Homelessness in the World’s Largest City Just Hit a Record Low

Homelessness in the World’s Largest City Just Hit a Record Low


Why is there a massive discrepancy in rates of homelessness between New York City and Tokyo, the two most populated cities in the world? Could it be that Japan has a far more robust social safety net for its citizens?

The number of homeless residents in New York City, the largest city in the United States, reached a record high this month at more than 56,000 people. Halfway around the world, another metropolis recently hit a homeless record of its own: just 1,697 people are currently homeless in Tokyo, also its country’s largest city and the most populated city in the world, a record low since surveys began in 2002.



What’s even more surprising than the discrepancy in homeless populations between the two cities is the fact that Tokyo, at 13.4 million people, is larger than New York City (8.4 million people) and Los Angeles (3.9 million people) combined. While the rate of homelessness in New York is currently 67 for every 10,000 people, in Tokyo there is just one homeless individual for every 10,000 city residents.

Why the massive discrepancy in rates of homelessness between two of the most populous cities in the world?

As with most socioeconomic phenomena, there are a number of contributing factors. First and foremost, income inequality is a massive and growing problem in the United States, while Japan has historically had one of the lowest rates of inequality among developed countries. One principal measure of income inequality is the GINI coefficient, a measure from 0.0 (perfect equality) to 1.0 (perfect inequality). Recent surveys in the two countries found a GINI coefficient in Japan of 0.32, while in the US that rate was 0.41. However, income inequality can’t be the only explanation for Japan’s success combatting homelessness, especially considering that the country’s inequality index has actually worsened over the past few decades.

Where Japan is really surpassing the United States, instead, is in the social safety net it offers its citizens.

It begins with the Japanese Constitution, which unlike the U.S. version guarantees its citizens “the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.” As such, the country has a far more robust safety net than the United States.

Tokyo itself has been taking extra steps to fight homelessness. For instance, Hiroki Motoda, a government official in the city, pointed to the city’s temporary housing provision and employment training in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He also said that the homeless population in Tokyo has been decreasing as it got older because, “Older homeless people tend to have health issues, and so they apply for social welfare. They stop living on the streets.”

Finally, another contributing factor is that Japanese tend to have a stronger support system from their families than in the United States, where individualism is prized. Though it is a difficult to quantify, the tradition of Japanese families remaining tight knit and supportive of each member is undeniable.

Of course, Japan is not superior to the United States in every aspect of homelessness, nor it is a perfectly fair comparison. There is far more cultural and racial diversity in the United States than in Japan, for instance. While homeless people in the United States face some barriers to voting, like obtaining photo identification in states that require it, the barriers are significantly steeper in Japan, where shelters and temporary accommodations cannot be used as an official place of residence when registering to vote. However, this does not change the fact that on a given night, more than 600,000 people are homeless in the United States; in Japan, that number is just 7,500. …


Living with anxiety: Britain’s silent epidemic

Originally posted on WebInvestigatorKK:

Yasmin Jade at her home in the MidlandsUp to a third of the population will suffer from an anxiety disorder or panic attacks at some point in their life. But what are we all so afraid of?

by Rachel Cooke

Claire Eastham is 26 years old, and truly blessed: funny, lovely to look at, extremely bright (she has two degrees). She lives with her boyfriend in London and has a job she loves (“my dream job”) at the publisher Penguin where she works in sales. Appearances, though, can be deceptive. Last January, she had to take a month-long leave of absence from work. The panic attacks from which she has suffered since she was a teenager had started to dominate her life. “I thought: I need to do something about this, because panic attacks are the worst. You feel like you’re going mad, like you’re going to die; worrying about everything, feeling out of control, wondering what…

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The Ghosts of Gaza: Israel’s Soldier Suicides

Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty

The Daily Beast

Were Israeli soldiers so haunted by what they saw and did in the last Gaza war that they took their own lives? What role did their zealous commander play?

HAIFA, Israel—More than two months after the end of Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, its consequences are still being felt in Israeli society. While the Palestinian territory where the war was waged lies in ruins, for some of the Israelis who fought there the devastation that lingers is in the mind.

In the weeks after Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire, three Israeli soldiers decided to end their lives with their own weapons. And what was especially striking about their suicides was that all served in the same unit, the Givati Brigade, which had a reputation for its ruthless ferocity, considerable bravery, and the use of Old Testament religiosity to…

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These 5 Countries Execute The Most People BI

These 5 Countries Execute The Most People

In 2013, 22 countries across the globe executed 778 people, according to according to a new report from Amnesty International. Five countries led the way — China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the US, in that order.

Infographic: Which Country Carried Out The Most Executions In 2013? | Statista

China, number one on the list, keeps death penalty information a state secret. That makes knowing precisely how many people the country executes every year impossible. The Amnesty report noted, however, that “available information strongly indicates that China carries out more executions than the rest of the world combined.” The number is likely in the thousands.

Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia took the next three spots, with 369, 169, and 79 executions, respectively. Combined, they’re responsible for 95% of all executions in the Middle East and North Africa. …

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/amnesty-international-death-penalty-report-2014-10#ixzz3HSSjr0xT

“The Rare Psychological Disorder That Only Affects Death Row Inmates”

The Rare Psychological Disorder That Only Affects Death Row Inmates

Imagine being told you are going to die in a month. Then it’s a few hours. Then another month. You may be set free or you may be killed, and it all depends on events that are completely out of your control. How long could you stand it? …

Death Row Syndrome: http://io9.com/the-rare-psychological-disorder-that-only-affects-death-1650893993?utm_campaign=socialflow_io9_facebook&utm_source=io9_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Mississippi Locks Up More People Per Capita Than China and Russia Combined

Mississippi Locks Up More People Per Capita Than China and Russia Combined

By Jerry Mitchell, The Clarion-Ledger

20 October 14

ississippi locks up more people per capita than China and Russia combined, according to the most recent comparison.

