Living Amongst America’s Homeless

Over the past 30 years Americans have grappled with the problem of homelessness on a large scale. As many of us drive by them on the corner, or step over them on the sidewalk, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that we live amongst the homeless.

When analyzing this problem, many fall back on the political blame game. And yes, although the federal cutbacks in mental health services and affordable housing in the 1980’s created a spike in homelessness at the time, it’s hard to just blame Republicans for this problem. Since that time, both parties have failed to restore the social service safety net while also radically altering America’s economy. The changes in our economy have created much uncertainty for both the middle and lower-middle classes.

In the past 30 years inflation has taken a toll on real wages as automation and globalization have changed the job landscape. These factors, when combined with the credit and debt boom, have created a situation that results in many Americans with very little or no savings. As a result, there are many homeless who were pushed into this life after losing a job. What sometimes starts as a temporary setback of living out of their car often turns into a several month ordeal that changes their life forever. Sadly…some find that once they lose their housing, they’re never able to recover. As opposed to thinking of the homeless as mostly scam artists or drug addicts, we need to recognize that many of them would prefer to be employed and living a normal life.

As typical with many political issues these days, neither political party can be relied on to totally improve the homeless problem. As with many political topics, actual solutions require creative thinking involving both parties putting the interest of America first, and the dogma of their party second.

Interestingly, President Trump’s protectionist economic policies have actually helped supply a boost in employment. Although these protectionist policies will eventually give way to the globalist trend well established, it needs to be recognized that improving employment opportunities can definitely help the homeless situation.

However, boosting employment alone will probably not bring America’s homeless to as low a level as it was in the 1970’s. To achieve this we need to also improve the budget for affordable subsidized housing. In line with this, as a way to reduce the stigma with subsidized housing, policies that allow renters and owners to take ownership and have responsibility for the appearance, cleanliness, and maintenance of these dwellings should help. These policies can help reduce the stigma of subsidized housing while also improving the value and safety of the properties.  

Since many homeless have mental health problems compounded by the drug crisis, we should find ways to improve the budgets of mental health service on all governmental levels. This makes sense since it’ll help to not only get many mentally ill off the streets; it’ll also give some a chance to normalize their life. In line with this, looking for ways to reduce access to opioids and other hard drugs such as methamphetamines and LSD, will help.

American history shows periodic spikes in homelessness that has often followed wars or economic dislocations. Obviously, our 30-year period of high homelessness needs to end soon for this to be looked at as merely a spike and not an American way of life.

Since employment helps people focus on improving their lot, it’s worthwhile to look at continuing some of the employment-boosting free-market measures now taking place. In addition, it’d also be wise to create a government workforce that can be used for infrastructure maintenance. This government workforce can employ some of the homeless that show aptitude in both temporary and permanent jobs.

As with any political problem, there are solutions to the homeless crisis. However, although the solutions are right before our eyes, finding the will to look for in-depth and concrete political solutions is difficult. If we want to put America truly first again, we’ll need to put our heads together from the left to the right, to reach solutions that are best. Combining all political ideas from across the spectrum is the only real way that we’ll start getting the homeless off the streets, and into homes.

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5 thoughts on “Living Amongst America’s Homeless

  1. Certain people are too busy spending tax dollars to feed the thousands coming across the border. There’s nothing left for our own children and homeless. As the years progress, the US is becoming a country fewer and fewer citizens working and paying taxes, but the amount of people being supported by welfare programs increases in leaps and bounds. The country keeps borrowing money from other countries to the point where our debt can never be paid back. Take a look at the ever increasing national debt….
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  2. Hey Perry, The solution is obvious. And every town and city in America will go for it.

    Many different suggestions include supplying them with little campers to live in. Everyone agrees that they should have porta-poddies of some kind so that they don’t have to go to the bathroom on the street. They should be given enough nutritious food so that they stay in good health. They should be given clothes for their back. They should be allowed to live out of shopping carts without getting in trouble for taking a cart from a store that doesn’t belong to them. They should be valued and loved, and accepted as equal and important members of our society.

    And the bottom line, which all of the above has been prefaced on, is one which every city, town or principality can agree on, The homeless should be provided all this and given whatever help then need in order to live productive lives in someone else’s town.

    We love the homeless as long as they are anywhere but here.

  3. It pains me to hear people say we are wasting our tax payer dollars on the homeless, the poor or on immigrants. Are we investing our money wisely? How we spend on the disadvantaged is worthy of debate. I cringe even more when I hear equal rights be the justification for stripping others of their rights or that we can solve these problems by taxing the rich. The reason I find a liberal bias more offensive than conservative bias, is because bias, based on a lack of information, is bigotry, plain and simple.
    I can respect emotions as fundamental to a person’s worldview. However, I am disappointed when I see intelligent people fanning the flames of emotionalism instead igniting the embers curiosity.
    The growing numbers of homeless and economic migrants are due to the inversion of investments from earnings that is driving the disparity of wealth around the planet. Historically, horses and fast ships have put physical distance between the spoils and the victims from whom they were taken. Asset investment on the other hand is the engine of sustainable wealth. Even so, the extractive method of wealth is now sublimely refined. All manner of legal, technological and physical protections exist to funnel resources from extraction to private holdings. No one is going to argue the motive needed for capitalism, but is this model sustainable?
    Frontiers were conquered and wilderness tamed by the endowment principle. Getting people invested in an area creates wealth and created nations. A person so vested, will move to protect that investment, thus, home owning citizens are more likely to obey laws and pay taxes. The disenfranchised, socially and economically displaced migrants aka, homeless, are not invested in any location or system thus have less of a reason to obey any rules that may further constrain their survival. That does not mean that all migrants and homeless are criminals, just to say they have less reason to be constrained, and even less so, if they have no hope of investing.
    The endowment principle is the same force of nature at work for any investment mechanism and is the basis for legal tort. A party must demonstrate their investment in order to have standing. The same principles are at work in our corrective systems. For persons in violation of social norms, if there is no way for them to redeem themselves, then there is little motivation to rehabilitate. Conversely, if given a chance to invest in socially appropriate behaviors with the promise of meaningful return, most will.
    There has to be motivation to do more than simply survive. To strive, to innovate and to excel, one must have a powerful incentive, but how can we sustain this when each unit of investment provides incrementally less per unit in return when distributed mathematically or fairly amongst the increasing number of investors? The horrors of forced socialization or communism are that motivation is lost when drive is removed by guaranteed sustenance. The same lack of motivation is seen in any status quo system, whether it be individual welfare, favorable corporate tax rates or protectionist trade policies; innovation stagnates.
    How do we deal with the homeless, migrants, the incarcerated, and the environment? We give them value and provide a way to invest that value back into the economy so it is sustainable. That should guide how we spend our tax dollars. The question of who pays taxes and how much, kind of misses the point. Why do we pay taxes? Why should corporations and individuals invest in fair and sustainable economic assets? Because we want solid financial returns, or, because we don’t want to end up physically and morally bankrupt? I think it imperative to note our founding fathers were well aware of the need for motivation to invest in a new nation. That investment was for the perpetuity of a perfect union, not the profit of one.

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