The Obama economy: Growing number of destitute New Jersey residents found living in the woods
by: J. D. Heyes
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
President Obama and his new best friend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have a lot of words for political opponents who try to paint them as ineffectual leaders who don’t have their constituents’ best interests at heart.
And yet, when it comes to the actual application of policies that would provide the most benefit to those constituents, both of these men appear to be missing in action.
A case in point combines the president’s lousy economic policies with Christie’s inability to improve economic conditions in his own state.
How bad are things? A number of New Jersey residents have no choice but to live in hovels deep in the woods.
‘People of the woods’ and other victims of bad economies
According to My9NJ, a local TV news affiliate, one such “community” of “people of the woods” exists near Browns Mills.
The station’s reporter, Meg Baker, had been told about the community by a viewer. Once gaining the community’s trust, she was able to go there for an in-depth report.
Baker says some of the residents have lived in the deep woods for as long as 20 years.
“The people in this community don’t have many other options. Most of them are unemployed and Burlington County doesn’t offer homeless shelters to help get them out of the woods,” she reported.
After talking to a number of the residents, Baker said she discovered that many of them are down on their luck, unable to find gainful employment or a means of subsistence. “They can’t afford to pay rent or live on their own and many feel they are forced to be there,” her report said.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is about 7.6 percent – not good. In New Jersey, it’s a full percentage point higher. A year ago, it was 9.7 percent.
In South Jersey, “it’s a problem in manufacturing,” said Sohini Chowdhury, the Moody’s Analytics economist who specializes in New Jersey, in an interview with Philly.com.