Quantcast
Cities are cutting funds to shelters and outlawing the sleeping in public spaces...

Forums - Politics Discussion - Cities are cutting funds to shelters and outlawing the sleeping in public spaces...

richardhutnik said:
blkfish92 said:
Ha! Next you know things will worsen and we'll develop, "Camps" for the underprivileged homeless. Something needs to be done.

Considering what is happening with Occupy, such camps will be seen as illegal, and not allowed either.


We wait and see...



           

Around the Network
richardhutnik said:
MDMAniac said:
Go out and invite those into you houses, hypocrites. Why tax money should be spent to benefit those who're not even paying it?

How about they camp outside your house on the street and die there, since you have so little concern about what happens to them?  Why should tax money be spent for ANY problem in society?  Why even bother to pay for police of fire protection?

The issue is, what do you do with the homeless if few people do as you suggest.  Would your tax dollars rather go to pay for more prisons to house the homeless, because they are breaking the law by being homeless?


Finally, you make a statement that I can agree with! Although, I would say that there needs to be a locally funded police force (with far fewer powers and resources than what they currently have, particularly in Britain, and far fewer actual police...), as that comes into the role of Government of protecting our rights.

Providing shelter for the homeless? It's a tragedy, but not a role for the Government. Banning people from public streets? Well, I don't necessarily agree with the notion of public streets.

I'd just like to point out, however, that whatever it is that is going on here, clearly disproves your stance on governmental assistance, when the government can so easily treat the homeless this way. Sure, they're receiving funding cuts, but do you honestly think that there weren't other things that could have been cut first?

I don't know about this particular case, but it happened earlier in the year in the UK. The Government announced that they were cutting funding to local councils. Local councils each have dozens of jobs that pay 6 figure salaries + bonuses. They also have entire departments with very little value. What gets cut when their funding gets cut? Libraries and public loos. Their salaries either stayed the same, or increased, and councils maintained funding for ridiculous self-serving schemes (like Essex Council (my council) hiring in a new staff to deal with the council's PR... with the head position paying over £100k).



SamuelRSmith said:

Finally, you make a statement that I can agree with! Although, I would say that there needs to be a locally funded police force (with far fewer powers and resources than what they currently have, particularly in Britain, and far fewer actual police...), as that comes into the role of Government of protecting our rights.

Providing shelter for the homeless? It's a tragedy, but not a role for the Government. Banning people from public streets? Well, I don't necessarily agree with the notion of public streets.

I'd just like to point out, however, that whatever it is that is going on here, clearly disproves your stance on governmental assistance, when the government can so easily treat the homeless this way. Sure, they're receiving funding cuts, but do you honestly think that there weren't other things that could have been cut first?

I don't know about this particular case, but it happened earlier in the year in the UK. The Government announced that they were cutting funding to local councils. Local councils each have dozens of jobs that pay 6 figure salaries + bonuses. They also have entire departments with very little value. What gets cut when their funding gets cut? Libraries and public loos. Their salaries either stayed the same, or increased, and councils maintained funding for ridiculous self-serving schemes (like Essex Council (my council) hiring in a new staff to deal with the council's PR... with the head position paying over £100k).

Of course, this raises questions like why do we have governments in the first place?  Why do we form societies?  Is it not to increase the greater good of the whole?  Is it not so that we can be more functional and productive than if we stood alone?

If the intent of society is to further the good of the general populace, then do actions like these help in attaining that goal?  If the formation of society has nothing to do with that, then why have protective laws at all?  Why not return to anarchy centered around "might makes right"?

Edit:

And I can only imagine how the US would be had the federal government not funded our highway system upon the urging of the Department of Defense.  It'd be toll roads galore!  And they'd be charging insane fees giving they know people would have no option other than to pay.  Their costs per person would've increased and the economic growth of the entire country would've been slowed considerably.



richardhutnik said:
blkfish92 said:
Ha! Next you know things will worsen and we'll develop, "Camps" for the underprivileged homeless. Something needs to be done.

Considering what is happening with Occupy, such camps will be seen as illegal, and not allowed either.

