Las Vegas is the meanest city in the country. At least it is according to a new report issued by The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH). Apparently, cities that enforce quality of life laws are just plain mean to homeless people.
These cities are making it illegal to perform "life-sustaining" activities in public places according to the report. I guess that means you're not allowed to urinate or defecate in public, and somehow this makes your city "mean" to the homeless population.
The shocking part of the report to me was that San Francisco was listed as the second meanest city. If mean is defined as getting $400 cash each month, being allowed to live in any park or street corner you wish, doing drugs openly without being hassled, and dealing with a district attorney who would rather give you a medal than a jail cell for assaulting a police officer, then I guess San Francisco really is mean to homeless people.
After San Francisco passed the Care Not Cash measure that was supposed to significantly reduce cash payments to the homeless, the welfare payments went down 12% the following month (before the measure was actually put into place). Which essentially means drug addicts and bums were leaving San Francisco in anticipation of having their free lunch taken away.
I can only pray that San Francisco actually lives up to its billing as the second meanest city in the country some time soon. Maybe our residents could walk more than half a block without being accosted, tripping over a homeless tent, stepping over human waste, or avoiding used drug needles.
New York City is number three on the list of mean cities, and Rudy Giuliani performed nothing less than a miracle in turning around that city's homeless problem. Since Rudy is a free agent right now, I would suggest cities begin hiring him as a consultant to show them how to be mean to homeless people. Being mean (as defined by NCH) apparently cleans up homelessness.
I'm making fun of the NCH report, but this is actually an important lesson on how to pursue your agenda if you're a liberal activist organization.
Step 1: Make your issue emotional, not logical.
Notice that the report didn't use objective language like "cities that spend the least amount of money on homeless services relative to their overall budgets." Instead they use a label like "mean" in an attempt to pass judgment that is based on subjective analysis, not objective statistical information.
Step 2: Refer to criminals as victims
Apparently, being punished for breaking quality of life laws makes you a victim. The law-abiding public who has to deal with the mess caused by drug addicts and drunks sleeping in their own vomit are the true victims, but they are never mentioned. Maybe NCH thinks the general public is just too stupid to notice this slight of hand.
Step 3: Blame the system, not the individual
NCH makes it clear that these victims of "meanness" are there due to high unemployment, unaffordable housing, and limited government services. Just like drug addiction is caused by a lack of drug treatment programs. Or burglary is caused by poor economic conditions. No need to ever take personal responsibility, because you are always the victim of your environment.
So the next time you see someone shooting up in the park, urinating or defecating on the street, or setting up an encampment at your public playground, just ignore him. You certainly don't want to be labeled as mean.
1. Las Vegas
2. San Francisco
3. New York City
4. Los Angeles
7. Key West
10. New Orleans
13. Santa Cruz
14. Miami Beach
15. Jacksonville Beach
16. Hollywood, FL
17. Santa Monica