Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Homeless.

Someone is complaining about homelessness, this time in Sacramento, California. It isn't a coincidence that homelessness is most common in left wing strongholds like Northern California because there are a set of policies that will invariably create a homeless problem:
  • Onerous environmental restrictions on development.
  • Rent control to remove the incentive to build more houses.
  • Free money for homeless people, removing the incentive to get off the streets. Giving cash to drug addicts is about as good an idea as it sounds.
  • A thriving homelessness industry, whose adherents will do anything they can to avoid the cash cow problem actually being dealt with.
Despite this whenever left wingers raise the problem it is always blamed on the right (hence the Wall Street Journal's "Homelessness Rediscovery Watch" which ran throughout the Bush administration).


Alan Duncan's Wife said...

You'd better not start playing the game of whether Democrat or Republican regions are better off. "Red states" don't come off too well in the comparison.

Ross said...

Depends upon which comparisons you want to make and more importantly over what timescale. By which I mean that it is undoubtedly true that New England is considerably richer than the Appalachians for example, but those differences have existed for centuries long before they became Red or Blue states and have narrowed in that period.

Umberto Eco's gay lover said...

Well, I do take a fairly dim view of Republicans and their policies. It seems to me that they are as culpable, if not more so, than Democrats in CA.

I would probably be quite a moderate Dem. I don't agree with the wilder fringes of the party at all. But I think they are less beholden to extremists than Republicans: when you look at the complexion of congressional, senate and even more so local parties you see a balance.

I also get the overwhelming impression that American "conservatives" couldn't give a rat's arse about free markets, individual liberties, limited government or any of the other things they claim to be for.

This is, in my opinion, why young people who are often quite libertarian-minded supported Obama when they are the exact same demographic that swung behind Reagan, who stormed to victory amongst the young, professionals and the educated.

Everyone assumes they are natural Democrats but half of them would be Republicans if the GOP hadn't gone out of its way to alienate them in a bid to appease un-conservative types such as the Religious Right, neocons etc.

Gone a bit out of my way but I'm just saying, while the far left should be challenged I don't see any viable movement to do so.

Ross said...

I agree with a fair bit of what you say, in the last 8 years the Republicans have spent wastefully, having seemingly abandoned the principle of small government in favour of the idea that the size of government doesn't matter as long as the right people are in charge.

Also social issues have been used as wedges in such a way as to make people who don't go along with the socially conservative agenda feel unwelcome.

Having said all that they are the only viable vehicle by which conservative or libertarian values can be successfully implemented. For all the failures and wasted opportunities of the past 8 years, the Republicans got into that position of power because of the accomplishments of the Reagan presidency, the Gingrich congress and the large numbers of successful GOP mayors and governors in the 1990s who often achieved great things (Guliani in New York for example).

Joe Strummer said...

Yes, it is my hope that they change their ways and drop issues such as gay marriage, which are not only non-starters politically, but also wholly irrelevant to anything.

I think it will happen but not for a while. I will probably carry on supporting Dems for a fair while to come. In all honesty, I am not especially right-wing so I probably wouldn't vote for Republicans even if they were a free-market, libertarian party. But I would prefer that party, which is currently represented only by a few, to what exists now.

If Obama does nothing else he will make his opponents go "back to basics" and end the culture wars.

Anonymous said...

Because let's be honest, eventually the Democrats will go too far and build up mass opposition to their left-wing ways.

Comic Book Guy said...

And it will be the GOP that are at the head of the conservative movement's fighting back. Parties only die in incredibly rare circumstances after permanent change, and I view November 2008 as just a swing of the pendulum which will eventually go back, not as something akin to the rise of the Labour party in Britain.

North Northwester said...

"Homelessness advocates"
"Hunger advocates"

Says it all about whether homelessness and huger will end in California any time soon.


Ross said...

"Yes, it is my hope that they change their ways and drop issues such as gay marriage"

Not so much dropping it, but not drawing the dividing line in such a way that people who support the idea don't feel able to remain.

Ross said...


Vultures feed off the carcasses of the dead, the 'homeless activists' require the problem to remain very much alive. Tapework would be a more accurate comparison.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ross, good article. You'll become an economist yet.