For the rich and the affluent population of New York City, they have certainly prospered during the 12-year dictatorial reign of NY Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, which we hope comes to an end this year.
However, this cannot be said of the Dickensian lives of New York’s children. According to amn article in The Atlantic cities (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/03/bloombergs-other-legacy-homelessness-crisis/4910/), in January 2013, for the first time in New York’s recorded history, the city’s homeless shelter system housed an average nightly population of more than 50,000 people. That number is up 19 percent in the past year alone, up 61 percent since Bloomberg took office, and it does not include victims of Hurricane Sandy, who are housed separately.
Homelessness is increasing all over America but the, the numbers from New York are shockingly high compared to most of the Empire’s failing cities. The Atlantic Cities noted that this January alone, on average, over 21,000 children slept in city shelters each night, a 22 percent increase over the same period in 2011. The average length of stay in a shelter for homeless families with children is now over a year, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year (ibid).
This is the Dickensian nightmare of the stark reality of American capitalism and it only promises to get worse under the tutelage of banksters, media sophists and their supplicant coin-operated politicians. More than one percent of NYC children (21,034 of 1,780,000) slept in a shelter this January; this while foreclosures continue to skyrocket and the rich get richer.
Eight years ago, the decadent Bloomberg administration reversed the policy of former mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani and ended ‘priority referrals’ for homeless families to public housing and to Section 8 vouchers, which provide federal rent subsidies. The argument was the neo-liberal mendacious free-market hoax that concluded public support for the homeless and poor actually provided incentives for homelessness by sending homeless families (along with some other groups, like victims of domestic violence) to the front of long public housing wait lists. We heard this same deluded mantra when Clinton spoke off ending Welfare as we know it and we see now that poverty in America has skyrocketed, as welfare for the rich replaced welfare for the poor. Neither Clinton nor Bloomberg actually believed their own lies; they were doing the bidding for their rich supporters and friends in the financial capitalist system where poverty is now big business and “villainous old men” train and use young boys and girls as thieves, sex slaves and dope pushers.
In New York, with priority referrals for Section 8 vouchers the object of little more than public amnesia and temporary rental subsidies also cut off, the decrepit and gentrified city provides very little in the way of family assistance for those who need help or who want to move or are moving from shelters to housing. Much like everywhere in America, upward mobility, once the intonation of the capitalist class, has been replaced with the nightmarish reality of downward mobility, as America peers into its portending gloom, potential civil war and economic collapse.
The crisis of homelessness in America is the crisis of capitalism. The Dickensian nightmare of Charles Dickens’ Victorian England is now the setting for Fagin’s kids — and this of course portends more pain and suffering for the children of the American Scheme. Meanwhile Wall Street saddles up in an attempt to seek more financial profit by preying on an unsuspecting public who have been told that free market capitalism is the answer to social disease, poverty and unrest. The neo-liberal class is now truly the class of Dickens’ villanous figure, Fagin, who fenced young boys for profit while turning a buck with a callous and yellowed eye.