THE DON JONES INDEX…

  

 NOTE: Consequences of the Coronavirus (disappearance or inaccuracy of data, internet inaccessibility etc.) mean that this index may or will not be appearing weekly but rather biweekly, or monthly, or not at all.  We hope such readers as we still possess remain healthy and/or, as the religionists say, “see you on the other side”.  After all, how much worse can Hell be than another Georgia summer?

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

 

 5/15/20…  13,707.18

   5/8/20…  13,943.63

   6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  5/15/20…23,875.79; 5/8/20… 24,345.72; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

 

LESSON for May 15, 2020 – NO PLACE to SHELTER IN (including “A Journal of the Plague Year” (Part Four - B, for May 8th through 14th)

 

The current plague has had millions of losers… billions, worldwide… but, here and there, a few winners.  The environmentally-virtuous citizens of Venice, Italy may be starving for lack of tourist income, but the air is fresher and the canals cleaner, now that cruise ships no longer dock at the port, nor do motorized gondolas ply the byways.  Nature TV documentaries even show that the waters are refilling with the original inhabitants… octopi and jellyfish.

A lot of Joneses are losing their jobs, but a lot more are not.  Some in the healthcare, retail and meat processing trades are losing their lives, but most are not.  Look at the topmost category of our Index… wages are up a full dollar an hour (which is a lot of money to a lot of people).  Is this because employers are so suddenly generous (and/or so suddenly concerned about divine providence and justice as it applies to the wrath or benevolence of God and plague) that they are opening their purses to those upon whose labor they live?  Maybe.  But it also so happens that the majority of those who have been infected, quarantined or laid off have been restaurant workers, retail clerks, Uber drivers and the such; the sort of Americans whose pay was low to begin with and, so, does actually raises the statistical median when they are wiped off the board.

Yet another of the beneficiaries of this happy plague is former Trump attorney and Turkish toffy Paul Manafort, whose seven-year sentence was lifted over the weekend as a disease-control countermeasure; the prison authorities either deciding that the shyster posed no imminent danger to society (or else his very presence gave them stomach cramps) and, so, the Man could be released with an ankle monitor to home confinement… in effect, the same shelter-in-place lockdown being pressed upon every Don Jones, criminal or not.

Indeed, the news is not all bad for those at the absolute bottom of the ladder… tenants facing eviction, homeowners facing foreclosure, the homeless, elderly and disabled, the immigrants, the prisoners.  Some will actually even have their lives uplifted (if, of course, not terminated) by the plague as a consequence of what former President Obama called the “chaos” hovering over our American response… from the slapstick antics of the Federal decisionmakers to a hodgepodge of state and local regulations, retaliatory and relief efforts.  We’ll take a look at a few of these below, and probably into next week’s DJI unless something momentous (like a cure, or a war) occurs.

Actually, with the release of unemployment statistics for the month, it may well be that the cascade of sharp, shuddering downward spikes in the Don may be nearing its end… just as the Dow, after a deep drop and a shorter rally, seems to have hit a plateau midway between its highest and lowest points.  This is not because people are going back to work or casting off their ventilators and leaping from their hospital beds, it is because those sectors of economic and social existence most vulnerable to the virus have already been battered so much that there is little left to lose,  First it was the Dow and then, as the stock market collapsed and bankruptcies swelled, the unemployment stats as measured by the fast-responding DebtClock began climbing.  Public and personal health has taken a hit and been stressed to the point of reaching a “circuit-breaker” beneath which the DJI (and, for that matter, America) cannot fall without ruination.

A week ago yesterday, America and most of what passes for the “civilized” world passed a mostly unreported and strangely uncelebrated milestone… the 75th anniversary of VE Day… May 7, 1945… when Germany surrendered to the Allied forces after the suicide of Adolf Hitler.  Our timeline for that day… taken mostly, it is true, from network television reporting and therefore ignorant of the cable and streaming media, newspapers, magazines and websites… makes no mention of the anniversary (in fact, we thought it had occurred several weeks earlier and were looking forward to June and the anniversaries of VJ Day and its inevitable two satellites – the relatively puny atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

A cynic could excuse the President’s downplaying of the anniversary as a dog whistle to his friends among the alt-right, but where were all the usual suspects on the left and among the sane faction of conservative talking heads.  Maybe it was for the better that we did not have access to Fox News… their reaction could have been really frightening!  But the anniversary should also have been hailed by the “rosy scenario” boyos in that it represented the end of a long ordeal… one caused by microbes, not men, it is true… but also, if of a lesser magnitude, taking a horrific toll on human life and the American economy.

As to that latter - things will continue to get worse for Don Jones, overall, but there will be some mitigations… unemployment insurance and stimulus payouts (one not-so-surprising development… those who had given up looking for works have gone back on the application lists so as to receive their charity to such extent that DebtClock stopped discriminating between those looking for jobs and those not so.  (We’ll have to address this should the trend be permanent.)  Food prices are up, but gas prices have fallen so steeply that millions would take to the highways for in-country summer vacations… if there was anywhere to go and anything to do.

So let’s take a little tour of our own… a journey through America’s underworld where people sleep on sidewalks or in prison cells, where the routine relief efforts of Stimulus One… the Senate will be taking up Stimulus Two beginning this afternoon, although President Trump has vowed to veto any further handouts except those to his cronies… are becoming harder to access.  And then, as we’ve been doing for the past few weeks, we’ll see how this developments… now at around the midpoint of the crisis… were largely anticipated seventy-five years ago by the French novelist Albert Camus, and even centuries earlier by Daniel Defoe in his original “Journal of the Plague Year” (which was the 1665-6 outbreak of plague in London).

Enjoy!

 

Rents Too High!

 

From an earlier dji: Those who live by rent, by wages and by profit, Adam Smith noted, "are the three great, original and constituent orders of every civilized society." Though calling their common interests "inseparable", Smith additionally allowed that the landlords and financiers "...are the only one of the three orders whose revenue costs them neither labor nor care," and predicted their estate would decline, owing to the "indolence, which is the natural effect of the ease and security of their situation" as would render them helpless in the face of "public regulation".

 

Landlords (and bankers, brokers, hedgers, ledger-cookers, foreclosure-hookers, tax sale flippers, coupon clippers, credit shops and crooked cops and pigeon-droppers)… “indolent!” compared to their working-class tenants, debtors and pigeons?

Who knew?  Outrageous!

It may be assumed as a premise of the Don Jones Index… as well as the Coalition for a New Consensss (CNC), one of its two potential Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell (in his public appearances and books like “Entropy and Renaissance”, serialized here, and “The Coming Kill-Off”) and innumerable working and laid off, disabled, senior or young Americans that, as the nattily barbered New York perennial candidate insists: “Rents are too high.” 

Indeed, questions of land use have flared up since days long before the original American Revolution.  Even with the recent hike in wages, Don Jones… if pulling down the average $34K yearly median income (below)… would be quite constrained to afford to buy a home that costs an average of over a quarter million dollars.  These, of course, are averages… in those parts of America where the good jobs exist, real estate prices are far, far higher.  (And the cheaper rents and housing prices are usually found in places where the jobs are either poorly-paying or nonexistent.)

The issue is simple, potential solutions are complicated.  And the often-strained relationship between tenant and landlord, or mortgagee and creditor have been greatly magnified by the plague – so much so that even a nominally conservative government has had to step in and impose temporary corrective measures to avert a mass uprising of the jobless, homeless and hungry.  But details and enforcement, as we have noted above, are vague and often left to the vagaries of state legislators as certain sharp operators, experienced in dodging and flouting the law, are exploiting the pandemic to get rid of tenants… especially those in rent-controlled but not vacancy-controlled housing… and then re-lease the premises at an even higher rent.

The April 22nd edition of “Buzzfeed” profiled one Akil Mayfield, whose landlord simply changed the locks on his apartment in Queens, New York, leaving the disabled man on the streets and exposed to the plague rampant among the skid rows and shelters of Gotham (see Attachment Two A).

There are moratoriums preventing landlords from evicting residents in all but five states at the state or local level due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. But lawyers who work with low-income clients told BuzzFeed News that despite moratoriums and stay-at-home orders intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, landlords and property owners are still trying to force people out.

“The cases that we are seeing are people who are changing locks without a marshal — just the landlord doing it themselves, an illegal lockout,” said Edward Josephson, director of litigation for Legal Services NYC. His organization has also handled cases of landlords cutting off services to force out tenants — in once case, a landlord in Brooklyn sealed off access to bathrooms, he said.

 

Many (but by no means all) states, cities, and counties are taking steps to minimize the impact of the novel coronavirus crisis on tenants, according to the legal publisher NOLO, including “placing moratoriums on evictions, holds on shutting off utilities due to nonpayment, and prohibiting late rent fees. The federal government has suspended evictions and foreclosures in public housing until the end of April. The government-backed mortgage buyers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have agreed to do the same for at least 60 days.”

NOLO has compiled a state-by-state roster of what tenants can and cannot do, and what can be done to them.  The chart includes links to state and local information offices.  See Attachment Four.

(Texas, for example, will not institute forcible evictions until Monday but, should you be unfortunate enough to lose your job or be otherwise monetarily challenged, but fortunate enough to dwell in Austin… where the skies get cloudy every time Willie Nelson passes by… you can hang loose until August 24th.  New York (state and city) is almost the same, prohibiting forcible evictions until August 20th but, as in the case of Mr. Mayfield, some  landlords (especially where beaucoup bucks can be garnered by de=controlling a house or apartment in a trendifying neighborhood) just do it.  Then, it becomes the responsibility of the now-homeless renter to go to court – a carnival of mirrors in and of itself, the civil tribunals being even more affected by CV than the criminal.  See below.)

Landlords in at least four states have violated the eviction ban passed by Congress last month,  according to an April 16th news release by the non-profit Pro Publica, contending that “a review of records shows, moving to throw more than a hundred people out of their homes.”  The Filthy Four are Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida and… surprise!... Texas

. At The Life at Pine Village, a development outside Atlanta where one-bedroom apartments rent for around $850 per month, seven tenants were hit with eviction filings last week.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The evictions at The Life at Pine Village were done in error and have been halted. Our team has been working today to contact all tenants who originally received notices,” said Mark Braykovich, a spokesman for Manhattan-based owner Olive Tree Holdings.

