Readers will be aware of the problems in San Diego, where an explosion in the transient homeless population has led to an outbreak of Hepatitis A. It appears to be spreading to Los Angeles. It's been called "the largest and deadliest hepatitis A outbreak to hit the US in decades".
Aesop doesn't pull his punches in describing the root of the problem.
A wise historian once said that the story of western civilization's progress boils down to the rise of sanitation, refuse removal, and achievement of running water and indoor plumbing.
And that the most frequent reason for near-area migration was literally a village/town/city moving far enough away to escape the smell and pest problems from their burgeoning trash heaps and dung hills.
Herein, living proof of concept.
San Diego (indeed, all of CA, esp. the coastal regions) is overrun by homeless waste-of-skin douchebags. Frisco's been dealing with the problem for decades, and they even publish poop-avoidance maps in S***istan By The Bay for the feces-averse.
Then, there's the perennial problem of drug addicts carelessly leaving their discards where anyone can get punctured by them. (So, where are all the "Legalize everything!" folks now...anyone? Beuller? Ferris Beuller...?) This helpfully adds lifelong incurable Hep B and C to the treatable Hepatitis A problem. Any large-"L" Libertarians in the audience? Tell me how you deal with near-zero government solutions to this problem. Or does this sort of thing fall inside the lines of Things It's Okay-to-beat-folks-into-submission-to? Just curious.
Rather than run them in for lawlessness, or run them out of town, city governments full of jackholes (San Diego city council, call your office...) let them shoot up, p***, and s*** everywhere, which has real-world public health consequences.
. . .
Hepatitis A (invariably with a fecal-oral vector, meaning someone else's chocolate gets in your peanut butter) ensues.
There's more at the link. It's a profane, but accurate description of the problem. I know it's accurate, because I've seen precisely the same thing, magnified greatly, in several Third World countries where effective sanitation is still a pipe-dream.
Seattle, WA is another city with a left-wing, liberal/progressive government. It, too, has ignored its homeless/transient problem for a long time; and the results have been similar to those encountered in California. Crime, too, has become a burgeoning problem there, as transients steal anything they can get their hands on, allegedly to fund drug abuse.
One company has now had enough.
“I’m moving my business out of Seattle city limits, not only because of the homeless situation, but because of a variety of factors; definitely the tone and tenor of the city hasn’t helped the situation,” Benezra told the Dori Monson Show.
. . .
“I haven’t seen the area look as bad as it looks currently, the homeless problem has become an issue,” he said. “Not just for us, but for all the surrounding businesses. We also own some other properties, as well, down here and it’s a constant problem.”
At Buffalo Industries, people often sneak into the loading dock area where heavy machinery is operating, Benezra said. They go through the trash and he says they frequently kick people out. They also find discarded syringes on the ground.
“We periodically have people defecating in our parking lot; that’s always not a good look,” he said.
Erin Goodman with the SoDo Business Improvement Area says it’s not just Buffalo Industries.
“We have heard in the last month … that while crime in the south precinct overall is down about 5 percent, crime in the SoDo District itself is up about 20 percent,” Goodman said. “This tracks with what we are hearing from businesses as well.”
When it comes to the city, Benezra says, they don’t get much of a response. What businesses do get, he says, are more taxes.
. . .
“They are picking on the wrong people,” Benezra said. “… I just wonder about what people who are coming here to go on cruises think; when they come in town and see all the encampments off to the side of the freeway? Are they going to want to continue to travel here when they have to go through a lot of waste, and aggressive panhandling all over the city? People can make choices about where they want to travel as well. We are spending a lot of money on a new convention center … how likely are we to continue to have those conventions when our city, frankly, looks like a garbage dump?”
Again, more at the link.
The simple answer, of course, is that to the liberal/progressive mindset, the needs of business and those who pay their own way simply don't matter as much as those of the "helpless" or "downtrodden" or "oppressed" (insert whichever politically correct description du jour is appropriate). If the homeless "can't help being homeless", surely it would be wrong to make them clean up their act - and the streets? That would be blaming them for something they can't help.
(That's a very common thread in left-wing discussions of the problem; they blame the lack of public toilets for the feces in the street, rather than the lack of self-control of those leaving them there. Isn't it odd how, in generations past when there were no public facilities for the whole of society, public urination and defecation weren't that much of a problem? It's called common decency - or, at least, it used to be common. Not so much today, it seems.)
I predict that more and more liberal/progressive city administrations are going to be confronted with this dilemma. Be "sensitive" towards the politically correct cause du jour, and have to deal with the health and public safety consequences; or come down on the side of the latter, and be pilloried for being "insensitive" or having politically incorrect attitudes. Unfortunately, I suspect most of them will choose the former option, because they simply can't bear to be considered politically incorrect. Meanwhile, their citizens, many of whom have been brainwashed into the same politically correct mentality, will suffer the consequences.
I remember witnessing how one medium-sized African city dealt with the problem. It was facing serious health and hygiene problems, as the result of an influx of outsiders who had nowhere to stay. It hired groups of men to go around, armed with stout sticks and sjamboks. Whenever they found someone urinating or defecating in public, or a member of the public pointed out someone who'd just done that, they'd whale the tar out of them, without hesitation and without mercy. It took only a couple of weeks for the problem to be almost completely eliminated. Somehow, I don't think that approach would go down well in these United States . . . but I'm here to tell you, it worked.