Newsflash: America has a homeless problem. Actually, many are calling it a crisis or an epidemic. No matter which superlative one cares to use, I think we can all agree it’s a large problem, and each year liberals are in charge of government, the numbers of homeless increase.
Every major city in the country has seen a dramatic uptick in homelessness and the common denominator is always leftist economic policies. Whether it is at the federal, state or local level, liberals in government are the cause of the homeless disaster.
In downtown Los Angeles, the famous homeless area known as Skid Row now spans 50 city blocks. Reverend Andy Bales is the chief executive of the Union Rescue Mission who helps those on Skid Row. He says what is happening there is, “the worst man-made disaster in the U.S.”
The Reverend is indeed correct. Rampant homelessness is entirely man-made. Oh sure, there will always be a certain segment of society that are homeless by choice. They choose not to participate in the standard societal model, for want of a better term. But in days gone by, our welfare system could account for them.
But now the “system” is being overwhelmed. Fifty city blocks, the size of the aforementioned Skid Row, is larger than many towns in America and the largest increase in homelessness is in our nation’s capital where the number of homeless families has gone up by 60%.
But the worst is, as one might expect, New York City. The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) claims that the state of New York has over 75,000 homeless, and the Socialist mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC accounts for over 58,000 of the total.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the city spends well over $1 billion annually on homeless programs and plans to spend an additional $1 billion over the next four years. Depending on the exact figure, that could be between $20,000 and $30,000 per homeless person. They’d be better off just cutting each a check and a one-way plane ticket to any destination of their choosing.
Even New York airports are being overrun. At least 50 homeless have taken up residence inside terminal B at LaGuardia Airport. They’ve chosen this particular terminal because anyone can get in without passing through security. “They have taken over,” said one female worker in the food court area. “You can’t even use the bathroom. They take showers. They hang their clothes on the stalls. They are butt-naked. They think they are in their house.”
So leftist leaders of these cities are wrestling with the staggering cost and logistic nightmare of their homeless — yet aren’t they some of the same politicians wishing to welcome in more and more “homeless” illegals and “homeless” refugees? How does this make any sense? It doesn’t have to — they’re liberals.
The interesting thing is, as is always the case, their policies are what caused this homeless outbreak. The same types of feel-good policies that caused the housing bubble to burst, forcing low income mortgage holders into foreclosure, bankruptcy, and eventually out onto the street.
Bleeding heart rent control policies have led to housing shortages in many of these cities. More than 1000 apartment buildings have been abandoned by their owners in New York City alone — more than enough to house all the homeless in the city. And why is this? Rent control forces landlords to charge so little that they can’t even afford the upkeep on the property much less make a profit. So they just abandoned them and the properties fall into disrepair.
And then there’s the minimum wage that all the feel-good liberals love to describe as the “living wage.” As governments, local, state or federal artificially drive up wages, fewer people are hired and more people are fired.
In Oakland, California, the minimum wage rose 36% in no time flat. How can a small business owner or any business be expected to absorb that? Oakland’s minimum wage will shortly rise to $12.55 and across the bay in San Francisco it is set to be $13 per hour. The Bay Area is already feeling the pinch as hiring has been cut in half in a single year. And once these low skilled employees lose their jobs, the likelihood of finding another is practically nil. And the next step is homelessness.
Like everything else liberals have mucked up — they’ve done the same to the very people they claim they want to help.
And once again, the only cure is market driven conservatism.