Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities?  It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City.  As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness.

In addition to the thousands of "tunnel people" living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night.

The federal government tells us that the recession "is over" and that "things are getting better", and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight.  So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?

When I heard that there were homeless people living in a network of underground tunnels beneath the streets of Kansas City, I was absolutely stunned.  I have relatives that live in that area.  I never thought of Kansas City as one of the more troubled cities in the United States.

But according to the Daily Mail, police recently discovered a huge network of tunnels under the city that people had been living in...
Below the streets of Kansas City, there are deep underground tunnels where a group of vagrant homeless people lived in camps.
These so-called homeless camps have now been uncovered by the Kansas City Police, who then evicted the residents because of the unsafe environment.
Authorities said these people were living in squalor, with piles of garbage and dirty diapers left around wooded areas.

The saddest part is the fact that authorities found dirty diapers in the areas near these tunnels.  That must mean that babies were being raised in that kind of an environment.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is happening all over the nation.  In recent years, the tunnel people of Las Vegas have received quite a bit of publicity all over the world.  It has been estimated that more than 1,000 people live in the massive network of flood tunnels under the city...
Deep beneath Vegas’s glittering lights lies a sinister labyrinth inhabited by poisonous spiders and a man nicknamed The Troll who wields an iron bar.
But astonishingly, the 200 miles of flood tunnels are also home to 1,000 people who eke out a living in the strip’s dark underbelly.
Some, like Steven and his girlfriend Kathryn, have furnished their home with considerable care - their 400sq ft 'bungalow' boasts a double bed, a wardrobe and even a bookshelf.
Could you imagine living like that?  Sadly, for an increasing number of Americans a "normal lifestyle" is no longer an option.  Either they have to go to the homeless shelters or they have to try to eke out an existence on their own any way that they can.

In New York City, authorities are constantly trying to root out the people that live in the tunnels under the city and yet they never seem to be able to find them all.  The following is from a New York Post article about the "Mole People" that live underneath New York City...
The homeless people who live down here are called Mole People. They do not, as many believe, exist in a separate, organized underground society. It's more of a solitary existence and loose-knit community of secretive, hard-luck individuals.
The New York Post followed one homeless man known as "John Travolta" on a tour through the underground world.  What they discovered was a world that is very much different from what most New Yorkers experience...
In the tunnels, their world is one of malt liquor, tight spaces, schizophrenic neighbors, hunger and spells of heat and cold. Travolta and the others eat fairly well, living on a regimented schedule of restaurant leftovers, dumped each night at different times around the neighborhood above his foreboding home.
Even as the Dow hits record high after record high, poverty in New York City continues to rise at a very frightening pace.  Incredibly, the number of homeless people sleeping in the homeless shelters of New York City has increased by a whopping 19 percent over the past year.

In many of our major cities, the homeless shelters are already at maximum capacity and are absolutely packed night after night.  Large numbers of homeless people are often left to fend for themselves.

That is one reason why we have seen the rise of so many tent cities.

Yes, the tent cities are still there, they just aren't getting as much attention these days because they do not fit in with the "economic recovery" narrative that the mainstream media is currently pushing.

In fact, many of the tent cities are larger than ever.  For example, you can check out a Reuters video about a growing tent city in New Jersey that was posted on YouTube at the end of March right here.  A lot of these tent cities have now become permanent fixtures, and unfortunately they will probably become much larger when the next major economic crisis strikes.

But perhaps the saddest part of all of this is the massive number of children that are suffering night after night.

For the first time ever, more than a million public school children in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

So if things are really "getting better", then why in the world do we have more than a million public school children without homes?

These days a lot of families that have lost their homes have ended up living in their vehicles.  The following is an excerpt from a 60 Minutes interview with one family that is living in their truck...
This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he's been looking for work ever since Florida's construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom's a little camera shy - thought we ought to talk to the kids - and it didn't take long to see why.
Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?
Arielle Metzger: About five months.
Pelley: What's that like?
Arielle Metzger: It's an adventure.
Austin Metzger: That's how we see it.
Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell 'em?
Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won't tell anybody.
Arielle Metzger: Yeah it's not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it's only life. You do what you need to do, right?
But after watching a news report or reading something on the Internet about these people we rapidly forget about them because they are not a part of "our world".

Another place where a lot of poor people end up is in prison.  In a previous article, I detailed how the prison population in the United States has been booming in recent years.  If you can believe it, the United States now has approximately 25 percent of the entire global prison population even though it only has about 5 percent of the total global population.

