The NY Times published a featured article about how the poor are struggling in New York City called Invisible Child. Girl in the Shadows: Dasani’s Homeless Life. The piece is a chilling but worthwhile read.
On December 8, the New York Times published the first in a five-part series on poverty in the city titled "Invisible Child," which featured the story of one of the city's 22,000 homeless children whose family currently resides at the Auburn Family Residence, a homeless shelter. The Times described the shelter as "a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers."
That's no place to try and live, but that's what Mayor Bloomberg has set up for the many families that need serious assistance in his fine city. There's really no way to sugar coat the story or try to find hope in it at all except of course if you're a conservative publication like The NY Post. Here's how their editorial board responded to the NY Times.
For this family, shelter, rental assistance and food stamps alone have added up to nearly half a million dollars since 2000. In addition, Medicaid covers health care. Even so, the parents have consistently failed to meet basic eligibility requirements.
Yes, the family’s housing has problems, including mice and reports of sexual assaults and other crimes. But the Times and Elliott, like much of the liberal establishment, seem to think it’s the city’s job to provide comfortable lives to outrageously irresponsible parents. In this case, that’s a couple with a long history of drug problems and difficulty holding jobs.
Something’s wrong with that picture.
If the city is at fault here, it might well be for having been too generous — providing so much that neither the father nor mother seems much inclined to provide for their kids. That would be a story worth reading.
I'm sure this made Rupert Murdock very proud. See, the rich are far superior to the poor or else they wouldn't be rich, get it? In fact the poors should be thankful that they have sexual predators, rats, roaches and decay to call their homes. In fact that's a little too good for them really. Reading about the staggering amount of poverty embedded in the richest country in the world is truly pathetic.
Digby comments on this with a nice observation.
Something very ugly has happened to American society in these last few years. It's not that there haven't always been people who thought the poor brought it on themselves. But agitating to throw these children into even worse circumstances was considered sociopathic. Which it is. Seriously, until fairly recently openly espousing this attitude toward the poor was very much frowned upon (in polite society at least.) We've reverted to a Victorian culture in which the wealthy, in order to justify their greed, gluttony and avarice, decided they no longer have to even pretend to care about anything but themselves. It's sick.
I've spent so much time researching the history of conservatism that I forget how openly disgusting they've become since President Obama took office. In a way it's a gift because now many Americans are seeing exactly what makes up conservative philosophy, but it also riles up the right wing fringes too who revel in the puss of those thoughts. There is a sickness in America today and the NY Post shines a light on exactly what it is.