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The Streets of San Francisco (wsj.com)
73 points by wyclif 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments





Despite the clearly conservative leanings of this article (and I consider myself a moderate liberal) on this issue I whole-heartedly agree. I live in San Francisco, and to be quite honest the city is a disgrace. At what point do we draw the line between “let’s not lock people up for stupid reasons” and “literally anything goes whatsoever”. This city’s well-intentioned voters and government have created a monster. The city is disgusting. I would not advise anyone to visit. Recently some out of town friends visited and were horrified. They were accosted multiple times by homeless people. The trash, drug use and general squalor has gone completely overboard. And what’s the response? More services, more spending, more drug programs. And it’s just getting worse! I pay a massive premium to live here, but next year I’m moving out of the city.

It’s really sad to see so many people desperate and poor, but we essentially told them to come here, that we would pay for services for them and also, feel free to commit any crimes you want. Ridiculous.


When it comes to homelessness I'm reminded how people who had severe psychological disorders were put in insane asylums, instead of prisons and on the street.

Even if SF was tough on homelessness, they would still come, because it's either that or death in freezing cold weather elsewhere.


What does accosted by homeless people mean? I’ve lived in SF over 5 years and I’ve yet to be physically touched or yelled at by one.

Now what DOES happen often is someone is loudly talking or yelling to themselves, and if you look at them or get close to them then they may react to you. I just steer clear of the craziness. Maybe your friends got caught up in that?


I've had multiple homeless people get in my face and try to start shit with me in the TL.

The last time, I was waiting outside a bar/live music venue while my friend and the bartender were inside locking up after 2AM. I'm just standing there minding my business when a very dirty street guy, presumably homeless, walks up to me and demands I give him some money.

I tell him no, and he just starts yelling belligerently in my face deliberately being sloppy about it and spitting all over me. This went on for what felt like an eternity, turning into a staring contest with him just waiting for me to lose my cool and assault him. Eventually he just walked away cursing aloud about white people.

SF is a kind of a shithole, I have a bunch of firsthand experiences to back that up.

Edit:

I still find little pieces of broken glass in my car from when a homeless person threw rocks through the windows of ~10 parked cars on La Playa by Judah @ Ocean Beach. Same guy was picking fights with pedestrians in the hours that led up to him breaking car windows. Good times!


Just because it hasn't happened to you, personally, doesn't mean it hasn't happened to other people.

That seems impossible. Where do you live in SF? Do you ever take public transit?

Maybe OP is just a 280-pound giant so nobody dares to get in his way. Could be possible.

It's usually the other way around. Females are far less likely to get physically attacked.

Really? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAgjaV_EPbs

I remember the day that assault was reported on the news. It made my friends and myself seriously question what the hell is going on the streets of our city.

It's common to prey on the weak and vulnerable. Why make it harder on yourself? Just get a job at that point.


Yep. It's a good example of how reality breaks common expectations.

I suspect it's because females tend to avoid physical confrontation like the plague and some men will stand up if someone gets in their face. But it's only a guess as to why it is the case.


I've definitely had big friends in the past who were always getting shit started with them, even just walking down the street between bars in a group they'd out of nowhere have a stranger single them out, shoulder them while walking past, and voila now there's a street fight.

But that's rather different, it's more about sport than crime. Half the time they'd become drinking buddies afterwards.

When desperate people are on the prowl for people to rob however, I don't believe it's typical for them to prefer tougher targets. My understanding is most thefts are opportunistic and unattended, which tells me there's obviously a preference for less resistance, not more.


I live in SF and I don’t believe you, it is impossible.

I’ve lived in SF for 10 years and my family of 4 is finally moving out. Part of it is economic as we can’t really afford to raise kids here. Part of it is rapid deterioration of public spaces. The breaking point was someone blocking my apartment door by shooting up heroin when I brought my newborn son home from the hospital.

It’s not bad everywhere. The Marina, Noe, Pac Heights, Cole Valley, Outer Sunset, and parts of Richmond districts all manage to keep their neighborhoods clean. The mission feels like a 3rd world country.

I’m democrat but I would most certainly vote in a hard line republican DA to take a stand. I’m done having my car broken into and literally shat on. I’m tired of seeing piles and piles of trash like we’re living in some kind of garbage mound. People just don’t care.

It wasn’t this bad even 3 years ago, but it’s certainly taken a turn for the worse. It’s untenable.


