It’s been awhile since my last 30 Blocks of Squalor update. Over the last week or so, I’ve had to take the 30 Blocks on three occasions because the Schuykill has become a parking lot. You would think I would run out of things to say about this stretch of squalor, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Last year I noted that Obama’s stimulus funds were working wonders as construction workers spent months ripping up every street corner and installing brand new state of the art wheel chair accessible sidewalks. And to think, they got to this project only 20 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

I also noted last year that there was one small itsy bitsy problem. The sidewalks between the wheelchair accessible ramps resembled Hamburg after an Allied bombing raid. Anyone in a wheel chair is likely to end up like this dude if they try to manuever along the 30 Blocks of Squalor. But to be fair, for the 1st time in two years, I saw someone being pushed in a wheelchair along the 30 Blocks. See, stimulus works.

Something new that I noticed was the appearance of signs on every light post along the entire 30 blocks. Each sign said the same thing:






The signs looked very much like the one below. The one thing I can honestly say is that I have never seen a For Sale sign along the 30 Blocks of Squalor. Not one. Ever. Part of the reason is that less than 50% of the hovels are owned by those living in them. Slumlords control most of the properties. Most of the dilapidated pieces of shit are worth less than $30,000. At least they have Direct TV Satellite Dishes. So, now we have companies, at the urging of our Federal Government, going all out with your tax dollars to give loans to the squalorites. Considering that 67% of the squalorites over the age of 16 are not employed, what do you think the odds of you getting a return on your investment?

As you can see, once Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went insolvent, your Federal government has again saved the day by having the FHA insure all the crap mortgage loans being produced across the land. Almost 90% of all mortgage loans being issued are now guaranteed by a government entity. Doesn’t that give you a warm feeling? Of course, the warm feeling is from the piss flowing down your leg.

Last year I had also detailed that the entire 30 Blocks of Squalor had been repaved with stimulus funds. This was truly an improvement and I was wholeheartedly supportive due to the existence of potholes that could swallow my Honda Insight whole.

But now it is six months later and this morning I had to swerve from the middle lane to the left lane or suffer the fate of these poor souls.

Along the way, there were a number of newly dug holes in the middle of this newly paved street. I was struck by the symbolism of this. The 30 Blocks of Squalor are like the United States of America. The infrastructure under our streets is crumbling. Water pipes and sewer pipes in every city in America are ancient. They should have been replaced a decade ago. Since they are unseen, no politician will get credit for replacing underground pipes. So they spend your money on new B1 bombers, social programs and bailing out their political contributor bankers. Instead of doing the hard dirty work of rebuilding the infrastructure, we pave over the problems with a thin layer of blacktop. We then wait for a pipe to burst and then do emergency repairs, leaving gapping holes in the blacktop.

Do you see the parallels with our country? No one addresses Social Security, Medicare, Too Big to Fail banks, a bloated military empire, a corrupt tax system, and out of control spending and bureaucracy. Instead Obama and the rest of the politicians mouth platitudes about reining in spending and cutting bureaucracy, while doing the opposite. Instead we wait until financial meltdowns and do emergency repairs, never fixing the real problems.

We have become the United States of Squalor.


Data Set: Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) – Sample Data
Geographic Area: 19139 5-Digit ZCTA

