90 Miles From Tyranny : Mass Homelessness Exposes California’s Political Dysfunction

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mass Homelessness Exposes California’s Political Dysfunction


California’s great wealth only masks its increasing dysfunction. Nothing highlights this quite like the explosion of homelessness in the Golden State.

By any measure, California’s homelessness crisis is reaching epic proportions.

There are now nearly 60,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County, a 12% increase from the previous year, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Los Angeles is hardly an outlier.

“Other localities in California saw substantial increases compared with 2017, when they last conducted a count,”according to The Wall Street Journal. “In San Francisco, the number rose 17% while Alameda County, which includes Oakland, saw a 43% increase. Homelessness grew 42% in San Jose over the past two years and 31% in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley.”

San Francisco, for all of its radical politics, is a beautiful city by the bay. Yet it’s evolving into a dysfunctional, filthy mess.

“Even in the good old days there was a Skid Row. Now the beggars, drug addicts, and lost souls are all over the city,” wrote San Francisco columnist Carl Nolte.

How bad has it become? Nolte wrote:

The city is out of control. Traffic is a mess, but it’s rare to see a traffic control officer. Trucks are double-parked everywhere. The city is dirty—a friend just back from Mexico City was astounded to find the streets there far cleaner than the ones in her native city. There is so much human waste on the streets of San Francisco the city formed a ‘poop patrol’ where workers are paid $71,000 a year, about same as the average school teacher.

Still, California seems to have more pressing matters to attend to, like banning plastic straws, plastic bags, and paper receipts. Also, providing free health care coverage to illegal immigrants.

California maintains a generous welfare regime, and its temperate and generally pleasant weather make it a natural haven for homeless people.

These populations are growing at a quickening pace, even as cities like San Francisco grow in wealth and opulence. Even worse, diseases that are more associated with medieval times than modernity are quickly spreading.

Los Angeles is currently suffering from an outbreak of Typhus, a flea-borne disease spread by rats. This comes hand-in-hand with the growing homeless community: Filthy conditions and widespread...



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