I currently live in San Francisco. I’m moving in January after 1 year.

The premium I pay to live here is insane, yet the city elects to tolerate a totally unacceptable Level of crime, drug use and general squalor. I don’t think we should lock people up for being drug addicts, but where do we draw the line between “locking people up for stupid reasons” and “literally do anything you want with no consequences”. No one here even calls the police for the blantanty criminal and disruptive behavior of mentally ill homeless people. The police won’t show up/do anything.

I’m a pretty liberal person, but honestly the conservative media has it right with the situation in San Francisco. We spend a crapload of money every year on programs to help these people, at the total expense of law abiding tax paying citizens. While I believe the government is well intentioned, enough is enough. Do I and my neighbors not have a right to live in a habitable city? I had out of town friends visit from overseas and they were appalled. They were accosted multiple times and were afraid to walk around. I don’t blame them. I would not recommend anyone to visit this city. Good bye sf, I won’t be back.


I've been living in San Francisco for 7 years and it just feels lawless.

I've been kicked while riding my bike, I've had people come up and start screaming obscenities at me, I've been followed for multiple blocks by someone yelling at me, I've been threatened, I've witnessed people shooting up heroin and smoking crack in broad daylight dozens of times, I've seen a man pee himself in his wheelchair. The list goes on and on. Sure, you're going to see more intense concentrations of this stuff in the Mission and the Tenderloin, but, damn.

The sidewalks and streets are disgusting. The city just doesn't seem like it's actually governed. All the city supervisors seem to care about is blocking new housing because that's what their constituents want.

You see enough of this stuff and you just start to try and ignore it. But it eats at me. Seeing people every day enduring levels of despair that are completely depraved hurts the soul.


> You see enough of this stuff and you just start to try and ignore it. But it eats at me. Seeing people every day enduring levels of despair that are completely depraved hurts the soul.

Yep! I stopped going to the office in the Mission in part because of this. And my job before that in SoMa I quit in part because I was stepping over homeless people on the sidewalk every damn day on my way to the office. It was just too depressing, and that place wasn't going to tolerate my working remote so I quit.

The SF bay area is pretty neat, but that city is a total disaster, way overrated and overpriced and the weather isn't even good compared to most of the nearby coastal communities or literally anywhere else on the peninsula.


It's good that that much despair eats at you--it means you are human. A former editor of the Street Sheet wrote a nice article about how people can respond to the homeless that we encounter: https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-be-a-better-neighbor...

What the article doesn't cover though is the silicon valley obsession with scale. A lot of us walk by the homeless either implicitly or explicitly thinking we are going to a job that is going to change the world. And that may be true.

But there's a different school of thought that the most effective social change is done locally--where you personally know the people and the issues. So I would encourage people who still live in San Francisco to get involved in local politics/charity.

(I say this as a former San Franciscan, 1st-12th grade + two startups).


I empathize with where you're coming from, but I honestly think this line of thinking has led us to where we are now.

The city is legitimately scary for many (maybe most) of its inhabitants, especially after sunset. I know plenty of women who absolutely will not walk nearly any distance alone at night. On the Muni the other day, I saw a man outside get stalked by a homeless guy who was physically threatening him. You regularly see people who you realize you need to watch out for. It starts to become a nervous tick.

We need to deal with this in a real way that is not just empathizing with their situation. We can't just say "Well, they're ill, so we have to let them be horrible and scare 99% of the population". That is essentially letting the inmates run the asylum.

I know that full, actual treatment is complex. A lot of them honestly don't want what's available to them and I don't blame them. But in the meantime, we have to do something to enforce the law.

It's so, so deeply crazy right now.


A few years ago I learned an interesting bit of my own family history, which is that my grandfather was the head of mental health in California when Reagan was governor. And so it's his signature that was on the decision to dismantle state mental health hospitals. The hospitals were awful in their own way and there was a loose theory that the counties could step in with a replacement (which never happened). But it's basically that decision that put a lot of mentally ill people on the street.

When I was a kid in San Francisco in the 80s and 90s, it was pretty much accepted wisdom that all homeless were mentally ill and were choosing to live on the streets. I don't think that's true anymore, although I don't have statistics. My experience though was that living there as an adult in 2010-2016, I saw a lot more families, a mom in the Powell Street station begging while helping her daughter with homework, or two moms digging through my trash on Precita Ave with their kids in tow. That sort of stuff.

