Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Freedom Isn't Free

and many people in the US can't afford it.
Being poor sucks in any country but especially in the US, which is so proud of being the Richest Nation on Earth that it makes sure everyone lives up to that whether they can afford to or not. Consider the case of Avondale, Arizona resident Christine Stevens, who has been in deep water (financially speaking) since losing her bank job in January 2009. She decided to discontinue her electricity service and make do with solar panels – Arizona has no shortage of sunshine, after all – and using an ice box in lieu of a refrigerator.

But such frugality defies Avondale city codes, which require a refrigerator, heating and cooling system, and electricity enough for all. So Stevens' house was condemned, and Stevens kicked out. "We explained to her that the panels weren't enough to sustain a quality of life there," Avondale's code enforcement manager said. Stevens is back in her home now, after spending 11 nights sleeping in her car, but could still lose the property.
There's another heinous example in the same article:
When you're worried about someone's quality of life, adding them to the ranks of the homeless might not be the best way to improve it, but it's close enough for government work. Sometimes more drastic measures are needed, like the ones taken by city officials in Mountain View, California: they kicked an old lady named Loretta Pangrac out of her house, demolished it, and billed her almost $20,000 for their troubles.
This country is just sick, sick, sick.

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