; but are getting overlooked. I have questions as to why mental institutions disappeared. I feel like it should be an easy process to simply direct those who are struggling towards solutions and to be able to track progress all along the way back to being homed. I also want to find a way to use social media for people to properly message that they’re down and out but willing to change. They all have phones, which is strange but they do.

There has to be a really good way to expose where any monies are going or not going.

Maybe y’all can point me to someone who can help me use media to expose the issue and because I want to make it to heaven; I want truly help where I can with the homelessness issue.

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First -- I think that both Matt Taibbi and Elon Musk should be given highest awards - multiple Pulitzers to MT and a Nobel prize to EM.

And a recent collection of items of likely interest:

"Why Don't You Ever Criticize RUSSIA'S Warmongering??" -- Caitlin Johnstone (Jan. 28, 20230

https://open.substack.com/pub/caitlinjohnstone/p/why-dont-you-ever-criticize-russias?r=byea&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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Pfizer Responses to Veritas Expose -- A Primer on Modern Crisis Management when you can control Google, Corporate Media, and have virtually unlimited Social Media assets – Jan. 28, 2023

Robert W Malone MD, MS -- https://open.substack.com/pub/rwmalonemd/p/pfizer-responses-to-veritas-expose?r=byea&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post

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https://thedreizinreport.com/2023/01/26/dreizin-asks-what-is-globohomo/

Dreizin Asks, What Is GLOBOHOMO? -- Published by dreizinreport on January 26, 2023

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mRNA “Vaccines”: The CIA and National Defense. This isn’t going to end well. (Jan 30 – R. Malone)

https://rumble.com/v1qeo55-mrna-vaccines-the-cia-and-national-defense-this-isnt-going-to-end-well..html

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Twitter SW has more complex censorships – Musk invited Rubin for his engineers to discuss his account

Elon Musk Invited Me to Twitter HQ & It's Worse Than You Can Imagine (Jan. 30 – Rubin Report)

https://rumble.com/v27qe24-elon-musk-invited-me-to-twitter-hq-and-its-worse-than-you-can-imagine-direc.html

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All About Opium with Carl Zha -- Jan. 30, 2023 https://substack.com/inbox/post/99224122

FYI -- An outstanding history of China (and Europe and US)

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Housing value is based on scarcity. That's why the private sector hasn't worked out the problem. A public banking derived funding program so everyone has access to a mortgage geared to their income . Public banking would give communities the leverage , like fractional reserve multiplier of capital like private banks do,

Money out of thin air. The investment would not be lost with decent housing constructs of long term usefulness, as opposed to bandaid attempts with inadequate structures like tiny homes , temporary housing or shelters .

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I finally made sense of Ukraine's shelling of the nuclear plant. If they could turn Donbas into a nuclear wasteland it would be the quickest way for them to win the war and punish those pesky Russian speaking civilians at the same time.

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