And these days it is not just violent criminals that get thrown into prison.  If you lose your job and get behind on your bills, you could be thrown into prison as well.  The following is from a recent CBS News article...
Roughly a third of U.S. states today jail people for not paying off their debts, from court-related fines and fees to credit card and car loans, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Such practices contravene a 1983 United States Supreme Court ruling that they violate the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.
Some states apply "poverty penalties," such as late fees, payment plan fees and interest, when people are unable to pay all their debts at once. Alabama charges a 30 percent collection fee, for instance, while Florida allows private debt collectors to add a 40 percent surcharge on the original debt. Some Florida counties also use so-called collection courts, where debtors can be jailed but have no right to a public defender. In North Carolina, people are charged for using a public defender, so poor defendants who can't afford such costs may be forced to forgo legal counsel.
The high rates of unemployment and government fiscal shortfalls that followed the housing crash have increased the use of debtors' prisons, as states look for ways to replenish their coffers. Said Chettiar, "It's like drawing blood from a stone. States are trying to increase their revenue on the backs of the poor."
If you are poor, the United States can be an incredibly cold and cruel place.  Mercy and compassion are in very short supply.

The middle class continues to shrink and poverty continues to grow with each passing year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty.  And if you throw in those that are considered to be "near poverty", that number becomes much larger.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either "poor" or "low income".

For many more facts about the rapid increase of poverty in this country, please see my previous article entitled "21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know".

But even as poverty grows, it seems like the hearts of those that still do have money are getting colder.  Just check out what happened recently at a grocery store that was in the process of closing down in Augusta, Georgia...
Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.
The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”
Can you imagine watching that happen?

But of course handouts and charity are only temporary solutions.  What the poor in this country really need are jobs, and unfortunately there has not been a jobs recovery in the United States since the recession ended.

In fact, the employment crisis looks like it is starting to take another turn for the worse.  The number of layoffs in the month of March was 30 percent higher than the same time a year ago.

Meanwhile, small businesses are indicating that hiring is about to slow down significantly.

According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small businesses in the United States are extremely pessimistic right now.  The following is what Goldman Sachs had to say about this survey...
Components of the survey were consistent with the decline in headline optimism, as the net percent of respondents planning to hire fell to 0% (from +4%), those expecting higher sales fell to -4% (from +1%), and those reporting that it is a good time to expand ticked down to +4% (from +5%). The net percent of respondents expecting the economy to improve was unchanged at -28%, a very depressed level. However, on the positive side, +25% of respondents plan increased capital spending [ZH: With Alcoa CapEx spending at a 2 year low]. Small business owners continue to place poor sales, taxes, and red tape at the top of their list of business problems, as they have for the past several years.
So why aren't our politicians doing anything to fix this?

For example, why in the world don't they stop millions of our jobs from being sent out of the country?

Well, the truth is that they don't think we have a problem.  In fact, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson recently said that U.S. trade deficits "don't matter".

He apparently does not seem alarmed that more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities have been shut down in the United States since 2001.

And since the last election, the White House has seemed to have gone into permanent party mode.

On Tuesday, another extravagant party will be held at the White House.  It is being called "In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul", and it is going to include some of the biggest names in the music industry...
As the White House has previously announced, Justin Timberlake (who will be making his White House debut), Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples, and others will be performing at the exclusive event.
And so who will be paying for all of this?

You and I will be.  Even as the Obamas cry about all of the other "spending cuts" that are happening, they continue to blow millions of taxpayer dollars on wildly extravagant parties and vacations.

Overall, U.S. taxpayers will spend well over a billion dollars on the Obamas this year.

I wonder what the tunnel people that live under the streets of America think about that.

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Richard said...

And the bastards in Washington are more concerned about gun control, gays getting married, funding an illegal war and lining their pockets.

Anonymous said...

Liked the article until the end where the writer turned it into a political hit piece on the black president. This depression was brought on by a Republican president who waged two trillion dollar wars while lowering taxes. Obama is not the problem. The problem is that the Republicans and the Democrats both work for the same elite cabal of bankers and industrialists.
And the elite do not give a flip about the welfare and future of the American middle class. We need real change and putting a different puppet in the White House will not accomplish anything.

Anonymous said...

@Richard Why Bash Gay Humans??? Many Are Homeless too

Anonymous said...

Obama certainly is a serious problem. You are right to point out that he didn't create the problem but he has done nothing to help. All he has done is continúe and expand the right wing policies of his predecesors by shoveling money to the banks and siding with Wall Street on every issue. Obama is just as big of a scumbag as Bush and Cheney were.

