The ObamaEconomy And The 18-24 Crowd

Young people living on the streets

We at BTL always compare the gentle treatment the media offers Obama to what they would have done to Bush II. But I think we can ask ourselves if any other president at any other time in our history would have received positive media treatment, given this level of chronic policy failure? Honestly, it is Stanlinesque. No matter how bad things are, the media and the generals applaud, and the worse things get, the more they cheer.

Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third.

Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch.

“At any time I could lose my job, my security,” said Mr. Taylor, explaining how he was always the last hired and the first fired. “I’d like to be able to support myself. That’s my only goal.”

Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults.

Those who can move back home with their parents — the so-called boomerang set — are the lucky ones. But that is not an option for those whose families have been hit hard by the economy, including Mr. Taylor, whose mother is barely scraping by while working in a laundromat. Without a stable home address, they are an elusive group that mostly couch surfs or sleeps hidden away in cars or other private places, hoping to avoid the lasting stigma of public homelessness during what they hope will be a temporary predicament.

These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing. Yet the problem is mostly invisible. Most cities and states, focusing on homeless families, have not made special efforts to identify young adults, who tend to shy away from ordinary shelters out of fear of being victimized by an older, chronically homeless population. The unemployment rate and the number of young adults who cannot afford college “point to the fact there is a dramatic increase in homelessness” in that age group, said Barbara Poppe, the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Now we get to the Stalinesque part:

The Obama administration has begun an initiative with nine communities, most of them big cities, to seek out those between 18 and 24 who are without a consistent home address. New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Boston are among the cities included in the effort.

“One of our first approaches is getting a more confident estimate,” said Ms. Poppe, whose agency is coordinating the initiative.

Those who provide services to the poor in many cities say the economic recovery has not relieved the problem. “Years ago, you didn’t see what looked like people of college age sitting and waiting to talk to a crisis worker because they are homeless on the street,” said Andrae Bailey, the executive director of the Community Food and Outreach Center, one of the largest charitable organizations in Florida. “Now that’s a normal thing.”

Well, read the rest at the link. But here’s the point, as far as I’m concerned. In the past we didn’t have this because we had a competent government. Now we have A Banana Republic. And the response to any crisis
embarrassment (because if it isn’t happening to them it isn’t a crisis) is to raise taxes and reduce freedoms. So we now have health insurance for “minors” up until 26 years old, but we have “minors” living on the streets because the economy is so awful. The response will be to build homeless shelters especially for the under 35 crowd, with nice little bars and big televisions and free popcorn. They would meet, court and mate there, the way some of our parents met at work or at college.

Ok, I will stop the rant now. As the reporter in Newtown said to the family whose child was ok: Enjoy the rest of your day.

- Aggie

2 Comments »

  1. Rob said,

    December 19, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    If you honestly offered people free, safe housing, food and water, in exchange for their vote, how many would take you up on it? Throw in wifi and dope and how many wouldn’t? Would it really be so awful if it was voluntary? Although, it might not stay voluntary for long…

  2. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    December 19, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Rob,

    The US has run that experiment and we have the answer. It’s called the Obama administration.

    - Aggie

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