Once upon a time, some of the most beautiful cities in the entire world were on the west coast, but now those same cities are degenerating into drug-infested cesspools of filth and garbage right in front of our eyes. San Francisco is known as the epicenter for our tech industry, and Los Angeles produces more entertainment than anyone else in the world, and yet both cities are making headlines all over the world for other reasons these days. Right now, nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless population lives in the state of California, and more are arriving with each passing day. When you walk the streets of San Francisco or Los Angeles, you can’t help but notice the open air drug markets, the giant mountains of trash, and the discarded needles and piles of human feces that are seemingly everywhere. If this is what things look like when the U.S. economy is still relatively stable, how bad are things going to get when the economy tanks?
When Leilani Farha paid a visit to San Francisco in January, she knew the grim reputation of the city’s homeless encampments. In her four years as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, Farha has visited the slums of Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jarkarta, and Manila. The crisis in San Francisco, she said, is comparable to these conditions.
I have never been to Mumbai, Delhi, Mexico City, Jarkarta or Manila, and so I will just have to take her word for what the conditions are like there.
But how can this be happening in one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country?
Sadly, to a large degree San Francisco has done this to itself. Every single day drugs are openly bought and sold at “an outdoor market of sorts” right in the heart of the city, and authorities know exactly where it is happening…
To drill down on the epicenter of the crisis, a recent New York Times inquiry set out to find the dirtiest block in San Francisco. After asking statisticians to compile a list of streets with the most neighborhood complaints regarding sidewalk cleanliness, the Times landed on a winner: Hyde Street’s 300 block, which received more than 2,200 complaints over the last decade.
A visit to the block yields a harrowing sight of drug addicts and mentally ill residents, many of whom are part of the city’s overwhelmingly large homeless population. During the day, drug users host an outdoor market of sorts, selling heroin, crack cocaine, and amphetamines along the sidewalks.
They could shut down the drug dealing if they really wanted to do so.
And anywhere the illegal drug trade is thriving, you are also going to have a lot of property crime. At this point, no city in America has a higher rate of property crime than San Francisco does…
San Francisco is the nation’s leader in property crime. Burglary, larceny, shoplifting, and vandalism are included under this ugly umbrella. The rate of car break-ins is particularly striking: in 2017 over 30,000 reports were filed, and the current average is 51 per day. Other low-level offenses, including drug dealing, street harassment, encampments, indecent exposure, public intoxication, simple assault, and disorderly conduct are also rampant.
Meanwhile, things are not much better in Los Angeles. In fact, many would argue that L.A. is in even worse condition.
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Source: The Economic Collapse