Readers will be aware of the problems in San Diego, where an explosion in the transient homeless population has led to an outbreak of Hepatitis A. It appears to be spreading to Los Angeles. It’s been called “the largest and deadliest hepatitis A outbreak to hit the US in decades“.
Aesop doesn’t pull his punches in describing the root of the problem.
A wise historian once said that the story of western civilization’s progress boils down to the rise of sanitation, refuse removal, and achievement of running water and indoor plumbing.
And that the most frequent reason for near-area migration was literally a village/town/city moving far enough away to escape the smell and pest problems from their burgeoning trash heaps and dung hills.
Herein, living proof of concept.
San Diego (indeed, all of CA, esp. the coastal regions) is overrun by homeless waste-of-skin douchebags. Frisco’s been dealing with the problem for decades, and they even publish poop-avoidance maps in S***istan By The Bay for the feces-averse.
Then, there’s the perennial problem of drug addicts carelessly leaving their discards where anyone can get punctured by them. (So, where are all the “Legalize everything!” folks now…anyone? Beuller? Ferris Beuller…?) This helpfully adds lifelong incurable Hep B and C to the treatable Hepatitis A problem. Any large-“L” Libertarians in the audience? Tell me how you deal with near-zero government solutions to this problem. Or does this sort of thing fall inside the lines of Things It’s Okay-to-beat-folks-into-submission-to? Just curious.
Rather than run them in for lawlessness, or run them out of town, city governments full of jackholes (San Diego city council, call your office…) let them shoot up, p***, and s*** everywhere, which has real-world public health consequences.
. . .
Hepatitis A (invariably with a fecal-oral vector, meaning someone else’s chocolate gets in your peanut butter) ensues.
There’s more at the link. It’s a profane, but accurate description of the problem. I know it’s accurate, because I’ve seen precisely the same thing, magnified greatly, in several Third World countries where effective sanitation is still a pipe-dream.
Seattle, WA is another city with a left-wing, liberal/progressive government. It, too, has ignored its homeless/transient problem for a long time; and the results have been similar to those encountered in California. Crime, too, has become a burgeoning problem there, as transients steal anything they can get their hands on, allegedly to fund drug abuse.
One company has now had enough.
“I’m moving my business out of Seattle city limits, not only because of the homeless situation, but because of a variety of factors; definitely the tone and tenor of the city hasn’t helped the situation,” Benezra told the Dori Monson Show.
. . .
“I haven’t seen the area look as bad as it looks currently, the homeless problem has become an issue,” he said. “Not just for us, but for all the surrounding businesses. We also own some other properties, as well, down here and it’s a constant problem.”
At Buffalo Industries, people often sneak into the loading dock area where heavy machinery is operating, Benezra said. They go through the trash and he says they frequently kick people out. They also find discarded syringes on the ground.
“We periodically have people defecating in our parking lot; that’s always not a good look,” he said.
Erin Goodman with the SoDo Business Improvement Area says it’s not just Buffalo Industries.
“We have heard in the last month … that while crime in the south precinct overall is down about 5 percent, crime in the SoDo District itself is up about 20 percent,” Goodman said. “This tracks with what we are hearing from businesses as well.”
When it comes to the city, Benezra says, they don’t get much of a response. What businesses do get, he says, are more taxes.
. . .
“They are picking on the wrong people,” Benezra said. “… I just wonder about what people who are coming here to go on cruises think; when they come in town and see all the encampments off to the side of the freeway? Are they going to want to continue to travel here when they have to go through a lot of waste, and aggressive panhandling all over the city? People can make choices about where they want to travel as well. We are spending a lot of money on a new convention center … how likely are we to continue to have those conventions when our city, frankly, looks like a garbage dump?”
Again, more at the link.
The simple answer, of course, is that to the liberal/progressive mindset, the needs of business and those who pay their own way simply don’t matter as much as those of the “helpless” or “downtrodden” or “oppressed” (insert whichever politically correct description du jour is appropriate). If the homeless “can’t help being homeless”, surely it would be wrong to make them clean up their act – and the streets? That would be blaming them for something they can’t help.
(That’s a very common thread in left-wing discussions of the problem; they blame the lack of public toilets for the feces in the street, rather than the lack of self-control of those leaving them there. Isn’t it odd how, in generations past when there were no public facilities for the whole of society, public urination and defecation weren’t that much of a problem? It’s called common decency – or, at least, it used to be common. Not so much today, it seems.)
