Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Chris Robinson, Communication Team Leader
215-843-4256 and [email protected]
PA Green Party Calls for Community Based Economics
By Treasurer Joseph U. Murray, Green Party of Berks County
Housing, food and utilities are the basics for a human life. Yet in a nation with a $25 trillion economy, homelessness, hunger and poverty are steadily increasing as a recent letter from Habitat for Humanity stated: “17% of children in your home state of PA are living in poverty . . . . Secure housing provides a pathway to financial stability, safety for children and a healthy environment in which whole families can thrive.”
I paraphrased Habitat’s letter. They referred to home ownership, but the same applies to safe, affordable decent rental housing. The Green Party Platform warns, “State governments continue to weaken or preempt local rent control laws, while landlords who violate housing code requirements by failing to keep their property in habitable condition, are often tolerated or given lenient penalties. Housing discrimination also remains rampant against people of color, immigrants, disabled, single people, gays and lesbians, and families with children.” .
All those reading this should know their take home pay and their monthly living costs. This article focuses on housing costs, their skyrocketing level, and why you can never get ahead. The following figures are from a Zillow analysis in August to September 2021 and are for the Philadelphia Housing Market cited by a SOFI report:
Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,595
Median Studio Rent: $762
Median one-bedroom rent: $805
Median two- bedroom rent $971
Median three- bedroom rent: $$1,085
Median four-bedroom rent: $1,155
Median gross rent: $951
Average utility costs in Pennsylvania: $ 353
Average grocery and food costs in Pennsylvania $278 per person per month.
These figures were before inflation took off in 2022 and rents, mortgage interest rates and food costs shot up so that all workers wage gains were wiped out and their actual earnings were driven down.
Behind this lies record profits for the oil and gas industries and cash flows for the private equity firms that snapped up foreclosed homes after the Wall Street-caused financial crash of 2008. Since that time those same financial corporations have been buying rental housing from small landlords in hot markets and jacking up rents while evicting rent-subsidized tenants to maximize investment returns.
It makes basic sense that stable housing in a community with all the essential basic services available and affordable make for a stable society in which gun violence records are not set daily. Why this isn’t the case is very clear and open, our society exists to serve the maximizing of profits and wealth concentration for those who control the assets, production, commodities, and property of PA.
This system is fully supported by the Democratic and Republican Parties which are the political franchise of the Wall Street powers. They will tell you it’s the best system for the majority and those who don’t benefit from it are at fault. This is a well proven lie by our own history, by the results of the GI Bill and VA mortgages which were established after WW II veterans fought politically for them here at home.
The Green Party has a different vision of how our society should work. Compare our existing system to this Green Party Key Value:
COMMUNITY BASED ECONOMICS
“[The Green Party supports] redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new economic activities and institutions that allow us to use technology in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and responsive and accountable to communities. We support establishing a basic form of economic security open to all. We call for moving the narrow “job ethic” to new definitions of work, jobs and income in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work and the like. We support restricting the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.
The Green Party Platform calls for renter/tenant’s rights, publicly elected local rent control boards, promotion of affordable housing policy as a national priority, and vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws. The focus of Green Party values is community, humanity and the Earth that sustains all life. If we continue with the present system of politics and economics you will witness human civilization devour itself and the Earth leaving only the mocking cries of scavengers as our legacy of existence. .
The Green Party of PA (GPPA, https://www.gpofpa.org/) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org or email [email protected]. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook and Twitter.
For More Information:
“Our Ten Key Values,” Green Party of the US, https://www.gp.org/ten_key_values
“Green Party Platform,” Green Party of the US; Section II. Social Justice Paragraph K. Housing and Homelessness; https://www.gp.org/social_justice/#sjHousing
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