NOTE: Data based on a sample except in P3, P4, H3, and H4. For information on confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error, definitions, and count corrections see http://factfinder.census.gov/home/en/datanotes/expsf3.htm.
Subject Number Percent
Population 16 years and over 32,675 100.0
In labor force 16,144 49.4
Civilian labor force 16,133 49.4
Employed 13,574 41.5
Unemployed 2,559 7.8
Percent of civilian labor force 15.9 (X)
Armed Forces 11 0.0
Not in labor force 16,531 50.6
Females 16 years and over 19,273 100.0
In labor force 9,334 48.4
Civilian labor force 9,323 48.4
Employed 7,834 40.6
Own children under 6 years 3,488 100.0
All parents in family in labor force 2,201 63.1
Workers 16 years and over 12,934 100.0
Car, truck, or van — drove alone 3,991 30.9
Car, truck, or van — carpooled 1,733 13.4
Public transportation (including taxicab) 6,157 47.6
Walked 811 6.3
Other means 88 0.7
Worked at home 154 1.2
Mean travel time to work (minutes) 38.8 (X)
Employed civilian population 16 years and over 13,574 100.0
Management, professional, and related occupations 2,771 20.4
Service occupations 4,410 32.5
Sales and office occupations 4,137 30.5
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations 24 0.2
Construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations 629 4.6
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 1,603 11.8
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining 30 0.2
Construction 412 3.0
Manufacturing 648 4.8
Wholesale trade 192 1.4
Retail trade 1,199 8.8
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities 736 5.4
Information 274 2.0
Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing 1,060 7.8
Professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services 1,381 10.2
Educational, health and social services 4,258 31.4
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services 1,329 9.8
Other services (except public administration) 930 6.9
Public administration 1,125 8.3
Private wage and salary workers 10,801 79.6
Government workers 2,307 17.0
Self-employed workers in own not incorporated business 384 2.8
Unpaid family workers 82 0.6
INCOME IN 1999    
Households 17,495 100.0
Less than $10,000 4,950 28.3
$10,000 to $14,999 1,810 10.3
$15,000 to $24,999 3,018 17.3
$25,000 to $34,999 2,430 13.9
$35,000 to $49,999 2,276 13.0
$50,000 to $74,999 2,045 11.7
$75,000 to $99,999 539 3.1
$100,000 to $149,999 239 1.4
$150,000 to $199,999 53 0.3
$200,000 or more 135 0.8
Median household income (dollars) 21,329 (X)
With earnings 11,132 63.6
Mean earnings (dollars) 33,483 (X)
With Social Security income 5,378 30.7
Mean Social Security income (dollars) 9,428 (X)
With Supplemental Security Income 1,946 11.1
Mean Supplemental Security Income (dollars) 6,270 (X)
With public assistance income 2,525 14.4
Mean public assistance income (dollars) 3,071 (X)
With retirement income 3,312 18.9
Mean retirement income (dollars) 17,793 (X)
Families 10,493 100.0
Less than $10,000 2,093 19.9
$10,000 to $14,999 810 7.7
$15,000 to $24,999 2,036 19.4
$25,000 to $34,999 1,597 15.2
$35,000 to $49,999 1,673 15.9
$50,000 to $74,999 1,535 14.6
$75,000 to $99,999 430 4.1
$100,000 to $149,999 173 1.6
$150,000 to $199,999 41 0.4
$200,000 or more 105 1.0
Median family income (dollars) 26,572 (X)
Per capita income (dollars) 12,195 (X)
Median earnings (dollars):    
Male full-time, year-round workers 26,108 (X)
Female full-time, year-round workers 25,380 (X)
POVERTY STATUS IN 1999 (below poverty level)    
Families 2,868 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 27.3
With related children under 18 years 2,357 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 36.1
With related children under 5 years 1,038 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 41.1
Families with female householder, no husband present 2,126 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 35.7
With related children under 18 years 1,868 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 43.4
With related children under 5 years 863 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 50.5
Individuals 13,650 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 31.5
18 years and over 8,273 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 26.9
65 years and over 1,556 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 23.7
Related children under 18 years 5,310 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 42.4
Related children 5 to 17 years 4,018 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 42.6
Unrelated individuals 15 years and over 3,656 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 40.0


  1. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to tell Washington to stop meddling in state affairs. He vocally opposed the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus program to spur the economy and assist cash-strapped states.
    Perry also likes to trumpet that his state balanced its budget in 2009, while keeping billions in its rainy day fund.
    But he couldn’t have done that without a lot of help from … guess where? Washington.
    Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
    Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act money, he railed against it. On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titled “No Government Bailouts.”
    “Join our fight and add your voice to a growing list of several thousand Americans who are fed up with this irresponsible spending that threatens our future,” Perry wrote on his blog on Feb. 18, 2009.

    If it wasnt for Oblahblah, Perry, my welfare gooberner, wouldnt have been able to balance the budget.

    Hail Squalor!

