His reputation as “the Peanut Man” notwithstanding, George Washington Carver was very much a part of the nascent conservation movement during the Progressive Era. From the Tuskegee Institute, he sought to persuade black farmers that altering their environmental behavior could mitigate, to some extent, the economic and political vicissitudes they faced as a result of their race. His campaign on behalf of impoverished black farmers provides an instructive case study of how one strand of Progressive conservation was undone by its failure to adequately navigate the intersection of the South’s land use and social and political institutions.
George Washington Carver was an African-American scientist and educator who made many contributions in the area of botany. He was born into slavery sometime in 1864, it is thought, which would make him 150 this year.
Learn more about George Washington Carver’s discoveries, in “Hints and suggestions to farmer: George Washington Carver and rural conservation in the South" from Environmental History.
Image: George Washington Carver by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Not only is it morally wrong to let people live desperately on the streets, but it doesn’t make much economical sense either.
A new study has found that it’s significantly cheaper to house the homeless than leave them on the streets.
University of North Carolina Charlotte researchers released a study on Monday that tracked chronically homeless adults housed in the Moore Place facility run by Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center (UMC) in partnership with local government. Housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.
Moore Place cost $6 million in land and construction costs, and tenants are required to contribute 30% of their income (mainly benefits) towards rent. The remainder of the $14,000 per tenant annually is covered by donations and local and federal funding. According to the UNCC study, that $14,000 pales in comparison to the costs a chronically homeless person racks up every year to society — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs.
What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.
The general population is biased: The original proposal for Moore Place was “controversial, if not ridiculed,” according to the Charlotte Observer. Locals mocked the idea that giving the homeless subsidized housing would do any good. A 2011 report commissioned by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that people have condescending attitudes towards the homeless, with the public perceiving higher levels of substance abuse problems (91%) and mental health issues (85%) than reported by the homeless themselves (41% and 24% respectively). It concluded that if “personal failings as the main cause of homelessness, it is unlikely that they will vote for increased public assistance or volunteer to help the homeless themselves.”
But “you can’t argue with the statistics," said UMC housing director Caroline Chambre. “This approach was controversial at one time because of the stereotype of who the homeless are, and we had to change that stereotype.”
In 2012, total welfare spending for the poor was just 0.47% of the federal budget. It turns out that maybe if we spent a little more to help the chronically destitute solve their problems, we could save a lot of money.
….I sweartogod I’m going to read Nine Tailors, but after the time I have had (migraine that knocked me out for 36 hours, EUC vote postponed again, and husband probably did not get a job he was eminently qualified, indeed overqualified, for) I just need some Wimsey short stories, which I love. (I have no idea why all the Sayers critics hate them. Fuck you, literary critics! //goes back to bed)
Romek Marber cover art for Dorothy Sayer’s ‘Have His Carcasse’.
Penguin Books (1962)
England, serenely unaware of his symbolic importance, acknowledged the squeeze with a pressure of the elbow.
|—||Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L Sayers (1937)|
POSSIBLY THE BEST SAYERS COVER EVER. NO LIE.
My favorite is Murder Must Advertise…because Wimsey is sexy in it.
OTP Advent Calendar
day 5: Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane - Dorothy L Sayers
Most of my OTPs are resolutely not heterosexual, but I can’t do OTPs without talking about these two. The Wimsey books are quite quite brilliant before Harriet shows up, but once she does they get even better. (Some days, Sayers is my favourite detective writer. Other days it’s Edmund Crispin. Mr Conan Doyle is always in third place). Gaudy Night is as much a philosophical meditation on how to live one’s life as it is a detective novel.
And these two! The relationship develops over three books, and it’s complicated and real and never easy, and you believe in it as you believe in them both as fully rounded characters; they’re fiercely equal and painfully honest at times. These two are my ideal couple, and they have ruined me for life, I think. That kiss at the end of Gaudy Night makes me do happy weeping every time, but it’s the earlier moment of Harriet’s realisation that is my favourite bit.
And on top of that there’s brilliant detection, and wit, and Bunter, and London. Donne and Bach and murder and dope and literary policemen and Oxford and the dizzy 20s and 30s. And a tv version with two perfectly cast leads, full of deco design!porn, monocle!porn, clothes!porn and these two with their beautiful faces.
Today I learned:
- That Dorothy L. Sayers wrote copy for Guinness’s iconic toucan advertisement, which, yes, obviously makes me want to re-read Murder Must Advertise.
- That John Gilroy, the artist who painted those ads, was also a famous and well-respected portrait artist who painted Queen Elizabeth II twice.
- That Collector’s Weekly is still the best.
She’s got a sense of humour too - one wouldn’t be dull - one would wake up and there’d be a whole day for jolly things to happen in - and then one would come home and go to bed - that would be jolly, too - and while she was writing, I could go out and mess round, so we shouldn’t either of us be dull -