I just got back to Colorado from 10 days in my hometown of New York City. It’s always fun to see friends and family as well as take stock of how much things have changed since I left. There is no question about it, NYC feels more like “Disneyland for Wall Street” than ever before. The very rich are doing very well, everyone else, not so much. We are often told by charlatans and mainstream media propagandists that this mythical rising tide of wealth lifts all boats. If that’s the case, I find it quite perplexing that the homeless population in America’s financial center is exploding five years into the so-called recovery. Meanwhile, let’s not forget that 22% of the city is on food stamps.
How is this possible? Because we have witnessed five years of egregious corruption and crony capitalist theft, not a genuine recovery. That’s how.
The war on the homeless has been accelerating in recent years, as city officials across the nation would rather hide the problem that admit the economic recovery is bullshit. In most cases, the measures are subtle, but have the desired effect of pushing homeless people away from public view (in Columbia, South Carolina it is not so subtle and you need a $120 weekly permit to feed the homeless). NYC officials are a bit more nuanced. For example, I was shocked to see a sign posted in a park in Manhattan that said adults can’t come in without children. It looked something like this:
No matter what spin somebody may put on this, the primary goal is to keep homeless people away.
I grew up in New York City and was a toddler in the early 1980′s, not exactly the safest period in the city. I remember playing in the parks around my parents’ apartment and there were homeless people everywhere. It was a part of my childhood for better or worse, but it was reality. I think I was better off knowing the homeless existed than if they had all been pushed away to the outskirts and everyone pretended they weren’t there.
The thing is, many of the very wealthy in New York City want to believe this bullshit story that things are generally getting better. Meanwhile, the statistics speak for themselves, and according to HUD, the homeless population in NYC increased 13% last year. That’s quite disturbing five years into raging bull market for stocks.
Moving along, we now we find that homeless people are living in coffin-sized spaces inside the frame of the Manhattan Bridge.
From the New York Post:
Crafty hobos are turning the Manhattan Bridge into a veritable shantytown, complete with elaborate plywood shacks that are truly “must see to believe.”
One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.
The pods are built into the underside of the upper deck, below car traffic but above the subway and bike lanes.
To reach his makeshift studio, the bridge dweller — a stocky, neatly dressed Chinese man in his 40s — climbs a chain-link fence to a nook above the bike lane, witnesses said.
He unlocks the red bike lock with a key, slides a plank of wood back like a door and crawls in.
The 10-by-1¹/₂-foot shacks are cramped, but the rent-free homes sure beat the cost of living legit in neighborhoods nearby — like Brooklyn’s trendy DUMBO, so named for its location “down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass.”
Here are a couple of photos.
First, the entrance to one of these makeshift shanties:
Really, really sad.
Full article here.
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