While the loudest voices on the left continue to employ “think of the women and children” shaming tactics to bully everyone into accepting Syrian refugees in an effort to demonstrate their position on the moral high ground, the loudest voices on the right demonstrate their religious bigotry and deep lack of humanity in flat refusing to allow any refugees period. They’ve even doubled down and voiced opposition to any immigration at all. We’ve heard a variety of motivations for this. Objectively, on the right, it’s religious bigotry and on the left, it’s naive optimism. However, there’s an important objective part of the conversation that, apparently, isn’t up for public debate.
The poverty and homeless populations in the United States have been growing at crisis levels. In addition, 38% of American citizens, 16 and older, don’t have jobs.
If we can’t take care of our own citizens, where’s the money going to come from to shelter and feed these refugees? Further, what makes these refugees more of a priority for housing and government welfare than say…veterans…or any other American citizen for that matter?
Let’s ignore the arguments that have already been made for a minute and look at the situation objectively. If a family lives paycheck to paycheck…do they have enough money to be spending it on luxury items? No, because they can’t afford it. This is basic 101 level budgeting, we don’t spend more than what we have…a very simple concept.
With that in mind, please consider the facts below.
Over One Third of Americans Don’t Have Jobs:
Our country’s economy is in a state of economic crisis. While everyone has been claiming unemployment is at an all time low…according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hovering around 5%.
However, according to Shadowstats.com the national unemployment rate is closer to 22%, which when taken with workforce participation rate below, seems more realistic.
The problem is the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports workforce participation is at an all time low…62%
This means that 38% of Americans, 16 and over, don’t have a job. That is over one third of the potential working population of the United States.
Poverty In the United States:
In 2012 According to the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, 46.5 million people were living in poverty. This is the largest number ever measured by the census, since it started measuring this over 54 year ago. That’s 15% for all Americans and 21.8% for children under age 18. Of that number, 6.6% of our population, or 20.4 million people, were living in deep poverty
In 2014, that number rose to 46.7 million people.
According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 610,000 people were homeless on any given night and nearly a quarter of that number were children. The National Alliance to End Homelessness identified 49,933 homeless military veterans in January 2014 alone.
Cities Are Going Bankrupt:
According to Governing.com, since 2010, 51 municipalities and 9 local governments in the United States have filed for bankruptcy. The picture below is a partial list of where these are located to give the reader an idea of how prevalent this issue is.
From sites like gofundme, begslist, donatemoney2me, and many others, panhandling has found acceptance across the internet. However, because there are no major studies on cyber begging as a whole, it’s currently not possible to get a credible measure of how much cyber-panhandling has grown over the last ten years.
I believe having a safe place to live with food and shelter are human rights. However, our economy is in crisis.
If we as Americans, remain unable to provide these human rights for our own citizens, then we shouldn’t be further straining our already overburdened financial system providing government assistance and welfare to non-citizens…refugees or otherwise. This is just basic fiscal sense…we take care of our own communities first…then we’re able help others. However, if we choose to help others before our own communities…then we’re just over-stressing our own financial system further and setting our economy up for catastrophic failure.
To me, the most effective approach to helping these refugees find safe food and shelter would be for our government to immediately cease funding terrorists who we falsely characterize rebels and freedom fighters and stop financing governments who sponsor terror and human rights violations.
That would free up funds to help our own communities in need, solving two problems at once.