Fixing America In 500 Words Or Less

Chapter 64

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Homeless Joe wore a fabled coat of many colors
He was a favorite son among many brothers
Who put him in deep hole an' brought him up again
And sold him down the river to slave in Egypt land

     Some say he wasn't real, just an ancient metaphor
     Of the king of everything who for our sake became poor
     Some say he was a livin' symbol of human salvation
     Decending from a righteous king and father of nations

             Homeless Joe, there's so many wrongs to right
             With so many causes to fight, who's guitar gently weeps for you tonight?

Homeless Joe wore a coat of a darker color
He knew he was as good as the rich light brothers
Who chained him by the neck after payin' a ship's captain
And sold him down the river to slave in America land

     We marched for freedom in '63, did a concert for Bangladesh
     Live Aid, Farm Aid, Life Earth, you know, the world's a terrible mess
     But when it comes to helpin' the poor on the streets of our own nation
     We turn our backs on the king of kings and father of creation

             Homeless Joe, there's so many wrongs to right
             With so many causes to fight, who's guitar gently weeps for you tonight?

Now, Joe wears a faded coat of military colors
He grew up in Bakersfield, Lake Tahoe in the summers
Then came home from the war with no job or place to go
And ended up in LA, just another discarded soldier on Skid Row *

*AMERICAN HOMELESS STATISTICS:  According to official U.S. government statistics issued in November of 2007, more than 1 in 10 people in the United States go hungry.  More than 35 million people went hungry in 2006 according to the same report; almost 13 million of them were children and many of the rest were impoverished senior citizens.  In response, David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World said:  "The U.S. is the only industrialised nation that still allows hunger within its borders."

While it is literally impossible to obtain entirely accurate statistics regarding poverty in America, several valid estimates can be made based on a variety of agency, government and other sources. On August 1st, 2003, several million Americans were entirely homeless and millions more lived in vehicles, garages and similar makeshift accommodations.  The number of Americans in 2001 who were hungry or near hunger was 33.6 million according to the USDA. According to virtually all, if not all American poverty outreaches, the homeless population in America has increased significantly in the past five years, by some estimates as much as 35%. Almost all homeless outreaches are reporting large increases in the number of individuals they assist and large percentages of impoverished people are being turned away for lack of funding. Over 30% of Americans are at border-line poverty level or worse while at least 6 million children are extremely impoverished (meaning combined parental support is less than $9,000 per year for a family of four). America's Second Harvest reports that one in every four individuals in food lines are children and they assist over 9 million children annually.  The US Conference of Mayors reported a 19% increase in shelter requests due to homelessness in 25 cities surveyed in the year 2002.  Click Here for Homeless Statistics.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, over 60 American cities (including large cities) have essentially made it criminal to be poor, introducing measures to make it illegal to beg or sleep on the street, to sit in bus shelters for more than an hour, to stand on the corner soliciting work and, etc.  Meanwhile, neither the Republican or Democratic Party has any plan whatsoever directly addressing America's growing homeless population, nor are the homeless, including homeless war veterans, even mentioned as a priority in their party platform agendas.  It is estimated by veterans groups that as of January, 2005, there are approximately 230,000 homeless war veterans in America and, due to the current conflict in Iraq, the problem is expected to grow dramatically in the next 1-3 years (see Operation Stand Down's Homeless Veteran Statistics).  If 5% of the current American military budget were diverted to end growing hunger in our population, there would be virtually no hunger in the United States.  An additional 10% diverted annually, if managed correctly, could probably eventually wipe out starvation on the entire continent of Africa.

Before the Creator of the universe, there is no excuse whatsoever for a nation as wealthy as the United States to have one person within our borders who does not have adequate food, shelter and health care.  And it is beyond the iniquity of ancient Babylon, Egypt, Sodom and Rome combined that our leaders of all party affiliation, who hold the supreme advantage of historical perspective, do not make alleviation and elimination of poverty and disease America's number one priority issue. Historically, it is beyond all argument that if a nation does not address its own sick and poor, that nation will not long survive, as major plagues and other diseases spread throughout the least on up to the highest rungs of a society without partiality. Historically, large populations living in poverty without forseeable hope of improvement, either violently revolt and/or, lose all form of country loyalty and welcome a conquering enemy to come in and improve their meager lives of disease, hunger and misery. According to both Ezekiel and Jesus, God without partiality, judges all nations by whether or not they help their sick and poor.  The historical bottom-line agreed upon by even the most atheistic of scholars is that nations in the long run, will truly reap what they sow; nations that do not help their sick and poor will not likely be around very long to reap much of anything. See Fleeing Sodom for more information.  HOMELESS STATISTICS

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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © Jaunary 7th, 2014 by Richard Aberdeen.
Copyright © February 1st, 2014 by Freedom Tracks Records.

No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail.  Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced and distributed as desired.