Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hoovervilles? Obamavilles?

Déjà vu All Over Again

For over 75 years, Democrats have happily sneered at the hapless former President Herbert Hoover--for them, the anti-FDR who fiddled while the US collapsed into economic disaster. Hoover was never quite the disaster he's been proclaimed to be. And even Dems now concede that much of FDR's scattershot recovery program failed. And that his tax-raising policies in the late 1930s, aborted a nascient recovery. But the Hoover meme remains.

One of the unfortunate vexations of Hoover's single term was the phenomenon of the Bonus Marchers, the poverty-stricken, often homeless World War I vets who marched on DC and elsewhere setting up huge shanty-towns on any available plot of land. They were called, of course, "Hoovervilles."

Fast forward. Are we now going back to the future? Dateline New York City:

The Bloomberg administration said Friday that the number of people living on New York’s streets and subways soared 34 percent in a year, signaling a setback in one of the city’s most intractable problems.

This from the New York Times, of all places.

More homeless people than libs would like to admit are out on the streets because of untreated mental problems, often schizophrenia. This is a continuing liberal legacy, due from government decisions many years ago that people couldn't be institutionalized against their will.

But it's clear that the increasing number of homeless on the streets of NYC and elsewhere are due to a pigheaded White House's insistence on imposing social programs like "health care" and "climate change legislation" that have nothing whatever to do with the nation's huge unemployment problem. And if people had marginal lives to begin with, and now can't find jobs anywhere, they are going to end up out on the streets in increasing numbers. Maybe the next step is "Obamavilles"?

The solution of bureaucrats in NYC? Make more shelter beds available. At taxpayer expense, of course:

“Based on the increase reported today, I hope we can agree that we need to change our approach,” Mr. de Blasio [a "public advocate"] said in a statement. “I continue to believe that we can do more to take on the growing problem of homelessness, including expanding prevention programs, re-examining our housing policies and maintaining support for critical services — such as drop-in centers and faith-based shelter beds — that often are all that stands between single homeless adults and the streets.”

It never occurs to any of these idiotarians that a lot of our current problems will simply go away if the government would draw back and focus on meaningful pump priming for small businesses (thus far virtually ignored). And, of course, lay off the payoffs to states and localities that enable them to continue paying unionized public employees that they can no longer afford due to the destruction of their tax bases by pervasive unemployment. What an utter waste of money we don't have.

No comments: