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September 24, 2005

Time for a New Deal

It's bad enough that so many people are homeless in the richest country in the world, but it's outrageous that the richest country in the world can't even get its homeless citizens off the street during hurricanes. [Houston Chronicle]

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» The Homeless & Hurricanes from Last Day of My Life
Bless Lindsey's liberal heart for posting this Houston Chronicle article on the problem with providing shelter for the homeless during hurricanes. I saw the same problems last year in Tampa. Many homeless people I know weren't even aware that there w... [Read More]

Comments

You said it. And when I look at the Democratic party leadership I ask myself, who among these schmoes is an FDR II in the making? Russ Feingold just announced he's going to back Roberts and my heart sank. Man I miss Paul Wellstone.

One thing you might try to do is encourage Democrats to support Bush's Interagency Council on Homelessness. It has the goal of eliminating chronic homelessness in in the U.S. in fifteen years. No Democrat ever fought for federal engagement in this widly complex problem, but hopefully they'll at least have the courage to support Bush. It's an irony: the only ambitious federal initiatives for tackling homelessness come from Republican presidents, e.g. The McKinney Act under Reagan. Democrats talk a lot, but never do jack.

It's bizarre, but when I noticed this, courtesy of John Aravosis, I had the urge to e mail it to various blogs. I stopped myself because I've done it a couple of times in the last few days, and didn't want to over do. Oh well...
This was a problem during Katrina as well. There were several photos of homeless people wandering the streets of New Orleans during the hurricane. I wish I knew what happened to these people. They could still be in New Orleans, dealing with the new flooding.
As far as I'm concerned, neither Canada or the US should have homeless people. It's arrogant to lecture other nations about their problems when we haven't fixed our own.

That's right, what business do we have lecturing the Pakistanis about Mukhtar Mai and institutionalized rape when we still have homeless people on the street...or is that not the point you were making?

It's an irony: the only ambitious federal initiatives for tackling homelessness come from Republican presidents, e.g. The McKinney Act under Reagan.

You mean the same Ronald Reagan who "freed" all of the mentally ill people from California hospitals and then promptly cut funding for the community-based clinics that were supposed to take up the slack, leading to the enormous homeless problem that we currently have in California?

Sorry, but I tend not to believe that the person who created and exacerbated the problem in the first place will magically develop a plan to fix his own major fuck-up. Sorry you bought into the Reagan mystique. We in California know better by now.

And now the ironies are coming thick and fast: the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill was a New Left idea cooked up in academic sociology departments where lefties told us that mental institutions were an instrument of social control, and that mental illness was a product of the institutions themselves. Kennedy was the one who started the process, and it was a bipartisan effort from there. By the time Reagan was in office it was almost completed...he just finished it off. It's typical though: the left institutes and supports disastrous social policies, then becomes totally ignorant of the history of those same policies, and blames them on others.

Also, people were not just "freed" from California mental hospitals, they were "freed" from mental hospitals across the entire U.S. It was a nationwide phenomenon.

It's typical though: the left institutes and supports disastrous social policies, then becomes totally ignorant of the history of those same policies, and blames them on others.

Yeah, nothing says "left wing" like bad science, and of course while reagan won the cold war, reagan only "finished off" a process that had began in the sixties.

Gotta love the retrograding of republican blamelessness, Bush never did nothing to no one! and neither did any other of the republican monarchs! No doubt it'll be discovered that Nixon really didn't have anything to do with watergate, but was in fact set up by a young william clinton...

"Bush never did nothing to no one! and neither did any other of the republican monarchs!"

Fabulous, except that I didn't say that, or anything like that. I was discussing a specific point about federal complicity in America's homelessness problem.

Another feature of lefty discourse is the inability to have a focused discussion without leaping off into all sorts of unwarranted universals.

I'd also point out that you are the one asserting that the left is blameless for the hell it helped bring down on America's mentally ill and homeless; I'm not asserting anyone's blamelessness. I acknowledged Reagan had a role, and that deinstitutionalization, though cooked up in left-wing faculty departments and activist groups, became very much a bipartisan effort.

Most people know me from guestblogging at Loaded Mouth and In Search of Utopia. I am homeless. I rode out one of the hurricanes that hit Florida last year. I stayed in a tent and hunkered down.

Jeanne was only a tropical storm by the time it came near Tampa. So I figured I ride it out instead of going through the madness of the shelter. And it is madness. People feel they have the permission to act stupid. There was also the problem with a lack of food. If you go to a shelter you need to bring your own food.

"One thing you might try to do is encourage Democrats to support Bush's Interagency Council on Homelessness."

That's a start and another one would be to demand Congress to get a coherent trade policy from the administration and file a WTO complaint aginst China for dumping $250 Billion in counterfeit goods onto the American market every year as well.

Homelessness is always a result of mental illness or substance abuse. A great deal of homelessness comes from joblessness.

The unemployment figures posted by the government are from "cooked books" as two Federal Reserve studies have shown. The poverty figures have jumped up again for the fifth year in a row.

We have record bankruptcies and record home foreclosures and 50% of those bankruptcies are health care related. Of those... 75% of the people had health insurance but someone in their families suffered a catastrophic illness and they had insufficient coverage.

So another good place to begin stemming the increasing ranks of the homeless would be to help prevent them from going bankrupt with healthcare costs in the first place. So a good national health care program is also an excellent place to look as well.

Excuse my typo...

"Homelessness is always a result of mental illness or substance abuse. A great deal of homelessness comes from joblessness."

It should have read "Homelessness isn't always the result of mental illness or substance abuse."

Odd how much conservatives seemed to have been changed by Katrina. I haven't heard much of "Let the private sector fix this." Instead, many are talking about how the government can fix this problem. But why, from the conservative point of view, should the government intervene at all? If it's acceptable for America to have homelessness, then why isn't it acceptable during a hurricane? If it's okay to let American citizens die for lack of health care, why isn't it okay to let American citizens die because of a hurricane? If it is okay for America to lack a social safety net, then why is a social safety net needed during a hurricane? What makes hurricanes so special? Is there some passage in Milton Friedman or Ayn Rand that says "None of the above applies during hurricanes." How can one, with any intellectual consistency, argue that the government has no obligation to house, feed and offer health care to citizens, save after hurricanes? If the private sector provides all goods and services more efficiently than the government, then there is no point for the government to intervene after a disaster.

With Katrina, clearly, the conservatives have begun to retreat from the ideas that brought them to power 30 years ago. I suspect they will be retreating for the next 30 years or so.

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