Letters to the Editor: Stop accepting an economic system that forces people into homelessness

A tent encampment in downtown L.A. on May 24.
A tent encampment in the El Pueblo de Los Angeles area of downtown on May 24.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: I found Anita Chabria’s column about a study of aging Californians being priced out of housing disturbing, moving and utterly disgraceful. Thankfully the study begins to move the conversation in the right direction, but aren’t there some deeper questions we need to ask?

Why are we living under an economic system that’s structured to force older people into homelessness even if they worked all their lives? Why do we accept a system that gives us a situation where “people working every day are living in cars”?

A successful hedge fund manager in this country can make billions of dollars while producing no real value for anyone. Meanwhile, teachers who nurture the future of humanity and farmworkers who produce the food we need to survive are struggling on the edge of poverty.


Isn’t it time we outgrew the notion that the only available choices are to be ruled by greed-is-good casino capitalists or become Stalinist Russia? We need to start thinking about a workable economic system.

Mari Werner, Claremont


To the editor: To quote the article, “As fast as we can pull people out of homelessness, the rent is too high and more and more people can’t pay it.”

One of the reasons this is so, especially for the elderly, is that the cost of housing is not in the consumer price index. So housing can rise by 4% each year (for apartments in rent-controlled housing) or by 10% (for apartments owned by real estate investment trusts), and Social Security payments don’t increase because of that.

It’s like a gigantic, financial meat grinder is chasing everyone receiving Social Security. Sooner or later, it’s going to catch up with all of us.

Joan DaVanzo, Long Beach