Welcome to the latest Recovery Summer! President Obama is fond of comparing the “recession he inherited” to the Great Depression. Now he can point to one state and take credit for a new generation of “Hoovervilles.”
The website of Channel My9NJ notes that tent cities have popped up all across New Jersey, converting the Garden State to the “Garbage State.” Consisting of tents and lean-tos these cities are the homes of hundreds and in cases thousands of residents who have fallen on hard times.
A reporter named Meg Baker took a tour of the tent city in Camden and reported finding decomposing food, broken furniture, and feral cats amid the shabby dwellings. Baker asked one woman how long she had lived there. The pat answer was “Too long.”
Many of the people who live in the Camden tent city walk down to Cathedral Kitchen. The chef says he feeds about a hundred people a day from the tent city.
‘This is just a lot of good people who fell on bad times,’ Executive Chef Jonathan Jernigan says. ‘Lost their jobs, lost their family, a lot of depression and mental illness.’
Baker claims that her next stop will the tent city in Essex County, which has the largest population of homeless people in New Jersey.
No word has come from Gov. Chris Christie on when he will be touring latter-day Hoovervilles or if he will invite his soul-mate in the White House to join him. Obama was only too happy to make a token visit to New Jersey, where he won Christie’s praise for the “great job” he was doing in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but back then he had an election to win.
Besides any now day the first family is heading off to Martha’s Vineyard for its annual luxe vacation, so the president can’t be bothered with tent cities. So what if 4 out of 5 U.S. families face near-poverty and no prospects of work? What do you expect Obama to do about that when Republicans in the House won’t allow him to make more “investments” in education — a strategy that would immediately put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work and end the recession?
Meantime, if asked for a recommendation for the residents of the tent cities, the commander-in0chief would probably advise, “Let them eat cake.”