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“That’s what happens when a town full of broke people gets a whiff of free money”

The banks have been the ones benefitting most from free money via the Federal Government and U.S. taxpayers.  Given 9.8% base unemployment and 17.0% comprehensive unemployment, it is a bit galling for ordinary Americans that these same institutions are making record profits and poised to hand out record bonuses. Detroit is one of the hardest hit cities with the base rate of unemployment a depression-era 17.1% that is the highest in the nation. People who have watched corporations hoover up the handouts are desperate for some relief.  They are finally getting some (hat tip Andrew):

Thousands hoping to get applications for federal help on rent and utility bills turned Cobo Center into a chaotic scene today.

They came by foot, wheelchair, bicycle and car. About six left by ambulance after tensions rose and people were trampled, according to a paramedic on the scene. One unfortunate soul got his car booted.

Detroiters were trying to pick up 5,000 federal assistance applications from the city at Cobo because Detroit received nearly $15.2 million in federal dollars under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which is for temporary financial assistance and housing services to individuals and families who are homeless, or who would be homeless without this help.

People in wheelchairs and others using canes were being leaned on by people too weak to stand. Emergency medical technicians on the scene said they treated applicants who were injured during the rush to get inside the venue.

That’s what happens when a town full of broke people gets a whiff of free money, said Walter Williams, 51, who came before the sun to get an application and a shot at some federal assistance.

"This morning, I seen the curtain pulled back on the misery," he said. "People fighting over a line. People threatening to shoot each other. Is this what we’ve come to?"…

Yes, this is what we’ve come to.

Response had been so great that Detroit police and fire officials considered shutting down the process because of the volume of people.

Kelley Turcotte, a Detroit dishwasher, was near the end of the line around 10:30 a.m. today. The 27-year-old just had a son and said he is only squeaking by on his bills.

"I hope the government sees this and realizes the city needs a lot more help than they are giving," Turcotte said…

"This absolutely is representative of the struggling middle class in America," he said. "We’ve been betrayed by the government, Realtors and those who’ve got. The promise has been broken."

And you’re telling me this is not a depression?

Source

Chaos at Cobo: Detroiters turn out for federal help – Detroit News

About 

Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.

9 Comments

  1. James Duffy says:

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Riots by the end of October?

    • Frankly, I think Americans are plain sleepwalking through this. I wonder what it will take to get people to really demand change. The simmering anger we see now will go away if a recovery takes hold, when in fact we should see any recovery as a fake one, kicking the can down the road. Tell me I’m wrong, but I don’t see riots unless things really fall apart.