I predict that more and more liberal/progressive city administrations are going to be confronted with this dilemma. Be “sensitive” towards the politically correct cause du jour, and have to deal with the health and public safety consequences; or come down on the side of the latter, and be pilloried for being “insensitive” or having politically incorrect attitudes. Unfortunately, I suspect most of them will choose the former option, because they simply can’t bear to be considered politically incorrect. Meanwhile, their citizens, many of whom have been brainwashed into the same politically correct mentality, will suffer the consequences.
I remember witnessing how one medium-sized African city dealt with the problem. It was facing serious health and hygiene problems, as the result of an influx of outsiders who had nowhere to stay. It hired groups of men to go around, armed with stout sticks and sjamboks. Whenever they found someone urinating or defecating in public, or a member of the public pointed out someone who’d just done that, they’d whale the tar out of them, without hesitation and without mercy. It took only a couple of weeks for the problem to be almost completely eliminated. Somehow, I don’t think that approach would go down well in these United States . . . but I’m here to tell you, it worked.
That is actually a good idea. As far as here in the United States, the same tactics used on the whiners could be as effective.
Politicians fear progressives calling them -ist or -phobe more than they fear their citizens becoming ill and dying. As well they should. After all, the average citizen, especially when ill, can't or won't manage a media campaign filled with puppy-eyed children complaining about how heartless politician X is.
1. A change to the repressive residential zoning laws might be of some help(not total but some).
2. This is why we have a couple of generations of work to do educating and inculcating the morals that a society is going to need in order to be able to live with minimal government.
Maybe we should try some things from the past. County farms or county homes. In my area years ago the homeless and people who couldn't handle living on their own were sent to a supervised county farm. It was a functioning, mostly self sufficient farm which grew food, provided employment, structure and a home to the mentally ill from the ranges of low grade imbeciles to morons (I mean that in the medically descriptive and not in a pejorative sense) and to the those down on their luck or otherwise unable to cope in society.
Give the homeless a chance to get clean and get their lives straightened out through existing channels which exist almost everywhere and in abundance. If they still can't hack and end up defecating in the streets and being pests, commit them to a secured county farm. They can work for their keep and earn a little self respect in the process. It'd be cheaper than housing them in jail every other week or dealing with the mess and chaos they're causing running around loose.
One of the reasons for this problem cropping up now is because of the ban on plastic bags in the state. The homeless used them to contain their waste and use public trash cans to get rid of the poop. You almost never saw human waste on the streets here in San Diego until after the ban. Just another case of the virtue signaling liberal B.S. law the makes thing worse in the long run.
Seattle's indulgent attitude to the homeless has been a "feature" for *decades*. I grew up there int he 70s and 80s and aggressive panhandling and human waste was an issue back then, too. And the city effectively encouraged homeless migration out of a misguided "compassion" towards the less fortunate. And here we are today.
There's a reason we call Skid Row Skid Row, and it came from of Seattle's "Skid Road" (Yesler Way). Which is fairly close to the Sodo (and sports stadiums BTW – *that's* a good look, yes?) area.
Maybe we could tweak the solution, such that when a homeless person was spotted sh*tting in the street, the enforcers took a whip to the nearest liberal politician. That would avoid persecuting the 'oppressed', yet I expect a solution would be thought of damned fast…
The simple answer, of course, is that to the liberal/progressive mindset, the needs of business and those who pay their own way simply don't matter as much as those of the "helpless" or "downtrodden" or "oppressed" (insert whichever politically correct description du jour is appropriate).
Lefties want everyone to be victims so that the lefties can "take care of" them. Taking caring of simply translates to having power. They will happily destroy the towns and cities to achieve this end; look at Detroit.
"ignored its homeless/transient " yeah except for the ~60m a year we spend on services. -BoydK
"So, where are all the "Legalize everything!" folks now…anyone"
Keep in mind this is happening WITH the War on Drugs. Back when you could buy laudanum from the corner drug store, there were no needles in the streets.
By the way, I agree with wailing the hell out of these cretins. That, and letting private property owners deal with them as they see fit, and eliminating public property. The prototype of public property is the public rest room.
My wife grew up in Hong Kong in the 60's.
The public bathrooms there in those days were . . . pretty dire. (I first visited in the late '80s and they were still pretty bad, but I was assured they were far better than they'd been in the past).
