Thursday, August 27, 2009

Homeless in Buenos Aires

Homeless Woman at the Plaza de los Dos Congresos in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Shameful enough, taking photos of homeless people is easy in Buenos Aires because they are so many. Their sheer number is scary and growing relentlessly. Even middle class people are highly threatened with pauperization and homelessness. While only two out of ten Argentinean families are able to put money aside, the rest of the society is living from hand to mouth. Why is all this happening? Well, besides the obvious reasons like the crony economy, huge foreign debts, and four currency reforms within 40 years, it is happening because we don't care enough. We just hope that we will never ever find ourselves in such a dead-end situation. But isn't this like closing the eyes to the reality around us? Isn't homelessness a crime committed by our society against their weakest and poorest? Homelessness is not the problem; it is a symptom of an uncivilized world.

12 comments:

Jacob said...

I agree. Although there are homeless who are in that situation because of their continuing inability to cope with life (e.g. drug use and antisocial behavior), many these days are former "middle-class" who have lost jobs and thus their homes and have little recourse.

I think one of the tests of a great society is the willingness to take care of the less fortunate.

But, unfortunately, we live in a dog-eat-dog world. In the U.S., taxes have become a dirty word to a lot of people who somehow fail to realize that without taxes the government is unable to perform the functions for which it exists.

Government is not the problem, in spite of what Ronnie Reagan claimed. And a government of the people, by the people and for the people is essential for the common weal. Today, though, we have governments that exist to serve the worldwide corporate interests.

Such governments find it easy to fund wars and other projects that benefit its corporate benefactors but impossible to build a livable human community.

I have no answers.

bfarr said...

Well, said and jacob as well.

Bob Crowe said...

I have seen this in every city I have visited, even super-orderly Tokyo, but Argentina is in a more precarious economic position than many other countries. The Kirchners are populists but is that in the sense of demagogues or reformers?

By the way, I won a small prize in an Argentina photo contest sponsored by a U.S. travel web site. There's something about it on my blog Friday.

Leif Hagen said...

We have many blessings for which to be thankful! In Eagan, we have a huge food shelf to help feed the less fortunate; I'll show it to you soon on my blog!

Andreea said...

I'm afraid that as Bob said this is a global problem and is growing in size. Homelessness didn't used to be a problem in Romania but today a short stroll through the central train station and you realize how spread the problem is becoming.

AB said...

Sad to hear that homelessness is increasing. I had hoped that after years of economic turmoil, things might be slowly improving in Argentina.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Sadly, as wonderful a country as Canada is for the most part, homelessness exists here too. Fortunately, everyone's health care is covered here, which I guess is a start. We do have soup kitchens run by caring church congregations and "safe houses" for many to sleep at night. But it's definitely not enough.

Wolynski said...

Whenever I look at a homeless person I say, there for the grace of god go I. It could be any one of us.
The homeless have no addresses, therefore they can't vote and be heard.
Wonderful photo.

Celeste Maia said...

It is a serious issue. Not just in Argentina, also in Spain that gets thousands of African migrants. Many stay and cannot find jobs. What can we do about it? I give them money, food, and take them to a church that tries to help them. What else? What is the immediate solution?

Rob said...

I totally agree with you. But would a welfare state be better? I doubt it.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I have enjoyed your post here and I agree with the words you wrote. It is like home health care. A rich country should be able to provide it to everyone but we don't in America.

Pick a Peck of Pixels

Prospero said...

When will it change, I wonder.