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LA Pledges $100 Million to Fight Homelessness: Why Stop There? Why Not $1 billion? Why Not $20 Billion?

Public Emergency

In yet another example that proves economic stupidity has no bounds, Los Angeles Puts $100 Million Into Helping Homeless.

Flooded with homeless encampments from its freeway underpasses to the chic sidewalks of Venice Beach, municipal officials here declared a public emergency on Tuesday, making Los Angeles the first city in the nation to take such a drastic step in response to its mounting problem with street dwellers.

The spending proposal will need to be approved by the City Council and allocated by its Homelessness and Poverty Committee. The $100 million figure was chosen in part for its symbolism, said Herb J. Wesson Jr., the City Council president, to show county, state and federal officials that the city was willing to make a significant contribution to an urgent problem.

"Encampments used to be contained to Skid Row, where city officials would try to control or ignore them," said Gary Blasi, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has studied homelessness in the region for years. "Plans have been made, and never made it off the paper they're written on. It's not clear what will be delivered. And do the math here -- it doesn't amount to much at all."

In New York, Mr. Blasi said that hundreds of existing housing vouchers went unused because homeless people could not find landlords who would accept them.


Ding Ding Ding

Ding, ding, ding, we have a math winner!

I am not quite certain if Blasi is arguing for more or less spending, but he is the first person other than me, that I am aware of, to bring math into the equation.


LA vs. EU

Question of the day: Other than a sense of scale, is the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles that much different than the refugee crisis in Europe?


Unlimited Demand for Free Services

In LA, as in the EU, there is a virtually unlimited demand for free food, free shelter, and free services.

Offer $100 million and the need will grow overnight to $1 billion. Offer $1 billion and the need will grow overnight to $20 billion.

Offering free food, free services, and free shelter cannot possibly cure a problem caused by free services, especially in a desirable temperate climate.

Blasi says: "Do the math here -- it [$100 Million] doesn't amount to much at all."

On Tuesday, in regards to Europe (but it may just as well have been LA), I wrote EU Ministers Ram Through Quota Plan; Mish Does "The Math".

By all means, let's have a math discussion.

 

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