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How to Solve the Problem of Homelessness

I have a BA in history and creative writing and an MA in history. I enjoy politics, movies, television, poker, video games, and trivia.

courtesy Maggie Smith

courtesy Maggie Smith

Poverty is Very Inconvenient

I had the most awful experience the other day. I was with my two-year-old son and we were getting out of our car at the supermarket when a large man approached us asking for money and food. The man was horrifying. He was tall, bedraggled, and smelled like my son's diaper after I have forgotten to change it for 8 hours. His clothes were filthy. He hadn't shaved in forever and his beard seemed to contain remnants of various meals he had over the last week. I think there was a squirrel living in there.

After he asked a second time if I could spare any change or perhaps some food, I told him that I would taze him if he didn't get away from me immediately, though I was concerned my tazer wouldn't have any effect given how many layers of clothing he had on. My threat worked and my son and I were safe once again.

The issue of poor people, poverty, and homelessness really does raise some important issues in our society. Among the most important is: how do we get rid of these people and make things better for the rest of us? Let's face it: poor people are a menace. They drag down our economy. They take things that aren't theirs. They smell. They seem to exist solely because the welfare state allows them to. They eat food provided by the government. They live in shelters provided by the government. If they get sick, the government pays for them to get better. I bet we all wish we didn't have to pay for anything! What an easy life we would have.

Let's remember that just like gay people choose to be gay, so do poor people choose to be poor. If they don't want to be poor, then they should get jobs. And if they don't want to be homeless, then they should get a job and buy a house. I'm sure most people are just like me and they ask themselves the question when they see poor and homeless people: "Why can't that guy work?" Most of them look like they could work and there are tons of jobs. All you have to do is look in the newspaper or go online. Why, just the other day I saw McDonald's was hiring people. I'm sure there are poor people who could do some of those jobs, but I think they'd rather be poor than work. I think they'd rather stand on the corner and take hand-outs than earn an honest living.

If you are as concerned as me about the problem of poverty, there are definitely some things you can do to improve the issue in this country. First, encourage poor people to move. If you see a poor person or one tries to accost you for money, have a conversation with them in which you suggest they move to Canada or some other country where the poor can sit around all day and do nothing and wait for their government check, like England. Second, vote for candidates who will end all government subsidies for poor people. Medicaid is a huge government bail-out for poor people that allows them to get medical care for free. This is a ridiculous use of our tax dollars, particularly when companies like Exxon and Conoco-Phillips need those tax dollars to fund offshore drilling projects that could potentially lower the cost of gas.

The most troubling aspect of this whole episode is that it really tested my Christian beliefs. Although Jesus was committed to helping the poor, I don't think he ever had to stare death right in the face like I have nor did he have poor people coming up begging him for money or standing on the median holding up signs as he stopped his car next to them. And since Jesus never had a tazer, I don't think he ever had to make the decision to taze or not to taze and I'm sure had he felt so threatened, he might have decided that the tazer was best for his personal safety. The bottom line is that Jesus loves those that love themselves and those that are true to the human condition. Poor people shame Jesus by destroying the vessel that he gave them. We need to motivate them to improve not encourage them to keep taking.

Anyway, I think it must have been easier for Jesus to help the poor way back when. Nobody had anything. Now that we have stuff that the poor want, we have to fight tooth and nail to keep it. I'm also not sure what taxes they had to pay back then either, but I'm pretty sure if Jesus had to pay the kind of taxes I had to pay, he'd lose his mind. I'm sure Jesus would work hard for his money and would not want it taken away and given to the poor. I'm not really sure just how much of my taxes are given to the poor, but I want that money back.

So let's all band together and help the poor. Our society will be better for it.


[sat-ahyuh r] –noun 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. 3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

  • World Hunger and Poverty — Global Issues
    This part of the web site looks into some of the causes of hunger and the relationship with poverty. World hunger causes are found to be in the causes of poverty. We produce enough food for everyone, but political economics affect ho
  • Solutions to World Poverty
    Considers possible solutions to poverty in poor countries and in rich countries


Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on July 01, 2013:

I appreciate people who get satire!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 01, 2013:

Hi, Crank, I have read enough of your hubs to know from the very beginning that you were writing satire, but some people have no sense of humor, as I guess you found out. Here it is difficult to tell the real homeless from the professional beggars, some of whom are dangerous. Mr. B was assaulted by one a few years ago and the dangerous one lost. I have been wary of anyone begging for money ever since then.

