Sunday, September 27, 2015

'Homeless by Choice' in New York

Mohamed Rasul is homeless in New York City. But don’t feel too sorry for him, he’s “homeless by choice.”  He’s got a free laptop and free Wi-Fi in Bryant Park.

According to Mohamed, he’s “never been as comfortable as under de Blasio” because no one forces him to leave the park where a miniature carousel spins children around on painted horses and a yoga lesson takes place on the main lawn. These things, the carousel, the yoga lesson and the free Wi-Fi, only exist because the park was restored from its old days as Needle Park.

Back then the stretch of park behind the New York Public Library had more crimes than some towns. Cleaning it up took a lot of hard work.

Now that hard work is being undone by a pro-crime mayor.

When you have enough Mohameds in the park then the kids, the coffee, the Wi-Fi, the yoga mats and the lunch break crowd goes away to be replaced by junkies, needles, drug dealers, muggers and rapists.

As Mohamed can tell you, being homeless in the city under Bill de Blasio isn’t too bad for the bums.

To be homeless in New York City today means three meals a day, a microwave oven, TV, free laundry, free Internet, free health care and a prepaid cell phone with 300 minutes a month.

That was a few years ago. Maybe they have free laptops now.

If that sounds like a better deal than most New Yorkers or tourists get, you’re right. It’s why bums from across the country and even the world have been flocking to the privileged life of a Big Apple bum.

One in four homeless in New York list addresses outside the city. There are tourists who come to hang out in the city. Instead of forking out a small fortune for a hotel, they stay in a homeless shelter. And then there are the “Oogles.” Most New Yorkers have seen them even if they don’t know what they are.

Oogles are homeless hipsters who panhandle with ironic signs. Usually white and young, they made up a sizable section of the Occupy Wall Street encampments. Also known as travelers, crusties and voluntary homeless, they travel to music festivals around the country. Many are heroin addicts. They usually come from prosperous homes, but are great at gaming the social welfare system.

Homelessness is so hip that the Oogles have displaced the classic city panhandler with hordes of pierced flannel-wearing white kids in their twenties toting signs about how they need to get to Seattle or Portland. That is when their witty signs aren’t openly boasting about how they need drugs.

Oogles dramatically inflate the homeless population not only in New York City, but around the country. As they pass through different cities, the social welfare infrastructure of each area counts them as part of its “homeless crisis.” The same Oogle can add to the “crisis” of a dozen cities. But the Oogle isn’t homeless. He’s just a bum.

The media says that the homeless crisis is a disgrace. It’s half-right. The real disgrace is that we are once again allowing a breed of entitled leftists to destroy our cities.

It’s no wonder that New York City’s homeless problem keeps growing the more resources are thrown at it. It already increased 10 percent under Bill de Blasio. There are now more “homeless” in the city than there are people living in the entire city of Manhattan, Kansas. And their numbers will keep on growing.

By focusing on homeless families, we can eliminate most of the Oogles. And the homeless data shows that the issue is a broken culture, not gentrification, rising rents or any of the other excuses.

Even though black people are less than a quarter of the population, they account for up to 61 percent of homeless families. While the Hispanic population rose 10 percent, Hispanic homeless fell from 38 percent to 31 percent. Even while the black population was declining, its homeless share was rising.

White families in the city, who were hardest hit by the Obama Depression, went from 2 to 5 percent of the homeless population. White people make up a third of the city population and their numbers have been rising. Even though there are a million Asians in the city and 1 in 5 of them live below the poverty line, there appears to be no statistically significant number of them in the homeless population.

So the issue clearly isn’t racism.

What is the Asian secret? Even poor Asian families have a mother and a father. Meanwhile 93 percent of homeless families are single parent. More than half of them went into the system complaining of overcrowding or domestic violence. Another 8 to 12 percent complained of “discord.”

This isn’t a homeless problem. It’s a broken family problem.

The homeless families held up by the media as proof of how uncaring New Yorkers are are not suffering from gentrification. If that were the case, the majority of them would be coming from Brooklyn and Manhattan, not the Bronx. Their situation has its roots in the same pathology that causes crime.

No amount of homeless shelters or social services spending will fix it. It will only make it worse.

New York City doesn’t have a homeless problem. It has a drug problem. It has a broken family problem. And it has a hipster problem. It has an activist problem and a bloated social services sector problem.

