The homeless population in Los Angeles County, Calif. has jumped by 23 percent in just the last year and leftist politicians there are baffled by the increase. If this keeps up they’re going to be forced to ask Mexico to hold the next shipment of illegals until the county can absorb the denizens of skid row.
The cause for the increase is not that difficult to understand, unless you’re a leftist or a reporter, but I repeat myself. The Los Angeles Times opines, "The sharp rise, to nearly 58,000, suggested that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year."
The cause is really very simple. When government subsidizes pathology, the pathology increases. Look at it like this: You’re homeless in Midland, Texas. Smack dab in the middle of a hellish free enterprise state with no income tax. Since you have no income you plan to declare to the authorities, this is of zero advantage to you.
The climate is also lousy. Summer is like being baked in a Swedish sauna without the Swedish women. In winter it’s frigid and very windy. And you’re tired of being awakened from a fitful sleep by tumbleweeds slamming into your Kelvinator box.
When you stand on the median in the left turn lane with a "Will Work for Food" sign these Baptist comedians either offer you a job or try to take you to get something to eat. No one will just give you a five dollar bill and leave it at that.
Then one day you’re in the library using the free Internet and you read that Los Angeles County has passed a special sales tax that is earmarked exclusively for the homeless. In the first year alone the tax will produce a gusher of $355 million. Even with the usual high government overhead, there should still be plenty left over. (Complete details on this tax are in an earlier column found here.)
California Here I Come! Los Angeles has just produced the world’s most effective homeless magnet. Free money, free houses, better weather, what’s not to like about LA? Homeless people don’t drive anyway, so soul-draining traffic is only a problem for the stiffs that have a job.
Los Angeles politicians blame high rent (those wretched capitalists) and lack of new housing (those wretched politicians) for pushing people into the street. But that is just an excuse they use to pass rent control laws.
Little Santa Monica, Calif. did a more extensive homeless survey and found half of their 1,000 homeless there were from other parts of the country. I imagine the proportion will hold true in LA too.
If I were a municipal official in California, I’d let LA solve my city’s homeless problem. I’d pass out flyers to local homeless informing them of the special tax and outreach efforts in LA and then offer a bus ticket.
Until LA politicians come to their senses it’s a sure fire method of solving homelessness elsewhere.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.