Poverty in America

The current USA judiciary policy favors the lowest level of adjudication possible for all events. That means until necessary to do otherwise, those controlled by taxation and/or licenses are handed the responsibility of making lower level authority decisions and maintaining order.

That is how extreme liberal racism and other agendas become the norm. It is also how some $500,000,000 HUD funds disappeared under Obama’s watch.

I have rented apartments for the past 29 years in FL, VA, ME, NY, TX, and GA. In that time I have seen the best (TX) and the worst (NY) there is out there. There is a tendency, in my experience, that when people are given deteriorated stuff, suitable for the garbage bin, then they take no ownership, no pride, which then promotes even more deterioration. New stuff tends to be treated a little bit better. I think that one of the ways that govt can serve the poor is to co-op, in some way target their contributions, organizations involved in community projects.
I think that the leasing system is geared to weed out such abusers- people that trash an apartment will get a bad-recommendations, which is asked by the next landlord, and so maybe they can do it once, or twice but eventually no one will rent them shit. It is like credit and in fact nowdays leasing is also determined by your credit history. The same kind of protections are not there for the resident. You do not know what this person has done or will do to you in a time of need. If they have a problem, then YOU are asked for patience, but if if you have a problem, oh, there are fees for that. Like the House, they never lose. It is so unfair that they arbitrarily determine fees. Early termination? That will be three months rent.

But I guess that is veering off topic. I get what Faust is saying. Sometimes it seems that you can take the horse to the water but you cannot make the horse drink the water. But we really, really have to be careful and not lay blame on the poor. Society encourages segregation, based on color, based on class, sex, pick other categories if you like. Because of this opportunity sometimes falls on communities which, through systemic oppression, pass in the eyes of other as unwilling or incapable of profiting from the “charity” laid on them. Others cannot contemplate a new career- Can’t teach an old dog new tricks-- but this all depends on the valuations made by each person. Most of us value this religion of improving, and we look at another person’s life and find it wanting-- by our standards. A new career might pay the bills but it might not be what a person wants for herself for their own standards and reasons which we might not understand.

This is why I believe that community centers have to be able to listen to people and find out how the system can help individuals as much as they can do to the community. Not every government initiative will have a direct impact-- cause and effect easily defined-- but nonetheless improving healthcare, treating addiction, insisting on a GED, improving infrastructure, modernizing our penal code which is the source of sooooooooooo much poverty, all of these among others, would be the result of government action and could improve persistent poverty.

As long as we are speaking anecdotally, I will chip in my experience. In a previous career I was in a position to assess entire segments of real-estate portfolios. Part of this role was to enter residential spaces and perform various assessments that invariably included very up-close and personal introductions to people’s contents and living conditions, and also glimpse of their lifestyles. I can concur with the point regarding people taking care of things if they are new vs. old however, quite often this was not the case. In fact, in many cases, if living conditions were initially improved by a move into better accommodations, the conditions quickly deteriorated to similar to those they had left. Similarly but more concerning, was the frequency to which I entered fairly new, modern subsidized housing complexes and encountered some of the worst living conditions I have seen. In these cases, I can only surmise that they take no ownership or pride because they have even less accountability encouraged by means of subsidized rent. This is based on seeing almost every combination of income vs living conditions imaginable.

Omar & IR,

Very thoughtful posts. Thank you. What you posted simply highlights the fact that what is poverty is far more complex than what fits on a bumper sticker slogan. It is sad that those who try to help are simply overwhelmed with the complexity and so much of their efforts are submarined by “issues” that they cannot control.

I didn’t intend to derail the thread by focusing on land lord - tenant problems as some major poverty issue. It is just one problem among many. But perhaps the solution is one that Faust kinda sorta referenced. It was about the lack of buy in. If more tenants were offered ways and means to BUY their living spaces, then pride in ownership might begin to lessen the problem. Dunno, but it might be worth a shot. Back to complexity: The banks, realtors, lenders both government and others would have to get together and come up with a workable program. I won’t hold my breath waiting, but it seems like a plausible answer.

What is a workable program for folks who haven’t the income to sustain their living environment?

All his proposed “solutions” are as old as the industrial modernity itself. They don’t work in the long run. Even Keynes & Co. knew this, but thought that debt was nonetheless the best “solution”. But it is an error too. It’s something like communistic capitalism and similar to capitalistic communism: an unworkable program, at least in the long run.

He and the other “liberals” don’t know or don’t want to admit that they can’t provide a workable program for those cases you mentioned, which means in the long run that they can’t provide a workable program for all.

And they always have excuses. This time it is “complexity”, “… those who try to help are simply overwhelmed with the complexity and so much of their efforts are submarined by ‘issues’ that they cannot control.” … and so on and so forth.

Do they know what a computer program is and what a computer modelling means?

The serving purpose of both debt and poverty is socialist confinement and control.

