Authored by David Parker via The Epoch Times,
Living on the streets is a crime. A violation of law.
To force citizens to react, or worse, not react to the plight of their fellow man, and pretend not to notice, ultimately may force everyone to leave. This includes those born and raised in San Francisco, and this author.
It’s not okay for people to live on the streets. Earlier generations of American homeless had some integrity. Hobos during the Great Depression had the courtesy to live on the outskirts of town. There’s the solution: the outskirts of town. Abandoned housing, abandoned factories, abandoned military bases.
Build new housing for the homeless? Completely wrong.
In a market economy, housing is built for those willing to pay. Pre-pandemic, a small unit might have cost $140,000, but today that unit costs $420,000. Out of the question. Build 6,000 units in San Francisco, and immediately an additional 6,000 applicants will show up.
As a song goes, “If you’re going to San Fran-cis-co, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” Flowers or not, no one has the right to walk around dirty and diseased. Young and old will get sick, even die, from touching park benches or picking up something from the sidewalk—which is why, when working with the homeless, mental health workers are instructed to always wear disposable gloves.
What about the effect on children forced to observe drug addicts with needles stuck in their open-skinned arms?
Still, beware of collective solutions, what progressives and fascists always offer: “Round ’em up,” or “Give ’em all a home.”
In San Francisco, it’s Housing First.
No, the solution must be individual: “Keep moving.” Out of sight, out of mind. Escort them to a shelter on the outskirts. If they come back, escort them again, but this time fence them in.
Should they get social services? Of course, but it’s too late. People are homeless as the result of a series of bad decisions. Coupled with mental illness and drug addiction, they have problems that are way too complicated. They’re dying. Force them into mental health facilities? Sure, if society agrees and is willing to pay. Think Amsterdam and Vienna.
What The New York Times prints is a crime. Every edition includes full-page color photographs of slums in Africa, India, or the United States (plus every refugee camp around the globe). Every morning, readers are bombarded, exhausted, with human misery that they can do nothing about. Unacceptable. Stop subscribing to a business, a newspaper, that sells a product to its captive readers by appealing to emotion: “All the News Unfit to Print.”
Progressivism is a crime. Progressives’ every thought is like The New York Times: a full-page photo of the problems of the world. Their every anxiety is relieved by a government program. Except, Americans aren’t a poor depressed people. A self-selected responsible citizenry, Americans themselves fled slums precisely because they felt a duty to make a better life for themselves and their children. They don’t want to be reminded.
Progressives should reread “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville (1835). Rather than hate, you’ll feel proud of America. De Tocqueville (as interpreted by this author) starts: “America, get rid of slavery; you’re out of your mind; you are about to become the greatest nation on Earth. Sitting in log cabins in the backwoods of Kentucky, reading the newspaper, discussing world affairs, Americans are the most independent and responsible citizens in the world. Nothing like that exists in Europe.”
Americans know that no one can do for others those things they must do for themselves, like get up in the morning.
In other words, before 1933, Americans would never have asked the government for a handout—which is why it was so wrong in 1964 for President Lyndon Baines Johnson to declare War on Poverty, that it was unconscionable for a nation as wealthy as the United States to have a poverty rate of 15 percent. Because it’s not something government can cure.
For 60 years, on average, for all the expenditure, the needle didn’t move. Poverty is still 15 percent. Total cost: $23 trillion, three times the cost of all wars America has ever fought.
Worse, the war today is paid for by borrowing. Except that today, interest on the federal debt absorbs two thirds of the nation’s tax revenue. After paying the military, there is nothing left for Social Security, Medicare, or the Affordable Care Act.
In A.D. 476, Rome, Western civilization, fell because there was no money to pay Rome’s military to stop the Huns. All tax revenue serviced interest on the debt. America is not going to fall, but government payments will soon be cut. That is how Greece solved its Eurozone crisis. Social Security payments were cut in half. Half!
Societies have rules. Progressives feel they don’t have to live by them. Precisely why progressive cities are weak on law enforcement. That is the unconscious attraction to living in a “progressive” city, and it is why civic leaders—Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, for example—were able to declare, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up,” his justification for Brown v. Board of Education.
It’s why progressive cities are magnets for gun-slinging police: Lax law enforcement also means lax monitoring of police departments. Think of Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York.
The laxness, which allows people to live on the sidewalks, also allows mugging and robbery. The consequence: Residents are chased away and do not come back. A progressive’s fear of enforcing the law, of passing judgment, is destroying the nation’s cities.
San Francisco progressives are the perfect example. Rather than eliminating the problem, they think in terms of harm reduction: provide clean needles, supervise dope injections, decriminalize drug use. San Francisco’s Housing First gives life support but doesn’t give people back their lives. Stop it!
These people are disaffiliated from their family and friends, despiritualized from the family of man (and Earth), isolated, and disconnected. Giving cash to the mentally ill and drug addicted is not sound psychiatry. Give them a home? Yeah, where the buffalo roam.