A locally-produced news story about Seattle’s homeless problem is a microcosm of what Leftist governance will do to a community.
You may already have heard about the hour-long special a local Seattle station did about the homeless crisis in that city. The video is very well done, although a bit heavy on the banal philosophical moralizing and curiously quiet about the immediate cause of this problem (which I won’t be quiet about in this post).
If you haven’t yet watched the video, I suggest that you do. It’s an hour well spent. I’ve embedded the video immediately below. I’ve followed the video with my observations:
The images are not new to me. As the video points out, San Francisco, my natal town and a mere 12 miles from my house, is in worse shape than Seattle. More than that, I was present at the genesis of this urban decline because I grew up in the City during the hippie area. Haight Ashbury, a former working class neighborhood that shaded into very poor inner city housing, was a microcosm of what whole cities have become: drug addled people using the streets and Golden Gate Parks as their home, with all the anti-civic behavior that entails, such as public filth (feces, urine, vomit, fleas, lice, etc.), car break-ins, robberies, muggings, and just a general degradation in the standard of living for those taxpayers still trying to live a traditional life.
I don’t know if San Francisco initially put up a fight against these behaviors, but I do know that, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, as the City took a hard Left turn, City Hall turned a blind eye to the lawless behavior driving this civic collapse. It helped that the problem was confined to a few specific neighborhoods: the Haight, the eastern end of Golden Gate Park and, of course, the usual suspects in the Tenderloin area south and west of downtown.
There’s no doubt that deinstitutionalization has a lot to do with the terrible problems we see today. In the years leading up to the de-institutionalization movement were pretty dreadful places. Two movies — The Snake Pit and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — capture some of the horrors of mental institutions. [Read more…]