Moses Jones on June 20, 2012:

Watch out now. I'm one of these homeless people. I will find you and hit you up for money. I have lost everything. Before I became homeless, I have done every drug that you can imagine and more. I have lived a sexually promiscuous life and contracted an STD. All I have now is pants that have so many holes in it and the holes are so large that it does not adequately cover me, get the picture?

By the way, my clothes are covered in puke. So you are really going to enjoy dealing with me. LOL!

Scroll to Continue

In all seriousness, I am homeless. By the way satire is not just meant to make you laugh, but to open your eyes and maybe even piss you off. This piece of writing apparently has done its job.

As a homeless person, I sort of laughed.

littlethespians from Farmville, Virginia on April 23, 2012:

wITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT, YOUR DAY IS COMING. I used to make more money than you make now, and LIFE HAPPENED! I have a college degree and a work history in the same industry. I have a hub entitled "Poverty in America, what is is REALLY like". Maybe you should read it although you have such a closed mind I doubt it would do you any good.

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 26, 2011:

This is abominable satire- you have now gone TOO far!

JasmineCB on December 25, 2011:

This disgusts me beyond any level. I'll give you satire. Because you know there aren't any people that have degrees and can't find a job, right? Especially in today's wonderful economy. There's no such thing as a person who has a degree that is unable to find a job. Oh wait, but there is such thing! You really think someone can buy a house by working at McDonalds? Chances are, you are Republican. And another possibility? You have never been poor. Welfare is not intended to steal your money, it is intended to push people. How can we just let our own people die? Have you no pride in your country? England and Canada have good reputations because of their humility, so why can't Americans be like that? Let alone, republicans? Fine, let your people die, and only let the rich live, but you'll never understand anything outside of your selfish, sheltered, and ignorant mind.

made wirawan on December 20, 2011:

It's disappointed to read this one. At the first time I read your hub, it seems like you're a humorous person with kindness inside. But now, I think you're not much different from all narrow minded person walking with their arrogant and selfish pride on this miserably earth. Have you ever think there's lot of people do anything they could do just to feed their children tough they're got nothing to eat? There's a father whose desperately jobless had chose to death rather than being more wasteful food spare in the family. Yeah, your a humorous one but shamefully lack of heart.

Ed Michaels from Texas, USA on December 14, 2011:

Satire is a tricky form, not because it is difficult to detect the true motive of the writer, but because that shiftiness of stated truth and real intent are the substance of the form. Swift never said "Just kidding!" and his Modest Proposal works because he did not say it, because people believe(d) it enough to be horrified, to follow what seemed a radical position based on a real, present situation and fear to its logical Horrible conclusion.

Good satire always takes on the worst of subjects, for only they deserve satirical force.

Great job, though. You hit all the major points in a believable voice. Great writing.

ACR21 on October 21, 2011:

Some can appreciate the humor in this,I'm not one. The poor people in this country are ignored and shamed. This is a serious matter that needs to be treated as such. Sorry for saying you will rot in hell. This a touchy subject for me, I grew up dirt poor and i hade to fight for everything i have today and my struggles is still not over.

SanXuary on October 19, 2011:

We create our own monsters and with the current system you better prepare yourself for ordinary people looking like that everywhere you go. Oddly enough they are asking the same questions. How do we get rid of these rich people so that we can get a real job that pays? So we can own a home and not get swindled by crooked money lenders? A real government that represents the people and is concerned about health and regulations that create fair and profitable systems that are sustainable? Street justice is a ugly thing and you might need that bum someday because he knows how to survive and who his friends really are. They are people who do not sell them out for a dollar.

Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on October 19, 2011:


Please note the definition of satire at the bottom of the page.

ACR21 on October 19, 2011:

You are a joke there is a place for peopl like you its callled hell and you will rot there

Auntie D from California on October 09, 2011:

Yes, I knew it was satire and thought you made a good point and I wish there were good solutions to help solve this problem.

There are homeless who are clean, as is their clothing. They move through life staying with one friend moving on to another. If not with a friend they sleep wherever but visit anyplace that has a public restroom to wash up. Some have had problems with drugs, have been in jail, been through and completed drug rehab and now are competing with other jobless people who do have good work records, no drug history and no jail. The scummy, dirty ones looking for handouts usually are still having problems with drugs or alcohol and sleep wherever they can find shelter. Cleanliness is not on their mind, just the next fix, etc. I am generalizing.

Brian Middleton from Southern Utah on August 08, 2011:

This should add to the discussion. Enjoy this and its related videos.

