Friday, 9 June 2017

Skid Row LA

The term Skid Row (or Skid Road), originally referred to the path along which timber workers skidded logs, and dates back to the 17th century. When a logger was fired he was "sent down the skid road," and its in the timber region of the pacific Northwest USA that the term also took on its current meaning of the domain of the 'down and outs'.

Shanty Town LA

Los Angeles County (pop 9,818,605 2016), incorporates the city of Los Angeles, and is home to more than one-quarter of California residents. Los Angeles was recently declared 'a city of shanties', when figures showed that there were 44,359 homeless people in Los Angeles County, and 25,686 in the city itself. Some estimates say that more than two-thirds of homeless people are on the streets with no shelter at all, because the weather / climate allows this.

The latest figures show that despite initiatives, and $100m thrown at the issue, the numbers are still rising, with 57,794 people homeless in LA county, there were 34,189 with no permanent roof over their heads in the city.

For comparison, in Greater London (pop 8,174,000 at the 2011 census), by the end of 1976, 15,000 families were recognised as homeless. Today, the charity Shelter calculates that 170,000 people are homeless in London. Or if you prefer, the governments figure of 52,820 are in homeless households in temporary accommodation in London, as of the 30th of June 2016. Actual 'Rough Sleeper' figures for Greater London i.e. those who are on the street as opposed to in temporary accommodation, show 8,096 people slept rough in the capital in 2015/16 — seven per cent up on the year before, and double the number in 2010/11.

In England as a whole sleeping rough an estimated 4,134 people bedded down outside in 2016 - with London accounting for 23% of that figure.

Hooverville -  A Famous Shanty Town In The 1930's

"Brother can you spare a dime" .... never seemed more appropriate.


  1. With most of the world's wealth in the hands of a small minority, these figures are not surprising.

    That's why Corbyn did so well this week.

    1. Wealth and power always accrue in to a limited number of hands. It is the nature of human society throughout history ... from Bolshevik Russia, Communist China to Capitalist USA.

    2. Sure, there are lots of natural phenomena like disease and crime but we invent medicine and police criminals. Most things we do are against nature to improve our lot, gross wealth imbalance should be high on that list.

    3. Possibly but if you take away wealth creation as an incentive then you have power acquisition instead. e.g. USSR or Pol Pts Kyhmer society. Human drives cant be suppressed without violence, which in turn involves violence and the power to stop people behaving as they are biologically driven to do.

      See chimp societies as a very good example of power hierarchies as norm.

    4. The choice isn't massive wealth imbalance or take away wealth creation, there's everything in between like curbing the extremes.

    5. The 'Wealth Gap' hasn't been tackled since the late 1960's and early 1970's, when the gap stopped closing, and started rising again. The extremes you refer to are evident across the globe e.g African dictators. All of course aided and abetted by the banking system .... where do you start, or more importantly end?

      Ones man's reforms are another man's state theft.

      Logically it has to be tackled globally, from bad governance right through to money laundering. There will never be agreement. Africa's dictators for example would scream 'Racist' and 'imperialists' and the left wing would agree. After all, as discussed elsewhere in this weeks posts, its only rich white males, who can be 'reformed'.

  2. Rough sleeping in the UK is up by 617 to 4,751 ... this is nearly triple the 2010 figure. The government hopes to eliminate the issue by 2027 AD ... not a chance in hell.


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