The Absolute Bottom
  by T.J. Newton
America offers little hope to individuals who fall through the cracks, and the cracks are worsening. An individual whose freedoms are abused is sometimes left with no opportunities to correct those abuses. In fact, abuses of freedom may grow worse when an individual attempts to pursue most social avenues for support, potentially increasing feelings of isolation.

For starters, most healthy people want a job that satisfies their needs, but a job without a social support system can set individuals up for failure, and can precipitate further abuse by employers.

[T]he principle problem that must be addressed is the refusal of U.S. political elites ... to recognize that everyone within the United States has fundamental human rights that deserve respect, protection, and fulfillment. Political elites are especially resistant to the notion that people have economic human rights rights to work, food, housing, healthcare, social security, and an adequate standard of living (Newbeck).

Turning to family is not an option for every individual, and can contribute to a negative family environment.

At the national level, the U.S. government's failure to ensure that the basic needs of families are met has left tens of millions of people struggling to sustain themselves (Newbeck).

Many faith-based initiatives require a certain belief structure, and can seem to blame problems on a lack of faith.

Paying tax dollars to religious organizations to provide social services [can lead to] religion itself [becoming] the social service (Formicola).

Most current social programs are for families, people with low income, or for someone who has just lost their job. And most homeless shelters do not offer much beyond food and shelter. Privacy is very limited, and safety and quiet can also be a concern.

In 2002, research showed that children and families were the largest growing segment of the homeless in America, and this has presented new challenges, especially in services, to agencies (Wikipedia).

To make matters worse, there is no healthcare system in America. People do not even have to hit rock bottom before realizing that no one cares about their health.

Our healthcare system - or, more precisely, non-system - has evolved into a monster, a disorganized, overly complex creature that robs people of their money and their dignity (LeBow).

Because of these problems, an individual can feel isolated, with nowhere to turn. A social "absolute bottom" could offer hope to individuals whose freedoms are abused by providing food, shelter, safety, quiet, privacy, healthcare, and an opportunity to independently improve knowledge. Job placement assistance would also be necessary, but too much interest in America's financial system may make matters worse. Because America's financial system recognizes only the maximization of profit, individuals will constantly confront an environment that is hostile to social, cognitive, and environmental factors. A healthy society cares about its members, and eventually people will discover that their health, and freedom, is being put at risk by a society that only recognizes the maximization of profit. An "absolute bottom" could provide relief to such abuses, and contribute to a healthier American society.

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Selected Works Cited
Currie, Janet M. (2006). The invisible safety net. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Formicola, Jo Renee. (2003). Faith-based initiatives in the Bush administration: the good the bad, and the ugly. Oxford, UK: Rowman and Littlefield.

Lebow, Robert H. (2003). Healthcare meltdown: confronting the myths and fixing our failing system. Chambersburg, PA: Alan C. Hood and Co.

Newbeck, Kenneth J. (2006). When welfare disappears: The case for economic human rights. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Selected Works Cited from Internet
Newton, T.J. (2007). Copyright Law and Social Change., 20 April 2007.

---. (2004). neoNewtonian Philosophy., 20 April 2007.

---. (2003). The Struggle for Equality: Economics, Politics, & Education., 20 April 2007.

Wikipedia. (2007). Homelessness., 20 April 2007.
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