California’s homeless crisis is big news these days. The trash and drug paraphernalia lining the streets have now spilled over into the nation’s news cycle. Our Golden State is drowning in disease and neglect.
There are lots of proposed solutions from our politicians right now, all of them involve the slow production of overpriced housing units that still would not put a dent in a homeless population that is estimated to be near 150,000 across the state (and those are conservative figures). Those of us who are intimately familiar with the situation understand that the homeless crisis is not a housing crisis and can’t be solved with construction. We could build thousands of units, change our insane laws that promote petty theft and open drug use, and put a million Port-a-potties on the streets of Los Angeles. These are all things that could happen if we could cut through the bureaucratic pomposity. We have the means. No, it’s not the laws or the housing that are preventing us from solving this problem. There is one specific reason why California and her plagued cities cannot solve this homeless crisis.
To do so would require our entire leadership apparatus to admit that liberal and socialist policies are a complete and utter failure on every level.
That is a bridge too far for too many. Just as the British have pinned their national identity on their socialized medicine, so have the California elite pinned their state identity on progressive politics. We are the incubator for every socialist idea that can be squeezed in under the law. We are meant to be the shining example of a socialist utopia that has the cleanest air, the most productive renewable energy grid and the most public aid. The Democrats have run this state nearly exclusively for over half a century. They’ve run every experiment unopposed for decades. By their estimations, we should all be wealthy, housed and successful.
Instead, our air quality continues to deteriorate, hundreds of thousands of California citizens are forced to go without electricity for days on end at regular intervals (and will be for at least the next 10 years) and a generous public aid system has only increased the number of illegal immigrants and welfare hunters from other states.
And then there are the homeless – or the “unhoused” as we are instructed to call them now…as if that fixes the specter of addicts passed out in the middle of the sidewalk while their limbs rot off from injection point infections.
Things here are only getting worse. Health officials fear we could be looking at an outbreak of once-eradicated infectious diseases like typhus and the Black Plague that could spill into the general population. Once that happens we will truly be in a state of emergency. It wouldn’t be unthinkable that the federal government would have to step in to quarantine the situation.
Failure after failure after failure. These are liberal Democrat policies and there is no one else to blame for the madness besides them. Republicans no longer have a voice in this state. They own it, they know it, and that’s why they can never admit they were wrong. To do so would be a devastating blow to California socialism and those who look upon it lovingly across the country. It is a direct repudiation of progressive ideals.
So we will continue to flounder. We will continue spending upwards of $600k per housing unit. We will continue punishing business owners for spraying down their sidewalks, clearing out encampments on their properties and installing planters to squeeze out sidewalk tents. We will continue to stand by helplessly as addict after addict walks into family-owned businesses and steals to feed their addiction, knowing that they can’t be arrested for any thefts under $950…per day. We will continue to see the rat population grow. We will continue to see the rise of infectious diseases. We will continue to accept the hundreds of addicts and homeless people who arrive each day from states who pay their way to California to get rid of them. We will continue to punish the people who pay the bills and reward criminality.
There are a lot of steps we could take to fix it all, but the first step is admitting the problem. And that’s the problem.