Olive Tree has a portfolio of buildings in Texas and Georgia worth more than $500 million. Braykovich said staff had been confused about what is covered by the eviction ban, noting the “unusual and quick implementation of changes in the law.”

At the Laurel Pointe Apartments in Forest Park, Georgia, the landlord filed for eviction against 25 households several days after the federal ban passed. The building is owned by Seattle-based Stonemark Housing Partners and managed by Cushman & Wakefield, a $2.5 billion publicly traded real estate services firm.

A Laurel Pointe spokesperson said that after receiving ProPublica’s request for comment: “We began a thorough investigation and determined we did unknowingly and wrongfully begin the eviction process for several residents. No residents were served or removed from their homes and first thing this morning we filed for dismissal of all evictions.”

The recent eviction filings underscore Congress’ failure to include an enforcement mechanism in the law, as well as the complexity of the ban, which only applies to certain categories of properties.

“There’s nothing in the bill that seems to create a clear penalty for violating the new law,” said Dan Immergluck, an urban studies professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He added it’s not clear that landlords even know about the ban.

Landlords are already lobbying to roll back the more than two-week old federal ban, contends Pro Publica.  In a letter to the White House and Congress this month, several national trade groups pressed for the eviction ban to be narrowed to cover only tenants “adversely affected by the outbreak, but also require residents to officially notify the property owner,” The Real Deal reported.

An eviction filing does not mean a tenant is immediately kicked to the curb. Tenants are sometimes protected by state and local laws as well. The procedure is different in every state, but under normal circumstances, it could be several weeks from the time a tenant misses the rent before a sheriff makes it to their door. Tenants facing eviction often don’t know their legal rights, advocates say, and the notice alone could cause them to leave their homes, posing public health risks in the face of an ongoing pandemic.

Even if tenants see the eviction process through, the filings can have other serious consequences. It often carries significant fees for tenants and can get them added to blacklists used by many landlords to screen potential renters. “It immediately impairs your ability to get out of the situation that you’re in, and it’s that much harder to find a landlord that will rent to you,” said Erin Willoughby, a lawyer with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

If you have such issues, you may be able to find further helpful information at the group’s website.

Some city and county governments in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have tweaked Newsom’s legislation, adopting their own tenant protection measures, according to the California Apartment Association, some of which are more restrictive than the statewide mandate.

For example, the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Anaheim and Santa Ana prohibit late fees for failing to pay rent during the pandemic. San Bernardino and Santa Ana give tenants six months to repay back rent.

But many cities will still allow evictions for other reasons, warns KGO-TV in San Francisco where rents are moon-high and incentives for evicting tenants in what rent-controlled housing still exists to jack up the rent even further are legion.  “Constructive” evictions like that of Ms.Mayfield, above… sending thugs around to beat up tenants, seize property and keys and re-rent the property… are increasing nationwide and KGO cited back rent owed before the crisis began (for example, if you didn't pay February's rent and still owe that to your landlord in addition to CV-protected, levies, the landlord can still pursue an eviction.)

While a California rule has put eviction proceedings temporarily on halt, beware the summer. The procedural delays set in place April 6 by the state’s Judicial Council give tenants until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted to refrain from acting on legal demands for rent payments.

When that period ends, eviction proceedings go back on the docket.  There will be thousands of them – millions nationwide.

During an online news conference Wednesday, April 1, California lawmakers and legal aid workers expressed concern there would be a wave of evictions come June because tenants were unable to pay their back rent as required.

“The last thing we need is a wave of mass evictions during this pandemic or immediately after the state of emergency ends,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, chair of the Senate Housing Committee. “Right now, millions of Californians have effectively no protection from eviction.”

The East Bay (Alameda County, California) Times recommends that tentants facing eviction due to lack of money from Coronavirus layoffs do the following…

“Pay it, if you can: The eviction delay doesn’t forgive rent payments. So, a tenant still owes the landlord the terms laid out in their lease. If you can afford to pay the rent, you should.

“Court delay: Even if you can’t pay rent, the landlord can still file an eviction case. The case will not proceed until at least 90 days after the end of the state of emergency (perhaps longer, given the likelihood of quarantine-related delays in processing and hearing civil and criminal cases… a double-edged sword, see “Jails” below),.

Check with your city: Local city or country measures may offer additional protections since they remain in effect following the governor’s executive order. Be sure to research local eviction moratoriums that may apply in your area.”

 

Foreclosures too quick!

 

Meanwhile homeowners and their advocates, including the head of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles expressed concerns that some small landlords will be unable to pay their mortgages and bills if their tenants stop paying rent. He called for government assistance to subsidize tenants who can’t make their payments.

But the banks and mortgage brokers are equal-opportunity vigilantes when it comes to recouping their loans from private homeowners, commercial and rental property holders alike, even if the protections for renters under the governor’s order aren’t as strong as protections for California homeowners, who get a 90-day breather if they can’t pay their mortgages.

“The governor did something for homeowners who have a mortgage payment,” Brian Augusta, an attorney with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation said. “That is not the case for renters. Renters have to pay their rent under the governor’s order. … If you don’t pay it, there will be an eviction. The only question is when.”

Buzzfeed, above, noted the proliferation of rent strikes which began in April, accelerated upon the Communist holiday of Mayday, and are likely to increase the longer that the plague plagues on.  (See Attachment Two B)

But, owing to quirks in some state laws, publicizing one’s intent not to pay, or to join in a local or national strike, might actually give the landlords a loophole to jump the eviction process, which may have been extended due to state or local relief legislation.

 

No Place to Shelter-in-…except…

 

Whether long-term or newly homeless, the prospect of a $1,200 government stimulus check… to which all Americans, housed or not are entitled, with exceptions as below… will probably not get people off the street and into homes, given the burden of first, last and security. 

In such high-rent cities as Washington D.C. or Seattle, where  Jennifer Adams, outreach manager at the Bridge Care Center in Ballard told the Seattle Times (April 24th), that people without bank accounts are planning to use the money on essentials for survival — food, hotel rooms, tents. But others, confused by the process for people who earn very little money, have given up or called the thing a scam.

“A lot of people don’t trust the government,” Adams said.

he stimulus is, at best, a band-aid.  “Homeless people are very resourceful, and we think a lot of them can find ways to dramatically improve their lives with the $1,200,” said Steve Berg, vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. 

But Berg and other experts told the Seattle Times that it won’t be enough to get people into housing in most markets with high homelessness.  “With most properties requiring a rent-income ratio between two and a half to three, you still have to show that you have the means to pay that beyond that $1,200,” according to Shkelqim Kelmendi, executive director of Housing Connector, who works with 50 nonprofits in King County to connect homeless people with housing.   “I think it’s going to help individuals, but do I think it’s going to significantly increase people’s ability to access housing? I just don’t think it’s enough to make a difference.”

 

 

Maybe an (unheated) trailer in Minnesota or an abandoned shack in West Virginia will become available, but probably the best that recipients will be able to do is to check in to a cheap motel for a few days or weeks and, at least, get off of the diseased streets and get their heads together.

Some however, won’t even be able to accomplish that… even though they are entitled to the money.

Let’s just look at a low-income or no-income individual who did not file taxes and did not receive social security,” Leitmann-Santa Cruz, the Capital Area Asset Builders director told Street Sense, a (now online-only) homeless advocacy journal based in Washington DC. “It is prudent to assume that person is not likely to get any money. And that is primarily because imagine the amount of research that would have to be done to identify that person.”

Those who are homeless, undocumented, or underemployed are virtually non-existent, according to Leitmann-Santa Cruz.

An inspector general’s evaluation of the 2008 stimulus payments found that of the roughly 20 million non-filers the IRS identified by working with the Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs, 3.4 million who were eligible did not receive the stimulus.

Those who reside (homed or not) within the District of Columbia… the majority of whom are black, Latino or other undocumented… face special problems owing to the District’s semi-colonial status.  Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland disputed the logic and fairness of this classification. “There are more residents in the District of Columbia, the Nation’s Capital, than the State of Wyoming and the State of Vermont. They were left out of that category they are usually put in, and instead, they were put into a formula with Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and some of the territories. The net effect of that — the net effect of putting the people in the Nation’s Capital in that formula versus the formula with the States — will cost the District of Columbia about $700 million,” Van Hollen said on the Senate floor on March 25. “I asked about this. … The answer I got back was no. No, no, this was not a mistake. This was not an oversight. Republican negotiators insisted on shortchanging the people of the District of Columbia.”

Economist Claudia Sahm of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth agreed that the least well-off people will have to wait longer to get this money and are more likely to fall through the cracks. But she is adamant that the Treasury Department will build a system that allows individuals who do not file taxes and do not receive federal benefits to identify themselves. Sahm worked for the Federal Reserve Board for 12 years, including through the Great Recession.

With the city’s unemployment rate nearly 30 times higher than it was two weeks ago amid rapidly changing public health guidelines, the full effect of this global pandemic remains uncertain. 

People who are already dealing with unemployment, chronic homelessness, or living paycheck-to-paycheck, cannot afford to be out of work for extended periods of time, let alone survive an indefinite pandemic, with no financial relief, according to Sonya Acosta, another policy analyst at National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

“You really want to keep people employed. This $1,200 check is not going to help someone enough who loses their job. Or [who] didn’t have a job to start with,” Sahm said.

Sahm noted that no-income or low-income people who have not filed tax returns or received SSA benefits are entitled to the payment but they will probably have to go to some effort to show they qualify. She pointed out that any time federal money is being distributed there is potential for fraud. “So … [people who don’t file taxes or receive SSA benefits] are going to get the money, they’re supposed to get the money, [but] there will be an expectation that those individuals will have to raise their hand and say, ‘Hey, I want my money’…if that person doesn’t come forward and say ‘I want my money,’” she said, “the government’s not going to find them and send them their money. So people are going to have to choose to sign up, and we don’t even know how they’re going to choose to sign up yet. So then that means, with almost certainty, it will take more time.” 

