[Marxism] NYCHA tightens screws on tenants -- it's time to call Caracas!

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 8 22:58:52 MST 2006

(Right after I sent out the message below to various lists including NYTransfer, the latter sent a forward by Walter from CITGO about their various aid to poor US communities (which I hope he'll post here as well).)
  ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
The NYCHA announced yesterday a proposal to nickel-and-dime its way out of its fiscal crisis by charging poor residents for use of washing machines, fixing doors, etc. This because of a budget crisis caused by a) savage cuts from Washington and b) rising costs, especially utilities.
The actual amount the Authority would save from the new charges on residents are a tiny fraction of their projected deficit, and it's possible this is all a p.r. move to prepare the public for cuts on another big expense: NYCHA workers' pensions. (See graphic at Times link below for impact of utilities on the Authority's budget.)
But it's ironic (and instructive) that the Authority is having such problems with utilities so soon after the Bolivarian Revolution came to the rescue of some Bronx residents via cut-rate heating oil.
Now we could turn to Caracas for heating help -- or we could turn our fire on ExxonMobil et al. The very same day as the NYCHA announcement, Exxon was taking heat from Wall Street analysts for having too MUCH cash! After declaring the biggest annual profit in the history of the universe, Exxon, say analysts, still "had a 'cash problem' because it had more than $33 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of 2005."
(They want it to invest more but Exxon doesn't know where to put its money; see http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Exxon.html)
  Instead of asking Caracas for subsidies for our brothers and sisters in New York City public housing, let's ask them for advice. To wit: tell us how you seized YOUR energy resources so we can do the same, starting with Exxon! 
  March 9, 2006
New York Asks Help From Poor in Housing Crisis 
The New York City Housing Authority, landlord to more than 400,000 poor New Yorkers, is facing a budget shortfall of $168 million and has proposed narrowing the gap by charging residents new fees and increasing old ones for everything from owning a dishwasher to getting a toilet unclogged.....

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