On June 7, 2023

There is no space for poverty and misery in a rich nation

Dear Editor,

Reading about the housing crisis in Vermont and all over the country, and how a judge could change in one stroke of his pen the fate of hundreds of unhoused Vermonters, it is one grave sign that our society and our governments (federal, state and local) are moving toward a catastrophic end.

I was born and raised in Europe, came to this country many years ago, and eventually became a U.S. citizen. Yet, my upbringing keeps me linked to European values. In a rich society populated by multibillionaires, it is simply not acceptable to have a very large part of the population being unhoused. I am not using the term homeless because sometimes being homeless is an individual choice. Being unhoused is not a choice; it is being shoveled out of your house by a society that doesn’t properly care about its own citizens. 

The responsibility is by all means and without doubt of our governments and at every level of government. Too many politicians work for themselves, for  lobbyists, and for the money sources that support their election. Too many, at every level of government, have lost the moral value of being an honest and proud servant of the people of this country. Servant, yes, and servant of the people: This is what governments are supposed to be.

Instead they are lost in weird ideas about freedom, in strange ideas about less government or no government. To the point where a large part of our population has been convinced that the government is a sort of a noxious body estranged from the people of this country. 

The housing crisis is the ditch where irresponsible governments and politicians have thrown a very large portion of our citizens. This is a major issue; this is a crisis of immense proportions, affecting not just the unhoused individuals, but our entire economy; and it will be a very difficult task to reverse it. 

We all need to put pressure on all our federal, state and local politicians to get to work as servants of our citizens before this becomes an uncontrollable issue and a shame for a country that presents itself as the most democratic in the world. It is time to take to the streets and visibly demonstrate that this is not acceptable, regardless of the color of our political credos. There is no space for poverty and misery in a rich nation.

Giordano Checchi


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