Dick Baynton

Estimates suggest that there are as many as 1.6 billion people worldwide who lack adequate housing; that’s slightly more than 20%. That means that there are probably about one in fivet earthlings that lack proper shelter.

Homelessness occurs in every nation in the world; an apparent flaw in the existence of humankind. Here are some estimates on homelessness (H) with that nation’s population (P): Nigeria (H) 24.4 Million (P) 186 Million, Egypt (H)16.9M (P)94.6M, South Africa (H)7M  (P)54.3M, Russia (H)5M (P)142.4M, China (H)2.6M (P) 1.4 Billion, Zimbabwe (H)1.2M (P)14.5M, USA (H)554,000 (P)330M.

Here in our country, we consider ourselves perhaps the most advanced economy in the world based on production of goods and services (GDP) and technology development. However many of the countries with high homelessness depend heavily on income from natural resources such as lumber,  alumina, iron, copper and nickel ores, diamonds, platinum and gold and compounds such as gypsum, rubber/latex and petroleum.

As highly developed as we are and with a very low unemployment level in many areas below 4% why do we have so many homeless people? California with a population of 12% of our national population also has almost half (49%) of the nation’s homeless. Is this the result of bad management or is it simply a matter of ignoring the problem?

New York City and Los Angeles both have thousands of homeless vagrants to contend with. The streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are awash in used needles, human waste, garbage, old shoes and ragged clothing. Tents of all types, tarpaulins, vehicles and other makeshift coverings are located along streets, alleys and sidewalks impeding foot, bicycle and vehicle traffic. The makeup of the ‘residents’ of these virulent habitats may include illegal aliens, felons, drug dealers and users and fugitives from justice.

In California the situation has become political, just as many things become political in this day and age. On October 5th, 2017, then Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law (SB54) making California a ‘sanctuary state.’ This means that illegal aliens who are criminals can feel comfortable plying their evil livelihood without interruption by police or other law enforcement agencies. In addition current Governor Gavin Newsom has declared that the state will pay medical claims for illegal aliens. That amounts to about $190 million per year. This $190 million is derived from the taxes paid by California workers who earned incomes and are supporting those non-citizens with medical expenses.

Apparently that is acceptable to California citizens but it also seems to weaken the fabric of our culture of self-determination that implies that personal progress toward prosperity can be achieved individually. By offering subsidized healthcare and other entitlements to foreign nationals our benefits are being handed out to thousands, perhaps millions of people who did not participate in accumulating the monetary pool.

In a study done two years ago by FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), the authors estimated that there are about 12.5 million illegal aliens in our country including about 4.2 million children. Cost to the federal government is about $46 billion and state and local costs amount to about $89 billion for a total cost to taxpayers of about $135 billion. However illegal aliens do pay some taxes and the net amount paid by the nation’s taxpayers is about $115 billion. That means that taxpayers are providing $9,200 per year to each illegal alien.

Every state has illegal aliens but California has more than 2 million, Texas has well over 1 million and Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and New York with well over 400,000 in each state could provide housing, drug treatment and even jobs (after re-training) to many of the homeless in our cities that spread disease, garbage, needles and drug paraphernalia and illicit drugs.

We the taxpayers and voters send elected officials to lead our states and federal government with integrity. In that fiduciary role, these men and women are openly wasting our resources while 554,000 residents live under tarps, tents and in makeshift hovels.

It doesn’t seem reasonable that we should allow more than a half million people live in HHH while we give billions to non-citizens. Personnel changes are overdue among our Governors, Legislators and Congressmen & women in 2020.

Dick Baynton