But the city was able to (mostly) eliminate the problem by fining anyone caught doing it – or the parents of small children who did. Back then, *most* people living in Hong Kong were pretty poor by any reasonable standard, but inability to pay got no sympathy.
And, unsurprisingly, people responded to the incentives. There were (and are, in some areas) lots of smells on the Hong Kong streets, but those of human waste are noticeably absent.
May I suggest infogalactic instead of wikipedia?
I've personally scrubbed crap off of walls left by homeless. I have no sympathy here. I wish that a farming solution would work, but with the drug and mental issues, plus many homeless that have been branded with the "sex offender" tag, it just won't work.
I would say many with a libertarian mindset would not endorse people indiscriminately crapping anywhere they want even on public property.
However, one theory of the idea of a free society is that people would be wealthy enough to live above filth and trash or at least impose a social order where that does not happen much.
I resent having to pay taxes to provide negative economic incentives for worthless people to breed or exist.
20 years ago I worked for a small firm in downtown San Diego. We were directly across I-5 from Balboa park and across the street from a church with a homeless camp on their property. Our property was surrounded by a razor wire topped fence. It kept out the riffraff.
Back in the 70's and 80's, it became effectively illegal to involuntarily commit a person to a mental health institution, regardless of behavior. The reason was not because a change in laws in regard to the legal status of the mentally ill, but rather in the legality of using public money for private purposes. The ACLU was very active in this as it was the start of government reimbursed legal activity often instigated for the 'poor' without either their consent or knowledge. It was very lucrative at the time, and was the major cause of the end of public mental health institutions in the US. How could any organization afford to maintain a mental health institution if it could be sued for illegal restraint by any lawyer who chose to claim to represent a particular patient and who effectively had the wealth of the US government at his disposal?
1) There is no "ban" on plastic bags. Businesses merely have to charge $0.10@ for them now, so they aren't "free". Homeless drug addicts and crazy people hustling aluminum cans and plastic bottles aren't going to cough up 10 cents per bag. They do, in fact, prefer to crap in the street. As the hepatitis outbreaks prove, conclusively. The fee didn't make the problem, it only made it worse.
Allow me to reference a story which transpired originally nearly twenty years ago in downtown Los Angeles, when plastic bags were plentiful and free:
2) Camps and farms don't work, for the same reason shelters don't work. The homeless are overwhelmingly clinically crazy and drug/alcohol-addicted, in a chicken-and-egg manner, i.e. even odds they're crazy from taking the drugs and alcohol vs. they take the drugs and alcohol because they're crazy. (I've had no lack of people who're non-compliant with the psych meds that would keep them sane, who instead get high or drunk, "because it gets the voices too stoned to bother me and/or gets me too stoned to care what they're saying". Direct quotes right there, X dozens.) So they can't cope with structure because they don't want structure, because it generally starts with "No booze, no drugs, no paraphernalia" rules, which immediately selects the target population out, at a 1:1 ratio.
These people aren't homeless because they don't have a home, they're homeless because they snorted a home, drank a home, or injected a home. And once they couldn't make the payments on it, because all the money was going to those vices, they now hustle sex, steal, or recycle cans and bottles for enough money for another hit, or another fifth. In 100% of cases.
And they want the drugs, not the structure and rules of society. Like, for example, not taking a dump on the sidewalk.
3) I have a Cold Steel sjambok. Wish its use was an option hereabouts.
And sorry about the profanity. But when discussing the subject matter in question, being fastidious about it seemed rather pointless to my inner Harry Truman.
I wrote a couple of articles about this recently – including the San Diego problem – and how to solve it. Good old-fashioned capitalism. If you can make it worthwhile to sell the crap, problem solved.
It should be pointed out that spitting on public sidewalks can be just as much a hygiene issue.
And that most individuals who do that are not among the homeless either—often college students, police officers, construction workers, a plethora of all other kinds of "average Joes and Janes".
Except for the empirical evidence that until recently, we didn't have thousands of people crapping, urinating, and discarding their used drug needles on the sidewalks, not just spitting.
I'm fine with people choosing to live like pigs, provided we oblige them by putting them in pens.
I picked up Hep A during a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi a few years ago when I forgot the cardinal rule of never having any ice in a drink north of the Vaal River in Africa. But the Cuba Libre was worth it…
At least I am now immune to that particular bug…