Homelessness remains a political term that manufactured a condition for which society is responsible.

We can see by looking at the hard numbers that society did not cause this. Individual behaviors did. New York’s welfare spending has created a massive magnet that attracts freeloaders and encourages bad behavior. And Bill de Blasio has taken those bad policies and turned them into a way of life.

The decline of the quality of life in the city has hurt blacks more than it has hurt whites. There has been a sharp population drop in the black middle class as their neighborhoods began turning bad.

Their departure lowers black net worth and turns the city back into a political poverty plantation. The homeless crisis is a weapon that the left uses to destroy the quality of life in cities. Especially in working class and middle class neighborhoods.

Bill de Blasio rammed homeless shelters into formerly nice neighborhoods, including an Asian neighborhood in Queens, bringing along panhandling, public urination and crime. One local resident asked. “Why does the government want to support this group? Why do they want to give them free money? We have to work from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.”

The left is not fond of those who work twelve hours a day. They’re filthy “bootstrappers” who interfere with their political program of destroying communities and replacing them with broken families.

The homeless crisis is the kind of self-perpetuating crisis that the left loves. The more money is thrown at it, the worse it gets. The money will mostly go into its own bureaucracy and its networks of allied non-profits who double as the political infrastructure for the left.

And how else is Bill de Blasio, who has won the opposition of a majority of city voters with his disastrous policies, supposed to win reelection?


Sarah said...

But when you are 80, don't you want to look back at your life and say that you did something with it? I don't care that I'm not the smartest, not the prettiest, not the kindest/best person in the world. I swear, I'm a jerk sometimes, I am a failure/loser/mess up everything! But I have a heck of a story of my life.. And I have tried my best!! Live your life, & die your death, and Thank G-d for the chance!

Anonymous said...

Better focus on ramming feminism and gay lifestyle choices down people's throats. I know more about domestic abusers and whatsitsname Jenner from the media than I do my own relatives.

But... but... it wasn't suppose to be like this. It was all suppose to be about that mythical thing called equality. That's what the do-gooders keep saying.

Why woman and opposite-sex challenged people were just little angels who would never lie or deceive due to ego, envy or greed.

It's so fortunate to have these perfect people of such moral fortitude towering over the rest of us like titans.

What's that you say?! They would rather 10 innocent 'marks' get slandered or jailed than let one guilty party get away... "NO! That would never happen" replied my red-headed buzz-cut lawyer lady friend. "Not a chance", spoke the tattooed-earring-wearing real-estate agent chap with jewelry attached.

And they would know obviously. Having so much experience with altruism and all that jazz.

Michael Gersh said...

This is clearly the result of leftist policy, but it is a step too far to say that this is the result of their intentions. Their intentions are to do good, and they can't understand that wanting to do good can result in bad.

Take the case of socialism. They say that everybody will take care of his neighbor. But socialist governments always do just the opposite. The left hates capitalism because it is based on greed, but the result of capitalism is the best outcome for the poor and downtrodden.

That story is in the Bible, BTW. In Numbers I believe. The story is that one son says he will till the field but does not, the other son says he will not till the field, but he is the one who does. The lefties say they will take care of the homeless, but only make their numbers grow. They fail to apprehend a simple truth - anything you give money to will proliferate.

Anonymous said...

Basically plagiarized from an email I received from a friend:

There are kickbacks and payola from multi-million dollar contracts for these so-called "homeless" programs. Everybody--including city officials--look the other way. $100+ million budgets + zero accountability = unfettered corruption. While cities close libraries, lay off police officers, can't fix potholes and street lights, etc., they have plenty of cash for the "homeless". How much money actually gets into the hands of the homeless? Not much. Most goes into the hands of the corrupt administrator. Auditors and tax watchdogs can't get any records because the records "disappear" because they "don't keep records" due to the fluid nature of providing emergency hobo services.

