A Retro Form of Progressivism


Monica Showalter has a post over at American Thinker taking note of San Francisco’s attempt to get its … let me rephrase this … achieve better fecal cohesion—literally—by assigning five public works employees to a poop patrol. Armed with steam cleaners, these brave public servants will attempt to bring the city’s level of street sanitation up to the standard enjoyed a hundred years ago.

At the beginning of the 20th century, several trainloads of dung had to be removed from the streets of New York every day. By 1918, the number of horse-drawn vehicles in American cities had dropped to the point that dung in the streets had been greatly reduced. Indoor plumbing had eliminated chamberpot residue from the sidewalks, and our cities were becoming much healthier places. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the streets in many cities have become more filthy.

It’s not surprising, given that San Francisco just lost $40 million in convention revenue, after a major medical association, repelled by the unsanitary condition of the city’s excrement-covered streets, decided to hold its annual convention someplace else. The medical association had held annual convention in San Francisco for years up until then.

I suppose we can give them credit for not denying there is a problem, given the global exposure this gross problem has gotten. Most socialists deny there are ever any problems, other than Republicans, but money seems to have gotten their attention.

But the solution proposed is pretty much a Band-aid on a butt problem. It’s unlikely that five employees, armed with steam cleaners, is really going to be able to make a long-term difference given the reasons it’s happening.

Throwing money and public employment jobs at San Francisco’s problem will probably only make it worse. The root cause is the city’s huge homeless population that has swollen as a result of its Progressive government throwing money and public employment jobs at the city’s problems caused by its huge homeless population. Their problems won’t go away until the homeless population goes away, and that won’t occur until the city spends less money and effort on incentivizing homelessness.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, but you may need to hold your breath walking through parts of town.

One thought on “A Retro Form of Progressivism

  1. It would also be nice if they quit trying to control rents. That usually results in less housing and poorer housing, according to Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

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