One would think that, yes.

Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq, Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people, with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks – under the benevolent eye of an NYPD cop – awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.

And then there was the madness surrounding Black Friday, which for some reason recieves the blessing of police forces around the country.  I can't help but wonder why.



I agree with cutting funding to homeless shelters, but its kinda pointless stopping them from sleeping in public places. I understand not letting them sleep in parks where there's lots of children or that sort of thing, but if they're just sleeping under a bridge or something then leave them be.



Around the Network

I'm not convinced that this is nearly as big of a problem as you seem to think it is ...

While it could be improved, there are many highly effective charities that are focused on providing food, clothing and shelter for the homeless. Hypothetically speaking, if the reduction in funding from the government is well publicised these charities will probably see substantially higher revenues and (due to how much more efficient they are compared to the government) they may be able to completely cover the reduction in services from the government's withdrawal.

Just looking at a local shelter's annual statement ...

  •  559,944 meals served
  •  40 units of new affordable housing purchased
  •  28,747 distributions of clothing and personal items
  •  Provided shelter to an average of 260 people each night.
  • 189 people moved into homes of their own
  •  7,994 food hampers distributed

... and this was based on a budget of  a little over $20,000,000 of which only 25% was government funding, and their cost breakdown is:

  • Program costs $16,348,199 (79%)
  • Facility and technology $1,781,269 (9%)
  • Administration $1,008,580 (5%)
  • Resource development $1,063,264 (5%)
  • Amortization $425,014 (2%)


In the UK, they are looking at a 20% decline in beds for the homeless, and a 30% budget cut:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2011/feb/10/homelessness-charities-funding-cuts

And I could also point to an article here about an increase in homelessness in the United States:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/homeless-families-increase_n_800040.html

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/526/homeless-facts.html


But, the issue isn't now whether or not the problems are that bad, but future trends, based upon budget cuts, and potential economic slowdown and things getting even worse. And it is amazingly presumptive to assume if you cut funding and taxes, that somehow the problems will magically take care of themselves. As someone wrote in the thread, the drive could be to have the homeless sleep under bridges, like trolls.



makingmusic476 said:

Of course, this raises questions like why do we have governments in the first place?  Why do we form societies?  Is it not to increase the greater good of the whole?  Is it not so that we can be more functional and productive than if we stood alone?

If the intent of society is to further the good of the general populace, then do actions like these help in attaining that goal?  If the formation of society has nothing to do with that, then why have protective laws at all?  Why not return to anarchy centered around "might makes right"?

Edit:

And I can only imagine how the US would be had the federal government not funded our highway system upon the urging of the Department of Defense.  It'd be toll roads galore!  And they'd be charging insane fees giving they know people would have no option other than to pay.  Their costs per person would've increased and the economic growth of the entire country would've been slowed considerably.


Well, the creation and development of societies are strongly linked to the creation and development of our morals. Personally, I agree with the Hayekian view that our morals, and thus the societies we created, went through an evolutionary process over the course of thousands of years. The "tribes" who developed the best sets of morals grew and prospored, whilst those based on ideas less than optimal slowly died out, or merged with the better systems.

The argument being that our morals, and therefore our societies, are between instinct and reason. They are greater than instinct, for they have been learned, yet they are before reason, because they were not purposefully, top-down created.

Note that these morals and societies developed not because we liked all their features, but because they were ultimately led to greater progression of humanity. The ideas of the left, and these concepts of "socialism", or what have you, didn't come until much later - until "enlightened" thinkers believed they could design a better system than the one that evolved over the course of history, along with our morals. The problem being that they often fail to distinguish between the seen and the unseen. Sure, more equal pay would be nice, but at the unseen cost of lost wealth and prosperity going into the future.

You see it throughout history, countries and societies grow rich under laissez-faire Governments, with a strong focus on localism (the systems that would have developed naturally). Wealth and new technologies lead to "enlightened" thinkers who get into power and disturb the natural order (whether it be through war or welfare). These enlightened policies ultimately result in the destruction of the society, and a decline in prosperity. A new society is born with a renewed focus on the natural order, until new levels of wealth and technologies are developed (and, you know, this time, it's "different" - self defence didn't account for automatic weapons, protection of property didn't mean third yachts (arguments that another poster has made)).

