Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kozol still right: Too many are homeless

I am rereading Jonathan Kozol's important book on homelessness, Rachel and Her Children. It was published in 1988, during the end of the Reagan administration, before the massive dislocations caused by NAFTA and the ramp up of the so-called FIRE sector of the American economy (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate). Kozol, among many things, reminds us that quantifying the homeless problem is nearly impossible and very likely counterproductive:
Any search for the "right number" carries the assumption that we may at last arrive at an acceptable number. There is no acceptable number. Whether the number is 1 million or 4 million or the (Reagan) administration's estimate of less than a million, there are too many homeless people in America. 
This comment from Kozol, from p. 10 of the 1988 paperback, remains valid 24 years after the book's publication, a sad commentary on our society.

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