Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don't Cry for Portland

I’m sure that you will not cry for Portland, Oregon. The trendy progressive city is suffering for its own deeply held beliefs. It's called, paying the price. You see, Portland elects leftist mayors who are soft on crime. They are especially soft on crime committed by homeless people. The city is providing sanctuary for those who live on the streets and who abuse the privilege. We do not know whether or not they are illegal immigrants, but they are not productive citizens.

Downtown Portland has become a mess. The homeless harass shoppers. Some businesses are closing. Others are on the verge of closing. The City Journal has the news (via Maggie’s Farm):

The disorder that has long dominated the streets of Portland, Oregon reached a new low earlier this month, when Columbia Sportswear, a major retailer headquartered just outside of nearby Beaverton, had to close its flagship store downtown for a day after protestors blocked shoppers from entering. The protestors were reacting to an op-ed by Tim Boyle, Columbia’s CEO, in which he confessed that relocating his company to downtown Portland may have been a mistake, citing the crimes and indecencies his employees have endured, including “daily defecation” by transients in the store’s lobby. Certain repeat offenders of the city’s vagrant population, along with other agitators, have issued death threats and broken into cars; one Columbia employee had to run into moving traffic after a stranger followed her and threatened to kill her.

What does the mayor have to say? You guessed it, he blames the federal government. I love it when sanctuary cities, cities that defy federal law, shift the blame to their own self-created problems to the federal government:

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler has offered excuses rather than confronting the issue. On Thursday, Wheeler blamed his city’s wave of homelessness on the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, attacking Secretary Ben Carson for failing to “provide solutions.” Meanwhile, the city has been reluctant to deploy the crime-prevention resources that it already has at its disposal to address the homelessness wave.

Other businesses are also suffering:
The harassment faced by Columbia Sportswear employees is no outlier; similar abuses have roiled the small-business community across Portland. On Black Friday, Anne Bocci, who owns an upscale art and jewelry boutique that prides itself on not being “a big corporate business,” encountered the same type of terrifying situation when her store was robbed. “He stole from me and he threatened my life, twice,” said Bocci of her assailant—a repeat offender in downtown Portland. She added that, “the police came and then he came back four minutes later after they left.”

Judith Arnell, another jeweler, will be closing her doors after doing business in Portland for over 20 years. “The biggest problem is that the customers feel unsafe, so I can’t afford to save this,” Arnell noted. She also recalled that a surveillance camera caught a man defecating outside of her front door, and that this wasn’t the first time that it had happened.

Business owners recently took their outrage directly to Mayor Wheeler’s administration. Kevin Pilla, owner of the home-goods store Budd and Finn, gave a scathing critique of city government, his store having been broken into just a few nights before. Crime “is literally killing my business,” Pilla announced. “There are no consequences.” Business owners are right to be outraged.

It’s a good day when cities that adopt idiotic policies pay a price. How many Portland citizens are looking to relocate to the suburbs? Is the great movement into the cities beginning to reverse?


trigger warning said...

SS: "It’s a good day when cities that adopt idiotic policies pay a price."

It certainly is. And it's even better when the voters who elected these idiots pay a price.

Ares Olympus said...

I've talked to a few of the homeless in Minneapolis, and they seemed happy enough with their lifestyles, only complained about being harassed by police for drinking in public spaces.

You'll see a few people begging for money around, often with signs saying things like "Help a Vet" but it was nothing like what I observed in Washington DC. I've talked to a few of the homeless over the years, and I'd have to say mental illness is a big part of it, and a pride that tells the no one can tell them what to do. During warmer weather they'd rather sleep outside under a bridge rather than go to a homeless shelter where there are rules they'd have to follow.

Anyway, it makes sense most cities make it harder to be homeless, while others try to be accommodating, and maybe attract more of them.

I also recall some states would empty their mental wards and bus the people and drop them off in big cities so they'd be someone else's problems. Civilization is a surprising world. I guess I recall A Brave New World with its soft-power had uncivilized folk who had to live outside the cities. They didn't live as long but were glad to be free.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

You get what you incentivize.

sestamibi said...

On my last visit to Portland I took my son on a long ride on the MAX from one end (Hillsboro) to the other (Gresham), reminiscent of the subway rides I used to take with my friends while growing up in NY. Of particular note is the spread of the rot out to the suburbs. The last few stops in Gresham reminded me of the #4 line on Jerome Ave. in the Bronx--burned out buildings and graffiti. Perhaps I should say that the rot was PUSHED out to the suburbs by the gentrification of NE Portland, which had traditionally been the city's chief ghetto area.

Sam L. said...

Ares, those mental wards and hospitals were shut down because of progressive liberal pushing. Portland is progressively liberal.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L, maybe, maybe not. Probably mental hospitals were overused, and got too costly, so then an over-reaction in the opposite direction. But you're right, at least when crime is involved, there's a legal doorway to diagnose and help rather than try to punish people with prison into better behavior.
A detailed picture has emerged from a series of interviews and a review of public records, research reports and institutional recommendations. The picture is one of cost-conscious policy makers, who were quick to buy optimistic projections that were, in some instances, buttressed by misinformation and by a willingness to suspend skepticism.