Leitmann-Santa Cruz still believes that the parameters that have been assigned to this legislation mean a good number of no-income individuals will be overlooked.

Even if people who don’t file taxes or receive federal benefits were automatically identified to receive their stimulus check, they would face obstacles. “A lot of people experiencing homelessness and low-income households don’t necessarily have banking accounts and so, if it’s a check being sent out, how then will it be cashed?” said Kim Johnson, a policy analyst at the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Johnson noted that “cash-checking places take such a large percentage of the check, taking from the actual money they will ultimately give someone.” 

Another homeless-advocacy blog, Invisible People, published a how-to for the unhoused, unbanked and unjobbed which is included as Attachment Three, below.

Last week, we noted a particular danger in that stimulus checks being sent out to the poorest Americans (i.e. those with debts greater than assets) would be at risk of having these monies seized by predatory student loan, credit and debt collection companies.  Without an address to receive or a bank to cash their checks or a history of payments to the taxman, misinformation has circulated – first that those who have not paid taxes in 2018=19 are not deserving of the stimulus payments,  Responding to the Homeless Voice, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated that people who don’t have a return filing obligation can use what he calls a “tool” to provide basic information “so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible.”  Said “tool” can, for those with access to the Internet or to an advocate who does, be found here… see, also, the IRS press release of April 10th.

 

INCARCERATION NATION

 

The stimulus stimulus, like the coronavirus, has come and will be… someday… gone.  For the newly and long-term poor and unemployed, the $1,200 might buy a few nights indoors, some living essentials or, again, disappear into drugs and alcohol.  And when it’s gone, the economy will have changed, too, to a “new normal” that may or may not accommodate the thirty (or, by now) thirty-three million surplus Americans.

Remember the old Horn and Hardart Automats?

Robot restaurant workers don’t get sick, don’t transmit disease and don’t threaten strikes over low pay and working conditions.  In fact, they don’t even need wages (except for a few cents’ worth of electricity) and they don’t care whether or not some Typhoid Tommy sneezed on their chrome.

(Rust – that’s a different matter.)

Some will recover, as from a disease, go back to work, find a landlord willing to rent to them and go about their lives.  Others will be displaced… perhaps permanently.  Experts often disagree about the mathematics, but generally concur that the long-term homeless population consists of one-third unemployed, one-third people with substance abuse problems and one-third with mental illness.  Most agree that, over time, those in the first category slide downwards into the second or third and eventually end up in America’s housing of last resort… jails and prisons.

With the cost of housing far outstripping wages, millions of Americans face homelessness each year, and millions more live in tenuous or unstable housing situations. All Americans need access to affordable housing, defined by legal security of tenure, habitability, accessibility, location, cultural adequacy, and provision of any needed services. But right now, over 7 million households in the U.S. lack access to affordable housing; of this number some are forced to live in public places. At the same time, many communities have enacted or are enforcing laws that make living in public a crime.  This is potentially unconstitutional, wastes precious public funds, and makes it harder for people to exit homelessness by saddling them with criminal records.

Across the country, cities are criminalizing homelessness, making it illegal for people to sit, sleep, and even eat in public places—despite the absence of housing or even shelter, and other basic resources.

These laws and policies violate constitutional rights, create arrest records and fines & fees that stand in the way of homeless people getting jobs or housing, and don’t work. The evidence is clear that homelessness is reduced in communities that focus on housing, and not those that focus on handcuffs.

Criminalization of homelessness costs more money than simply solving the problem by ensuring access to adequate housing according to the Homeless Not Handcuffs campaign, a project of assorted social service agencies including the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless, and there is a growing awareness among the general public that our criminal justice system is not the solution to social problems.

Especially at the local level, jail populations remain high primarily because of the policy of setting cash bail as a condition of release, and instituting a plethora of often trivial, meaningless parole conditions so frequently violated that it becomes a lottery as to whether or not an ex=prisoner… convicted or not… remains out and about… often jobless and at the mercy of the streets, but free… or gets recycled back to jail.

The majority of those in jail are being held for pretrial detention, meaning the individual has not been convicted or sentenced. Even Attorney General William Barr recently ordered U.S. attorneys  against seeking pretrial detentions "to the same degree we would under normal circumstances," according to a CBS report. “While not all of those detained pretrial are subject to a money bond, the majority is (sic) considered to be.” 

The Intercept (Attachment Five) cites the case of Kalief Browder, who was arrested at the age of 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, and was held for three years on Rikers Island without trial.  Browder was jailed because he was unable to pay his $3,000 bail, and by the time his family raised the money, bail was no longer offered to him. He finally was released but his ordeal was not over. This week is the third anniversary of his suicide.

 

“But The process afforded to the privileged is not afforded to the majority of people who are arrested, said Scott Hechinger, senior staff attorney and director of policy at Brooklyn Defender Services, which provides legal services to people who can’t afford a lawyer.  “It’s not that I and other public defenders oppose the fact the Manafort and Weinstein and [Bill] Cosby are at liberty. It’s that the process available to them is never available to our clients.”

 

 

 

 

 The plague has had both an aggravating and mitigatory effect on America’s incarceration crisis.  With infections and deaths rising, some city, state and Federal corrections systems have chosen to ease the population pressure by releasing some of whom they consider to be the offenders least likely to commit violent crimes out on the street.

Welcome back to society, Sir Paul (Manafort)!  (See Attachment Five)

But others as… inevitably… Texas see the crisis differently. 

Governor Greg Abbott (R-Tx) probably sees the cessation of criminal justice processing and the consequent overcrowding of plague-rife jails as a good way to thin America’s criminal herd.  In March, as county officials worked to shrink their populations in disease-prone jails as the coronavirus spread throughout the state, he issued orders to tosuspend “a large swath of law on bail practices” and prohibit judges from releasing jail inmates accused or previously convicted of violent crimes without paying bail — banning no-cost, personal bonds which can include conditions like regular check-ins.  (Texas Tribune, 4/23)  Under Abbott’s order, those accused of the same crimes and with the same criminal history could still be released from jail if they have access to cash. A no-cost release can still be considered for health or safety reasons after a chance for a hearing is given, though some attorneys said that can take weeks.

But Abbott has defended his dragnet of pot smokers, jaywalkers and shoplifters who may have been convicted of a violent crime twenty or fifty years ago, arguing that “releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution" to the coronavirus spreading in lockups. After the ruling, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement that the decision "rightfully protects the health and safety of Texans from the unlawful release of potentially thousands of dangerous individuals into our communities."

A group of conservative lawmakers and some law enforcement officials have also sided with the order, arguing that it keeps more people accused of violent crimes off the streets where police are already stretched thin. Abbott said in a Texas Tribune interview that the order was not about how much money someone had, though the order only prevents release on bonds that don't require cash up front.

New York City is "still arresting people for nonsense," asserts Joshua Goldfein, a staff attorney for Legal Aid’s Homeless Rights Project.  "There are still 4,000 people on Rikers who are being left at risk of death."

As of May 3rd, there were 370 City jail inmates with confirmed Covid-19 cases, while 1,310 had likely been exposed but were asymptomatic, according to a daily report from the Board of Corrections. Nearly 210 of the City’s approximately 3,900 inmates were being held on technical parole violations with no open case. (Despite pressure from advocates, the City has not released the cumulative number of people who have been infected with the coronavirus in the jail system.)

The infection rate at the Rikers Island jail is now nearly 10 percent, compared to less than two percent in the City as a whole, according to an analysis updated daily by the Legal Aid Society. That analysis includes this statement from Tina Luongo, attorney-in-charge of the agency’s criminal defense practice: "Stop sending people to Rikers and let these New Yorkers out immediately. Anything else is too little, too late.”

Public and correctional health officials have for weeks made the case that the only way to save lives in jails and prisons is to reduce the number of inmates as much and as quickly as possible. But public defenders continue to say that they have to fight far too hard for each release.

So Paul Manafort, in fact, may be doing all the Don Joneses in America a favor by, according to Intercept (Attachment Five) by “drawing attention to one of the great travesties in the way America treats people accused of crimes: its bail system.”

 

Almost as bad as losing a home or your freedom in America today is the likelihood of plague-related unemployment destroying your credit rating.  While credit policing and surveillance are not yet as well advanced here as in, for example, China, the credit crisis is a for-profit penalty on the poor with numerous unpublicized and perverse regulations – such as that penalizing people who inquire into or protest their downgrading.  We’ll look at that next week.

But now, more of the current week’s developments and some pertinent comments by Camus.

 

The principal characters of “The Plague” (“le Pest” in the original French) were the protagonist, one Dr. Bernard Rieux who dutifully ministered to the victims while his own wife was dying in a European tuberculosis sanitarium; a journalist, Rambert, also separated from his family; a stranger in town (but not Camus’ original “Stranger”), Tarrou; Father Paneloux, the Jesuit; Cottard, the black marketer; the Prefect (colonial Governor) and a supporting cast of colleagues, neighbors, infectees and the deceased – notably almost entirely male French colonials, with barely a mention of the native population. Such was the way of the world in the years after World War II.

 

Friday, May 8, 2020

 

Infected: 1,250,805

      Dead:   75,243

 

     Dow:   24,331.32

 

 

 

Plague-related unemployment reaches Great Depression depths.  (14.7%, higher for blacks and Latinos.  44 states easing lockdowns; President Trump says it’s a sign of weakness to wear masks, calls the CDC “unnecessary” and the plague something that will just “go away”.  Fired (BARDA) chief Dr. Bright denies he’s “disgruntled” and accuses Trump of “decapitating” the anti-plague fight.  California fights renegade nail salons, Texas frees jailed hairdresser.  VP Pence aide and Trump aide Stephen Miller’s wife gets it.

 

”Toward the close of October, Castel’s anti-plague serum was tried for the first time.  Practically speaking, it was Rieux’s last card.  If it failed, the doctor was convinced the whole town would be at the mercy of the epidemic, which would either continue its ravages for an unpredictable period or perhaps die out abruptly of its own accord.”

