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The AP reports that homelessness rose in the US last year by 2.7 percent.
The figure is misleading as it masks very disparate trends. In Democrat-controlled California, homelessness increased by 16.4 percent. Elsewhere in the U.S., it decreased by 1.5 percent. These figures continue a pattern that has emerged during the past several years, so that homelessness has reached crisis proportions in numerous places controlled by Democrats, while falling elsewhere in the country.
The AP quotes California Governor Gavin Newson as saying his state is “doing more than ever to tackle the homeless crisis.”
Among the things California is doing to try to “tackle the homeless crisis,” is relax state regulations that delay and jack up the cost of new construction. Also, the state has increased the number of beds in emergency shelters, and it and various localities have extended rights of homeless to temporary shelters such as tents under overpasses, in public parks, and on ramps leading onto and from highways. These actions in California are part of a nationwide campaign to establish a “right to rest.”
The AP offers no contrary opinion that the very actions taken by California and its localities to “tackle the homeless crisis” are contributing to the crisis and not merely reacting to it. This approach essentially dehumanizes people in the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder, as though they were incapable of acting in a personally- and socially-responsible manner.
This approach also deliberately ignores the effects of a highly-regulated economy in making life difficult or even impossible for people at the bottom. Zoning laws, housing regulations, rent controls, minimum wage laws and many other interventions into the economy may enable some people to virtue-signal to each other, but they give those at the bottom a Hobbesian choice between falling into the government’s welfare system versus trying to make a living as a free and self-responsible person.