Denver perfectly illustrates government's costly inefficiency

There are a few things that truly are best left to government: maintaining a standing army, negotiating foreign treaties, overseeing interstate commerce, and a few other things.  Big governments are not only dangerous, because the people within them, both politicians and bureaucrats, endlessly seek more power, but they are also incredibly inefficient.  Because they're unconstrained by market competition and the people in charge are not putting their own money on the line...well, you end up with Denver, which has been spending the equivalent of a median Denver income on every homeless person in the city.

Starting when they're seven or eight years old, if you want to teach your children why government should be responsible for as little as possible, ask them to name their favorite store.  Then ask them to imagine what would happen if that store was the only store.  First, their eyes will light up.  Then suggest to them that the store, once it knows you must go there because you've got nowhere else to go, might stop being so nice.  It might start limiting its hours, lessen both the amount and quality of its stock and ignore rude and lazy employees.

Then ask them how they would feel if they were forced to spend half or more of their allowance at the store once it had fallen into such disrepair.  Once they've finished with their horrified "no ways," tell them that you've just described how the government works: it has no competition and, therefore, no incentive to be efficient or pleasant.  Moreover, it gets an endless supply of your money, whether you like it or not.

Those profound inefficiencies may help explain how it is that Denver, which has built campsites for its homeless, is investing a great deal more in its homeless than it spends on its students or veterans:

The city of Denver spends at least twice as much on homelessness per person as it does on K–12 public school students — and the spending crushes the veterans affairs budget in the state, a new study released Thursday found, according to a report.

For comparison, the city reportedly spends between $41,679 and $104,201 on each person experiencing homelessness in a year while only $19,202 on each K-12 public school student over the same period of time.

The amount spent on each homeless person in the area is comparable to the average income of area residents. The average rent for a person living in the area is $21,156 per year and the median per capita income is $45,000, FOX 31 of Denver reported.

The Denver metro area spends $481 million on health care, housing and other services for the homeless, according to a report from FOX 31.

That amount is also nearly four times more than the budget for the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and significantly more than the public safety, labor or employment departments, the station reported.

Something is deeply out of whack when a city's priorities see it milk the taxpayers to support the homeless.  These homeless, by the way, aren't in shelters or group homes.  Instead, in Denver, as in most Democrat-run cities, the homeless are camped on the streets, miring the cities in crime and offal.

The consequences from these tent cities are very real.  In Los Angeles, a woman is suing the city because she suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a car after she stepped into the street to walk around a sidewalk homeless encampment.  Ironically enough, she was in the area only because she was trying to deliver food and water to the homeless:

Todd's lawsuit states that the encampments at the 101 overpass on Gower Street create dangerous conditions for pedestrians and drivers, and accuses the city of allowing the encampments to remain for a 'substantial amount of time.'

Her attorney, Alan Turlington, told the L.A Times his client suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, that could potentially leave her with a permanent disability and require future medical treatment. 

It's widely known that the homeless problem is exacerbated by drug abuse and mental illness.  These problems, in turn, are almost certainly made worse by the availability of drugs today, whether illegal drugs from China that come through Biden's open southern border or the marijuana that is now freely available in Colorado.  The one thing that's certain is that you don't solve the problem by turning your streets over to drug-addled and mentally ill people, who make the city both unpleasant and unsafe for the residents who pay the taxes that keep the city going.

Americans have shown that when it comes to the homeless, they are a compassionate and patient people.  However, as their cities degrade, their health is put at risk, and their children are in danger, all while their taxes go up to fund their city's inefficient and costly "fixes," something's got to break and change.  This is an unsustainable situation.

Image: Denver’s tent village.  YouTube screen grab.

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