 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

 

 

 

New peril in young children is a hyper-inflammatory shock similar to Kawasaki Disease (neo-K).  Ivanka’s valet gets it, too.  Trump denies White House infestation – calls the plague “an invisible situation.”  Former President Obama calls White House CV response “a chaotic disaster”.  Dow soars, but economists cite “a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.”  1,000 Tyson workers in Iowa get it.  Health and animal rights experts battle kosher Jews and halal Muslims over “wet markets”. 

 

”The boy was taken to the auxiliary hospital and put in a ward of ten beds which had formerly been a classroom.  After some twenty hours Rieux became convinced that the case was hopeless.  The infection was steadily spreading; and the boy’s body was putting up no resistance.  Tiny, half formed, but acutely painful buboes were clogging the joints of the child’s puny limbs.  Obviously it was a losing fight.

”The child, his eyes still closed, seemed to grow a little calmer.  His clawlike fingers were feebly plucking at the sides of the bed.  Then they rose; scratched at the blanket over his knees; and suddenly he doubled up his limbs; bringing his thighs above his stomach, and remained quite still.  For the first time he opened his eyes and gazed at Rieux, who was standing immediately in front of him.  In the small face, rigid as a mask of grayish clay; slowly the lips parted and from them rose a long, incessant scream…”

 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

 

 

 

 

47 states now opening – allowing retail and some restaurants as well as drive-thru churches, graduations, funerals and testing.  Restrictions include masks, social distancing, curbside service, limiting patrons… or, in some states, nothing at all.  U.K, Brazil and SoKo face second wave – the latter due to one club kid.  France limits travel to 60 mi.  Drs. Fauci (NIH), Redfield (CDC) and Hahn (FDA) all get it and, hereafter, are televised from quarantine.  Neo-Kawasaki (toxic shock in children) up to 73 cases in NY, 3 deaths. Delta suspends service to ten airports until September.  Elon Musk threatens to move Tesla to Texas or Nevada to protest California’s social distancing.  President Trump invokes Defense Production Act to reopen meat processing plants, praises UFC for reopening cage fights.  Ex=Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) says CV unemployed are blaming themselves, falling into drugs, suicide and domestic violence. 

 

”(F)rom the day on which (Father Paneloux) saw a child die, something seemed to change in him.  And his face bore traces of the rising tension of his thoughts.  When one day he told Rieux with a smile that he was working on a short essay entitled “Is a Priest Justified in consulting a Doctor?” Rieux had gathered that something graver lay behind the question than the priest’s tone seemed to imply.”

 

Monday, May 11, 2020

 

Infected: 1,349,623

      Dead:   80,087

 

 

 

It’s Mothers’ Day, so a NC man brings his bazooka to a restaurant to honor Mom.  “Caged animals” assault ice-cream sellers over lines and masks while Trump taunts evil media and declares: “We have prevailed!”  Unveils new slogan: “Transition to Greatness!”  Economists predict 20% unemployment.  Neo-K cases up to 85.  Florida and Arizona open up but New York will wait until Friday as accusations of death cover-ups circulate, then pushes back further.  Uber lays off 3,500 on Zoom.    CV tracing failing because scam and robocall-hating Joneses refuse to answer calls from strange numbers on their phones.  Worldwide infections top 4 million.  Eleven secret service agents get it. 

 

”(R)eligion in a time of plague could not be the religion of every day,  While God might accept and even desire that the soul s hould take its ease and rejoice in happier times, in periods of extreme calamity He laid extreme demands o it.  Thus today God had vouchsafed to His creatures an ordeal such that they must acquire and practice the greatest of all virtues; that of the All or Nothing,

“Many centuries earlier, a profane writer had claimed to reveal a secret of the church by declaring that purgatory did not exist.  He wished to convey that there could be no half measures, there was only the alternative between Heaven and Hell; you were either saved or damned,  That, according to Paneloux, was a heresy that could spring only from a blind, disordered soul.  Nevertheless, there may have been periods in history when purgatory could not be hoped for; periods when it was impossible to speak of venial sin.  Every sin was deadly, and every indifference criminal.  It was all or it was nothing.” 

 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

 

From quarantine, Dr. Fauci warns that premature opening will lead to “suffering and death.”  4 out of 5 (?) researchers recommend remdesivir over the hydrochloroquin favored by Donald Trump).  Vlad Putin, taking a page from the Trump playbook, eases lockdown as cases rise and Russia overtakes Italy for Number Two.  Joe Biden surfaces on morning TV to talk about Flynn rollover, not CV.  NY neo-K cases top 100 – miracle 8 year old given CPR by brother survives the Junior Plague.  Also recovering – amputated Broadway star Nick Cordero and Matt Damon’s daughter.  Labor Dept. says food prices up 2.6%, ground beef 7%. Congress to vote on highly partisan Stimulus Two on Friday – clever Nancy calls the 3T Christmas Tree “The Heroes’ Act.”  Unheroic head of NY Metropolitan Museum sobs: “We’ll never see normal again.”

 

”’My brothers,’   the  preacher’s tone showed he was nearing the conclusion of his sermon‘ – the love of God is a hard love.  It demands total self-surrender, disdain of our human personality.  And yet it alone can reconcile us to suffering and the deaths of children,, it alone can justify them, since we cannot understand them, and we can only make God’s will ours.  That is the hard lesson that I would share with you today.  That is the faith, cruel in men’s eyes and crucial in God’s which we must ever strive to compass.’”

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

 

Jared the K. proclaims: “We’re mitigating the death as much as possible.”   Trump says Fauci “plays all sides” on school reopening and is probably a Democrat.  Pelosi says “Not acting is the worst.”  Republicans are split over Fauci – Mitt Romney fancies him, Rand Paul doesn’t.  Salon reports that infections are up 1,000% in rural states - cases up in Des Moines, Nashville, Kentucky.  Grocery prices at 50 year high.  Egg prices now up 16% pork 10%, chicken 8% beef down to 5%.  Children’s neo-K now in 16 states.  CNN upgrades August predictions from 60,000 deaths to 147,000.  Johns Hopkins says US ranks 9th in death rate at 24.31.

 

”(O)ur most popular prophets were those who in an apocalyptic jargon had announced sequences of events, any one of which might be construed as applicable to the present state of affairs and was abstruse enough to admit of almost any interpretation.  Thus Nostradamus and St. Odilia were consulted daily, and always with happy results.  Indeed, the one thing these prophecies had in common was that, ultimately, all were reassuring.  Unfortunately, though, the plague was not.

“Thus superstition had usurped the place of religion in the life of our town…”

 

 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

 

 

Infected: 1,418,894

      Dead:   85,489

 

     Dow:   23,625.34

 

Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns shelter in place laws and Sneezeheads rush to the bars to celebrate.  Fired BARDAdoc Rick Bright warns Washington: “The national window of opportunity is closing… America faces the darkest winter in modern history.”  (But most utilities still carrying deadbeats.)  Federal Reserve chair predicts a recession worse than WW2 as jobless rate rises from 33M to 36M.  Advocates still maintain that hydrochloroquin is best (but, now, when combined with zinc).  Djonald Unmasked predicts “bedlam on the streets.”  Experts say that talking loudly spreads CV virus for eight minutes.

 

“A few days after the sermon Paneloux had to move out of his rooms.  It was time when many people were obliged to change their residence owing to the new conditions created by the plague…

“He had difficulty in breathing and looked more flushed than usual (but) the Father refused to hear of a doctor’s visit because it was against his principles… Rieux examined him and found no symptoms of bubonic or pneumonic plague (but) his pulse was so weak and his general state so alarming that there was little hope of saving him… ‘I must isolate you,’ Paneloux said.

“’Thanks.  But priests can have no friends.  They have given their all to God.’ “

 

Probably the last disastrous report has come in to keep driving the Index down… the Federal report of unemployment rising from 4.4 to 14.7 percent.  Inflation standards… especially the continuing fall of gasoline due tn oversupply and the Saudi-Russia gas war, kept the damage from being less than it could have been.

As we reported last Lesson, not only was the 75th anniversary of VE day ignored by the media… (some old folks might remember: war, Nazis, deathcamps) but our Information ration appearantly did not include the plague of locusts eating up all the crops in East Africa, so that makes three Tier One plagues afoot… Plague, Famine and Death (with War straining at the reins behind them).  The latest asteroid recently missed us by an astronomical whisker, but could more disasters be forthcoming… flood and earthquakes, a military showdown with China (according to Reuters – see also, providentially, last week’s Lesson) and, of course, the inevitable advance of global warming.  Billy Graham’s boy is on the TV more often than the politicians, warning of the end times and begging for money that will somehow set the sinners right with God.  It’s going to be high times a-coming for Big Pharma’s anti-anxiety pills, for the unlicensed street preachers, the MRE survivalists and the tinfoil brigade.

