The U.S. economy is strained to the point of breaking Americans’ budgets, and this week’s releases of consumer and producer inflation data showed that the pain being felt by American families and U.S. companies isn’t going to ease up soon.
As a result of steadily rising inflation that kicked off just after President Biden took office and has so far reached and stayed in 40-year high territory — including repeated all-time records set for fuel prices — Americans’ budgets are being stretched to the breaking point and then some.
That’s because, even as wage growth is trending higher — around five percent over last year — the eight-plus percent consumer inflation means Americans’ real wages are actually three percent lower than twelve months ago.
In 2020, The Free Thought Project reported on the work of two groups, Food Not Bombs and the Sidewalk Project, who raised $16,000 and built 26 tiny homes in Las Vegas for the city’s homeless community. It was an amazing feat put together by a handful of caring people trying to better their community but it came to a chaotic and destructive end when police and city officials raided the camp and destroyed all the homes.
The City of Las Vegas claimed that the destruction of the homes was justified as the city maintains “this right of way for NDOT, the property owner.” Joey Lankowski, who does homeless outreach with Food Not Bombs, sought to remedy this problem of building tiny homes on public property by raising money to purchase their own swath of land on private property.
Since last year, members of Food Not Bombs, the Sidewalk Project, and the New Leaf Community have been working tirelessly, volunteering countless hours of their personal time, to build a community of tiny homes on this newly owned piece of property.
For months volunteers built the tiny homes and allowed the community’s houseless population to live on the property. The community was thriving until earlier this year when the bureaucratic police state set their sights on the project’s private property.
The code enforcement division of the Las Vegas city government claimed that the property was in violation of zoning ordinance NLVMC 17.20.10 which states that the “accessory uses are not permitted” on the private property. According to the notice, a single family residence must be on the property before the tiny homes could be built and heavy fines would follow if they did not get “up to code.”
Since then, the city has waged an immoral war against the tiny home community and levied even more seemingly frivolous ordinance violations.
The city of Seattle cleared out two homeless encampments in preparation for Joe Biden’s visit.
Approximately 15 homeless people were displaced by Democrat Mayor Bruce Harrell to make sure the area looked nice for the president on his Earth Day visit.
Jamie Housen, spokesperson for the mayor’s office, told the Seattle Times that the encampments were cleared “so that the city could close the streets and limit access to sidewalks to ensure the safety of the president.”
The homeless people were given two days to move their belongings or have them trashed by Seattle Parks and Recreation.
“Housen said that nine tents and shelter structures were removed from Virginia Street to Olive Way between Sixth and Fifth avenues. Three people staying there left on their own and four others were referred to shelter by the city’s encampment outreach team,” the Seattle Times reported. “Four tents were removed between Lenora and Virginia streets, from Fifth Avenue to Fourth Avenue. Four people there left voluntarily and two others were referred to shelters.”
The city removed several other encampments as well, but claimed that those ones did not have anything to do with Biden’s visit.
Newly elected Mayor Brandon Scott will provide unconditional payments of $1,000 a month for two years to low-income families in Baltimore City’s new guaranteed income pilot program, according to local news WBAL.
According to a statement released by Scott’s office, the $1,000 monthly checks will be distributed to 200 low-income households across a metro area that struggles with violent crime and a broken economy thanks to decades of Democratic leadership.
The city allocated $4.8 million in the American Rescue Plan funding to finance the Baltimore Young Families Success Fund. It’s a cover for pilot testing universal basic income (UBI).
Requirments for free money require that a person be a millennial (18-24), be either the biological or adoptive parents or guardians, and have income at or below the federal poverty level.
The free money comes with no strings attached, and they can spend it on anything.
According to watchdog group Open the Books, the city of Los Angeles dedicated $1.2 billion in 2016 to try and fight homelessness through building affordable housing units.
Since the program was approved, about 1,200 units have been completed – with some units costing taxpayers over $700,000 each, according to a city audit. One project currently underway is estimated to cost almost $837,000 per unit.
“The plan was to get the homeless people in Los Angeles into permanent housing to get them off the street and make no mistake, Los Angeles has a big problem when it comes to the homeless,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “In 2016, that $1.2 billion ordinance passed. It was a bond proposal for permanent housing for the homeless. And today, there are more people that are unhoused than ever before in the city of Los Angeles.”
While the homelessness crisis continues, Andrzejewski said a “bureaucratic culture” sprung up in the city.
“In city government, there are about 750 employees dedicated to housing and community development, and the top employee in that department makes more than a White House cabinet official,” said Andrzejewski.
According to polling by The Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Business Council Institute, nearly 40% of voters in the city feel “significantly unsafe”due to homelessness in their neighborhoods.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) tried to stop the publication of a news story about Los Angeles’ homeless crisis this week, reportedly telling a Los Angeles Times scribe: “You’ll hurt yourself and the community trying to put this together.”
The Wednesday story by investigative reporter Connor Sheets detailed a March 25 incident in South Los Angeles, where hundreds of homeless people tried to obtain Section 8 housing vouchers after being misled by social media rumors.
The would-be applicants crashed an event held by nonprofit advocacy group Fathers and Mothers Who Care, which had been meant to help the unhoused obtain emergency shelter.
The confusion reportedly overwhelmed the non-profit as well as Los Angeles Housing Services Authority (LAHSA) workers who told the unexpected arrivals that they would only be able to provide their information and enter an emergency housing database.
At one point, Waters told the crowd: “I want everybody to go home,” triggering an angry response.