Today’s guiding principles in the purported War on Homelessness are remarkably similar to those of the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Unsurprisingly, the result of all three responses to challenges is the same – homelessness, poverty and drug use flourished.
When a significant number of people stand to benefit from “fighting” a particular challenge, that challenge will grow. Think of the army of bureaucrats employed by the countless government agencies and government-enabled non-profits that make up these three Wars. They need their jobs to feed their families just like the rest of us.
So, they develop policies divorced from realities. The War on Poverty ignores the fact that people respond to free services by decreasing remunerative efforts that once enabled them to pay for those services. The War on Drugs ignores the insidiousness of the underground market. Today’s War on Homelessness, especially in populous progressive cities like San Francisco, ignores the principal reason for homelessness.
As the article posted on the Just Vote No Blog a few weeks ago, Homelessness: Is Housing the Problem? pointed out, most of today’s homelessness is a product of drug abuse, not a product of lack of affordable housing.
An informative website, The City Journal, in its Autumn 2019 publication carried an article by Heather Mac Donald entitled, San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless. The Just Vote No Blog recommends this article. Although Ms. Mac Donald’s suggested solution could be interpreted to mean it’s a good thing for cities that act irresponsibly to spread their costs regionally, she reports in excellent details what the homeless interviewed on the streets are saying. They readily admit that “Everyone is on drugs here.”
An inadequate supply of affordable housing is not the first thing that comes to mind when conversing with San Francisco’s street denizens. Their behavioral problems—above all, addiction and mental illness—are too obvious.
Yet, as Ms. Mac Donald points out, the City continues to spend millions of taxpayers’ cash on condoning and normalizing drug use. San Francisco supplies thousands of free injection needles that are openly used in vast homeless encampments. Police are discouraged from interfering with drug sales visible to all passersby. Taxpayers are saddled with funding Poop Patrols the sole function of which is scooping human feces from sidewalks.
This scenario, although painfully entrenched in San Francisco, is supported in many other cities in the U.S. and abroad. The enabling policies are advocated by the principle of “harm reduction,” a strategy largely funded by George Soro’s Open Society Foundations. “Harm reduction” in this case applies to those addicted to drugs, not to the sober.
As long as “compassion” dictates everyone live under such conditions, and as long as speech and thought enforcers are at the ready with invectives as soon as anyone objects, the homeless, in the midst of their own misery, will continue to hold cities like San Francisco hostage.