Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/29/can-you-afford-breathe-pacific-northwest
“What we need is housing for all."
It’s an astonishingly well-kept secret that there’s plenty of “housing” – just not “for all.” Any USA city you can point to, it has roughly ten times more vacant housing than homeless people – what geeks like me call “an order of magnitude” more housing than what’s needed. Senselessly denied to those who need it most, even today. Because our system demands despised, desperate people as fallen examples to the rest of us: Better mind your P’s & Q’s, or you too could wind up like the poor folks getting brutally rousted from underneath this freeway overpass, for no particular reason.
Mayor Breed of SF laid out thousands and thousands to pay for hotel rooms, while leaving homeless folks stranded outside. Checks got cut to the big hotels plenty fast, putatively for use of rooms as emergency shelter (during COVID, when SF hotels are all empty anyhow). But difficulty after perplexity kept parading by, keeping the homeless outside and the hotel rooms empty, regardless. That’s what we see, watching how the liberal mayor of San Francisco operates.
California’s 2020 fire season approaches 4 million acres – more than double the previous all-time record. Decadal or sub-decadal doubling of meteorological trends is your confirmation that time is up, incidentally. The trajectory has rolled off the end of the hallway, and now it’s bouncing down the basement stairs. We commonly hear some recommendation urged to avoid “the worst consequences of climate change” – sorry to share my honest impression: It’s way too late for that bogus assurance. We’re already experiencing “the worst consequences” – How much worse does it need to get?
Nobody reading this will ever live to experience a decade in which things do not get much worse. Before long, large parcels of Earth’s surface will be uninhabitable by humans – when the wet-bulb temp exceeds the condition our bodies were built for. The mess we’ve made is simply that far out of control now (a view considered less outlandish in California today). We could keep misbehaving and making things even worse with unrestrained fossil fuel extraction, but avoiding the worst consequences? Can we please stop hearing that? It’s a horse which has so obviously left the barn. Just look at the color of the sky.
They cant just give it away because of GATS, if that would compete with investors. OTOH, if housing was completely noncommercial and there were no commercial providers of it, besides the government, they could. Unless it was a pre-established (to Jan 1, 1995) program. Its similar to healthcare in that respect.
Thats the situation as long as we remain in this dirty GATS deal.
TISA is even worse.
Much like the elderly and mentally ill, you can learn a lot from how a society treats it’s poor. I give ours a (F-) grade.