A highly successful businessman had one employee on which his entire enterprise depended. That employee managed every aspect of the operation and all the workers depended on him for direction. He was a managerial genius except for a few personal flaws. He habitually beat his wife and was so stingy he only allowed her one square of toilet paper at a time. He also refused for his kids to attend school and denied them basics needs like haircuts, dental appointments, everyday baths, regular meals, a change of underwear now and then, and made them brush their teeth in a puddle when it rained with their index fingers. His kids had to work ten hours a day and he got most the money they earned. Aside from those few shortcomings, he was a stellar employee, always on time, performed his duties precisely, and smiled every day. A really great find, he was.

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So who are these so-called “Homeless”? Where did they come from? And why all of a sudden did this army of indigents attack our downtowns, despoil our beautiful beaches with tents cites, and turn our parks and play areas into mini-Calcuttas? Back in the 50’s and 60’s they were called bums and you saw the vagrants and hobos hitchhiking along the interstates. There were even some “tramp camps” usually near railroad tracks for purposes of transportation. During that same period there were also Insane Asylums for those who’d lost touch with reality and State-run sanitariums to house the addicted or else paid private clinics for those who could afford them. Things went along like that and were considered an unfortunate but everyday part of life by most when President Nixon sent an envoy to China. Not too long afterward a tsunami of wandering, aimless, disheveled humanity hit our shores, so to speak. The Lost filled our streets hindering traffic, begging, waving hand-written signs at motorists with made-up sob stories, always, always, always pleading for money. What happened? Was this the beginning of a second Great Depression? Not at all! Much of America was booming economically. More millionaires, billionaires and zillionaires than ever built monuments to their names. It became commonplace to hear of those owning yachts with crews, mansions with butlers, and limousines with chauffeurs. So where did all the ragged hoards come from?

Our middle class. You know, they used to make things for the rest of us as in manufacturing—appliances, electronics, furniture, pretty much all the products that now say “Made in China.” Not only so, but also these middle class workers also grew our food, our vegetables, our fruits, and pretty much everything that now says “Product of Mexico (or Peru).” So what’s the big deal? Why does that matter? Things are cheaper that way, aren’t they? Who cares if our stuff is made overseas? So what if peasants in China, Mexico, Indonesia, and the world over manufacture our products? Can’t you get it through you head we don’t have to pay wages or put up with employee headaches. Okay, the greedy tyrannical overlords who rule them may be a little rough around the edges, but is it our problem they use child labor? Why should we feel guilty if their people live in slums and suffer starvation and disease? We didn’t kill them. It’s not our look-out mothers and children live in leaky lean-tos with tarpaper walls and old tires on the roof to hold the tin down and eat food we wouldn’t feed our dogs and cats. That’s their business, not ours, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it? And besides, they’d still be suffering maltreatment under strongmen thugs even if they weren’t making our products, wouldn’t they? Well, wouldn’t they?

There’s only one problem that we DO have to look at and can’t avoid. Our middle class. They haven’t gone away into the hills like we would have wished. Instead, they became an eyesore. They’re all around us—hopeless, drug addicted, begging, dying in seizures on our streets, using the bathrooms in our schoolyards in open view, encamped on sidewalks and blocking store entrances. They’re everywhere like maggots on a dead horse carcass. Yeah, yeah, there are a few enclaves free of unsightly riffraff behind gated suburbs and in bodyguard-protected communals of the ultra-rich, but even they have to hold their noses if they try to go beyond the boundaries of their fortresses.

Oh, and there’s one more problem. Our manufacturing is gone, moved overseas. We make practically no actual products anymore. Remember the days during World War II when we out-produced Germany, Japan, Britain, Italy, Russia, and the whole world? We overwhelmed those who hated us with planes, tanks, artillery and all the while keeping our troops well fed, comparatively speaking, with plenty of ammunition and so forth. Well, that’s gone. Now our enemies out-produce us and if need be, they could shut off our supply chain spigot and leave us at the mercy of the merciless and yearning for compassion from the compassionless.

But, oh, those cheap products were nice, weren’t they? I say, weren’t they? Hey! I said, weren’t they?

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