Austin, Texas hopes that homeless people will act responsibly and clean up their trash

I think that it is no coincidence that the cities with the farthest left political cultures – San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, for example – seem to have the largest number of homeless people living on their sidewalks, in their parks, and under their freeway overpasses. The mainstream media have no curiosity whatsoever as to why this might be the case, or even bother to make a connection.

It may come down to something as simple as the eternal truth that whenever you subsidize something, you get more of it. But along the way, there are many other aspects of the progressive ideology that contribute to the tens of thousands of individual decisions that result on people living on the streets instead of providing for their own housing, from the artificially high price of housing dues to land use restrictions and zoning in deep blue cities, to the refusal to hold people responsible for their own actions.

An experiment of sorts in underway in Austin, Texas, the city whose progressive denizens beg their fellow citizens to “Keep Austin Weird.”

(Photo credit: Delwin Steven Campbell)

KXAN TV reports:

 For the next six weeks you may see violet-colored trash bags in certain sections of Austin.

It’s a new program the city is trying out to encourage those experiencing homelessness to clean up after themselves. 

That’s going to require a lot of “encouraging,” especially if it doesn’t have any penalties attached. While there are some people on the street because of sheer bad luck – a health crisis, for instance --  research suggests that mental illness and drug addiction account for most homelessness. Deciding to pitch a tent under an overpass instead of moving on to a cheaper location and getting a job suitable to someone with few skills is a form of giving up on responsibilities.

Still, let’s hope at least some of the homeless pitch in:



Progressivism itself is based on a false conception of human nature: that it is malleable and perfectible if only the right social, political and economic arrangements are put in place by a wise governing class (of progressives). Yet, every account of history reveals an unchanging human nature, imperfect and driven to sin. Only by vigilant effort can individual humans fight against this and attain some degree of rectitude.

So, I am sure that a few of the homeless people in Austin will clean up their own messes like responsible citizens. But if I were a betting man, I’d wager that a vast majority will not – because they have given up. On responsibility. On sanitation. And on themselves.

I have my own impossible hope: that cats and dogs can learn to get along. But I am not wagering any money on it.

Hat tip: David Paulin