Imperial America and predatory capitalism are the grinches that steal every holiday season, and all other times of the year worldwide.
There’s no joy in war theaters, or for countless millions in America, the West, and elsewhere – one or two missed paychecks from homelessness, hunger and despair.
On any given night in America, more than 600,000 individuals are homeless. Some estimates are much higher, things worsening over time because of bipartisan opposition in Washington to peace, equity and justice for all.
Many of the homeless in America are combat veterans. America treats its own with disdain. No longer involved in US wars of aggression, they’re unwanted, on their own, and out of luck back home.
Other working individuals or families with children, earning poverty or sub-poverty wages, are forced to make tough choices, unable to afford all essentials to life.
The American dream for tens of millions in the country is nightmarish. Imagine trying to survive homeless on Chicago’s mean streets in winter where I live.
According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, over 80,000 in city were homeless in 2016, its latest estimate.
The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness includes individuals or families without “a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”
The Department of Education’s definition, focusing on children and youths, includes individuals “sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned…”
Many homeless individuals or families in America double up with others, an unsatisfactory temporary arrangement.
In Chicago and other cities, some ride public transportation all night to stay warm. Others are without shelter of any kind.
Many cities have overnight warming centers. Yet they’re avoided by many homeless persons over safety issues. Women fear possible sexual assault or rape.
Theft, violence, other abuses, and unsanitary conditions make these facilities dangerous and inhospitable.
Homelessness in America is a national scandal, a political and economic issue, affected by cuts in federally funded low-income housing, especially since the 1980s.
Other vital social programs eroded or were eliminated, symptomatic of an uncaring nation. The world’s richest one doesn’t give a damn about its poor and disadvantaged – its resources increasingly earmarked for militarism, endless wars, and corporate handouts.
An August 2018 Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) study, titled “How Hungry is America?” found food insecurity in the country is widespread, affecting nearly one in six households nationwide in 2017.
Children are especially deprived, nearly one in five affected by what the study called “food hardship.”
FRAC president Jim Weill explained that
“food hardship is a serious national problem that requires a serious national response.”
“Too many people in every region, state, and community have been left behind in the economic recovery from the Great Recession, and are still struggling to put food on the table.”
The so-called “Great Recession” is a protracted/unreported Great Depression for tens of millions of Americans, including the 21.3% of unemployed working-age individuals (according to Shadowstats), and countless tens of millions more way underemployed – victims of an unprecedented wealth disparity in the country, the same thing going on throughout the West and most elsewhere.
Low wages don’t keep up with inflation. Benefits provided by companies are eroding. Social justice throughout the West is on a chopping block for elimination.
For tens of millions of suffering people in US war theaters, hardships, dangers, and misery take on entirely new meanings.
There’s no joy to the world this holiday season or any other time of year for most people in most parts of the world – enduring a daily struggle to get by, struggling to stay alive in active war theaters.
They’re victims of US-led dark forces, inflicting enormous harm on most people worldwide to benefit the privileged few.
There’s no dreaming of what the neocon-CIA-connected Washington Post called “a bright Christmas.”
The forecast includes endless wars, growing poverty, human misery and suffering, along with indifference by officials in the West and most other countries for the rights and needs of their citizens and residents.
Joy won’t arrive on Christmas morning for most people most everywhere – nor throughout the holiday period or any other time of year.
How can it for the homeless, hungry, exploited, or otherwise ill-treated millions worldwide.
I’ll spend Christmas and the holiday period like all other times of the year – doing what I love best, writing and speaking out for a nation and world safe and fit to live in, opposing my country’s imperial agenda, denouncing its high crimes.
I can’t change the world. I just hope to push it a little in the right direction.
It’s my way of giving back for my life’s blessings, hoping many others will join in working for responsible change – during the holiday period and all other times of the year.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.