Countless tourists flock to popular cities all over the United States seeking one of a kind experiences.
Perhaps you’re planning to see San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, surf at Venice Beach, or go bike riding with the local hipsters around Portland.
But despite each of these cities unique qualities, they all have two traits in common—progressively liberal values and a rising homeless population.
San Francisco Is Going Under
San Francisco has one of the highest number of homeless people in the United States.
On any given night, there are 7,500 people that have no place to go, meaning their encampments reside in the city streets. A shocking 60% of them were living in San Francisco before becoming homeless.
Writing on Medium, San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, says:
“Walking the streets of San Francisco can be a frightening, demoralizing, even an unhealthy experience for residents and tourists alike. A report last month declared our streets dirtier than some of the world’s worst slums, and we all witness the smells and sights to prove it. If not for the diligence of our street cleaning crews and public health workers, the City probably would have already experienced a deadly Hepatitis A outbreak like San Diego did last year.”
This is not the kind of place you want to bring your family on vacation. Instead of admiring the city, you’ll be too busy trying not to step on dirty needles or feces.
Addressing the city’s surmounting homelessness was one of Breed’s main campaign issues. She promised to do everything she could to combat the situation, but many locals feel she has fallen short.
Adam Mesnick, a local deli shop owner, told CBS that San Francisco is, “finally kind of melting down,” adding, “I cannot have my family down here, I can’t have visitors. I can, but I don’t choose to, have my nieces come here. It’s horrifying for my family to walk down the street here.”
Mesnick is not the only resident with concerns. Over 850,000 residents have filed formal complaints with the city, according to CBS.
Joe D’Alessandro, CEO of San Francisco Travel Association, has also gone public about the city’s unsanitary conditions, which he says have “worsened in recent years.”
He also told CBS that although it’s not beneficial for his business to point out the city’s negative aspects, the tourism industry faces great peril if there is not significant improvement in the conditions brought on from the rise of homelessness.
Union Square tour guide, Joseph Amster, who offers tours in character as the eccentric 19th-century entrepreneur Emperor Norton, says he’s also noticed an increase in public defecation and violent encounters from homeless people who need medical attention.
Los Angeles Is Breaking Down
Los Angeles is another appealing city for tourists with its eclectic vibe of surfers, local musicians, celebrities, and diverse ethnicities.
While a visit to the Santa Monica Pier or Beverly Hills used to make one feel like one of the cool cats, the stench of urine, overwhelming trash, and countless drug addicts shooting up on the sidewalks only makes you want to take a shower.
Venice Beach alone has about 1,000 homeless people living primarily in open encampments and along the sidewalks.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, there’s been an increase in break-ins and used hypodermic needles have been found discarded on children’s playgrounds.
The vast contrast in L.A.’s socioeconomic statuses has forced many of its liberal residents to question their positions on aiding the homeless population.
As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, having the homeless living right outside your doorstep is “a real-world test case for the liberal ideology of the area’s showbiz residents.”
Of course, California is known for ranking extremely high in burdensome regulations and red tape imposed on developers, thus inflating housing costs.
In addition, the so-called “helpful” programs for those living in poverty has created an environment that makes it impossible for residents to become self-sustaining.
This cycle of government reliance keeps the homeless wading in the safety net created by the Democrats, preventing them from ever stepping out from under their wing.
And while several cities in the U.S. are facing a crisis in homelessness, Fox News reports that a shocking 1 out of 3 Americans on welfare reside in the state of California.
Portland Is Losing Its Hype
Portland, Oregon was named by Forbes magazine as one of the best places in the United States to begin a career in 2017.
Unfortunately, that’s not what tourists see when visiting this infamously progressive city. All over the city, there are homeless people slumped over on the sidewalks, living in cars and tents, and homeless shelters are full.
According to Oregon Live, there are around 4,177 homeless living in the Portland area. The conditions that come with its rising homeless population has caused a decrease in Portland’s tourism industry.
Failed Solutions By The Liberal States
Much ongoing discussion has occurred between local elected officials on combatting the homelessness issue in all these cities.
As one would assume with these Democratic states, the solution has always been to throw more taxpayer dollars at the homeless, thinking this alone will help a drug addict maintain rent and the unemployed become financially stable.
According to Willamette Week, San Francisco spends $250 million each year on homeless services and programs; Los Angeles has spent $100 million to offer affordable housing, addiction treatment, job placement, and mental health services for its homeless; and Portland is in negotiations to take $5.25 million a year from tourism revenue and give it to the Joint Office of Homeless Services, which provides easy access to services for its homeless population.
However, as even some Democrat officials are beginning to admit, giving more handouts to the homeless is not improving the situation.
As former San Francisco mayor Mark Farrell expressed to the local CBS News:
“We’ve gone away from just being compassionate to enabling street behavior and that, in my opinion, is a shift that’s unacceptable.”
Flipping A Failed Policy
Reversing the increase of homelessness on such a large scale is no easy task and will not be accomplished overnight, however, a good start would be lifting the government regulations off the American people.
With the mandatory rise in the minimum wage of employees in California, businesses cannot afford to hire more workers or give raises to the employees who have earned it.
As noted by Farm Progress, reducing the $400 per acre regulatory costs in California would lower the cost of food and allow farms to hire workers at a higher wage.
Another excessive burden for Californians is the state’s 13.3% income tax rate—the highest marginal state income tax rate in the country. Lowering the tax rate would allow families to keep more of their hard earned money in their own pockets and keep their homes.
It’s obvious when comparing liberal states to those like Texas, where there is limited government regulations and lower taxes, a government who sits on the shoulders of a man never gives him a chance to stand up.
Problems Deter Tourists
Unfortunately, these cities will continue to see a loss in tourist revenue if they continue to allocate funds that enable the homeless and keep them on an unproductive path. Tourists will eventually begin seeking summer vacations, spring breaks, and timeshares elsewhere.
While San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland still have much to offer, the attraction to these cities is quickly being eclipsed by the stench, danger, and unsightly encampments brought on by the staggering homeless population.
If you do visit these cities, wear thick-soled shoes to avoid stepping on needles, a mask for the smell, and leave your purse and wallet at the hotel.
Please let us know in the comments section if you have visited any of these cities recently and if the conditions affected you.