From The New York Times:
By Kirk Johnson | March 1, 2016
SEATTLE — So dangerous is this city’s biggest homeless camp, called the Jungle — three ragged miles stitched along the underbelly of Interstate 5 — that if a fire broke out there today, firefighters would not be allowed in without an armed police escort. State lawmakers are considering a razor-wire fence around the camp, separating it from the city at a cost of $1 million.
This is Darrel Sutton’s world. Mr. Sutton, 52, a slight, soft-spoken former roofing worker who has struggled for years with heroin addiction, said he had been attacked twice in his five years in the Jungle, once with a pipe, another time with a tent pole — both times for no reason he ever figured out.
“You’re always watching your back,” Mr. Sutton said in an interview outside a methadone clinic on the camp’s edge.
Seattle is booming with tech-driven economic growth, an envy of the nation in many regards. But a recent blood-drenched attack in the Jungle that left two people shot to death and three others wounded has thrown open a window onto a kind of parallel city hidden in the shadows under the highway, and sent a paroxysm of shock through people who had long looked the other way.
There’s more at the link, but this story tells us what the left do not want to hear: the policies of the left have not produced paradise, but purgatory.
But there’s more: Seattle, home of the $15.00 minimum wage, isn’t one where we see racial discrimination as a huge problem, because Seattle is a city with few ‘disadvantaged’ minorities. Blacks constitute only 8.44% of the city’s population, while Hispanics/Latinos (regardless of race) make up just 5.28%. Seattle is 70.09% white and 13.12% Asian; Americans of Asian descent tend to be very successful economically. Yet, despite having fewer economically disadvantaged minorities, the Times article points out that, outside of New York and Los Angeles, Seattle has the nation’s highest homeless population.
Race is an important consideration: HUD estimates that 40.4% of all homeless people are black, and 19.9% are Hispanic (of all races). Yet, with a smaller than average black and Hispanic population, Seattle has a very high homeless population.
More, the same report notes that the oh-so-liberal states of California and Oregon have the highest percentages of homeless people living in unsheltered conditions.
Why, it’s almost as though something other than race is leading to homelessness, at least in Seahawk City. There has been some negative impact from the minimum wage increase, but the general problem is the policies which have governed Seattle for a long, long time.
Why, I have to ask, does homelessness seem so high in our most leftist governed cities? Many of our cities have large populations of disadvantaged minorities, but the situation in Seattle corrects for racial discrimination: simply by having a far smaller minority population, Seattle removes race as the causal factor in homelessness. What the Seattle situation indicates is that, even in a wealthier-than-average city, leftist policies don’t work! They never have, and they never will.