The Los Angeles hobo budget will grow and grow, as will the vagrant hobo problem. In San Francisco, there is the hobo problem, coupled with the sanctuary city policy, further aggravated with a no-prosecution policy for shoplifting by the "homeless". In SF, they let armies of hobos wander the major streets feeding the freeway on-ramps. As people are stopped trying to inch onto the on-ramps on the 3 and 4 lane streets, the ghoulish-looking hobos walk in-between the cars with their signs peering ominously into the windows of cars asking for money. Cops (including the CHP) do nothing. I would guarantee some of the ghoul/hobo panhandlers are orchestrated and staged by the hobo agencies. --generates more support for hobo budgets AND silences any critics of that type of hobo policy. If you or I did the same and were handing out flyers about whatever, the cops would have you cuffed and on the ground pronto!

Also in SF, car burglary is a rarely-enforced misdemeanor. The result is 15 to 20 car smash-and-grabs per day.

I have been to Safeway in the Marina Green district and the one by Pier 39 and have seen people just walk out with stuff without paying! The guards do nothing. I have seen that in CVS stores across the City, too.

Here is a recent article in the SF Chronicle on the topic:

Because the Chron wants you to subscribe in order to read the full article, I will cut and paste here.

King Western Man (part 1)

Anonymous said...

Written by C.W. Nevius
"Ron Lem, who owns a plumbing company that often sends him to jobs in San Francisco, stopped into the Safeway near Pier 39 the other day. He picked up an energy drink and was flabbergasted to see a guy pick up a 12-pack of beer, put it under his coat and start out the door.

“I went to the security guard,” Lem wrote in an e-mail, “only to be told there was nothing they could do.”

And that wasn’t the end of it. In the next 20 minutes, Lem says he saw three cases of blatant shoplifting with no response from security. The capper was: After he left the store and walked over to the waterfront, there was one of the shoplifters, enjoying his stolen snack.

“He was like, ‘What? Me worry?’” Lem said, recounting the incident on the phone. “He had everything he needed. It is bizarre. If they are not going to enforce it, why make us pay?”

Lem was so disturbed by what he saw that he followed up with a Safeway loss prevention manager.

“He told me they do have a policy in place of not apprehending shoplifters,” Lem said.

Contacted Friday, Safeway spokesman Keith Turner said Lem “apparently misunderstood his conversation with Safeway’s loss prevention investigator.”

Turner said, “We do have procedures in place to prevent theft and to apprehend shoplifters without chasing, getting into altercations or other dangerous situations. The details of those policies are kept confidential.”

That sounded pretty vague, so I went to that Bay Street Safeway Friday morning. It didn’t take long to see what Lem was talking about.

2 guards on duty

Although at least two security officials patrolled the entrance to the supermarket, a kid in dreadlocks and a bucket hat strolled in, walked over to the produce aisle and casually put a bottle of orange juice and a sandwich in his backpack. He didn’t seem bothered in the slightest that I was watching, looking me straight in the eye as he walked past me and out the door.

I went to the nearest security officer and told him what I’d seen. He looked at the kid, who was half a block away and shrugged.

“If it is under $1,000 (actually the amount is $950) it is just a misdemeanor,” he said. “We don’t usually do anything.”

King Western Man (part 2)

Anonymous said...

The surprising part of this is that this is not an isolated situation. Many large corporations have established policies of looking the other way when shoplifters strike. Concerned about legal liability and the potential for injury, in many cases they actually forbid employees to confront thieves.

Walmart, which was famous for its “zero tolerance” policy on theft, made an almost complete about-face in 2006. In an in-house document obtained by the New York Times, Walmart told employees it would not prosecute shoplifters who steal items worth less than $25.

Apparently, it doesn’t want its employees chasing thieves, even if the items are valuable. In January, an Alabama Walmart manager spotted a habitual shoplifter leaving the store with what turned out to be $1,118 worth of goods.

The manager chased the man across the street and, with the help of nearby security guards, apprehended and held the man until police arrived.

Walmart’s response? The manager was fired for failing to follow company policy. Walmart said, “For the safety of our associates as well as our customers . . . (we) rely on law enforcement.”

The problem with calling the cops is that by the time they arrive the shoplifter is already gone — or relaxing by the bay, in Lem’s example. The chances of arriving in time to catch them are almost zero.

Just a business cost

So, although Safeway’s Turner says, “Theft is a serious problem in the retail industry and we do our best to control it,” shoplifting seems to be just part of the cost of doing business.

It’s not just Safeway or Walmart. Other large retail companies have the same nonconfrontational policies, but, like Safeway, they don’t want them to become public.

