Austin, Texas progs discover that changing the law to 'help' the homeless only increases homelessness

Some things are so obvious that only a progressive could fail to anticipate them.  That dynamic is underway in Austin, Texas, where residents and officials are dismayed that the recent change in city ordinances allowing the homeless to camp out on public sidewalks and other municipally owned land has led to an increase in homelessness.

KXAN TV reports:

Hundreds of people attended Tuesday night's Downtown Austin Alliance forum to hear directly from Austin's police chief about how APD is interpreting and enforcing the new camping and sit/lie ordinances.

The changes went into effect on July 1.

Under the new ordinances, sleeping, sitting down or lying down in public areas is now allowed as long as you're not blocking the public right of way and as long as you aren't being a safety hazard to yourself or others.

"I'll be honest with you. We are beginning to see an uptick in the issues in downtown," said Dewitt Peart, President of CEO of Downtown Austin Alliance.

He said at Republic Square Park, the number of people who are homeless sleeping at the park, has increased from three or four to about 20.

That's about 500%, a nontrivial increase.

But as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other bigger cities are discovering, the homeless, having given up on taking care of themselves, also don't take care of sanitation.  And, as a result, medieval diseases, long vanquished in this country, are resurging and imperiling public health.

But in Austin, the activists naïvely thought that offering free special trash bags to the homeless would enable them to bring out their inner good citizen, and...

Ten days ago, when these changes were announced, I stated the obvious here on American Thinker:

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.

Too bad I am not a betting man, because I would have won that bet.

Downtown resident Cynthia Ruff said she's also noticed an increase in trash.

"It would be so much better if they would just pick up their trash, but it is a mess," she said. "My husband and I like to walk downtown. We like to walk over to the east side. We used to feel totally safe. Now, everything under those bridges just feels a little uncomfortable."

Peart added, "We're getting reports everyday from property owners, businesses. They're beginning to see more and more issues on the streets."

Progressives tend to cluster around major universities (for example: Berkeley, Calif.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison, Wis.; and Austin, Texas), and they like to think of themselves as more intelligent than other Americans.  But strangely enough, they are unable to anticipate the operation of the logic of cause and effect when it comes to human nature.  That's because they believe that human beings are perfectible if only the "correct" social and political arrangements are put in place by the wise progressives.

As Austin's police chief Brian Manley said:

There are some that are homeless by choice. They just prefer that lifestyle. So whatever plan we come up with has to address that, as well.

So Austin joins a growing list of cities being overwhelmed by the people they think they are helping, who are lured into destructive life decisions by their "compassion."

One of my favorite expressions is "There's no fool like an educated fool."  The same goes for pompous progressives.

Photo credit: Twitter.

Hat tip: David Paulin.