I'm not saying at all that homeless should be allowed to terrorize the city. But I do think empathy is one of the steps (and maybe the only step that readers here are in complete control of executing themselves). Are you ready to pay to provide shelter and services for each of these homeless people? Are you ready to have a shelter in your own neighborhood? Does your local supervisor know that? I doubt I'm alone in that my own feelings of generosity are improved when know and care about someone.

Although, more in line with what you are saying about SF being deeply crazy, I agree and I moved away and I can't imagine moving back. But wherever you live, I'm encouraging people to do more to make that place as great as it can be. I live in NYC now, but basically follow the above advice, only more focused on over incarceration.


  it's basically that decision that put a lot of mentally ill people on the street.
It was case law, not Reagan, that made involuntary incarceration for the mentally ill illegal.

In fact, California public mental health funding per capita was higher in Reagan's last budget than the year before he took office.


Modern SF doesn't really tolerate local solutions. Many neighborhoods do invest in efforts to keep their streets clean and drug-free, and when they do activists come from other neighborhoods to yell at them for being heartless. And if the city decides it'd like to move a bunch of homeless people into your neighborhood, you're expected to accept it as your part in solving the citywide homelessness problem.

When I said local I meant city-scale as opposed to internet-scale. If it's broken, then that's an invitation for you to get involved. Which supervisor represents you?

So when are you going to do something about it?

I’ve seen many a post on here about people who’ve experienced this in SF. Hell, I have too. But nobody ever shows up to a town hall type meeting and expresses this. Nobody organizes protests for it. Nobody goes and volunteers to fix this problem.

Yes. Our city government is lawlessly incompetent and it shouldn’t be.

But if we don’t actually get out there and scream until there’s change, then what’s even the point of complaining?

Let’s fix this without them or get out there until they have to do something about it.

Let’s do _something_ about it


Take the $250 million per year that SF spends on homeless. Direct half of it into building and operating a lunatic asylum. Direct the other half into building and operating a work-house.

SF General is the de facto mental health institution in the city. It costs $1B a year to run.

A relevant statistic I found interesting: SF had 10x the number of feces complaints as the entirety of NYC in 2017[1]. Having lived in both places, that’s a larger difference than I would have expected, although I do encounter it far more often in SF than I ever did in NYC.

https://www.realtyhop.com/blog/doo-doo-the-new-urban-crisis/...


Can confirm. I lived in NYC for 4 years, only saw poop like once or twice. Visited SF for one week, saw poop about 5 times.

My theory is that the more variable weather in New York helps. While it's great essentially not having any rain in San Francisco for ten months of the year, moisture helps in removing feces and urine from sidewalks.

I know this is about SF but Seattle seems to have essentially the same issues with their liberal response to homelessness. This local news piece was both heartbreaking and infuriating to watch. The interview with an proud, unrepentant criminal-who-is-homeless at 17:31 is something I won't ever forget.

"Seattle Is Dying" (KOMO 4 News) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw


Shameless plug - I did a photo series on this feeling when I moved to San Francisco. You see, you feel, you ignore. https://medium.com/@saimaddali/you-see-you-feel-you-ignore-m...

great photos! thanks for sharing.

I visited SF this spring, after 20 years (that was also the first trip to the US for my children).

I could not recognize the city. We used to walk by night and the city left great memories.

Now I had to almost run from the pier to my hotel nearby. We went to a fast food in the night and it was the worst place I have been in.

At the same time, the guide of the tour we took mentioned rent prices so high that I thought I misunderstood what she was saying.


Rates of homelessness by state: https://www.statista.com/statistics/727847/homelessness-rate...

CA is #5. Not something to be proud of, but it could be worse.


I live in San Francisco and I don’t see how it could be worse. I’ve lived everywhere in the world and I’ve never seen such disparity. It’s depressing honestly. Every day I walk on market street to get to my bus and in 15 minutes I see 15 homeless people. They are always crazy, like they’re going to die, some will try to grab me as I walk passed them sometimes. It’s fucking depressing.

Not a useful link. All I get is a big pop-div saying I have to pay $49 to see the chart.

I think if you arrive at the page from a google search you see more information.

California is a big state of which San Francisco is a small part (2.2% population wise to be specific). San Francisco could be a disaster zone and the state stats would hardly budge.

"Well, we're not a real third world city you see - just a techno-dystopia."

