August 14, 2010 – 1:26 am by John

In Atlanta last Wednesday and Thursday, 30,000 people crowded the streets on foot and in their cars to hand in their applications for a voucher for free Section 8 housing to the East Point Housing Authority.

More than a thousand people [as I mentioned, it was actually 30,000 in the end] gathered Wednesday outside a metro-Atlanta shopping mall in hopes of being placed on a waiting list for federal housing assistance.

Fights broke out, children were reportedly trampled, and police had to stop the crowd from storming a nightclub being used by the East Point Housing Authority in East Point, Ga....

[T]the line for Section 8 housing vouchers formed two days ago and grew into the hundreds Tuesday night. People even slept outside the nightclub despite repeated assertions from the housing officials that the line was unnecessary and everyone would receive an application.

By Wednesday morning, the crowd had grown so large that East Point police began patrolling the area in riot gear and first responders were tending to people who were overheating in the sun.

People became frustrated when officials, feeling overwhelmed, did not open the doors at 9 a.m. as they had planned, reports CBS Atlanta. Those waiting in line were told by officials to move from one location to another before riot gear-clad police and housing officials handed out applications.

"I find this amazing," Ed Schultz said on "The Ed Show" Wednesday night. "One can only imagine watching this videotape ... how many other cities have it like this across America. And I think we have to ask ourselves the moral question, aren't we better than this?"

Indeed. But when a welfare-statist government arrogates to itself the function of providing anything to its subjects, especially some basic necessities like housing or food, the subjects will naturally become dependent on the government, expecting it to provide things for them and thinking of those handouts as their right, instead of becoming self-sufficient adults like they ought to.

The Regular Guys show, which broadcasts on an Atlanta rock station and which I frequently listen to online, sent someone out to the scene of this travesty on Thursday, knowing that chaos and pitifulness would ensue again and hoping to get some good audio from some of the handout seekers. One of the Regular Guys interviewed an aspiring rapper/producer/mixer/whatever, who was in line to get rent-free housing mainly so that he could raise his young son with slightly less hardship than if he had to pay for housing. He was less pathetic and clueless than you might expect, and probably less so than the Regular Guys were hoping for. Naturally, the radio guy turned the issue to where the money was coming from to pay his rent and who would be providing this money. The interviewee said something like, "The government, I guess," and might have understood the radio guy's point by the end: all of the tax-paying citizens were going to be paying for this housing, not some magical fund from "the government" or "Obama".

This was predictable and uninteresting, quite depressing, actually, but I suppose that's the best they could do with only audio at 6:30 in the morning.

I think it would have been much more interesting, though admittedly too heavy for a brief segment on morning entertainment radio, to discuss how those people in their cars in the 85° heat braving a chaotic crowd of 30,000 angry, unemployed people and waiting in line for not hours but days, in some cases, were the victims of our welfare state to a much greater degree than white, suburban, tax-paying radio show hosts. They are the victims of Obama and Bush and Clinton and Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt and the Federal Reserve. The Imperial Federal Government with its impoverishing wars and debt and inflation have made it harder to get a job. The insidious social programs of the 20th-century welfare state have destroyed the families of inner-city black people. The Drug War has wasted almost as much money and lives as aggressive foreign wars. The endless regulations on housing, labor, education, farming, et cetera ad nauseam have made all of those things more expensive and less attainable for everyone, most of all the people who were born into poverty or bad families or bad neighborhoods where success in anything other than rap or basketball is now considered selling out or shameful.

Before anyone goes lamenting their own woes and their victimhood under the heel of the modern welfare-warfare state, consider the people who never even got a chance to succeed because the United States government made their families poor and their neighborhoods poor and enforces thousands upon thousands of policies that are sure to keep them psychologically dependent on the government and therefore poor as well. This might not excuse them for much blame for their situation in life, but it certainly goes a long way to explaining why they are there, and this is a travesty we should oppose with as much vigor as we oppose anything our government does to its own citizens.

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