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No To Slavery

Philip J. Malebranche, April 30, 2023

Poverty is the reduction of choices. Slavery is the absence of choice. The homeless crisis, today, is the move in the direction of the latter. The federal government decisions made in the 1980s caused the swelling of the number of people without housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has counted 580,000 persons with this experience. I have been ushered into this predicament so that my de facto banning — as the South African anti-apartheid militants were banned — would be dissembled. I have been made to hide among these others. Extremists exist in any society, working to conduct their plans on a grand scale, as well as on a micro-scale. “By any means necessary” is classic bellicose verbiage. The origin is not from the usage of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabbazz), as commonly known. It may date at least from World War II. Price increases, when income is stable, reduces the choices of the poor. When the private sector raises prices, the City agencies that provide a fixed income for those on Public Assistance do not follow suit: the Human Resources Administration avoids adjusting the cost of living. Fixed income is, indeed, fixed, as in cement.

This period of price rises, now, is traumatic. In February, the New York Times raised the price, not 25 or 50 cents, but a dollar. Today, I learned at the pharmacy that a needed product is now four dollars more in cost than when I last purchased it. Our society delays saying the reality of our moral delinquency on this issue. The lack of expression is ensured by the gross imbalance of salaries of college graduates. A recent report shows that chemical engineers, among graduates, earn the highest starting salaries: $76,000. The lowest earners out of college are those who studied theology and religion, history and sociology. They start at $36,000. The margin is planned, I suggest. It corresponds with the Nazi adage about the preference for obedience, and not thinking. Education is being drained of critical thinkers. Clear writing is waning, when “clear writing means clear thinking.” Technical thinking is of a certain kind, while the liberal arts allow for putting into context human evolution. The moral aspects of human activity enervate immoral men and women.

The expansion of the housing shortage is immoral. Wealth accumulates among but a few; the remainder of society suffers. The aggregate social system is knowing what equates a grand confiscation, which is a Nazi intent. The 6 January 2001 insurrection is revelatory of what is afoot. We must transform the attitude about poverty to relieve the Nation of trauma and solve intractable problems that, as some have expressed, touch us all.