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

 

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

 

(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

 

See a further explanation of categories here

 

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

 

 

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX

 

(45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

CATEGORY               VALUE     BASE                   RECKONINGS                   SCORE       SCORE

 

         INCOME                  22%           6/27/13      LAST        CHANGE      NEXT         5/8/20        5/15/20            OUR SOURCES and COMMENTS

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)           9%                1350 points    5/8/20                 +4.36%              5/22/20              1,364.65            1,424.18                 http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  25.12                    

 

Median Income (yearly)               4%                 600                 5/8/20                 +0.06%               5/22/20                623.51                623.88                http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 34,026

                

Unempl. (BLS – in millions)        4%                 600                 5/8/20                -71.07%               5/22/20                445.73                133.42                http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   14.7

                                                                                                                                                                                          300.00                300.00

 

Official (DC - in millions)            2%                 300                 5/8/20                   -5.22%               5/22/20                  87.46                 82.90                 http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 38,499

                                                                                                                                                                                          100.00                100.00

 

Unfficial (DC - in millions)          2%                 300                 5/8/20                 -0.06%                5/22/20                147.53                147.53                 http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 1,808

                                                                                                                                                                                         147.60                147.60

 

Out of Work (all categories)                                                                                   -2.58%                                          147.60                143.80                 Total: 39,269 40.307

                                                        

Workforce Participation               2%                300                 5/8/20                                             5/22/20                256.37                251.92                  In 127,967  5,583 Out 112,021 4,103 Total: 239,988          

   Number (in millions)                                                                                            -1.76%-

   Percentage                                                                                                             -1.74%                                                                                                  Percentage In:  53.32 52.39

 

WP Percentage (*ycharts)             1%               150                 4/22/20                 -1.10%               5/22/20               148.58               148.58                   http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  62.70

        

 

OUTGO                           (15%)

 

Total Inflation (aggregate)            7%                 600                 5/8/20                  -0.8%                 5/22/20             1,035.27             1,043.55                http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm      -0.4 -0.8

        Inflation – Food                     2%                 300                 5/8/20                 +1.5%                 5/22/20               291.66                 287.28                http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm      -1.9 +1.5

                     - Gasoline                   2%                 300                 5/8/20                 -20,6%                5/22/20               367.17                 442.81                http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     -10.2 20.6

                     - Medical Costs          2%                 300                 5/8/20                 +0.5%                 5/22/20               295.52                 294.04                http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm      +0.3 0.5

                     - Shelter                      2%                 300                 5/8/20                 +0.0%                 5/22/20               297.60                 297.60                http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm      +0.3  0

 

       WEALTH         (6%)                          

 

Dow Jones Index                           2%                  300                 5/8/20                 -1.93%               5/22/20                259.42                 254.41                 https://quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA  23,875.79 

 

       Homes =   Sales                      1%                  150                  5/8/20                 +8.67%              5/22/20                147.74                 147.74                 http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

                    =   Valuation               1%                 450                  5/8/20                  -0.14%              5/22/20                152.52                 152.30                    Sales (M):  5.27 Valuations (K):  280.6

 

Debt (Personal)                              2%                 450                  5/8/20                   -0.28%             5/22/20                296.18                 297.02                  http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 62,177

                

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX

(15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

       NATIONAL                10%

 

Revenues (in trillions – tr.)           2%                 300                 5/8/20                 +0.08%                 5/22/20              307.94                 308.20                  http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 3,558

 

Expenditures (in tr.)                     2%                 300                 5/8/20                 +0.06%                 5/22/20               220.40                 220.26                 http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 6,177

 

National Debt (tr.)                        3%                 450                 5/8/20                 +0.50%                 5/22/20               415.81                 413.71                  http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 25,167

                

Aggregate Debt (tr,)                     3%                 450                 5/8/20                 +0.08%                 5/22/20               435.96                 435.59                  http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 77,294

 

 

         GLOBAL                    5%

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)                          2%                  600                5/8/20                +0.19%                5/22/20                287.84                 287.27                 http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 7,207

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)              1%                  600                5/1/20               +10.35%                5/22/20                165.34                 165.34                 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  187.7

 

Imports (bl.)                                  1%                  600                5/1/20                  -6.18%               5/22/20                145.72                  145.72                 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  232.2

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)                         1%                   600                5/1/20              +10.14%                5/22/20                166.28                 166.28                 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  44.4

 

 

        

SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

 

LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX

 

         ACTS of MAN        (12%)

 

World Peace                                   3%                 450                 5/8/20                    -0.4%                 5/22/20                 424.74                 423.04                

German spies expose more evidence of Chinese coverup.  Europe starting to re-open, Asia too… but second wave of plague sends thm back into their homes, masks and hospitals.

 

Terrorism                                       2%                 300                 5/8/20                    -0.1%                 5/22/20                 301.19                 300.89        

Anti-quarantine protesters march around with Nazi flags and machine guns – nothing happens.   Afghan militants kill 16 at maternity dance. 

 

Politics                                            3%                 450                 5/8/20                    -0.3%                 5/22/20                 457.95                 456.58         

Biden’s hidin’ in his basement… campaign recalls front porch days of McKinley, Harding.  Spooked after his press sec. gets it, Pence masks up.  But Trump doesn’t.  Home invading protesters battle Fresno politicians & police.

 

Economics                                      3%                 450                 5/8/20                    -0.3%                 5/22/20                 414.32                413.08               

Sick doctors teletestify before Senate, say that the coming second wave will hurt the economy too.  Steak n’ Shake closes157 franchises.  With record unemployment, job cuts hit Uber, Boeing and U.S. Steel.  Wages rise because the lowest paid are being laid off.  

 

Crime                                              1%                 150                 5/8/20                  +0.5%                  5/22/20                 298.78                297.29                

Georgia’s JWB (jogging while black) killers arrested.  Octogenarian couple gunned down in Delaware veterans’ cemetery.  Wicked scammers targeting healthcare workers with dangerous fake PPE.  Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) quits his Chairmanship after being accused of insider trading on confidential CV findings… next to the chopping block: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga… wife of President of New York stock exchange).

         ACTS of GOD         (6%)

 

Environment/Weather                  3%                 300                 5/8/20                   -0.4%                 5/22/20                 455.85                 454.03

Western megadrought called the worst in 2,000 years.  Florida wildfires spread from the panhandle in the north to tropical Naples in the south.

 

Natural/Unnatural Disaster         3%                 300                  5/8/20                  -0.2%                 5/22/20                 432.26                 431.39

Sharks (remember us?) kill California surfer.  Deadly flash flooding in Utah.

 

 

LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX              (15%)

 

 

Science, Tech & Education           4%                 450                 5/8/20                        nc                    5/22/20                 607.13                 607.13               

Space Force still grounded, but unveils its new slogan: “Plan for what’s possible while it is still impossible.”  (Not exactly To Infinity and Beyond, but they’re trying.)

 

Equality (social/economic)             4%                 450                 5/8/20                    -0.2%                 5/22/20                 600.62                 599.42

Public protests force Georgia to replace white prosecutor with black in JWB case (above).  Amazon firing warehouse workers who protest unsafe conditions.

 

Health                                              4%                 450                 5/8/20                    -10.0%*             5/22/20                 450.00                 450.00                

                                                                                                                                     (-13.38%)                                        225.08                 194.96

 

In the midst of the coronavirus, President Trump fires his Coronavirus Czar.  Frontier Air pioneers mandatory temperature-taking of passengers.

Freedom and Justice                      3%                 450                 5/8/20                    -0.4%                 5/22/20                 445.95                 444.17                

Friendly BilBarr gives perjuring Gen. Flynn a GOOJF card, but it is confiscated by a (black) judge so the AyGee hires a special judge – John Gleason, the retired Gotti jurist.  Trumpyish and Turkish apy Paul Manafort released to home quarantine.  Amidst roiling plague, SCOTUS decides to take another look at… Stormy Daniels!  Senate greenlights internet surveillance.

 

MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX           (7%)

 

Cultural Incidents                           3%                 300                 5/8/20                   +0.1%                 5/22/20                  466.03                 466.50                

MLB will cut 2020 season in half starting Independence Day.  Celebrity “Rise Up” concert raises 150M in NY.  RIP Little Richard, Philly DJ Gene Shay, mauled tiger-er Roy Horn, Betty “Clean Up Woman” Wright, Jerry (Seinfeld) Stiller, 

 

Miscellaneous incidents                 4%                 450                 5/8/20                   +0.1%                 5/22/20                  451.90                 452.35                

Germany re-opens its bars and biergartens.  108 year survivor of the Spanish Flu survives the coronavirus, too.  200 escaped goats terrorize San Jose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of May 8th through May 14th, 2020 was DOWN 236.45 points.

The Don Jones Index for the week of May 1st through May 7th, 2020 was DOWN 158.31 points.

The Don Jones Index for the week of April 22nd through April 30th, 2020 was DOWN 75.74 points.

The Don Jones Index for the week of April 15th through April 21st, 2020 was DOWN 113.45 points.

The Don Jones Index for the week of April 8th through April 14th, 2020 was DOWN 263.90 points.

The Don Jones Index for the week of April 1st through April 7th, 2020 was DOWN 295.50 points.

 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

 

 

 

BACK

 

See further indicators at Economist https://www.economist.com/economic-and inancialndicators/2019/02/02/economic-data-commodities-and-markets    

 

      * HEALTH  (accounting revised from 4/8) – In light of the spread of the coronavirus, making an objective (or even subjective) determination of its effect on Don Jones becomes a very dubious prospect; literally an all-or-nothing proposition where the prospects of the unfortunate sink to zero.  Then, there is the collateral damage to those sickened, but not terminated, by the virus, the friends and families of the deceased, the police, fire, EMT and medical workers laboring with what even President Trump now admits are inadequate protection, those who lose their jobs, businesses who lose their customers and have to shut down and a public deprived of social assemblies and ritual gatherings from holiday, arts and sporting events (today’s latest casualty, the Little League World Series).  Taking these into account would decimate almost the entirety of the Social index.  So here is our compromise.

       Coronavirus impact will not be factored into the individual social indices.  Moreover, “Health” will be given a “no change” rank for the duration.  However, a more or less general VC levy, a tax if you will, will be imposed on the entire Index at this category, although not deducted from the total score until a reckoning of some sort, some time into the future.  This “tax” will consist of two factors only… a rough case penalty of one percent for every 100,000 newly confirmed American victims per week (raised to 2% on April 15th) and another one percent “tax” on every one thousand new American deaths up to our “circuit breaker” maximum toll of 10%.  The results for April 1 – 8 were that amount was reached and exceeded by some two points,

        For the week of April 15th – 21st, the Index recorded 826,306 infections and 45,075 deaths as of Tuesday midnight… an escalation of 186,642 (or 1.87% per our formula, above… a higher number but lower percentage increase of 12.92% for the former, an almost identical 14,090 increase or a total 15.96% deduction from the unofficial score… that is, another 60+ drop in the weekly Don.  (There was no drop in the base, as the circuit breaker of 25% decrease was reached last week.)

