Essays, Jazz, Musings
Published writer, jazz musician, investor and bon vivant, David combines a broad education in the classics, and experience in business and the arts to bring you in-depth essays that focus on political economy.
Podcast #12 (Homeless)
We forget, so we take for granted what a city is: a place of commerce, historically, the marketplace to which farmers and artisans brought their wares. Tired of commuting (and threatened in travel), they erected residences above their stalls: the beginning of a town. The Industrial Revolution added manufacturing; towns became cities. Everything is there: food, clothing, shelter, schools, churches, stores, factories, culture, entertainment. Parents and children came home at noon for dinner. No expensive public transportation, as everyone lived and worked in their neighborhood—the very charm of European cities.
Politically progressive cities have forgotten these roots. They focus on social issues (care for the marginalized), quality-of-city-life issues (bicycle lanes, parks, pedestrian malls), all of which run counter to what a city is, a place of commerce. Activity that supports commerce—truck and automobile circulation, parking, loading zones, factories—must not be restricted.
Because they forgot, progressive cities became centers of lax law-enforcement, homelessness and crime—which chases business away. Because progressive cities dislike firearms, they take little interest in how their police departments operate, externally and internally unmonitored, why they attract trigger-happy violent personnel. San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, the nation’s most liberal cities, have the largest homeless populations and the most vicious police departments.
Progressives’ misunderstanding of cities is an extension of their misunderstanding of government: whose purpose is to protect, not provide social, political and economic freedom. With zero faith in America’s historical commitment to free-market solutions, progressives do not know that social and economic problems are not solvable by government, not solvable by throwing money at them. The New Deal and the War on Poverty have had no effect on the nation’s poverty rate.
Progressives must learn to state societal problems correctly, because only then is the solution obvious. Example: The homeless come to town to lay down and die. That’s the problem. The solution, obvious, is to tell them to leave. Tell them the city has provided housing at the outskirts of town—at abandoned factories and military bases (cleaned up),. Where they’ll also be given food and clothing.
 From 1933 to the present, on average, the nation’s poverty rate of 15 percent hasn’t changed. U.S. Census Bureau “Historical Poverty Tables: People and Families 1959 – 2020.”
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