According to an analysis from Feeding America, food insecurity will hit 52 million people due to COVID-19 in the United States, which is an increase of 17 million people from pre-pandemic times. Supply line disruptions, lower levels of donations, and millions of unemployed people who’ve lost their jobs due to government-imposed lockdowns have created a massive strain on America’s food supply and more and more families are being pushed into a situation of food insecurity.
It’s not just the brink of starvation that millions of Americans face either. Thanks to government-mandated lockdowns, a record number of Americans are unable to find jobs as businesses are forced to close or have gone out of business permanently. This is creating a situation in which families are unable to pay their rent — leading to the potential for mass evictions.
In March the CARES Act imposed a federal moratorium on evictions, which mandated that it was illegal to evict tenants who participate in federal housing assistance programs or who live in properties with a federally backed mortgage loan due to the nonpayment of rent. When the CARES Act moratorium expired on July 24, a host of state and local governments passed their own eviction prevention measures—but these actions varied significantly across the country and left many renters vulnerable to eviction once again.
Then, on September 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued another moratorium on evictions through December 31, 2020. While this will certainly help those who rent — temporarily — all the moratorium did was pass the burden onto the landlord who may no longer be able to pay the mortgage on the property without the incoming rent.
And no, contrary to what many believe, most landlords are not mega-rich property owners and live modest lifestyles.
In fact, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institute 40 percent of residential property units are owned by individual investor landlords. Among those owning residential investment property, roughly a third are from low- to moderate-income households; property income constitutes up to 20 percent of their total household income.
Now, without some sort of assistance for the burden placed on smaller landlords another massive crisis is unfolding. To understand why this crisis is unfolding it needs to be made clear that a moratorium doesn’t forgive rent payments, it only allows the renter to defer them. However, if a tenant cannot come up with monthly rent right now, the idea of paying back multiple months of compounded rent after the moratorium is over, will be all but impossible.
This lack of income will then be passed to the small business landlord who will then default on their loan payments and these houses will be repossessed by the banks. Given that the majority of rental homes are owned by individual “mom and pop” operations — not massive real estate companies — the resultant defaults could be catastrophic. Bank owned homes will likely not be subject to a moratorium and the occupants will be thrown out on the street.
One would think that the government would be paying attention to these food and housing crises and take action to prevent the inevitable collapse that will ensue with their current policies in place. That action would come in the form of rental assistance or other relief packages that could prevent such a devastating chain reaction of default and subsequent eviction. Unfortunately, however, government is gonna do what government is gonna do and it has taken no action to prevent the inevitable chaos.
Instead of passing relief packages to help the American citizens who have been forced out of work by governors across the country, partisan politicians have acted like children, refusing to reach a compromise on how that relief would come. It’s akin to childish bickering in a school yard but it will affect millions.
In the meantime, however, as the left and the right ignore the mass suffering of their constituents and ensure a massive economic collapse in the near future, they have and always will agree on one thing — war.
Both Republicans and Democrats in the House passed a $694.6 billion version of the Pentagon spending bill in July for fiscal year 2021. Nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars will go to furthering the militaristic expeditions of the US empire over the next year as part of this package.
The Senate proposed the final version of this Pentagon spending bill this week and the total $1.4 trillion package will likely be approved with little resistance.
The fact that people still believe in the idea that government has our best interests in mind is mind-blowing. They do not. Despite claiming to care in public, both parties ignore the plight of their citizens and grant billions in contracts to weapons manufacturers and foreign governments along the way — all to blow up brown people on the other side of the planet to keep their corporate masters appeased.
This should be expected though as it is the power of the two party paradigm. Partisan divide keeps people from seeing the reality that is the military-industrial complex and the cancer it has become on this planet. The left and the right constantly argue over irrelevant talking points as the police and warfare state marches on.
The $27 trillion in debt is irrelevant to most people and the fact that millions of Americans are going hungry and on the verge of homelessness is written off as the fault of the “other party” that their party tells them to hate.
This is the state of the land of the free in 2020. Rest assured, if nothing radical changes, what little freedom is left in this country, will dissipate before we know it. And, most Americans will have become so dependent on the state by that time, they will gladly accept it.
Article posted with permission from Matt Agorist
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