        For last week-plus-one (April 22nd – 30th… the extra day taken so as to allow the inclusion of certain national monthly indices), there were 1,040,488 infections and 63,000 deaths (est.) as of Tuesday midnight… an escalation of 186,642 (or 1.14% per our formula, above) or minus 2.28 points.  The increase of approximately 18,000 deaths, added to the infection rate, created a pandemic point score of minus 20.28 points… a higher number but lower percentage increase of 12.92% for the former, a total 15.96% deduction from the unofficial score… that is, another 60+ drop in the weekly Don.  (There was no drop in the base, as the circuit breaker of 25% decrease was reached last week.)

        Last week, infections were up to 1,250,805.  That figure represented an increase of 210,317 Americans (or so we presume since there may be hospitals treating and recording foreign plague victims).  For an eight day week, that would have resulted in a new infection rate almost equal to last week’s.  The increase of 12,423 deaths (75,423 minus 63.000 m/l) represented a decrease, even over the seven days counted in the previous week.  The extra day being of little import in the massive whole, we have a percentage decline of 16.63 percent… the stasis in new infections and the decrease in fatalities representing a downgrading down from those of previous weeks.  (Note that, since reaching its “circuit-breaker” low, the value of this particular Index has fallen by almost half, with more to come.)  This means that while the plague is reaching its “plateau” in new cases and deaths are falling (due mostly to testing and better medical care) by no means, will the CV be going away soon despite the denial of the authorities in what, tonight, amounts to 44 states.  The longevity of Camus’ plague… ten months… and its late-term effect on the characters should be illustrative.

         This week, America recorded 1,415,894 new cases and 85,489 deaths – an increase of 165,089 cases and 10,066 fatalities.  Both figures, by our formula above, represented declines and the plague point score was 1.65 x 2 (3.32) plus 10.06 for a total of 13.38%.  Over the limit again, but going down… slowly

 

 

     * UNEMPLOYMENT – The numbers are now in from Debtclock and, unlike the wholly rosy 4.4 rate promulgated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the horrific numbers washing in from DebtClock and other sources reflect reality, whether we like it or don’t.  The actual number of Americans out of work and filing for unemployment more than doubled; those also unable to work but not filing (or discouraged by long lines and bumbling processing) were up by a third.  In anticipation of worse to come (especially in the BLS figures by Mayday) we quick-gap capped the point value of the former at 100 (only a third of its revised standing on January 1st) while deducting the whole 126 point toll from the total Index.  (This happened so quickly that we weren’t even able to replace the actual point drop with a graduated decline, as with the subjective Health.  Since the Unofficial reports are also headed downward, though at a less rapid (roughly 35% pace), we’ll let it seek the 100 point basement, after which the same rules will apply.

     * WORKFORCE – The chaos factor wholly blew out our in/out workforce stats this week, so we let them sit at No Change.  Hopefully, this will be corrected next week (we’ve found an alternate, and more reasonable, source of Internet access.

 

 

Attachment One – from various

 

Debates – Irrelevant

Primaries – Who gives a rat’s ass (except for hungry coronavirii)?

Conventions -

Date Unknown: Democratic National Convention, in which delegates of the Democratic Party will crown Joe Biden for president and somebody for vice president in the general election

Date (or even existence) Unknown: The Republican convention scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Presidential Debates – Unknown

General Election – November 3, 2020 (unless cancelled)

 

Attachment Two – from Buzzfeed

WASHINGTON — On March 19, three days after an eviction moratorium took effect in New York in response to the novel coronavirus, Akil Mayfield was evicted from his Queens apartment — his landlord had changed the locks and wouldn’t let him back in.

Mayfield, who is 45 years old and has a disability, spent several days at a YMCA until his mother flew up from Florida and he could stay with her at a hotel. He told BuzzFeed News that he was worried about his safety if he went to a shelter and was scared of being exposed to the coronavirus during the two weeks that he was out of his home.

“I was feeling very hopeless and violated,” he said.

Mayfield is back in his home now, but it took an emergency eviction challenge in court. In an April 2 order, the judge concluded that Mayfield “was illegally forced out,” noting there was not only evidence that he lived in the apartment, but also that he had paid his rent.

There are moratoriums preventing landlords from evicting residents in all but five states at the state or local level due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. But lawyers who work with low-income clients told BuzzFeed News that despite moratoriums and stay-at-home orders intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, landlords and property owners are still trying to force people out.

“The cases that we are seeing are people who are changing locks without a marshal — just the landlord doing it themselves, an illegal lockout,” said Edward Josephson, director of litigation for Legal Services NYC. His organization has also handled cases of landlords cutting off services to force out tenants — in once case, a landlord in Brooklyn sealed off access to bathrooms, he said.

Legal services providers said that once state officials lift temporary eviction moratoriums, they’re bracing for a flood of calls not only from existing low-income clients, but also from newly unemployed Americans unable to afford housing and facing eviction, lawfully or not. Approximately 22 million people in the US have filed for unemployment benefits in the past month, and others are facing reduced hours and pay cuts.

“I worry the most about how we keep our staff safe while responding to what's going to be, I think, our biggest civil legal aid crisis that we've ever undergone with our client population,” Laura Tuggle, executive director of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, told reporters during a video briefing earlier this week. “Right now the most pressing [issue] that we're concerned about is the tsunami of evictions that is headed our way.”

Tami Arntzen, a staff attorney with the Northwest Justice Project who handles housing cases in eastern Washington state, said many landlords were being “cooperative and compassionate” in trying to work with tenants, but at some point they will expect past due rent to be paid.

“The moratorium doesn’t say, ‘You don’t owe your rent.’ So if you legitimately cannot pay it now, you’re getting yourself deeper into a hole and you have no control how deep it goes,” Arntzen said.

Alexis Erkert, a staff attorney with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, said housing lawyers were “really nervous” about the lack of long-term options for people who had lost their jobs or faced other economic insecurity because of the pandemic.

 “There’s no official waiver of late fees, rent is still owed, and our clients are very low-income,” Erkert said. “They need their stimulus money to buy food and diapers and pay for basic living expenses. It won’t go very far if you have no other source of income right now. I just can’t fathom how most of my clients are going to be able to pay back one, two, or three — who knows how long this will go on — months of rent.”

One of Erkert’s clients is Lee Harris, who is paying $45 a day to live in a motel in Metairie, Louisiana. Harris, 43, was approved for unemployment benefits after he was laid off from his job as a restaurant fry cook in March, but hasn’t gotten the funds yet. He’d run out of money, and the motel was preparing to evict him. He was working with Erkert to stay in the room until the money arrived, and said he had nowhere else to go. He feared going to a shelter — “that’s where the disease is running rampant,” he said.

“I’m scared to death. I watch TV. I see who that stuff’s affecting. It’s affecting the black community,” Harris said in a phone call the night of April 21; he was facing eviction the next day. He has high blood pressure and was worried he’d be at a higher risk of complications if he contracted COVID-19. “Hell yeah I’m scared.”

On Wednesday morning, Erkert told BuzzFeed News that Harris had found a way to borrow money to stay in the motel until his unemployment benefits arrived. No one answered the phone at the motel.

Erkert said government officials in Orleans Parish had issued formal guidance making clear that its eviction suspension applied to hotels and motels, but neighboring Jefferson Parish, where Harris was staying, hadn’t done that so far.

Erkert said her office had handled more than two dozen eviction cases involving traditional residences as well as hotels and motels since March. One of the office’s clients, Bobby Parker, a sanitation worker in New Orleans, spent several nights sleeping on the street after he was evicted from his home. Although a judge ruled against his landlord, it wasn’t until local media began covering his story and the mayor’s office intervened that she let him back in.

The coronavirus pandemic has created new obstacles and risks for tenants and their lawyers. Some courts require tenants who may already be out of cash to post bond to pursue a restraining order. In Washington state, the eviction moratorium still allows evictions in cases involving threats to health and safety. And lawyers in Snohomish County, Washington, with the Northwest Justice Project petitioned the state Supreme Court to intervene after the county court adopted a system for telephone hearings in eviction cases that the lawyers argued violated clients’ due process rights — landlords didn’t have to provide tenants with notice of the new telephone procedures, for instance. The legal services lawyers entered into a settlement resolving those issues with the court on April 17.

Deborah Dorfman, a staff attorney with the Northwest Justice Project who worked on the Snohomish County court issue, said she’d handled the case of a family challenging an eviction initiated just before the state moratorium first took effect in late February. Dorfman said the landlord was illegally trying to evict the family, which included an elderly person, by the end of March because they were using a federal housing subsidy.

“Even after the governor issued the stay-at-home orders, they still were … insisting that the family should vacate in the middle of COVID. A) it was illegal to do that, and b) there was nowhere for the family to go,” Dorfman said. She said the landlord rescinded the eviction notice after she wrote them a letter arguing the eviction was not only illegal income-based discrimination, but also a violation of state stay-at-home orders.

Although many courts are handling cases online or by phone when possible, Erkert said she has had to do a few in-person meetings to get documents signed — she said she’s asked clients and witnesses to bring their own pens and use hand sanitizer, but hasn’t always been able to stay 6 feet away. Melissa Banks, the housing deputy director of Legal Services NYC’s Queens program, said she had to meet a client at the post office to help get paperwork mailed out.

“I haven’t been able to maintain, you know, social distancing guidelines when I’m dealing with these issues. I’m just wearing a mask, trying to use as much protection as possible and try to maintain as much distance as I can, but it’s hard,” Erkert said.

Connecting tenants with lawyers has also become harder. Tuggle, of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, told reporters that typically 50% of client intake in their New Orleans office had been through walk-ins, but that can’t happen now with offices closed and people scared to go outside. Legal service providers are routinely referred cases after tenants go to court in person to challenge evictions, but court closures and stay-at-home orders have disrupted those lines of communication, lawyers told BuzzFeed News.

Arntzen, of the Northwest Justice Project, said she’d fielded calls from clients about landlords who were insisting they prove that their loss of income was coronavirus-related; an amended order from Gov. Jay Inslee made clear that wasn’t required.

Landlords were “looking for the cracks, I would say, in what the moratorium said and didn’t say, looking for ways they could still get around the ban,” Arntzen said. She said she’d recently handled the case of a woman facing eviction from the land she rented for a mobile home because of an issue with a fence. Arntzen said she was able to resolve the situation informally with the landlord’s lawyer after arguing the eviction would threaten her client’s health and safety.