Anonymous said...

Liked the article until the end where the writer turned it into a political hit piece on the black president.

Agreed. Well written, emotional and truthful, it is a damning report on the desperate state of the nation. Decent people, children living in filth from day to day, it is heartbreaking.
It is a result of decades of underfunding education, screwing workers, giving corporate pigs whatever they want and gradually diverting public money away from people towards the big war machine.............in other words mostly Republican stuff.
I agree that Obama is an equal to Bush and Cheney in the scumbag department.

Blaming both D and R is the only honest assessment of the situation. Inflammatory language blaming one side instead of the other is very helpful to the fascists who rule us.

Anonymous said...

During the Dust Bowl years, corporate farms would dump truck loads of vegetables into the rivers in California because the prices were too low to pay for shipping. People were literally starving to death picking food in CA for markets back east, and they dumped food into the rivers. That SunTrust branch should burn itself to the ground in shame.

Anonymous said...

The car replaced the horse & buggy, robots have replaced people, not only in the work place but on the front lines of war! We gave away our trade & work ethics with NAFTA, GAFTA & all the 3 letter banksters crap that now run gov & have been since the FED was installed to print paper & open up the IRS to unsure they collect all the funds they can from the slave we have become. Your SS # makes you a slave!
The homeless will only grow as the USA has now turned in a 3 rd world nation, it has gave away all of resources, destroyed the environment to a point of no return! The nuke plants are killing the population off at a alarming rate not counting GMO foods & water not fit to drink, it is time you get right with your maker, the KING of KINGS & the LORD of LORDS! The use use of social networks is a mining field for the IRS & the rest of the failing powers who have run the world into a cess pool of haves & have nots! What all of write is mined & stored to be used as they please to steal at will all that we have & it only started, with the trillions took from Americans in 2007/08 & now a market all made of lies & corruption in all levels of the gov & corps who steal at will to stay in power at any cost to the well being of the the people, most have been dumb down by the system of Marxism & all the other failed ism's put out by the progressive movement! Sink holes that get no MSM coverage, RAD's from Fukushima by air & sea & food & the the oil spills that get a no fly zone & Exxon who gets to black out all info! What the heck is wrong with the people of this once great Republic? TV's PC games & no real life work like working with the soil to bring life to the soil to feed our selves, now we depend on food not fit for RATS!!!Look at Bayou Corne & what has happen to the folks of this Nation is plain & simple, they have been suckered into believing in a false promise by sick politicians & crooked bankers, media & movie stars who have whored themselves to the progressive ways of Marxism & the failed socialist ways, it time to grab your boot straps & pick your selves up & depend on yourselves for what you need & ask GOD's forgiveness for following these money changers into their champers of lies & deceit they impose on all of their fools who fall for their crap that comes out of their pie holes!

One more thing, look to see how much all the fine folks in congress has increased their wealth since 1999 to today & those in the military complex who use our brightess kids to invent machines of WAR at MIT & Harvard! Just another BRICK IN THE WALL!! The top 1% has increased their wealth by 10000000 fold while the middle class has drop by 90% & the poor by 100 % & the disabled by 200%! Thanks to the court system who let people like John Corzine walk free & Maddoff who has gave up more info enough to put over 500 men in jail for life & many for TREASON that is a death penalty by what the REAL CONSTITUTION SAYS!!!!!
REAF the ACT of 1871 where DC was turned into a CORPORATAION! Look it up & you will find the truth!

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what the tunnel people that live under the streets of America think about that."

To the PTB's it doesn't what those people think, what matters is what the official history books will say later on - basically the same BS the media is saying right now(recovery...????).

And I imagine Obama and the PTB's that back him have the same views as Winston Churchill on that matter -

"For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself."

House of Commons, Jan 23, 1948


In 20 years people will likely be learning about how great Obama's policies were at helping the 'little guys' and staving off harsh economic times leading to an incredible "recovery".

The 100+ million unemployed peoples and the millions of homeless peoples will simply be tossed down the "memory hole".


Anonymous said...

Would you all stop your crocodile tears...You put King drone Obama in the White House... And for those of you who will say "I didn't vote for him" aren't better for leaving him in the White House...50 millions of you on food stamps, close to 90 million of you unemployed...The world is getting tired of listening to you guys complaining non stop and of your killings! Learn to shut up and start taking care of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

It makes my blood boil to read this !! while Israel gets $ 11 Million dollars per day !!!!

Anonymous said...

Read about

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