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