LET’S BE A MODEL FOR SOCIAL EVOLUTION, not a model for greed and corruption. Everyone has value to contribute to the GLOBAL VILLAGE. Build the village and they will come. Give a hungry man a dollar and he will eat today. Teach a man to fish, and he will not go hungry.
End Homelessness Action Plans do not take into account the sources of homelessness, or that the population living below the poverty level has increased in the United States by 25.2% since 2007. Consider the following points of fact:
- Shrinking Job Market: In addition to the migration of blue and white collar jobs to China and other countries, the ever growing automation and robotics technologies are replacing human capital in the world. Even those with higher education degrees, who have worked hard all their lives to provide for their families, are being passed over for adequate job openings in favor of college graduates age 25 to 34. Jobs requiring less than a Bachelor’s degree have been declining steadily since 2007.
- Housing and the cost of living: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased steadily since 2007, except for 2009 when it decreased -0.4%, and is based on the spending habits of a selected group of employed workers. It has nothing to do national revenues, resources or actual personal income.
- Education in the US is dismal at best. Where new jobs are being created, in lower income areas, international and domestic migration is highest. As an example, Travis County, Texas showed approximately 67,000 new payroll jobs between 2007 and 2014, while the domestic and international migration totaled over 80,000. In Travis County, the percentage of youth between age 18and 24 who earn a Bachelor’s degree is 13.1% [by design].
- Cultural Human-Devaluation Programming: This is the non-formal education children receive through entertainment media, observing the behaviors of peers and elders, and from the way they are treated in society. A child who believes him/herself to be defective or inferior to his/her peers is destine to fail. Historically disadvantaged students [Black, Latino, and low income] have less than half a chance for success in higher education; change the core programming and change the world.
There is social responsibility among the wealthiest people in the world, however. The “Giving Pledge Commitment” program was initiated by a few socially conscious individuals who see the future globally. See: givingpledge.org.
There seems little hope for creating enough new jobs in the US to accommodate the population. There is another way to prevent ourselves from becoming another third world country. The key is education, not just math and science, but education in self-sustaining living practices, and non-exclusive social etiquette [see emotional intelligence].
To relieve the stress on public service funding, this country will have to pull together and see the bigger picture. Before the industrial age took off, people grew much of their own food and traded with their neighbors to survive.
With today’s technology in permaculture and renewable energy production, and at a fraction of the current public burden of welfare, we start building small communities for people who live in poverty, These self-sustaining villages can operate independently and free of the need for public assistance funding, through revenue generating operations.
Basic medical care and other support measures can be offered on-site by qualified residents who volunteer their professional expertise as members of the community. In addition, professional educators, also volunteering members, provide quality education access to resident youth, and all others via interactive web-based media, to all age groups around the world.
By using the micro housing concept with group facility structures, and other housing alternatives, the cost per unit for members, living on less than ½ the national median income, would be anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on family size.
In exchange for providing the means for which people can feed, shelter and clothe themselves’, the community repays the investment through the production of quality, locally grown, nutritious food products, and through service in the ongoing rehabilitation of the environment.
By the year 2025, ten years from now, the overall cost savings to the public would range in Tillions of dollars in tax revenues, which continue to decline with the number of payroll jobs in the US.
This system would eventually replace the subsidized housing costs in urban areas and prevent chronic homelessness, poverty, hunger and poor health practices. The return on this investment is exponential through generations.
Low income housing communities can be built using the same model, some for purchase and others for rental. With education, shelter and healthy lifestyles, the public costs for healthcare, law enforcement, and all other forms of welfare would diminish. Applications for SSI and Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare would decrease substantially as communities generate more revenue to cover basic living expenses and build personal income for members.
Of the 30 million disabled Americans (over age 16, non-institutional) population surviving on income near or below the national poverty line, most have valuable skills and talents to contribute, but are limited by either lack of income, income restrictions, or by the lack of access to adequate job opportunities.
If we, as a civilized nation, would build the self-sustaining communities where non-labor force members of society could live and contribute, the 30 million who barely survive today on Social Security Disability Income would decrease by at least 10 million, if not more, and new applications would decrease dramatically over time. The same would hold true for all publicly funded assistance programs.
For non-disabled populations, there is no reason for people who are born healthy to tax others for basic life necessities when given the resources to provide for themselves. The US is structured to accommodate only those who a) have independent income sources, b) those who are able to compete adequately in the job market, or c) those who are supported by the income of family members, and d) those who must rely on charity and public assistance to survive in a sub-level quality of life.
As major employers continue to build up telecommuting networks and outsource office space, empty urban office structures become increasingly available to house the masses who no longer work in payroll jobs and wish to remain in the urban areas where they now reside.
The two keys to success in the new world for the non-labor force population are:
1) The desire to live with dignity, and
2) Education quality and access
Single parent families [25 million children] would benefit greatly from this concept coming to life. Most single parent family households are managed by single women, who have an estimated median income of about $24,000 a year. The majority of other low income households are people under 24 and over 65. All put together, they become a healthy, loving and supportive community where children thrive.
Obstacles: Land zoning and use policies; community acceptance; red tape for water access, consumption, and building restrictions.
Benefits: Cleaner, safer cities, green product production jobs, lower costs for green products, continued efficiency enhancements of green technology, increased profit for green businesses, lower tax burden for social services, lower carbon emissions, healthier people living in a higher quality of life with purpose and dignity, and better education for historically disadvantaged children who deserve more than half a chance for success in life, and a much healthier environment for all throughout generations to come.
For less than $10 million per village (not counting land use) [100 households (130-250 adults and children)]:
- Appropriate the land, about 20 acres each (rural).
- Dig water wells
- Install renewable energy systems (according to area) to power 100% plus, the plus can be stored and for back up and a portion sold to local power companies.
- Roll in the Tiny Houses on Wheels, build the micro homes, and shared use facilities, and plug into the off-grid.
From there, the residents would assist construction of greenhouses and a community center. Volunteers would come to help design and construct the permaculture system and educate the residents.
Once the village is fully functional, the residents would then become teachers and volunteers for new communities, and so on, and so on, all across the nation, and throughout the world.
From Nelson Mandela’s speech on poverty, London, 2005: “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is manmade and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom."
From the Millennium Development Report 2015:
The number of people now living in extreme poverty [around the world] has declined by more than half, falling from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015.
Despite Mandela’s insistence that extreme poverty could be overcome, most observers could not conceive the success of such a seemingly unreachable goal 25 years ago. Today no one is saying that it cannot be done, the only question now is, will we choose to complete the task?