I just called our Realtor. My wife and I just put our house in Los Angeles on the market. We’re selling everything except our washer and dryer. Then we’re going to buy a really nice tent and move to Encino and live on the street. We’ll find a fire hydrant and a long extension cord, hook up the washer and dryer and live happily ever after for free.
As you may know, L.A.’s homeless population was in the news again. This time, it was because of the washing machine that was installed on a sidewalk by one of the homeless citizens of LA’s sprawling tent cities. But homelessness is no joke in L.A. It’s a serious and growing problem that the crooked politicians here can’t or won’t fix.
The city’s permanent homeless population — now numbering about 42,000 people — can be found in just about every neighborhood, but it’s concentrated in downtown L.A. These “unsheltered” people are not just a huge social problem or a civic embarrassment, they are responsible for about 70 percent of the city’s crime.
They set buildings on fire, rob and beat each other, break into cars — and when they are caught, they aren’t arrested. The city spends tens of millions of dollars a year caring for the needs of the mentally disturbed people, drug addicts and petty criminals that it has allowed to take root on its sidewalks and streets.
L.A. has been raising taxes and floating bonds to pay for the homeless for years but the problem has only gotten worse — for regular citizens. For the homeless, it’s a great place to be. The weather is great. The ocean is nearby. And the city and a bunch of organizations will fall over themselves to take care of your every need.
If you can’t hook up a washing machine, you can always use Laundry Truck LA, a free laundromat on wheels that will come around and wash, dry and fold your clothes. One person running for L.A. mayor on a law-and-order theme — the candidate I’ll vote for — is Rick Caruso. A former Republican who changed his party to Democrat so he’d have a chance to win in a deep blue city, Caruso is promising to expand the police force and build tiny homes for 30,000 homeless people.
Complete with Wi-Fi, they’ll cost $60,000 per unit plus land costs. There are 15 already built not far from me, though I don’t know how they’ll fill them when crazy people and drug users are not eligible.
Meanwhile, Caruso’s opponent, the anti-gun, anti-cop Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass, is promising to build 115 tiny homes around the city. “Elect me, elect me,” they both say, “and I promise to fix the homeless problem.” Yeah, right.
It’d be nice if someone who is already in office would actually do something to solve the homeless problem, but City Hall is populated by political hacks who are not only incompetent but often racist or corrupt. You’ve probably seen the latest scandal involving Latino council members caught on tape making racist statements about blacks and other ethnic groups. Before that, a federal corruption investigation looking into bribery, extortion and money laundering put one council member in prison and charged half a dozen city officials with kickbacks and various pay-to-play crimes.
L.A.’s racist council president has stepped down in disgrace, but it doesn’t matter because her replacement will probably be just as racist and incompetent. The same kind of politicians get elected again and again in L.A. They promise voters they’ll fix problems like homelessness, but they never do.
The most important elections are local ones — city councils and school boards. But nothing seems to be able to flush away the incompetents ruining the City of Angels.
Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.