Q. Why is homelessness so pervasive?
The causes are varied. At the most basic economic level, homelessness is caused by
poverty and unemployment. The poor simply cannot afford adequate shelter. With estimates of the number of absolute
poor (those who cannot meet their most basic needs) reaching 1,200 million people world wide ó which is about
equal to estimates of the homeless ó poverty and homelessness are linked almost by definition.
basic economics, there are political causes as well.
Because the poor often do not carry much political weight,
a government may not feel the political pressure to improve its housing and anti-poverty policies. Many
governments are elected because a small number of wealthy people pay to have them elected. They want things
a certain way. They want to maintain the status quo and do not want to lose their privileges. The
government will not put much energy into eradicating poverty because that is not what the wealthy people want.
Q. How will we solve the problem of homelessness?
A. Through the
redistribution of the world's goods and resources ó The world stock market crash will bring this about. It
will reorient the governments of all countries towards a more equitable redistribution of food, housing, health
care and education, which as universal rights will become the priorities of all governments.
After the crash, the first duty of governments will be to feed people with the
right food. Their second duty will be to ensure adequate housing. Health and education will be the next
priorities. Investment along these lines in other parts of the world will follow, and lastly, defence. In short,
the crash will lead to a reordering of priorities.