It’s only when someone like Lem sees blatant theft taking place that this is mentioned. It may be company policy but Lem was still shocked.

“I mean,” Lem said. “if you are not going to enforce it, why not just put a sign up that says, ‘If you really want it, take it. We won’t stop you.’”

No need for a sign. It’s clear petty thieves have already figured that out."

King Western Man (part 3 of 3)

Anonymous said...

If he runs for president and wins, the whole country will look like Bogota´s Bronx...(the devil´s cauldron)

gstarr said...

The last time I was NYC was in 1980 for New Years Eve. This was just before the Giulani era.

Times Square was rife with the homeless, street thugs and prostitutes. There were people urinating in the streets. The train station was a war zone.

We left before the ball dropped and managed to get out with our wallets and lives intact.

It only took 3 years of DiBlasio to undue the work of Giulani and the city is a sewer again. New Yorkers got what they deserve.

I don't know if a Republican can ever get elected in NY again. NYers are in love with their misery.

Y. Ben-David said...

King Western Man-
Thank you for posting that very interesting piece about shoplifting. It reminds me of the case of the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003. She was stabbed to death in a department store and, according to what I read, no one in the large crowd of people who witnessed it did anything to chase or apprehend the perpetrator. In Sweden, everyone is taught to be ultra-passive and to leave everything to the "authorities" to deal with. The article you posted says the same mentality has now spread to the US.
No doubt this tolerance for criminality is based on the popular concept that "poor people" are all victims of racism or being "un-privileged" and so it is their right to take from what the well-to-do "privileged" have, so it should not be viewed as a criminal act, but rather more of a "Robin-Hood"-style reallocation of national resources.
As far as the retailers are concerned, I am sure they have enough political clout to see to it that they are given generous tax breaks for this wastage and they can pass-on the amount of the losses on to the honest customers by increasing prices. Thus both the shoplifters and retailers are happy, the only one who pays is the honest shopper.

Y. Ben-David said...

Charles Murray, in his excellent book "Coming Apart" points out that the new ethos in the US and Europe today is that the purpose of life is to have as much leisure time and entertainment as possible which will pass the time as pleasantly as possible until the cells of the body wear out. JFK's famous speech (seen at the beginning of the TV serious "From The Earth to the Moon" ) says that the US was called to show national greatness by embarking on the Apollo program to land on the Moon is, today, laughable to a great many people. Who needs "national greatness" is nothing but national arrogance? Why spend you time building your own personal character when you can be watching videos?
When I was a kid I collected postage stamps. In those days the stamps showed Presidents, or heroes, or scholars, or commemorated events of national historical importance. Today the Postal Service puts out stamps honoring popular singers who died of drug overdoses. Celebrities are now the most important people in society, not people who actually contribute something to society. That is why the anti-Israel crowd makes such a big effort to threaten singers and actors who want to visit Israel....because in their view, celebrities are the most important opinion makers and so if we can get them to boycott Israel, even if by ways of violent coercion, the general public will supposedly turn away from supporting Israel.

Anonymous said...

When I was in college, some homeless (probably with the help of leftist students and faculty) build shacks on campus and lived there. After a few weeks the university tore them down. I didn't understand it then, but learned about the realities related to homelessness and how homelessness was used as a political tool. Some people never learn. The left promotes education that does not include critical thinking. It's not really education, but propaganda.

- Halevi

M. Simon said...

The alcohol junkies are the worst.

Unknown said...

I'll bite. So I am an actual journalist that takes the time to actually research what I am writing about more than by reading a couple biased articles and throwing together an equally biased blog entry. I have spent the past 2 years traveling across the country and talking to homeless, houseless, activists this guy calls "Oogles", truck drivers, traveling salesmen, etc. seeking to understand what makes someone viewed as "homeless" and why that is so negative to today's society. Your article is a disparagement to society. It is full of assumptions, is obviously lacking any real research, and reads as a tangent. FAIL

Anonymous said...

It's not just New York. You should see how bad it's gotten in Colorado since pot became legal. The streets are littered with young mean junkies. We refer to them as "homefree". Boulder Colorado coddles them. They've basically ruined every public space with garbage, needles, feces and trash. They're disgusting bludgers gaming the system. Where did the name Oogle come from?

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