Homelessness is a product of being urban. So this statistic needs to control for percent urban to be meaningful.

Case in point : Mississippi has the lowest homelessness in the US.


Idk, I think the statistic is probably a bit misleading. But the case it point is a bit off as well. Alaska is top ten homelessness and very rural.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_and_territori...


These are the kinds of things Steve Ballmer's USAFacts should have, but it doesn’t.

What on earth is going on in DC?

They've been having problems for nearly 4 decades.

Wow, surprising to see the DC numbers but I always felt the downtown area was much cleaner than SF.

The Federal Triangle sure is, but that's because Feddy-Gov makes sure it stays clean. Plus several spy-types have masqueraded as homeless to take pictures of people coming in and out of FBI HQ, etc. -- easy to justify things with "National Security"

paid access. cant see article.

Paywall. Facebook redirect allows you to read the article.

http://facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.wsj.com/articles/the...


If you use Firefox, I would recommend installing this add-on: https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-firefox

I found it to be pretty bad when I was there.

Not as bad as the conservative media makes it out to seem but still bad.

Had my drink knocked out of my hand by a couple of guys,had to buy boots because of the human feces, saw smashed in car windows daily.

Im super tolerant but that felt like alot.


I just had a week long experience there and I found it to be surreal. I went in thinking "surely conservative media is exaggerating" and sure enough, I took a stroll from my conference at SVN down Market Street to a bar called Local Edition, and well, it was unfortunately as advertised. Rampant homelessness everywhere. Needles and feces on every other block, quite literally. I took pictures like a dumb tourist that I am and texted my spouse, "well what do you know it really is like this here, it's crazy, how can people put up with this?"

I empathize, and it's not always great. In response to "how can people put up with this?", I'm not sure what we can do. Meaning, I'm not sure there's an action I could take to improve things.

Also, not saying it isn't bad, and not saying we shouldn't do something (anything) to make things better, but you probably walked down one of the worst stretches (depending on which part of market street you went down).


The problem is pervasive, and speaking in noncommittal terms perpetuates passive acceptance. We can take action through our democratically elected representatives by re-opening mental health institutions and drug rehab centers. And we can enable law enforcement to lock up violent offenders with the assurance that the defendants will be given due process instead of being released without charges.

And 10 blocks away, where I have lived for 10 years, I see none of what you describe. The city is funny like that. Sad fact is, the homeless are incredibly concentrated around areas with lots of tourism and public visibility, because when you're homeless, you want to be around other people because you have _nothing_.

Market street, Potrero, soma, mission....it goes for 50 plus blocks. It ranges from either bad to extremely bad. I've been to a lot of cities and it's the most wild uncontrolled homeless population I've ever seen.

The smash-and-grab situation alone makes L.A.s homeless look like samaritans.


It varies a lot from street to street, block to block. Living on a steep hill helps a lot where it's difficult to push a shopping cart up. The flat Tenderloin is a human health disaster zone but once you get to the rarified air above sutter street the problems disappear. That's only 8 blocks away from mid market. The rest of the city that's on flat ground has significant or seasonal problems.

Perhaps that contributes to why the problem exists in the first place? Out of sight out of mind?

I live in SF. I consider myself very liberal. I know it's not the political orthodox for people on the left, but I will say, it is bad. It is very bad. You learn to live with it, but it's far worse than any other city i've ever lived in.

I think it's a direct result of a complete and utter lack of real estate development, but the fact of the matter is people shit in the street here, regularly. People shoot up heroin openly here. Needles littered on the streets here is normal. People smoke meth and crack, openly.

If you don't want to see it, you can avoid it with a car, but i bike and take transit.

The tenderloin is drug dealers and junkies. 16th and Mission is mentally ill people. Haight is crustypunks. Besides that, there are more normal things like people in tents in parks and under the highways.

I've seen things more like this in places on the west coast, but i've never seen the type of open and welcome drug dependency except in this region. I definitely am supportive of giving addicts a way to get help or even use in a healthy, non-threatening setting that is safe and separated from the rest of us going about our lives, but that's not what's happening.


I've found it to be about as bad as conservative media makes it out to be. It really depends where you are, but I've seen people smoking crack (I assume, maybe meth), and I've seen people shooting up in plain view in daylight. There are exposed needles and human feces on the ground, and you will absolutely notice it if you walk anywhere. Boots are for sure recommended.

