Monday, February 4, 2019
Bear in mind that my hometown, Buckeye, is some 20 miles west from the center of Phoenix, Arizona. It was a sleepy farming and ranching town of maybe 7000 inhabitants until about 20 years ago, when its city council decided to "upgrade" the town by giving over the northern half of its territory to real-estate developers. In short order, a lot of old ranch-land and some undeveloped desert became a "bedroom town" of close-built overpriced houses, which raised the town's population to 40,000 -- without increasing the number of local businesses. Apparently the inhabitants of the New Town all drive into Phoenix for their jobs. They don't spend much of that income here in town, which is why the city government is always putting on fairs and festivals to attract spending. The town's actual industry hasn't increased any.
Another effect of this social engineering has been an influx of the homeless. There's a stretch of land owned by the railroad, less than 5 miles from my house, that's turned overnight into a tent/shantytown full of homeless folk. The neighbors, whose back yards back up to the railroad, have tried giving the homeless folk flyers listing the local social services available, and also calling the railroad HQ to ask that the "squatters" be removed. In any case, the homeless can't stay there; winter, even in Arizona, is a bad time for living in a tent. Besides, there's no running water out there, or sanitary services.
Obviously our town, and county, need to create more homeless shelters. They could also reinstate the institution known as the "poor farm"; this being farming and ranch land, such a farm could actually support itself -- and possibly even turn a profit.
But beyond that, the problem of homelessness is becoming visible all over the country. Regardless of what the media may claim, average people can see from looking that there are a lot of homeless poor clustered around our cities and even small towns.
The first question is, where do they all come from? It's also visible that a lot of them are drunks and druggies; the number of empty booze-bottles and needles obvious in the trash around the homeless encampments make that clear. Certainly some of them are victims of their own weaknesses. Others are victims of bad luck and economic "downturns", though the unemployment numbers have been going down for more than a year. But there are more who are visibly illegal immigrants. Seriously, this isn't hard to see. Regardless of skin-color or clothing styles, people who cannot speak the local language are obviously from somewhere else.
Federal agencies admit that the US's population right now is 327 million that we know about. That alone gives the US the third largest population in the world -- behind only India and China. There are also an estimated 12-20 million "undocumented" that we don't know much about. The obvious solution is, as the old saying goes, Throw The Bums Out. This is why Trump's Wall is gaining in popularity down here in the border states.
More to the point, the citizens were dissatisfied with the govt. long before Trump was elected (which is one of the reasons he was elected). The growth of our economy since he got into office has mitigated the dissatisfaction somewhat, but not entirely. The number of those homeless has only added to the problem. Worse, anyone who chooses to look -- the Internet being not entirely censored yet -- can see that the homelessness problem is worst in those towns and counties that have given themselves "sanctuary" status, thus attracting more illegal immigrants. It's no secret that these govts. have primarily Democrat administrations. Not that Republican govts. look much better; most of them are notorious for doing nothing.
The citizens are still dissatisfied. This explains why the shiney-new Democrat majority in the House of Reps. is losing its glamour so fast. The best propaganda-engine in the world (which, arguably, the Democrats have in the US news media and academia) can't outweigh what the citizens can see for themselves every week if not every day. The citizens are also losing trust in the media, which explains why so many of them are losing circulation. The laboriously-constructed wave of pro-Democrat enthusiasm that swept those new Reps into power three months ago can fade faster than it rose.
And where will those cynical and disgruntled voters go then? Not to any political party that wants to import or allow more floods of immigrants, and not to any party that has done nothing about the problem.
If the Libertarian Party can reconsider its "open borders" policy, it just might take a much bigger chunk of the vote than it's had before, and that alone could change the political game seriously.