  2. If we build a Bridge To Nowhere we end up with an Economy To Nowhere. Sadly, this is where we’re at. Can’t wait for those High Speed Rails to get started!

    You make great points, Jim. Loved the pics … that helped me a lot.

    Not much to add as you covered it all quite well. Just want to say thanks for the time and effort.

    1. Thanks Stuck.

      I feel your love.

      Have you noticed who hasn’t posted anything today?

      Maybe he is just composing a 250,000 word rebuttal.

  3. You didn’t comment on the picture of the lovely suburban house on the FHA poster. I loved that. I didn’t notice any 4 bedroom 3 bath modern colonials on 3/4 acre lots when I was in downtown Philly.
    Must have driven down the wrong street. Wonder if its got a jacuzzi in back?

  4. Admin – I will be stopping by the 30 Blocks area for a baseball game at West Catholic next month. I would take some real pictures but I would assume that I will be assaulted for doing so. Have you thought of bringing a camcorder along the next time you drive the Blocks? TBP readers would be enthralled at the realization that you are not exaggerating.

    1. Robmu1

      I have had the urge many times to take pictures with my phone, but that would require that I decelerate. There is one rule for driving in West Philly. Never, ever decelerate.

  5. Is anyone else seeing this google ad? Google cracks me up. I write an article about government intervention and they put up this ad.


  6. Maybe Philly needs to look at what Detroit is doing.

    Spend $30 million … well, it’s actually free money from the government … to get cops and firemen to move into the neighborhood. They have a lovely motto; “Who wouldn’t want a cop or a fireman for a neighbor?” I know I would. Maybe I’d get invited over for brats, beer, and a good tazering. Crime and arson will soon be reduced to zero. Promise!


  7. Stuck.. I trust the “free money” crack is you being facetious, right?

    I managed to get two city employees fired one time a year or two ago by tailing the city truck with two guys and cold patch in the back while they drove around, over and through various potholes to finally wind up taking a nap hidden in the trees of a local cemetery. Took pix and forwarded them to the city public works manager.. Time/dated and all.

    The link you provided illustrates more insanity. It never ends until it does.

  8. I read where Phillie is getting mounted cops back. I guess they think they can catch Chicken Lady as easily from horseback as from patrol car.

  9. Fear not, Muck. Yes, I was being most facetious.

    I am hungry, Smokey. This morning me and Ms. Freud made a spinach lasagna from scratch which I will have in about 15 minutes … including the sauce from scratch which we made yesterday. I may be full of shit from time to time … and even though you tell me to eat shit …. I can tell you that I eat very very well and healthy.

    I am REALLY loving the Vita-Mix we got very recently. I am sooo pissed I went all these years without one. Made the best friggin Salsa ever … about 3 lbs … in less than 5 minutes.

  10. Stuck
    Sounds yummy. You make your own noodles too? My dad was on a homemade pasta kick for a while a few years back. Fresh pasta kicks ass. So much more filling, too.

  11. Admin

    You are getting more and more creative than ever. Your excellent writing style continues to improve. This article proves it, and it should have been a feature. Brilliantly done.

    As ever, your sorry ass is always subject to severe attack.

    Respectfully yours,


  12. Stuck & Muck-What’s facetious about “free money”? Remember, It’s “Obama money. From Obama’s stash”. Was that crazy broad from the 30 Blocks?

  13. The 3rd pic, with the ‘easy qualifying’ note is well followed with the bennies you have,
    in the area. Nice piece.

  14. Africans were a few z-scores below the cerebral mean when we (and their black kin) brought them here, and after a few centuries Socialism has made them even dumber.

    The 30 blocks are not an American problem, they are a melanin problem. To think of the $$$trillions we have thrown at this blighted race to make folks like Jim feel good about their relative intellect is enough to make my brain explode.

    When Ron Paul ascends the throne (and hopefully just before the NWO puts the hit on him), white males may once more safely be considered the superior beings that we have demonstrated ourselves to be.

    Black “culture” disgusts me, in a visceral way. Instant gratification, inability to plan, no personal restraint, always jumping, shucking and jiving.

    What is the whitest country on Earth? I want to buy my way in. Switzerland? Iceland (should be some good buys on housing right now)?


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