I know that stuff happens everywhere, but it's so far out in the open in SF, you can't avoid it.

Part of it also has to do with the topology of the city. Homeless people don't want to live on hills, but rich people do, so that creates pools of homeless camps in flat areas.


I lived there for 10 months. Walked along market street everyday and can confirm that it is pretty bad.

I visited about a year ago now and I didn’t have that experience at all.

Stopped in at City Lights, bought a couple books, went for lunch, and walked through North Beach to the pier. Walked along Embarcadero to the BART station there and had a great (albeit short) layover there. I saw a few people who appeared to be homeless. No more than I see in Toronto or Hamilton—but I can’t speak to what kind of measure that is anymore.


Go a block or so inland and it gets starkly worse, especially as you get closer to Market. You ain't having fun in San Francisco until you make eye contact with a guy "dropping a bomb" in broad daylight at Sue Bierman Park, or have your car broken into near Levi Plaza because someone wants to try to steal your jumper cables (and fail, in my case, as evidenced by them hanging out of my now-significantly-more-aerodynamic quarterpanel window).

And the stench. Nothing like the glorious smell of ocean breezes and human excrement in the morning!

And to think the Embarcadero is relatively clean by SF standards. The Tenderloin is where it gets real fun.


I've had this thing happen twice now while visiting SF, where I'm following google maps, end up walking through the Tenderloin, and have a bunch of people try to sell me drugs.

The second time I asked one of the guys trying to sell me coke why that was happening, he said it was really the only reason white people walk there.

The whole thing was very different from the super-liberal picture of SF I had in my head.


San Francisco’s homelessness is highly concentrated. You happened to be in areas that are relatively clean.

Where is it largely concentrated? That sort of sounds like Vancouver as well. Toronto has its spots as well.

I just find much of the rhetoric makes it sound like the city is overrun and in shambles and that wasn't my experience. Of course, if I lived in those concentrated locales I might feel that way.


- The whole Tenderloin district (and quite a bit of the surrounding areas, e.g. Polk Gulch)

- Market St.

- Embarcadero & Washington St. intersection

- King St. (esp. around the CalTrain station)

- Pretty much all the BART stations within SF city limits

Those are the areas I'm in pretty frequently, at least.


Take a walk down market street.. by city hall. Disgusting and yet why is it so bad and in your face and not like that in say new york city? Doesn't NYC put the homeless up in hotels.. have a voucher program or something?

San Fran doesn't care how terrible their city looks to tourists nor care for its people like NYC does? I don't get it ... uber super tech rich living in the most expensive houses in the US with human feces outside on their pavements or around the corner.

Whatever San Fran is doing and methodology it's following it doesnt seem to be working out for itself!


It's interesting watching movies from the 70s and 80s depicting New York. It looks like present day San Francisco or Baltimore, and not at all like modern New York.

Yup, gives me hope that one day SF can improve.

>San Fran doesn't care how terrible their city looks to tourists nor care for its people like NYC does?

The way I see it, fundamentally, San Francisco views the homeless as part of it's people, many other places do not.


Their feces that line the street, violent outbreaks, shooting up, the human destitution, shouting crazy one even with a megaphone on my 2013 visit.

I guess that's now considered the charm of San Francisco. Disgusting!


Sorry but I don’t think visiting for a week once is a large enough set of data

I didn’t claim it was anything of the sort. Just adding a singular data point.

People often say the same kinds of things about Toronto but the place is hardly overrun.

I just thought it would be a valuable single data point from a visitor’s perspective. No assumptions, just an experience.


he didn't visit even for a week; it was just a layover.

It’s worse than conservative media makes it out to be because in a wide swath of the country 6 figure incomes are large enough to completely insulate you form the issue.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/trumps-war-on-the-home...

This podcast has a pretty good discussion and explaination on the different causes of homelessness. The distinction between "working homeless" in cities where housing costs are skyrocketing and people with medical issues or addiction was interesting to hear talked through with nuance.


This opinion piece provides no context to bits like "The “unsheltered” count continues to rise—up 17%, to 8,011, in 2019 from 2017—and San Francisco continues to wonder why." Or the 17 needle deposits that apparently teach all the children of a 900K-person city that drug use is the norm.

In fact, San Francisco has grown by 100K people in the last 10 years, and construction hasn't kept up. Costs have risen incredibly, while incomes of longstanding citizens in many cases have not.

