The headline on sfgate is about as brutal as you can get: "The coming homeless die-off." But the brief story points to an alarming set of statistics: The median age of homeless people on the streets of US cities is now 53. The life expectancy for homeless people is 64. You get the point.
EDITORIAL In less than three months, the Occupy movement has changed the national political debate -- and possibly the course of U.S. history. A small group of protesters, derided in the mainstream media, grew to a massive outpouring of anger at economic inequality. It's no coincidence that politicans at all levels have begun to respond. At least five different measures aimed at raising taxes on the rich are in the works in California. In Kansas Dec. 6, President Obama made one of the most progressive speeches of his career, talking directly about the need for economic justice.
While even some supposed allies say the encampments weren’t effective, the truth is that the out-front, in-your-face tactic of holding nonstop protests in the financial heart of places like Manhattan and San Francisco got attention. The visibility of the Occupy camps forced everyone to pay attention. The U.S. economy is in a crisis; less disruptive tactics wouldn’t have worked. But now most of the emcampments are gone, broken up by police forces and scattered from the central areas of major cities. It’s crucial that this growing and powerful national movement not fall apart after the almost inevitable crackdown on one style of protest. Occupy needs to look forward and plan its next steps. Read more »