“I live in Alpine, New Jersey, right. My house cost millions of dollars. In my neighborhood, there are four black people - hundreds of houses, four black people. Who are these black people? Well, there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Eddie Murphy, only black people in the whole neighborhood. So let’s break it down, let’s break it down. Me, I’m a decent comedian, I’m all right. Mary J. Blige, Mary J. Blige one of the greatest R&B singers to ever walk the earth. Jay-Z one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Eddie Murphy one of the funniest actors to ever, ever do it. Do you know what the white man that lives next door to me does for a living? He’s a fucking dentist. He ain’t the best dentist in the world. He ain’t going to the Dental Hall of Fame. He don’t get plaques for getting rid of plaque. He’s just a yank-your-tooth-out dentist. See, the black man got to fly to get something the white man could walk to.”
Children currently make up the majority of homeless New Yorkers, accounting for over 21,000 of the population who sleep in shelters. That is twice more than single adults who are homeless and sleep in shelters.
Another 5,000 New Yorkers are homeless but do not regularly sleep in shelters.
Keep in mind that NYC is the richest city in the Western World and second richest city in the world, behind Tokyo. With a large percentage of vacant housing units, homelessness can be literally eliminated with plenty of homes to spare.
Fortunately, a judge overturned the last policy saying it was enacted illegally but Bloomberg is not going down without a fight. In January, an appeals court heard the matter and will decided whether or not to overturn the judges decision.
New York City has seen a 73 percent increase in the number of homeless families during Bloomberg’s administration.
“The fundamental question that is going on in this country right now is – are we a country that believes ‘I got mine, the rest of you are on your own or are we a country that believes we are in this together?”
One of the central characteristics of highly unequal societies is that two sets of laws develop: One set for the rich and powerful and one set for everyone else. The more unequal societies become, the more easily they accept the unacceptable, and with each unrebuked violation, the powerful actors at the top of the society gain an ever greater sense of entitlement and an ever greater sense that the laws that govern everyone else don’t apply to them. As a result, their behavior becomes increasingly egregious.
I would suggest that the robo-mortgage scandal is a strong indicator that this type of unequal justice is now becoming ever more commonplace in America. Past bank abuses are typically discussed without a sense of outrage. They have, in effect, become a recognized practice of deception with no consequences. Here are three prominent examples from the past few years:
First, the robo-mortgage scandal was discovered. As powerful members of society, the banks effectively decided what laws they wanted to follow and disregarded others. The banks claimed that their violations were technical and harmed no one. Nonetheless, the activities of the banks constituted massive fraud, perjury, and conspiracy. Bank officials have testified in court that they filed as many as 10,000 false affidavits a month. These are effectively undeniable admissions of law-breaking on a massive scale.
It’s a federal crime, punishable by up of five years of imprisonment, to knowingly file a false affidavit with the court. From the perspective of the law, you are guilty of the same perjury when you falsely testify in court or when you submit a false affidavit. In most states, filing false affidavits with the court similarly constitutes a felony offense of perjury.
If an individual citizen perpetrated this kind of massive perjury, he or she would be prosecuted. For illegal activities to take place on this type of massive scale, other serious crimes, such as conspiracy, are undoubtedly committed as well.
The banks committed very clear, easily provable crimes by transferring property titles that they didn’t own- stealing from homeowners, and lying to the court about it. The only consequence they face for these crimes is the “settlement” that affords for less than a $2,000 per loan file fine- not bad for a felony offense that can normally result in five years in prison.
[T]wo years of statistics, through last September, show 5,771 cases where mediators found that banks had failed to participate in good faith or were not complying with other aspects of the mediation law. That is equivalent to 42 percent of all the mediations completed in the [Foreclosure Mediation Program in Nevada].