Too often we hear ordinary people and politicians blame the victims of our economic system. Trump specialized in this. He kept calling people “losers.” He did not mean that they were losing because capitalism is unfair – or that they were being hurt by systemic social injustice and discrimination. No, Trump’s accusation of “loser” was personal blame against the individuals who have been victimized by cruel systems in our society and our economy.
In order to solve the problems, we must recognize that OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS cause the problems and make people poor.
Also, OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS divert our nation’s resources into military violence and corruption.
Here is a good example from our local level: The Thurston County WA Voters Pamphlet for the August 3, 2021, primary election included statements from candidates. A number of candidates addressed homelessness in ways that blame the victims – blame homeless people themselves. Those candidates complained about substance abuse and mental illness.
Why do almost no candidates recognize systemic problems that cause homelessness?
The systemic problems that cause homelessness include:
- The horribly widening gap between very rich people and everybody else
- Stagnant wages (relative to inflation) since the mid-1970s
- Real estate developers’ exploitation and gentrification that force people
into homelessness because they can’t afford to pay the escalating rents
- Persistent biases (against racial minorities, LGBTQ persons, young people,
low-income people, and so forth)
- Congress’s persistent refusal to create a system that would
provide high quality health care at affordable prices for every person in America