Arntzen said her office had been doing outreach with community groups and nonprofits to raise awareness about resources for tenants once the state moratorium lifts and landlords can legally pursue evictions again. She said her office also did internal training for lawyers who usually handle other client needs so they’re prepared to take on housing cases going forward.

Mayfield has been back in his Queens apartment since April 3, although he said he’d like to find a new place — there were leaks and other maintenance issues in the apartment, and he had a bad relationship with the landlord. But he said he didn’t feel comfortable exploring other options during the pandemic.

“Where can I go? What can I do right now?” he said. “I would move out tomorrow in a heartbeat.”


Attachment Two (B) – also from Buzzfeed

 

With millions of people across the country applying for unemployment due to shutdowns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many tenants will be unable or unwilling to pay rent when it comes due April 1, leading to calls for a nationwide rent strike.

 

But there’s a difference between not paying your rent and organizing a rent strike. And not recognizing it could put vulnerable tenants at risk of eviction.

 

On social media, people are sharing powerful images about refusing to pay rent; one features a drawing of a woman wearing a mask and says, “tenants keep your rent, landlords keep your distance.”  Here are a couple of tweets…

 

 

Chelsea Chamberlain

@cdchambs

More West Philly #Covid19 art. “Tenants Keep Your Rent. Landlords Keep Your Distance.” #RentStrike

 

View image on Twitter

1,210

11:38 AM - Mar 26, 2020

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In neighborhoods in cities across the country, people are hanging white sheets from their windows to show that they won’t be paying rent.

 

 

MIDWEST #RENTSTRIKE

@MW_Unrest

Replying to @MW_Unrest

The symbol of the #RENTSTRIKE is spreading fast. First Montreal, now NYC, LA, Chicago, Tuscon, Lansing, Richmond, and Atlanta. Pass it on 🏳

 

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12:21 PM - Mar 21, 2020

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In Brooklyn, tenants wrote their demands on a giant banner and hung it on a building.

 

 

MIDWEST #RENTSTRIKE

@MW_Unrest

Replying to @MW_Unrest

Brooklyn is going on #RENTSTRIKE, pass it on 🏳

 

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

334

1:39 PM - Mar 22, 2020

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And corporations like the Cheesecake Factory and Subway are making headlines following announcements that they won’t be paying commercial rent for their retail locations next month either.

 

But some tenants rights experts are worried that people who think they’re participating in a rent strike simply by not paying rent without rallying support from neighbors and fellow tenants first could be putting themselves at risk.

 

“The danger in launching something like that without adequate preparation is potentially exposing people who could’ve paid their rent to being evicted without much to show for it,” Gregory Afinogenov, an assistant history professor at Georgetown and organizer with Stomp Out Slumlords in Washington, DC, told BuzzFeed News. “Landlords don’t necessarily care about why you’re not paying rent, they’re going to file eviction proceedings regardless.”

 

In cities including New York City, Seattle, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago, and states including Texas, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, authorities have temporarily paused eviction proceedings, but in some places eviction cases can still be filed. President Trump signed a bill guaranteeing some federal eviction relief, but millions of Americans aren’t protected by the law.

 

“If someone’s seen a meme telling them not to pay their rent, that’s not going to protect them from an eviction,” said Afinogenov.

 

Landlords can still file eviction cases against rent strikers even while court processes are temporarily stayed, and people who don’t pay rent now could find themselves facing debt or fees later on.

 

For a rent strike to be successful, some tenants unions say, neighbors need to work together and present landlords with clear demands. The Philadelphia Tenants Union has been circulating a document with tips. It advises talking to neighbors one on one and warns against mistaking online enthusiasm for actual commitment. “The people who respond to a post in a community Facebook group will be a small fraction of the fellow tenants you will need on board for successful collective action,” the document says.

 

“If someone’s seen a meme telling them not to pay their rent, that’s not going to protect them from an eviction.”

A typical tenants' rights campaign might involve requesting a rent reduction or paying rent late as a group before fully refusing to pay rent at all. Sudden mass layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic might seem to be accelerating a nationwide interest in rent strikes, but the Philadelphia Tenants Union is cautious.

 

“If you have no income to pay rent, then a ‘rent strike’ is an immediately attractive action. But that is not so much a rent strike as it is non-payment of rent,” the guide says. “A rent strike means building deep organizing roots among all tenants and collectively withholding rent even when people have the means to in order to meet a demand.”

 

Maddie Rose, an organizer with the Philadelphia Tenants Union, told BuzzFeed News that while interest in rent striking has spiked, many of the people she’s been in touch with are in “the early stages of talking to their fellow tenants through leaflets and phone calls,” and probably won’t be ready “to start making collective demands” until May 1.

 

“[T]his happened so suddenly and it takes time to coordinate with other tenants, especially when your home is owned and controlled by a large developer,” Rose said.

 

But for suddenly unemployed rent strikers like C. Dage, a tenant in Austin, rent is due next week. Dage lost their job at an after-school program three and a half weeks ago when schools closed, and overdrew their bank account when it auto-paid their bills. To pressure the company that owns their building to permanently forgive their April rent, Dage and their roommates agreed not to pay on April 1, and they’re trying to get the rest of their large apartment complex on board.

 

“There are … at least two or three [people] who are also committed to not paying, but I’m not sure about their roommates,” Dage said. “It’s been difficult to gauge where people are at just because of the fact that I can't really talk to people in person.”

 

To comply with social distancing while communicating with neighbors, Dage said they hung flyers in common areas of their building rather than going door to door. “The next day after we posted flyers the property manager sent an email to every resident saying we have to pay our rent on time this month just like every month, and by the end of the day she ripped down every flyer throughout the complex,” Dage said.

 

For now, Dage and their roommates are protected by a 60-day municipal eviction freeze that Austin’s city council passed Thursday. But with no job, they said they don't know how they’ll earn the money to pay back rent when those two months are up, which could mean owing their landlord more money and getting evicted down the line.

 

“I think it’s unrealistic of the city to expect people will magically be able to come up with two months' rent when they couldn’t pay one to begin with,” said Dage.

 

social distancing rent strike meeting

baby they/them

@cryingonthecta

social distancing rent strike meeting

 

11:23 PM - 25 Mar 2020

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Tenants in Chicago discussing a possible rent strike at a safe distance.

 

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Rent strikers in some communities are presenting landlords with clear demands. Organizers of Rent Strike Raleigh in North Carolina are asking authorities to freeze rent and utility payments and open up vacant housing, including hotel rooms, for those who have nowhere to go, as well as workplace protections, free health care, freedom for at-risk prisoners, and an end to ICE deportations. Organizers of Rentstrike ATX in Austin are making similar demands, and also encouraging participants to "talk to your friends, your neighbors, your roommates. Talk to your landlord's tenants. Coordinate across complexes and neighborhoods. Spread the strike, and lay the foundation for a group action against your landlord.”

 

Rent strikers in Montana are asking Gov. Steve Bullock to suspend "all rent, mortgage and utility payments for 2 full months."

 

A mortgage payment freeze would provide relief for landlords, some of whom say they won’t be able to make their payments without rental income. But most landlords aren’t mom and pop operations; in 2017, a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard found that more than half of rental properties in the United States were owned by "institutional investors" like banks, funds, or corporations.

 

“The current crisis is laying bare the tenants rights crisis that has already existed for years, and it’s becoming harder to pretend the status quo is sustainable.”

On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that some major banks would forgive mortgage loans for homeowners throughout the state.

 

Rent strike proponents are encouraging people who need rent relief but aren’t prepared to strike to download form letters to send to their landlords requesting a rent reduction. Whether tenants who are short on cash this month choose to strike or negotiate with their landlords individually, they hope that in the long term the economic fallout of the pandemic could drive collective action that will strengthen tenants' rights.

 

“People are a lot more engaged now than they would have been,” said Dage, the Austin renter. “People had been introduced to some of these ideas, like the nationalization of health care and housing, but [now] it’s not something to theorize about anymore, but something that's impacting people’s daily life.”

 

Max W., an organizer with the Philadelphia Tenants Union, agreed. “This moment has the potential to advance the movement to build tenant power in a major way,” he told BuzzFeed News. “The current crisis is laying bare the tenants rights crisis that has already existed for years, and it’s becoming harder to pretend the status quo is sustainable.

 

 

 

Attachment Three – from Invisible People

Stimulus Check: How Homeless People Can Access Funds

 

APRIL 17, 2020

 

trillion CARES Act that was passed by the federal government late last month. The checks will be directly deposited for many taxpayers, and mailed to others in the coming weeks. They are intended to energize an economy that has been battered by COVID-related shutdowns and layoffs in recent weeks. But for individuals experiencing homelessness, receiving that much-needed cash may be a lot more difficult.

Often exempt from filing taxes because of low-income status, some people who live outdoors or in cars won’t be included in this week’s wave of direct deposits, which will be based on bank info from 2018 and 2019 returns. Earlier this week, the IRS launched a new website that allows non-filers to enter payment info. But with libraries and cafes shut down, many homeless individuals are currently struggling to access the internet. Even when they can access the site, there are other hurdles to surmount.

Chris Ko, Managing Director of Homelessness & Strategic Initiatives at United Way of Greater Los Angeles said the organization has been scrambling to find ways to help homeless people get a hold of this funding, which would allow them to buy food and other necessities during this time of crisis.

“I think the bottom line is that the group of people who would benefit the most will receive the least,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure that that proportion is not as bad.”

For some, the first step will simply be acquiring basic identification info.

In order to apply for the check, individuals must provide a social security number. However, it’s easy to lose track of this kind of documentation when you live outdoors.

“A lot of our friends outside don’t have basic documents, not because they’re not legal residents in the states, but they’ve had those things stolen from them,” said Ko.

Once they’re lost, those documents can be a headache to get a hold of again.

“In certain states … you need an out of state birth certificate to get your ID. You can’t get your ID without this other document, you can’t get that document without your I.D.,” said Ko. “It’s just this endless loop.”

