Providing Shelter

A big issue that has been popping up since Syrian refugees became headline news (sadly that is what it takes) is how the United States can not afford, or should not try, to take in refugees because we already have too many homeless and unemployed.

Well, yeah.

Of course we do! We have for decades! Why is this news to people? What is being done about it?

There are so many organizations that could help with this. I have seen a ridiculous amount of foreclosed buildings and government owned buildings that have no use and are just standing empty. Why? What would happened if we turned those abandoned shops and warehouses into homes and small businesses? Growth, security, shelter for those deserving of it. Including refugees. 

black-and-white-city-building-house

Do people think we would just be providing free things for slackers and those refusing to work? If so, may I please refer all of you to someone who can discuss a different point of view.

Some people need help getting on their feet. Which is completely different than being using welfare as an excuse to not get a job and contribute to society. I believe that, given the chance, the homeless in America (including our homeless Veterans) would accept a steady job no matter the field. They would have no problem helping to renovate these old buildings so they, and others, have a place to live. I doubt they would want to stay there forever either! Once they had a job, created some savings, improved their quality of life, they would be financially able to move to standard house (not substandard, which is a completely different post for me). Which would free up space for another person in need.

So here I am on my soap box and I am sure the first question you have is “Well what are you doing about it?”. Fair question! To be honest, I didn’t think there was anything I could do. I really don’t have the funds to donate and my work schedule is a bit wonky, so I didn’t think I would be able to commit to a volunteer program. Something kept nagging at me though. I am not the only person with a hectic schedule and who is struggling to get by. How do other people do it?

They research and reach out.

Which is what I have done. I recently got in contact with a local volunteer group who builds houses for those who qualify and those in need and asked if they had a program like this. I am also finding out how to reach out to people who have created programs like these all across the USA. True, I am not doing anything with direct results right now. I am making a start though.

bench-flowers-house-courtyard

There is absolutely no reason why we should have homeless Veterans. They have given too much to be deprived of necessities. There is no reason why we should have homeless orphan children roaming the streets (no, it is not just a third world issue). Or people who just caught a bad break. I am tired of it and now that I am grown I am going to do something about it.

Here are some local and national stories that are giving me hope that we can end homelessness and make unemployment a temporary situation, not one that lasts for months or years.

Cincinnati’s homeless population over the past few years

Examples of homeless shelters in Cincinnati

Tiny Homes for the homeless – L.A.

Tiny Homes for the homeless – Nashville

HomeAide

Study on using Tiny Houses as a way to end homelessness

Habitat for Humanity

Coalition for the Homeless – New York

Homeless Community in Texas

Tiny House community in New York

http://dusp.mit.edu/sites/dusp.mit.edu/files/attachments/news/mingoya_2015.pdf

http://dusp.mit.edu/sites/dusp.mit.edu/files/attachments/news/mingoya_2015.pdf

http://dusp.mit.edu/sites/dusp.mit.edu/files/attachments/news/mingoya_2015.pdf

Unemployment

This may actually end up being a short series of posts because Unemployment affects so many aspects of life. This, admittedly, turned out to be a far bigger project than I originally thought. Credible resources on Unemployment and updated figures are strangely difficult to find. However, I was able to find a handful of articles that I believe have credibility and I will be using those as resources for this topic.

How do people become Unemployed? When I was much younger, I thought the only way you would get fired from a job was if you failed at it somehow. For instance, if you get too many tardies for class you get detention. Now that I am an adult I understand that there are far harsher reasons why people are entering the droves of Unemployment. Profit being the one reason that trumps all the others.

pexels-photo.jpg

Keeping costs down seems to be a scripted response for corporations as to why they fire in country workers and then outsource their jobs. With that reasoning, and the amount the corporations save, the things I buy should be fairly inexpensive. They aren’t though. I haven’t seen a decrease in groceries, entertainment, customer service, or IT help fees in…well, ever.

So what are the companies really saying? I believe it is along the lines of the top tiers in the corporations wanting more money. It isn’t so that they can take care of their current workers and offer them a better retirement plan. I also highly doubt that it is to let a few jobs go so they can dedicate more funds to helping the community. I just do not see the point of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to make more money. Give my family better opportunities and such. However, I believe there is a number that you can reach where the amount of money that you make can exceed an ethical standard. At what point do these executives say that they have enough money to live more than comfortably through retirement, have enough savings to cover any unexpected events, help their children and families if they need it and have the ability to live out a bucket list?

I don’t think they do.

I think these executives get caught up in a game where their entire existence is based on what they make. Not their efforts, ethics or empathy. They will knock down anyone in their way and not care about the consequences, so long as they do not have to face them.

I hope everyone knows that a similar thing happened in the past in France. How did the people of France retaliate? The Guillotine. (Research the French Revolution).

I firmly believe we can correct this without any loss of life. What plan do I have to resolve this? Taxing the rich more? No. I honestly don’t believe that the rich need to be taxed at a different percentage than the other classes. I believe the way to do this is to adopt a policy from European countries.

city-cars-people-street

Did you know that in most European countries it is difficult for Non-EU citizens to get a job? I mean significantly difficult. You see the European countries I am referring to need to justify outsourcing their jobs. Meaning, the government will not allow the company to outsource if they have people with the needed skills residing within the country. If they do get the approval from their government to hire someone from outside the country, that company needs to sponsor the individual for their import process. Which can be very expensive.

This is why you can research and see that European countries are leading the way in low levels of unemployment world wide.

How would that affect the companies in the United States though? If you are a global company that has branches in different countries, then probably not so much. If you are a global company with basically just a headquarter office, then yes it is going to affect you a great deal.

According to U.S. News between 2001 and 2013 three quarters of all jobs outsourced from the USA were in manufacturing. (Outsourcing Jobs). According to the article that means 2.4 million manufacturing jobs were given to people overseas. If we adopted a policy similar to what European countries practice, that would not happen.

Since the issue with the USA is that jobs are being transferred overseas, we will need to tweak what the Europeans do a bit. Basically the European policy is that non-EU residents can not get a job in the country unless a company can prove that there are very few skilled EU residents who would qualify. With the USA we would change that to corporations would only be able to outsource jobs if they could prove that there were shortage of qualified American citizens.

Which means, corporations would need to prove that they would not be able to find 2.4 million Americans who have the ability to work in a manufacturing job.

I did some research to see how exactly that would impact the USA Unemployment rate. Now, there is going to be some error with this answer because I know the two sets of Data do not match up. The Bureau of Labor Statics reports that as of July 2014 the Unemployment rate was 6.2% (Stats). The Census Bureau reported at that time there were 194,296,087 people living in the USA between the ages of 18 and 64 (Census). Based on these numbers (if my math is correct) 12,046,358 Americans in the 18-64 age range were unemployed.

Lets bring back those manufacturing jobs that went overseas.

If those manufacturing jobs came back over (2,400,000) the Unemployment rate for people in the USA between the ages of 18 and 64 would have decreased by 19.92%. That is almost 20%!

You know, I think Europe could be on to something here. We didn’t even touch on the IT and Customer Service industries either.