This is simply a right-wing hit piece on the leftist movements against the war on drugs, gentrification, housing cost inflation, and mass incarceration.

You can't claim the city is wrong about lack of public spending unless you discuss the spending, and the challenges, realistically and with context.


I'd never considered this as Right vs. Left, but I definitely perceive it as a category of article where New York Media likes to highlight San Francisco's failings.

These are really meant to be feel good pieces for the readers by triggering a sense of superiority. I say this as a native San Franciscan who moved to NYC and plans to stay here.

Some of these articles are less grim, for example this piece on Silicon Valley sock fashion was definitely read by many New Yorkers as reinforcing the idea that we have real style here (i.e. making socks your fashion calling card is like watching a little kid play dress up). https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/fashion/in-silicon-valley...

Equally ridiculous to me was the NYT covering a San Francisco high school debating what to do with a mural. Where is the impact to a New York reader? Zero. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/28/us/san-francisco-murals.h...

Theoretically, the WSJ and NYT are national papers, but they do really have New York readers as their base. So for that reason, I never pay any attention to their take on anything bay area related.


The NYT and WSJ are national and world papers. They have bureaus in San Francisco.

Ummm but isn't San Fran the most extreme left-ist city in the country? Why is this not happening on the same scale as say in Nashville?

Nashville gets a lot colder in the winter, which, over a few cold winters, solves this problem. Also, using drugs by daylight Or breaking into a car right under a running security camera in Nashville will get you arrested. In San Francisco, nothing will happen to you

Boggles the mind they dont care about rule of law. Socialism and lawlessness... sounds like Venezulea...we all see how that's unfolded.

There is no possible reasonable definition of socialism where San Francisco could possibly qualify.

no ... not even in terms of all the money they spend on social programs that further attracts that element vs. focusing their efforts on enforcing law/cleaning up the city. Also and way more importantly making sure every adult man and woman has a job that sustains them and allows them to contribute to society.

Scarcity: because SF is a tiny peninsula where housing growth requires vertical growth, and housing (and associated cost rises) are at the root of so much of this. Also some of the other reasons people said, but probably mostly that. I don't know anything about Nashville, though.

Note that the article also doesn't discuss the trade-offs we routinely see when many of the policies it opposes aren't in place: higher (very expensive) incarceration rates, higher disease rates resulting in higher public health costs, etc.

Also note that as is so often the case, SF is still stuck in a middle ground between policies many believe (based on evidence elsewhere) will really work and save money on balance -- like housing and caring for people -- and the center/right's preferred solution of shoving everyone into expensive prisons as I mentioned above. Few people advocating comprehensive public health and treatment policies think the status quo is anywhere near enough; it's simply all politics is allowing them to do at present.


isn't San Fran the most extreme left-ist city in the country?

By what measure? From the outside it seems like San Francisco is mostly hardcore libertarian NIMBYs.


Exactly. Big money is scared of sanders/Warren. They will continue to escalate until the election.

We all know the cause of homelessness and it ain’t an excess of tolerance, that’s for damn sure.

We all know the cause of homelessness

If you managed to identify the single cause of homelessness, you should be nominated for a Nobel Prize.


The problem is Americas version of left is "I will do nothing to help you but I won't intervene if you do drugs on the street" and their version of the right is "I will do nothing at all to help you but you will be punished for any rule breaking"

> The problem is Americas version of left is "I will do nothing to help you but I won't intervene if you do drugs on the street"

That's because the dominant faction of America’s “left”-er party is neoliberal centrist. The actual left would do more, but even in cities with a leftier reputation doesn't tend to have the power to.


I hear this a lot, and while it may be true for the core platform, the American left have some of the most extreme progressive views in the world, for example, on abortion.

While that is true, nobody fits neatly into a right/left spectrum.

Wealth inequality and lack of housing. Where's my prize?

If that were the case Fidel Castro would have gotten it.

Healthcare? Housing?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_and_mental_health

It is estimated that 20–25% of homeless people, compared with 6% of the non-homeless, have severe mental illness.

Others estimate that up to one-third of the homeless suffer from mental illness.


I think a lot of people have mental illness but manage to live thanks to aids, healthcare, affordable housing, and so on. Because these structures are missing in America, these people end up in the street and their mental illness is the focus of the blame.

Are you implying America discriminates against the mentally ill?

The answer is yes.



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