Once ID info is secured, individuals can provide the IRS with banking information to receive a direct deposit. Those who don’t have a bank account will receive a paper check. The IRS will begin sending these out the first week of May to lowest-income recipients first. But when bankless recipients go to cash those checks, they may find themselves saddled with extra fees.

“At the end of the day, if it’s not through an electronic filing for people that have bank accounts, they will lose 1 to 5 percent of their check when they cash it, because they have to check cashers and other things,” said Ko.

Homeless individuals receiving a paper check will also need to provide a reliable address that it can be sent to.

Some options include having the checks sent to social welfare offices, or local nonprofits and shelters. The Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission in L.A.’s Skid Row, said he will allow those living in the mission and others who need a stable address to have their checks sent there. However, he said there might be a lack of awareness among homeless individuals that this benefit is even available.

Fortunately, there’s still time. The stimulus payments will remain available throughout 2020. They’ll also be automatically sent to individuals who are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits, which may cover some homeless individuals.

Ko said that right now, United Way is advocating for the checks to be automatically sent to those who are enrolled in other government benefit programs as well, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

“We feel like they’ve proven their identity once, and it’s good enough for them to be receiving other benefits,” said Ko. “Why wouldn’t we take the same government process that has already been approved and use it?”

 

Attachment Four – from NOLO

 

Updated: May 11, 2020

 

State (click on state name for its official COVID-19 website)

County or City

Hold On Evictions

Hold on Utility Shutoffs

Other Tenant Protections/Notes

Alabama

Yes

Likely (see notes)

-By order of the governor, law enforcement cannot proceed with any eviction orders.

- Public Service Commission states that it is confident no customers will experience interruption during crisis, and that after crisis period utilities will help with past-due accounts.

Alaska

Yes

Yes

-Alaska State Legislature passed a bill placing a moratorium on utility shutoffs (set to expire on the earlier of November 15, 2020, or the end of the public health disaster emergency) and evictions (set to expire June 30, 2020) due to COVID-19 financial problems. Set to expire June 30, 2020.

-See Regulatory Commission of Alaska's memo on utility shutoff moratorium.

-Telephonic eviction hearings can be held in certain circumstances.

-See Alaska Court System's COVID-19 response page for information about courts, hearings, and alerts.

Arizona

Yes

Yes (see notes)

-Governor issued executive order delaying evictions for 120 days (until 7/22/2020). Applies to tenants who can't pay rent due to coronavirus-related issues.

-Governor and state's largest utilities reached an agreement to not shutoff utilities or charge late fees or penalties during crisis.

-Arizona Corporation Commissioner released memo on information for utility customers

Arkansas

Yes

-Arkansas Public Service Commission ordered a shutoff moratorium during state of emergency.

-Courts are still open and conducting hearings (not in person) when possible. Check with courts re: status.

California (see this Nolo article for CA-specific information)

Over 120 local jurisdictions.

Yes

-Governor ordered hold on evictions through May 31, 2020, subject to guidelines stated in order.

-State Court emergency moratoriums on summons on complaint, entries of default and scheduling trial for unlawful detainers and entries of default.

-Utility shutoff moratorium for nonpayment during State of Emergency.

Colorado

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, no evictions for 30 days from April 30 (May 30, 2020).

-See Colorado statewide utility tracker for information about whether your utility provider has put a moratorium on shutoffs during the crisis.

-Colorado Supreme Court ordered that whether or not to proceed with nonessential matters (such as evictions) is left to each court.

Denver

Yes

-Mayor issued a hold on evictions.

-Resources for Denver residents.

Connecticut

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020. For rent due in April 2020, landlords must grant tenants an automatic, 60-day grace period for payment. For rent due in May 2020, landlords must grant a 60-day grace period for payment upon request by tenant. Tenant can apply security deposit towards rent in some situations.

-Moratorium on electric, natural gas, and water shut-offs in response to pandemic.

Delaware

Yes

Yes

-Delaware Housing Assistance Program will provide eligible households up to $1500 in assistance to pay rent or electric bills.

-By order of governor, all residential foreclosures and evictions during the state of emergency. Also, no utility shutoffs.

District of Columbia

Yes

Yes

-No evictions during state of emergencyLawmakers have suspended the filing of eviction complaints until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency.

-No utility shutoffs during state of emergency.

-See D.C. Public Service Commission's resources page for more information about utilities and assistance.

Florida

Yes

-By governor's order, all evictions (and foreclosures) are suspended for 45 days from the date of the order (until 5/17/2020).

-Courts have suspended eviction hearings until May 29, 2020.

-Most major utilities providers have said they will not shut off services. Check with your local provider.

Georgia

Maybe (see notes)

State of Georgia has a COVID-19 hotline: (844) 442-2681.

-Check individual Georgia courts' status here.

-Check the State of Georgia Public Service Commission's website for a list of GA services that have suspended disconnections due to COVID.

Atlanta

Limited

No water shutoffs

-No water shutoffs for 60 days (as of 3/11).

-No termination for nonpayment of rent, no late fees or other charges for late or unpaid rent for 60 days in certain properties.

Hawai'i

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, evictions for nonpayment of rent suspended until May 31.

-Hawaii Electric suspended service disconnections until June 30, 2020.

Idaho

Remote hearings on landlord-tenant/eviction matters can resume on May 1, 2020.

-By order of Idaho Supreme Court, no jury trials in criminal cases before 8/3/2020, and no jury trials in civil cases until 10/5/2020. Remote hearings on all matters may resume on May 1, 2020.

-For financial and other assistance, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has a county-specific resource guide.

Illinois

Yes

Yes

-By governor's order, no enforcement of residential eviction orders during duration of Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.

-Illinois Commerce Commission ordered utilities to cease disconnections and suspend late fees until end of emergency. In place until May 1, 2020 (or the crisis has passed).

Indiana

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, no eviction or foreclosure actions can be initiated until state of emergency has terminated. Order currently in place until June 4, 2020.

-By order of governor, no discontinuation of utilities during public health emergency.

-Indiana resource guide.

Iowa

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, landlords cannot terminate rental agreements or evict a tenant during the duration of the proclamation of disaster emergency. (Currently set to expire May 27, 2020.)

-By order of supreme court, no eviction proceedings until at least June 15, 2020.

-Iowa Utilities Board ordered restriction on utility disconnection during the public health emergency (until at least May 27, 2020).

Kansas

Yes

Yes

-By governor's order, business and residential evictions are suspended until May 31, 2020.

-Utility disconnects for nonpayment are suspended until May 15, 2020..

Kentucky

Yes

Yes

-Supreme Court of Kentucky suspended evictions until May 31, 2020.

-Kentucky Public Service Commission ordered utilities to cease disconnections for non-payment and late payment charges.

Louisiana

Until at least May 15; check local courts

Yes

-Governor's order suspended deadlines in all legal proceedings until May 15, 2020.

-Check your local court's website to see status of hearings and trials.

-No utility service shutoffs statewide by order of the LA Public Service Commission.

-Louisiana Law Help is regularly updating its website with COVID-19 information for Louisiana residents.

Maine

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, no evictions until 30 days after the termination of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Maine Supreme Court has canceled most eviction hearings and proceedings until May 30, 2020 (in keeping with governor's order).

-Maine Public Utilities Commission ordered that all utilities not disconnect customers until further notice.

-MaineHousing has created a $5 million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program.

Maryland

Yes

Yes

-By governor's order, no evictions statewide during emergency.

-By governor's order, no utility can terminate service or collect a late fee until termination of the state of emergency (at least June 1, 2020).

Massachusetts

Yes

Yes

-Legislative ban on evictions during COVID emergency.

-No utility shutoffs until state of emergency is lifted or the Dep't of Public Utility orders otherwise.

Michigan

Yes

Yes, in some situations (see notes)

-Governor issued executive order suspending evictions until May 28, 2020.

-Many Michigan utility providers are agreeing to suspend shutoffs. Check the MPSC website for your carrier's current policies.

-By order of governor, no water shutoffs.

Minnesota

Yes

Maybe (see notes)

-Governor signed executive order to suspend evictions during emergency.

-Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has encouraged utilities to extend cold weather rule, and is providing information for consumers regarding utilities and assistance.

Mississippi

Until May 11, then set to resume.

Yes

-By order of governor, evictions are suspended through May 11, 2020.

-Supreme Court of Mississippi issued order stating that certain counties may resume sending jury summonses on or after May 18, 2020; gives judges discretion on many cases.

-Mississippi has established a COVID-19 information website.

-Mississippi Public Service Commission ordered a temporary suspension of disconnection by any public utility in the state. (Until May 14, 2020.)

-Check the Mississippi Judiciary's website for information about evictions, trials, and court access.

Missouri

Depends (see notes)

Some (see notes)

-Missouri's governor's COVID-19 announcements.

-Supreme Court of Missouri has directed courts to exercise discretion regarding cases (effective May 16, 2020) and appearances subject to certain Operational Directives. Whether or not your case will be held is left to discretion of judge.

-Check Missouri Public Service Commission's website for information about utility shutoffs.

Jackson County

Yes

-Jury trials are suspended through July 5, 2020.

-Issuance of writs and execution of pending writs suspended through May 18, 2020.

Kansas City

See notes

-KC Water suspended shutoffs.

-Visit KCMO.gov/coronavirus for more information.

St. Louis

Yes

No water shutoffs through May 15.

Montana

Yes

Yes

-By order of governor, no termination or eviction actions for the duration of the order (through May 24, 2020). Also, landlords cannot refuse to renew or extend the terms of a tenancy, charge late fees or other amounts due to nonpayment or rent, increase rent, or take certain other measures for nonpayment of rent.

-By order of governor, no business or political subdivision of the state can disconnect utilities for nonpayment, or charge late fees.

-Visit the Montana Public Service Commission's website to locate your utility service provider's website and find out about status.

Nebraska

Yes

See notes

-By order of governor, no evictions through May 31, 2020.

-Visit Nebraska Public Service Commission's website to see list of utility providers who have agreed to not shutoff service.

-Nebraska Public Service Commission is allowing utility carriers to seek reimbursement for providing service to low-income families.