That’s what Daniel Greenfield calls the billions of dollars spent on the homeless in major US cities.
New York City will be spending $2.06 billion on its Department of Homeless Services. There are 61,421 homeless people in the city which is spending $33,539 per homeless person.
That’s only a little short of the starting salary of an FDNY firefighter at $39,000.
More money will be spent on the homeless than on the firefighters who save New Yorkers from burning buildings. The FDNY will have to make do with $2.04 billion, and the health department with $1.6 billion.
That’s impressive for DHS, a department that was only created in 1993 by the disgraced Dinkins administration and is now burning through more cash than agencies fulfilling actual vital city functions.
Two years ago, DHS had over 2,600 employees. That’s 1 employee to every 23 homeless people. Meanwhile 234 New Yorkers get only 1 police officer to serve and protect them from criminals.
Has this vast infusion of cash solved homelessness in the city? Nope.
New York’s homeless population has kept on growing until it now has more homeless people than any other city. New York City’s homeless growth rate is also faster than that of any other city.
Maybe because it spends more than any other city. But Los Angeles is catching up.
Its $4.6 billion package of homeless tax increases are staggering. Los Angeles doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Los Angeles County plans to spend $374 million. That’s 1 percent of a budget meant to service a population of over 10 million going to just 53,193 people.
As Los Angeles threw more money at the homeless problem, its homeless population increased 26%.
There’s more at the link. It’s worth reading to realize just how much money is wasted in the US political and administrative system of government.
As Albert Einstein is disputably reputed to have said:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That perfectly describes what urban governments are doing to and in their homeless programs. It recalls Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
All such programs are ultimately scams. They exist more to employ those with sufficient influence to warrant “patronage jobs“, or whose appointment to such sinecures helps to build the empires of more senior patronage job-holders. Their continued existence depends on manufacturing more and more work to keep those people occupied. The actual achieving of concrete, worthwhile, desirable results is of secondary importance.
Yes, we should throw out all of them, and the politicians who created and continue to support such programs. Will it happen? Not while there are sufficient funds available to buy off the voters . . .