Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Homelessness Touches the Elites

Get ready! Get set! It’s time to ramp up the Schadenfreude. It’s time to shed a few tears for the ultra rich celebrities and high tech oligarchs who are living their dream. No, not the dream you live when you have so much money that you do not know what it feels like to spend any. Yes, the dream you live when your oh-so-empathetic affections for the downtrodden and the homeless arrive on your very own doorstep.

You live in a sanctuary city. You live in a sanctuary state. You want to open your city’s arms to the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug addicted. Until they move into your neighborhood. It was only yesterday that a New York State judge allowed the city to transform a dilapidated hotel into a homeless shelter… on what is gingerly called billionaires’ row…. If you know New York, billionaires row contains new ultra luxe condos on West 57th Street across to West 59th Street. They overlook Central Park and go for tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. Now, thanks to comrade de Blasio the inhabitants will be surrounded by their very own homeless shelter… along with the good feelings it brings for allowing them to feel like they care about the poor.

Michael Snyder tells us all about it on his blog, The Economic Collapse (via Zero Hedge).

He examines the homeless encampments that have sprung up in the great metropolises of America’s West Coast. That would involve Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. He points out that homelessness, drug addiction and appalling hygiene have been proliferating at a time of economic prosperity, a time when the economy is growing and more and more people are holding jobs. What will this all look like when the economy slows down and unemployment rises. We might also ask how many denizens of these encampments are illegal migrants.

We begin with the testimony of punk rocker Johnny Rotten, inhabitant of Venice Beach, California. A tonier beach community does not exist. And yet, Mr. Rotten recently vented his pent-up emotions at what the armies of the homeless have done to his neighborhood and his house.

As I said, ramp up the Schadenfreude. Snyder quotes from Newsweek:

He told her the homeless situation in his swanky LA neighborhood is so bad that thieves are tearing the bars from the windows of his multimillion-dollar home, lobbing bricks, setting up unsightly tent cities and littering the beach with syringes.

“A couple of weeks ago I had a problem,” the former punk prince opined. “They came over the gate and put their tent inside, right in front of the front door. It’s like . . . the audacity. And if you complain, what are you? Oh, one of the establishment elite? No, I’m a bloke that’s worked hard for his money and I expect to be able to use my own front door.”

Rotten added of the punks: “They’re aggressive, and because there’s an awful lot of them together they’re gang-y. And the heroin spikes . . . You can’t take anyone to the beach because there’s jabs just waiting for young kids to put their feet in — and poo all over the sand.”

Trust me, Mr. and Mrs. Rotten are totally “woke.” They hate Donald Trump and vote for liberal progressive leftist radicals… the ones who have engineered this calamity.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, local residents of one of America’s most expensive cities have united to fight homelessness. That is, they are fighting to keep the homeless out of their neighborhood. How’s that one working out?

This from CBS:

Some San Francisco residents are turning to crowdfunding to raise money to fight a proposed homeless shelter in their wealthy neighborhood. As of Monday morning, the effort had raised over $80,000 of its $100,000 goal.

Calling itself “Safe Embarcadero for All,” the organizer is appealing to residents of South Beach, Rincon Hill, Bayside Village, East Cut and Mission Bay, saying the money will be directed to a legal fund to pay for efforts to fight the homeless shelter. San Francisco Mayor London Breed has sponsored legislation to fast-track the building of the Navigation Center, which would house 200 homeless people a stone’s throw from Google’s San Francisco offices and Gap’s headquarters.

I promise you, they all voted for Mayor Breed. Without knowing what they were voting for. Or, not caring.

As for the highly dubious free syringe program, program that has contributed mightily to the littering of San Francisco’s streets with used needles, the city is debating whether to continue it. Apparently, it is going to do precisely that. Nothing like doubling down on failed policy.

And of course you want to know about the homeless problem in Seattle. Home of Amazon, Starbucks and Microsoft. Glad you asked.

Snyder quotes this report:

In the past two weeks, Seattle Is Dying has garnered 38,000 shares on Facebook and nearly 2 million views on YouTube. The report has clearly resonated with anxious, fearful, and increasingly angry Seattle residents. Exhausted by a decade of rising disorder and property crime—now two-and-a-half times higher than Los Angeles’s and four times higher than New York City’s—Seattle voters may have reached the point of “compassion fatigue.” According to the Seattle Times, 53 percent of Seattle voters now support a “zero-tolerance policy” on homeless encampments; 62 percent believe that the problem is getting worse because the city “wastes money by being inefficient” and “is not accountable for how the money is spent,” and that “too many resources are spent on the wrong approaches to the problem.” The city council insists that new tax revenues are necessary, including a head tax on large employers, but only 7 percent of Seattle voters think that the city is “not spending enough to really solve the problem.” For a famously progressive city, this is a remarkable shift in public opinion.

We can call it a glimmer of hope. But, let’s not be too optimistic, OK?


trigger warning said...

IMO, the criminal homeless subpopulation encamped in tony neighborhoods would benefit from a restorative justice policy. What's the odd broken window, needles on the beach, or a tent under the porte-cochère in comparison to realization of the utopian vision?

Wraith said...

Actually, it's my understanding that Mr. Rotten actually supports Trump and Brexit. Just because someone is rich and lives in CA, doesn't always mean they're a leftist.

sestamibi said...

"That would involve Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle."

Portland too.

Anonymous said...

"Leftist"... "Right"...

These are words that have long lost their original meanings.

Ayn Rand epitomized the peak of this polar flip. She was perfectly aware of what she was doing. I'd label her a stereotypical Accelerationist who was in lockstep with the traditional Marxist ideology.

Anonymous said...

Great interview with mr Rotten about Brexit and Trump ("Is he the political Sex Pistol"?) here:


Sam L. said...

He left out Portland. Portland's angry about that, and is gonna come and GET him.

Who's to blame? They brought it on themselves. That's who.

UbuMaccabee said...

The idea that rich, leftist neighborhoods in ultra-leftist cities in solid blue states should be over-run by violent, disease-infested bums and junkies is so intoxicating that is borders on eroticism. I'm 100% pro-bum. I hope the bums find their Marat and triple their numbers. Ecrasez L Infame!

Sam L. said...

I believe this counts as an illustration of the term, "hoist with his own petard".
In this, I am un-bummable.