I'll answer the highway system point later.



SamuelRSmith said:

Well, the creation and development of societies are strongly linked to the creation and development of our morals. Personally, I agree with the Hayekian view that our morals, and thus the societies we created, went through an evolutionary process over the course of thousands of years. The "tribes" who developed the best sets of morals grew and prospored, whilst those based on ideas less than optimal slowly died out, or merged with the better systems.

The argument being that our morals, and therefore our societies, are between instinct and reason. They are greater than instinct, for they have been learned, yet they are before reason, because they were not purposefully, top-down created.

Note that these morals and societies developed not because we liked all their features, but because they were ultimately led to greater progression of humanity. The ideas of the left, and these concepts of "socialism", or what have you, didn't come until much later - until "enlightened" thinkers believed they could design a better system than the one that evolved over the course of history, along with our morals. The problem being that they often fail to distinguish between the seen and the unseen. Sure, more equal pay would be nice, but at the unseen cost of lost wealth and prosperity going into the future.

You see it throughout history, countries and societies grow rich under laissez-faire Governments, with a strong focus on localism (the systems that would have developed naturally). Wealth and new technologies lead to "enlightened" thinkers who get into power and disturb the natural order (whether it be through war or welfare). These enlightened policies ultimately result in the destruction of the society, and a decline in prosperity. A new society is born with a renewed focus on the natural order, until new levels of wealth and technologies are developed (and, you know, this time, it's "different" - self defence didn't account for automatic weapons, protection of property didn't mean third yachts (arguments that another poster has made)).

I'll answer the highway system point later.

I agree that societies were initially formed quite organically, and their purpose was likely not understood by those participating within them, but the reason certain societies excelled over others is because the people within them were "more functional and productive than if [they] stood alone".  And that's my point.  Now that we understand this, it gives us the ability to continue along this path as efficiently as possible.  But I feel we've lost our way somewhat over the past hundred years.

Also,  I disagree with the implication that a society has to be built entirely around capitalism or entirely around socialism.  I believe a mix of both is necessary to reach maximum efficiency and an ever increasing standard of life for everybody within a society.

For example, a free market relies on readily available competition or the option to forgo a product entirely in order to be effective.  Certain markets (highways, and I'd argue healthcare and education) don't have easily accessible competition, nor are people capable (or maybe just willing) to go without.  This allows prices to inflate in a for-profit environment.  In other markets, like consumer electronics, there's plenty of competition to be found, which encourages technological advancement in the interest of attaining the best price:performance ratio and thus a larger share of the market.   The approach I believe we should take (or are already taking) with the former would be seen by many as socialism, but I think it's a necessary degree of socialism, as pure capitalism in these areas actually holds society back.  Meanwhile, we should for the most part stay the course in other markets, letting private enterprises do what they do best.

This is what a for-profit mentality in healthcare leads to:

http://www.creditloan.com/blog/2010/03/01/healthcare-costs-around-the-world/

Costs per person in the US are roughly twice that of countries who rely on public healthcare services or single payer insurance options.

Also, here's an interesting video discussing various stats related to wealth inequality in major world powers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw

What they've discovered is that there is a correlation between the wealth disparity and the overall health of a society, while there is no apparent correlation between the overall wealth and health of a society.



In business, there is a principle of firing bad customers. A business can decide, for the sake of maximizing profits, to ignore segments of the market. Self-employed people can let annoying customers go also, who drain resources. Due to the fact that in markets, there is scarcity, this can lead to segments of individuals not getting serviced. So, the question then remains about what kind of society one has, if segments go without in areas essential to their ability to survive.

Second, there is an increasing trend for people to be turned into consumers, who make decisions independently of anyone else. In this, people stop being citizens. It would be important to ask also about what kind of society is it where it only has consumers, and no citizens. When things get reduced to nothing more than brands that grab people's souls, what does it say about that society? And how can consumerism be ethical, when it is the only thing people have in their lives?