The third world of the U.S.

Per chance, you’ve seen the occasional news story of a U.N. trip to a third-world country where investigators probe squalid living conditions.

Now there is here, according to the Guardian. The U.N.’s Raquel Rolnik is preparing a report on the U.S. housing crisis. The U.N. special rapporteur had been blocked from touring the U.S. by the Bush administration.


“I was shocked when I realised that the US, and countries in Europe – England – as well, had a solid housing policy for many years that worked pretty well. That was dismantled and the situation became worse throughout the nineties. Then we had this financial crisis and a real crisis in housing. It’s all tied together,” she said.

“But I didn’t expect to see what I have seen. In some ways the situation is worse than I expected.”

She traveled to New York, Chicago, New Orleans, South Dakota, and Los Angeles to chronicle housing woes.

Rolnik admits there’s nothing she can do about the problem other that to publicize it in hopes someone will pressure the U.S. government to change things.

  • John P.

    I’m not suprised. While we are a relatively rich country overall, the gap between richest and poorest is one of the largest.

  • http://erikhare.wordpress.com/ Erik Hare

    The Bush Admin approach, hiding, seems to be a popular response to crises in general these daze. Denial is one of our most popular luxuries.

  • GregS

    Blame Bush……sorry, that doesn’t work anymore.

    Why don’t we blame the Democrats? After entrusting $15 Trillion to the left for social programs since the late 1960′s, you would think that at least some of that money would have gone where it could do some good.

    Is this what we can expect from health care reform?

  • Princess Cruises

    The greed, the selfishness, the those who need more than one home. As I am writing this response there is a commercial on the telie about this massive cruise ship of several stories high and boasting to be as tall as the Empire State Building if stood on end, “an oasis of the sea” they are calling it with Enya playing in the background, “sail away, sail away”. This is becoming more of an exclusive world of elites. The chosen ones. It makes me sick.

    What happened? Houses sit empty as people live on the street? That’s insanity!

    I think it is time for the banks to open those doors to the homeless. If they, and by they I mean the banks, continue on their greedy escapade they will only end up shooting themselves. The money system will fail if it continues in this direction.

    Remember Swede Hollow? Where the immigrants came to a new country with hope of having a better life. They moved into vacant houses and worked their way from there…….and whats wrong with that?