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The claim isn't that you can "just stop being homeless."

> Nobody "chooses" homelessness, but like anything else, becoming / staying homeless often is the result of numerous choices, some of which are easier than others for various reasons. When you artificially remove bad consequences from some of those choices, it is not surprising that those choices are made more often.

Consuming soda is just one way people can become obese. The problem is obesity. If you are an obese person, you may not really be able to "just stop" being obese, but if policy leads to people choosing healthier beverages, it helps fight obesity.

...and the opposite is true, too. It would not be difficult to imagine what might happen if we subsidized soda until it was free, for example. Except we probably wouldn't have advocates claiming that because nobody wants to be obese, the incentives can't possibly be affecting the increase in soda consumption.

I see your point. I agree that we shouldn't incentivize drug consumption. However, the current way of de-incentivizing drug consumption through making it illegal doesn't seem to work well. Luckily, there is more than one way to de-incentivize something like that (look at the soda tax, for example!).

The issue with drugs (as opposed to soda) is that the illegality in itself a lot of times tends to make people homeless by heavily limiting their hosing/employment/etc. perspectives. De-incentivizing drug consumption by heavily taxing them and making the proceeds go towards rehabilitation for addicts and helping those people get on their feet and find employment? I am with you on that. But I cannot really support, in good conscience, punishing drug users to the point where they are pushed to become homeless.

> But I cannot really support, in good conscience, punishing drug users to the point where they are pushed to become homeless.

To a large extent I agree with your point here, but these cities are well beyond simply not punishing drug users.

Mobile safe injection sites, needle exchange programs, cash handouts, unfettered defecation in streets, naloxone handouts, lack of enforcement of petty crimes like vehicle break-ins and theft. There are plenty of policy decisions being made here that affect the choices people make, and none of that even touches on actually enforcing drug laws.

Moral and financial cases can be made for any of the above, and we can debate that, but to me it's really drinking the Kool-Aid to claim these don't encourage homelessness. They certainly make it easier to make bad decisions that can start or keep you on the track of homelessness.

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