People are angry. Yet so many are also dumb.
It’s not that they’re ignorant, illiterate, and incapable of combining simple words into sentences. It’s that they can see the disaster around them, but insist on consuming the same media misinformation and repeating the same stupid ideas in the hopes that somehow they’ll work better this time around.
Los Angelinos, living in a zombie junkie hellscape, after having voted to give politicians billions to spend on fixing the homeless crisis (invented in no small part by spending billions on the crisis) are angry at the politicians for not having fixed it and are eager to give them more money to not fix the problem.
The comments came from voters in a series of diverse focus groups conducted in December by the Committee for Greater L.A., a coalition of civic leaders, to gauge public sentiment on homelessness heading into campaigns for Los Angeles mayor and county supervisor…
“I’ve probably sat through, I don’t know, a couple hundred focus groups … and never in my entire career, which is many decades, have I ever seen this kind of result,” longtime political strategist Darry Sragow, who led the research, said in an interview.
Or this kind of idiocy.
The findings of the focus groups square with a poll conducted late last year by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute in cooperation with The Times. It found that 94% of voters view homelessness as a serious or very serious problem and want the government to act faster and focus on shelter for people living in the streets, even if those efforts are short term and fall short of permanent housing.
That’s exactly what the government wants. That way it can pay astronomical sums to its political allies to manage tent cities.
The first apartments cost an average of $479,000 a unit. Some went as high as $650,000 a unit. But that wasn’t good enough. Two years later, the cost of an average unit hit $531,000, with some apartments going up to $746,000.
Unable to build apartments for less than the cost of a mansion, Los Angeles launched a pilot program to build 8×8 aluminum sheds for the homeless for only $130,000 each. The average cost of a home in LA is $500 per square foot.
The homeless had been setting up their own tent encampments for free. So the city launched a pilot program to have the government set up tents for the homeless for only $2,600 per tent.
That’s $2,600 a month.
Each tent in a parking lot near the 101 freeway in East Hollywood costs twice as much as the rent on a local apartment. It actually costs more than the average month’s rent in LA. You can find two-bedroom apartments in Beverly Hills that cost less than a government homeless tent.
The government tent city was outsourced to Urban Alchemy, a social welfare non-profit that has raised eyebrows by scoring million dollar contracts in San Francisco and Los Angeles to offer cleaning services, showers for the homeless, and tent cities. Urban Alchemy gets these contracts under the name of its financial sponsor: Hunters Point Family.
The people are angry… and they’d like more of the same.
The Times poll found a slight majority would favor a hypothetical ballot proposal to raise more money to address homelessness. The focus groups tapped into a deep disillusionment with the lack of progress from past measures and distrust for the political leaders who promised results.
Deep disillusionment and a majority would still do it all over again.
Under the leadership of Miguel Santana, president and chief executive of the Weingart Foundation, the Committee for Greater L.A. commissioned a 2020 report that proposed dismantling “structures designed to maintain the privileged by intentionally excluding and marginalizing others” and “prioritizing how resources will be directed in order to achieve a more accountable Los Angeles driven by outcomes centered on racial equity.”
Last year, the committee proposed a new quasi-governmental structure called the Center to “disrupt, dismantle and rebuild the systems that allow neighbors to fall into and languish in homelessness.”
The “systems” being capitalism.
So sure, let’s replace elected officials with The Center that will disrupt private home ownerships, communities, and free enterprise.
Participants expressed a lack of confidence in the fractured political structures of L.A. County to achieve long-range solutions. Though lukewarm on the specifics of the Committee for Greater L.A.’s proposal for the Center, they generally supported the idea of an independent body outside of government to oversee homeless programs.
“It’s kind of appealing that it’s an independent organization outside of government,” a white woman said. “If you put it in the private sector, you can get [things] done instead of going through government. Everything is stalled. Money doesn’t go to the right areas.”
“I would support it,” a Black voter said. “At least we’re trying to do something. I want a whole group of people to be accountable.”
Nothing says “accountability” like an unelected body endowed with vast powers that allows politicians to evade responsibility by handing over their authority.
Just ask Barbara Ferrer.