Hello Inconvenient

Cant say much about subsidized renters, but when I was in Miami I remember seeing a very good looking apartment tower next to I-95. When I asked about availability I found out that these were subsidized apartments. Brand new construction subsidized by govt, saving which were supposed to be extended to renters of modest income. It was not that old, but it was fairly well kept. I am sure that there are some that will trash a place no matter what, but that has probably little to do with their means and more with their character, for I have seen apartments trashed by people of means (relative to the other group). In my experience in Miami, I can tell you that leases impose quite a bit of restrictions when the administrations is spending money keeping the place up to standard. For example, the condition of your window shades, what you are allowed to keep in the balcony, is regulated by the lease agreement. Subsidized rent is not necessarily equal to less accountability, specially when such well kept buildings often carry a waiting list for approved applicants.

Hello tentative

That is a very interesting idea. In Spain the have something like that. But I think that there is no guarantee that people will not let the deterioration of their life become reflected in the deterioration of their homes. I think that is another reason why the communal clinic is so important because without working out the issues someones has (lack of education, two, three jobs, single parents, depression, substance abuse) society cannot hold them that accountable to maintaining the house. A nice home is not a cure (as you said, this issue is complicated), but I think that it is one of the ingredients to be added.


All solutions have to be local. The one size fits all solutions rarely succeed. The reason I don’t offer specific “solutions” is because I only know the problems to be solved in my area, my neighborhood, and the very specific issues faced by any individual. Sure, I can paint with a 5" house brush, “I know how to save the world”. But that is arrogant stupidity and we’ve all seen the failures of those so-called workable programs.

Sooo… What is workable? It literally takes one-on-one involvement between the helper and helpee. When I know ALL the problems you face then I can work toward helping you solve those problems. The rest is finding the helpers that can connect assets to the very specific problems. For instance, you don’t have a job? Then the solution is finding a job that is commensurate with your abilities. Oops. It may be more complex than that. You have a lack of income because in order to work a job you have to spend too much on child care for your three children. OR…There is a drug problem in the family that sucks up all available money. OR… the list can be very long. But never lose sight that any workable program is local, close up, and personal.

I realize that there is little satisfaction in what I’ve written here because it involves a shitload of hard work on everbodys part if anyones life is to be made “better”. I’m not willing to toss out generalizations because I’ve seen too many failures of those kinds of solutions. Keep it local, keep it personal.

The very first step in solving any problem is in seeing and understanding all the constituent parts of that problem. Hence, complexity. Whether it is having a nice living space, reliable transportation, adequate health care, Twinkies for breakfast, all the whatevers, these things can be provided if everyone does the hard work of finding the specific solutions. But as you suggest, there will be failures - lots of them. Why? Because of the sheer complexity of each individual life. Helpers can’t be expected to do everything or even know what some of the potential problems might be. At best, everyone does what they can do. But having a nice place to live certainly helps, if nothing but showing that living conditions CAN be better and perhaps other problems can be solved as well.

I thought that greed was the reason housing costs were so high. How does the landlord tenant act favor tenants in such a way to cause the cost of rents to skyrocket?

By favoring the tenant in almost every way. Part of the cost of running a business includes legal expenses. When the law favors the tenant, the landlord’s legal expenses go up. Hell, its almost impossible to evict someone who stops paying rent without them staying there another 6 months trying to fight you over fixing some bullshit that they probably broke themselves. Then even if you do win, and get a judgement against them which is rare, good luck garnishing the wages of some asshole who doesn’t even pay his rent.

But how are they favoring the tenant in every way? Where I live the eviction process takes about four weeks, involves the filing cost for the court and maybe sheriff costs to make sure they vacate the premises. In total no more than $500 and no lawyer is needed. Most tenants fail to appear in court.

Too many landlords listen to sob stories and promises that their rent is coming and meanwhile months pass without them getting paid. That’s how they lose money, but that is their own fault because its a hassle to do the whole court eviction thing and most slum landlords are lazy like that.


A couple of posts ago, rents were high because of landlord greed.

Now landlords are either too lazy to collect rent or they are too nice and they let tenants get away with not paying on time.


Where I live, tenants are favored. However, many landlords do not really know how to evict. These are the small players. Some do not hire lawyers. Some do not know their rights. Tenants, especially troublesome tenants, do know their rights. Here’s an example of how many poor people do have a strong social network. They often need to develop a social network that’s a bit more productive. That’s because, in the end, the landlord will win. It just takes a lot of time and sometimes money.

Yes, they are greedy and are willing to wait for their fat rents and unwilling to spend $500 to kick out people and end their fat rents for sure, then lose a month of their fat rent trying to fill that fat rent vacancy.

It just sounds like you are reacting to the last post that you read instead of having a consistent point of view. :frowning:

Do you have a point of view on it? You know, as opposed to simply arguing. :evilfun:

My biggest beef is with overpriced slummy apartments where they bring in desperate poor people who have no credit or job security to pay for unsafe/unsanitary living quarters in downtrodden neighborhoods. The slumlords know that they are going to get rent (maybe not all of it from each tenant), but they put no upkeep into those properties, so 90% of what they bring in is profit oriented. And those hellholes are usually overpriced by at least $100, some more, for what little they offer by way of conditions, amenities, neighborhood safety, pest control, working appliances, smoke detectors/fire extinguishers, safe stairways and building lighting, snow removal/lawn care, windows/doors that aren’t broken, roof maintenance, up to code electrical and plumbing, etc.

Lead paint and asbestos is just covered up, rather than removed.