The state had 686 inmates per 10,000 population in 2013, which was more than China’s 121 and Russia’s 475, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.

“The Mississippi prison system is in a crisis of over-incarceration, and that crisis will continue as long as the state imposes wildly excessive sentences, allows private corporations to reap profit from mass incarceration, and locks people up in conditions so nightmarish that some will never recover, physically or mentally,” said Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project. …


Es geht darum, dass auch die Würde jener respektiert wird, die im Gefängnis sitzen. Dieses Konzept verbinde ich mit der lebenslänglichen Haftstrafe: Im Vatikan haben wir im Strafgesetz diese Art von Strafe abgeschafft. Denn die lebenslängliche Haftstrafe ist eine versteckte Todesstrafe.“ POPE FRANCIS


Home >  Vatikanische Dokumente  > Artikel von 2014-10-23 15:00:08

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Papst Franziskus: Lebenslängliche Freiheitsstrafe abschaffen

RealAudioMP3 Christen sollten sich nicht nur gegen die Todesstrafe einsetzen, sondern sich gleichzeitig für menschenwürdigere Gefängnisse engagieren. Das betonte der Papst an diesem Donnerstagmittag im Vatikan. Er empfing eine 35-köpfige Delegation der Internationalen Vereinigung von Strafrechtlern. In einer außergewöhnlich langen Rede ging der Papst auf die einzelnen Probleme des heutigen Strafrechts ein und warnte vor dessen Missbrauch. Auch in Europa sind Probleme im Strafvollzug nicht unbekannt. So gelten etwa die Zustände in vielen italienischen Gefängnisse aufgrund von Überfüllung als menschenunwürdig. Franziskus erinnerte:

„Es geht darum, dass auch die Würde jener respektiert wird, die im Gefängnis sitzen. Dieses Konzept verbinde ich mit der lebenslänglichen Haftstrafe: Im Vatikan haben wir im Strafgesetz diese Art von Strafe abgeschafft. Denn die lebenslängliche Haftstrafe ist eine versteckte Todesstrafe.“

Zugleich kritisierte der Papst in seiner Rede, dass die Todesstrafe weiterhin auf „dem ganzen Planeten“ angewendet werde. Aus katholischer Sicht sei diese Praktik nicht hinnehmbar. Dagegen spreche unter anderem, dass die Justiz sich irren könne, und totalitäre Regime oder Diktaturen sie missbrauchten, um politischen Widerstand zu unterdrücken und religiöse und kulturelle Minderheiten zu verfolgen.

Weiter warnte der Papst vor einem Missbrauch der Untersuchungshaft:

„Die Untersuchungshaft ist heute – wenn sie als verfrühte Strafe vor der Verurteilung missbraucht wird oder als Maßnahme gegenüber einem mehr oder weniger Verdächtigten angewandt wird – eine Art illegale versteckte Strafe, die nur den Anschein von Legalität hat. Und das ist besonders in einigen Ländern ein schlimmes Problem, wo sich über 50 Prozent der Inhaftierten in Untersuchungshaft befinden. Das verschlimmert die Lage der Gefängnisse, die dadurch unnötig überfüllt werden.“

Franziskus sprach sich insgesamt für menschenwürdige Haftbedingungen in Haftanstalten aus. Zugleich wandte er sich gegen eine „verbreitete Überzeugung“, mit einer öffentlichen Strafe könne man alle sozialen Probleme lösen. Mit Blick auf die Gerichtsbarkeit sagte der Papst, es sei wichtig, dass jeder Richter immer mit Vorsicht sein Urteil ausspreche. Der Justiz dürfe es nicht in erster Linie darum gehen, die öffentliche Meinung zu besänftigen.

„Als Getaufter ist ein Strafrechtler dazu berufen, im Geiste des Evangeliums dem Gemeinwohl zu dienen. Für alle – auch für jene unter euch, die nicht Christen sind – braucht es die Hilfe Gottes, der die Quelle für die Vernunft und die Gerechtigkeit ist.“

Franziskus ist seit seinem Amtsantritt vor anderthalb Jahren bereits mehrfach mit Häftlingen zusammengetroffen. Auch seine Vorgänger Benedikt XVI. und Johannes Paul II. hatten sich zwar ebenfalls für eine Abschaffung der Todesstrafe eingesetzt, nicht direkt jedoch für einen Verzicht auf die lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe.

(rv/kna 23.10.2014 mg)

Dieser Text stammt von der Webseite http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/10/23/papst_franziskus:_lebensl%C3%A4ngliche_freiheitsstrafe_abschaffen/ted-832578
des Internetauftritts von Radio Vatikan

siehe auch:

WTO Says U.S. Consumers Don’t Need to Know Where Meat Comes From

Originally posted on Schwein gehabt?:

WTO Says U.S. Consumers Don’t Need to Know Where Meat Comes From

Read the full story…http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/26/wto-says-u-s-consumers-dont-need-know-meat-comes/


Multinational meatpackers say that labeling raises cost and that Americans do not need to know the origin of meat; World Trade Organization says labeling gihttp://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/26/wto-says-u-s-consumers-dont-need-know-meat-comes/ves an unfair advantage to domestic meat. Shouldn’t Americans decide for themselves?…

REA MORE: http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/26/wto-says-u-s-consumers-dont-need-know-meat-comes/

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