We’ve seen too many stories of how some of our major cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco chief among them, have become piss-soaked hellholes littered with discarded needles and human feces. What can be done about this? Well, The American Mind‘s Peachy Keenan has some thoughts on that. Excerpt:
The cities and states in Blue America have been using homelessness as an excuse to drain America of its wealth for too long. It’s time for the private sector to step in.
Step 1: Offer a stipend of, let’s say, $10,000 to any sidewalk encampment resident who doesn’t chase you away with a machete. To receive their stipend, they need to get on the air-conditioned bus waiting at the curb.
Step 2: The bus full of volunteers takes them to a beautiful, remote facility with lots of open space, maybe in the healing air of the desert. Far from drug dealers and the “social service” agencies who enable chronic wretchedness. They will enjoy plentiful food, free comprehensive health care, and new clothes.
Step 3: They are triaged into drug treatment, mental health treatment, and basic life skills coaching. Many will need all three.
Step 4: At the end of their stay, they can graduate. Graduation requires that they have been sober for six months, have a job, and a place to live that is not in the wretched urban hellhole from whence they came. The first few graduation classes will be offered good jobs and transitional housing on site.
Step 5: Once they have maintained sobriety and general health in the outside world for a specified amount of time, the stipend is released to them in the form of a money market fund.
Step 7: Those who are unable or unwilling to graduate can stay on indefinitely. The mentally ill will be able to stay in mandated psychiatric hospice where they can receive excellent medical care and be reunited with family.
Step 8: Once other people with drug addictions nationwide hear about the success of this program, it can be offered in idyllic natural settings across the country.
While this would certainly be better – vastly better – than the endless flow of cash California seems to be dumping into the problem, it would be denounced as “heartless” by California’s political Left, who are profiting from this crisis:
Solving homelessness “requires us to center solutions in racial equity so that we can dismantle the legacy of racism that still shapes our region’s vast inequalities of income, wealth, and opportunity,” says Jacqueline Waggoner, who chairs the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s “Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness.”
If homelessness is caused by racism, what’s with all the sunburned white beggars at every freeway exit in California?
I wasn’t able to find Waggoner’s salary, but Heidi Marston, Executive Director of LAHSA, earned $260,000 in 2019. The mob has to pay its accountants well to keep the schemes going, after all. Marston was also on the Biden-Harris transition team. She must be a good person because she has a sign hanging in her office that says, “You Are On Tongva Land.” (The Tongva are the closest Los Angeles has to indigenous people).
I’m sure Marston reminded the veterans overdosing on fentanyl on Hollywood Boulevard that their tents are on stolen Tongva land.
So, the problem is aggravated by a combination of graft and virtue signaling. That’s a deadly combination, and note how the incentives run for California pols – all towards sustaining, not resolving, the problem.
Meanwhile normal Californians see their neighborhoods infested, their children unsafe, their streets blocked with tents and strewn with garbage and passed-out drug addicts.
And I admit to having damn little sympathy for these Californians. To them I can only say, “you voted for it. Now live with it.”