There was once a vast and prosperous empire that was the most powerful in the land. It was mightier than the ancient Mayans, more popular than the Romans, and wider reaching than the British empire of old.
This Northern Amerigo empire was the envy of the world. The elite of smaller empires sent their offspring to be educated in schools called Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. Armies of other nations feared this empire’s “shock and awe” approach to war.
The world’s electronic airwaves were dominated by this empire, with its entertainment media broadcasting shows peculiarly named Desperate Housewives, CSI, and House all over the globe.
People from around the world desperately sought to enter this empire through land, air, and sea. Most were turned away but many succeeded in secretly crossing its borders. In fact, some believe more than 23 million aliens call this land their home.
Its international popularity was no surprise. Some people from faraway lands thought its sidewalks were paved with gold, and its rivers flowed with Willy Wonka’s chocolate. Who wouldn’t want to live in a land of Beverly Hillbillies where even country bumpkins can live in a Beverly Hills mansion, or where an average cop can drive a Ferrari Daytona Spider sports car down the glittering streets of Miami.
But like other empires of past, their power, wealth, and influence declined in time. Some people believe the decline was based on sacrilegious acts of sin. Others think national diminution was because of excessive waste, or the natural lackadaisical nature of second and third generations.
This writer thinks the decline of this great nation began when its leaders did not take care of the least of its people, those citizens who were so desperately entrenched in poverty that they had to live exposed on the land like some squatter in a Third World country.
Impoverished nations, however, typically have no resources to house its people. But in the case of the Amerigo empire, this nation of wealth and power had enough empty homes across its land to house more than 18 million of its hurting citizens. That is 24 empty homes for every Amerigo subject who is living on the streets.
Of course, the 18 million homes became empty due to the worst economy in a generation. The wealthy and politically influential merchants, also known as bankers, took back these homes and left them empty in hopes that a recovering economy would raise its value.
Most of the former homeowners took refuge in rental units. But, sadly, this nation of riches allowed three-quarters of a million of its subjects to live in extreme poverty on its streets.
With millions of empty homes scattered across the land just sitting without occupants, many in this land realized the empire had no clothes. An affluent nation possessing millions of empty homes while hundreds of thousands of its people go without homes was immoral. So the rumblings of injustice began.
But it is not too late for this wealthy and powerful nation to return to its greatness. To house its impoverished citizens in a land of empty houses would be a gargantuan shift in policy that would be heard and seen throughout the globe.
Because most would agree that an empire of people-less homes should not have homeless people.
Photo credit: Eric Allix Rogers