A Discount Plan to End Homelessness?
For the low price of $20 Billion, Representative Dean Phillips believes he could end a societal problem that preceded written history.
About a week and a half ago, Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips, who is mounting a quixotic challenge against President Joe Biden in the Democratic Primary, asserted an oft-quoted number by various members of the left that it would only take $20 Billion to end homelessness in America.
But, whether it’s the more reasonable-sounding Rep. Phillips or a totally unhinged Vivek Ramaswamy, complicated and complex issues do not become “easy to solve” just because we claim they are.
The reality is, like pretty much every political issue that exists, no amount of money can address, let alone end homelessness. Homelessness, like any form of poverty, is among the most complex issues in society. There has never been a society that didn't have homelessness and poverty, and there never will be.
In discussing homelessness, we're talking about a lot of different things. We're talking about straight-up down-on-your-luck poverty, yes, but we're also talking about mental health, voluntary vagrancy, criminality, drug addiction, prostitution, etc. Can these issues be solved simply by throwing money at them? Can any single one of the issues be solved by throwing money at it?
Representative Phillips suggests he can "end homelessness" for only $20 Billion, and yet the US Government has spent over $20 Trillion on various anti-poverty efforts since the launch of President Johnson's "War on Poverty." Has the US Government ended poverty with that amount of cash thrown at the problem?
This kind of hubris belies one of the serious issues with progressive thought, this absolute certainty that their solutions are foolproof and that what stands in the way of their success are not their provisions but the obstruction of closeminded people and their unwillingness to support and pay for their solutions.
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