Carlon Michelle from USA on August 04, 2011:

I was so laughing at the taze remark. As large as the issue of poor and homeless is, anyone coming up to a person insisting on money be handed to them are scary. With crazy people walking the streets it's hard to tell the difference between them and the truly needy. I would have tazed him too for being stupid enough to come up to a man who has a child. And while this is satire, there are people out there that beg on the streets for money to drink and do drugs or just to earn a living so they don't have to work a 9 to 5. I think the people who are really poor and homeless do use the system and agencies that help them. I have no fix for helping the masses except to show them what Gods Kingdom will do to fix the problem soon. I can give cans of food at the next Harvest for Hunger campaign but I know that's not going to resolve the issue. It's bigger than what a person or government can do. But like all of life’s problems, sometimes you have to laugh so you don't spend all day crying.

R on June 18, 2011:

What a twit you are. Poverty comes in many forms, not just crazy beggars on the street. You middle class toffee nosed dolt. I work full time, I live in an apartment, I bathe, I have clean clothes and yet I am POOR. Try living in the world and climb out of the middle class ass you've been residing in.

ur a freak on May 29, 2011:

are you shitting me you are a menace you are messed up you are a crazy freak

Boomer Flicks from Tampa Bay, FL on May 28, 2011:

A thought-provoking hub on a timeless subject. For more thoughts along these lines read Jonathon Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' where Swift recommends that the Irish eat their children to fend off starvation and Charles Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol' with Ebenezer Scrooge's advice on how to 'reduce the surplus population.' (Oh, and maybe you should put the word 'SATIRE' in the title!?!)

Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on May 27, 2011:

Actually, I didn't know you couldn't read the whole hub from the feed page.

That being said, in order for satire to work, there have to be grains of truth there. IMHO, the story has to hook the reader with that truth and then become increasingly fantastical. I would have thought the stuff about Jesus would have done it.

Ironically, it's the part involving Jesus that I think is actually true. How else do right-wing Christians explain their positions on legislation that would literally deny any and all services to people in need, including their children (see Oklahoma). These people not only call themselves Christians, they flaunt it. Didn't Jesus help the poor?

SALVAONEGIANNAOLCOM from south and west of canada,north of ohio on May 27, 2011:

You must know that people can't read your whole hub from the feed page,so your purpose was to get their attention first,then say,it's only satire.The story itself,is not all that improbable as you make it out to be.

Many people don't appreciate satire in written form because it cannot protray completely the satire that was intended.There is one way to know for sure what the satirist's motivations really are when the satire is written rather than spoken.Also,you have to consider the source.

Stigma31,comment so true concerning people out there who feel the poor or homelsss should just go away.It's a serious subject ,not a laughing matter.

Stigma31 from Kingston, ON on May 26, 2011:

You had me until you started talking about Jesus, then I saw the Satire at the bottom of the article. Sadly though, people do feel the way the article was written. I will say you put a lot of heart into it, so people would be defensive, good work voting up!

Allen Donald (author) from Colorado on May 26, 2011:

I was so sure that the printed definition of satire at the bottom of the page would let readers in on the joke, but the fact that some are taking this article seriously just shows how much the argument over poverty has really shifted away from practicality toward cruelty and that cruelty is now the reality. That this article seems true to people is so sad because so many people actually behave this way and think this way.

g2258 on May 26, 2011:

That guy was probably in a bad position as he sounded like a "real" homeless bum. He probably smelled like poop because of the garbage he ate to survive that he has to stomach, gave him diareah and had crapped himself because he did not have the luxery of a bathroom "down the hall" he can't clean up easily for this reason as well, he doesn't have money to buy a razor to shave or for that matter clothes. A simple I appologize sir I do not carry cash anymore would have sufficed, and would have been much more accetable. Just remeber treat other how you would like to be treated, as one day you might end up in this mans unfortunate position.

S T Guy from USA on May 26, 2011:

Let's just see if YOU ever get a taste of homelessness one day.

Good luck!

SALVAONEGIANNAOLCOM from south and west of canada,north of ohio on May 26, 2011:

If,this is supposed to be satire it's the worst subject matter to pick.

If,on the other hand it's a true story mascurading as satire then society is breaking down to the point of using Jesus as an excuse to justify prejudice against the poor because they are unable to get a job perhaps because there are no jobs or they don't qualify for the jobs that do exist as well as having no place to go clean up.

Funny,how certain people can steal your hard earned money like the federal reserve with their Income tax and get away with it,but if your poor and look that way you go to jail.

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