Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
In 2017, about 315 King County, Washington residents died from drug overdoses. King County includes that Leftist mecca, Seattle. In order to address the issue, the powers-that-be decided to invest in facilities where drug users can safely inject illegal drugs under supervision. Seattle even budgeted $1.3 million for these purposes. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that the most cost-effective use of this tax money was to purchase a van that can rotate through various areas where addicts can safely shoot up. Hey- at least they’re not in city parks or alleys.
However, Seattle has other problems with which to deal. A recent HUD report shows that their “non-sheltered population”- a/k/a homeless- now numbers about 5,500 which is a 44% increase over the past two years. But at least Seattle can take solace in the fact that their homeless problem is not as bad as that of Los Angeles, another Left Coast city. Perhaps it has something to do with the weather. And of course the city fathers of Seattle will say that opioid usage and homelessness have nothing to do with the city’s 4.9% increase in violent crime in 2016 compared to 2015, the most recent statistics on record.
Eventually, its money that talks. The city council, by a 9-0 vote, instituted a head tax on large corporations in the city. After much protest, four weeks later they reversed course and rescinded the tax by a 7-2 vote, blaming the change of heart on corporate astroturfing efforts. That runs contrary to some facts: 83% of Seattle citizens are dissatisfied with the city’s handling of the homeless population, 65% believe the city does not handle revenue effectively, and 63% believe there is enough revenue to solve the problem.
The phenomena facing these socialist bastions on the West Coast is a paradox. On the one hand, they have built vibrant, upwardly mobile, dynamic cities. On the other hand, they have spawned a socialist element hell bent on tearing it down. It was not Amazon and Starbucks screaming at the gates over the proposed head tax. Instead, it was a coalition of affluent liberals, labor unions and blue collar workers showing frustration. After all, “corporate astroturfing” cannot account for those survey results previously cited. Some have come to realize that high taxes alone do not solve problems. Unfortunately, there are not enough.
Moving south, Portland, Oregon has experienced decay recently. Columbia Sportswear relocated to downtown Portland in 2016. In 2017, their CEO came to regret the decision. Employees came to fear criminal assaults, defecation in the lobby and fear of violence. Store owners have decided to close shop rather than endure robberies. Taking their concerns to City Hall, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler offered store owners training on how to secure their stores before promptly blaming HUD Secretary Ben Carson for not doing enough to provide affordable housing.
In San Francisco, long considered a “progressive” bastion, the city plans to spend a whopping $305 million on the homeless this year alone. A block-by-block survey by the local affiliate of NBC in San Francisco of 153 city blocks found 41 blocks with used hypodermic needles and 96 blocks had human feces. Tourists are asking themselves whether this is the norm or whether they somehow ended up in the wrong part of town. Answer: It is the norm and the San Francisco Visitors Bureau recognizes it as such. In fact, the problem is so bad that Professor Lee Riley, an expert in infectious disease, from Cal-Berkeley has commented that some of San Francisco’s streets are worse than Third World slums. It appears we have sh*tholes right here in America thanks to socialist policies.
Unfortunately, the solutions that would remedy these situations are the very ones these liberal cities and governments are least willing to implement. It starts with restoring order. What is “compassionate” about letting someone sleep on the street surrounded by human waste and used needles? They can start by enforcing basic sanitation laws and cease the public defecation. I hear Starbucks are providing bathrooms and you don’t even have to buy an overpriced latte! The hands of police have been tied in the interest of misdirected “compassion.” The anarchy and disorder in these cities is a very good reason why groups that thrive on anarchy and disorder like Antifa have found a home.
Instead, they would like to deflect blame on leaders far removed from the problem they brought upon themselves. And while they point the finger of blame at Washington now, as the problem festered into what it has now become, they were silent when “their guy” was in the White House. This has nothing to do with Ben Carson or Donald Trump. This has everything to do with members of city governments who view their own law enforcement officials as “the enemy” and who latch onto every socialist idea under the sun. One can only hope they collapse under the weight of their own stupidity and adults will take over. That is the only solution.