Many of the psychiatrists involved as practitioners and policy makers in the 1950's and 1960's said in the interviews that heavy responsibility lay on a sometimes neglected aspect of the problem: the overreliance on drugs to do the work of society.

In California, for example, the number of patients in state mental hospitals reached a peak of 37,500 in 1959 when Edmund G. Brown was Governor, fell to 22,000 when Ronald Reagan attained that office in 1967, and continued to decline under his administration and that of his successor, Edmund G. Brown Jr. The senior Mr. Brown now expresses regret about the way the policy started and ultimately evolved. ''They've gone far, too far, in letting people out,'' he said in an interview.

trigger warning said...

Olympiad: "I also recall some states would empty their mental wards and bus the people and drop them off in big cities so they'd be someone else's problems."

Which states? What cities? When? Be specific.

Re Reagan, Brown...

"[]Today we know much more and we can do much more about these illnesses. We know that it helps mentally ill persons to remain close to their home. We know that many patients need only daytime care and therefore are able to return to their homes in the evening. We know others can be helped to stay on their jobs while receiving treatment at night. We know today that putting away the mentally ill in large isolated asylums is no longer either justifiable or useful. And that is why the focus of our efforts is upon strengthening community health resources."
--- Lyndon Johnson (D) 1965

Lyndon Johnson was directly responsible for this, in cahoots with left-wing Democrats and radical psychiatrists who claimed that the rights of asylum inmates were being violated. Thank heaven most of them eventually drifted to California and Progressive cities.

MAX Redline said...

In the early 1970s, school buses loaded with mental patients arrived weekly from the state hospital in Salem, Oregon and offloaded them on NW 21st St. in Portland.

Tonestaple said...

Relocating to the suburbs won't do a blessed bit of good. The people who relocate to the suburbs take their stupid proggie beliefs and voting habits with them and before you know it, the ruination has spread to the suburbs with all the people who caused it in the cities in the first place.

trigger warning said...

MAX, clearly (if true), they were merely transferring mental patients from one asylum to another.

"[D]einstitutionalisation in the USA took place after 1972, as a result of the availability of SSI and Social Security... The plan was set in motion by the Community Mental Health Act as a part of John F. Kennedy's legislation and passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963."

Ares Olympus said...

TWiad: Which states? What cities? When? Be specific.

Probably this is the one I recall. Of course Las Vegas surely attracts many mentally ill from other places anyway, so maybe its fair to ship them away if they're not native born crazies...
Faced with deep budget cuts, Nevada's main public psychiatric hospital has bused more than 1,500 patients from Las Vegas to other states during the past five years, a Sacramento Bee investigation has found.

Ares Olympus said...

Tw, here's another one for homeless. So perhaps some of the busing is legit, while I imagine it would be easy to abuse a program, and busing someone to someplace they have some historical connection of no current contacts.

It's an open question, similar to that of crimes or poor immigrants from other countries. You could use it for law enforcement. So like if someone born in Minnesota commits a crime in Colorado, states could demand the state of birth handle the imprisonment time.

What's the best way of helping mentally ill people if states that are most caring become dumping grounds for other cheapskate states who would prefer people to just disappear by any means possible? Obviously federalism is part of the answer, if social services between states are funded largely from a federal level, based on which states have the most need. OTOH, some states will still prefer higher standards of care than others, so it would seem fair that those states have the power to only treat their own and say no to unlimited imported populations.

trigger warning said...

So you suggest border controls between the states, Olympian? Sounds like immigration controls. No immigrants from "cheapskate states" or "terrorist havens". I'm good with that.

On the other hand, one can think of it as Camelot, eh? :-D

Ares Olympus said...

TW, border controls? Immigration controls? Yes, I'm open to the questions how these can best work.

The simplest truth of any sort of "State Socialism", or any kind of subsidies, is that it needs to distinguished between in groups and out groups. If Minnesota has "open borders" and offers free healthcare to all residents, we'll tend to attract all the sick people of country, and other stays might be very happy to bus all their unwanted physically and mentally ill people to us to care for. Fortunately our cold winters will keep some away, but it's still going to be more altruistic than most state governments can afford, unless you have oil exports or some such luxury inheritance.

But if we can't do universal health care at a national level, and we want states to experiment, they're going to need rules on eligibility. And then they have to figure out what to do with new residents who fail to qualify. I'll still surprised Canada has free healthcare for visitors, but I guess they don't have many visitors in the great white north.

Ares Olympus said...

Here's one more story, a new one on busing homeless people. Each year, US cities give thousands of homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town. An 18-month nationwide investigation by the Guardian reveals, for the first time, what really happens at journey’s end