With the long economic slump putting a drag on downtown economies, cities are ready to take up the fight again. Why are we afraid of each other? Why would a rich man not want to see a poor man? Them and us? So, who are we going to deny from our great businesses? Why do the homeless hang around wealthy businesses? Why don't they just go jump their lazy asses off the nearest bridge?
Struggling downtown businesses need to attract visitors who feel safe, and that means eliminating crime, litter and panhandlers.
South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia is on the forefront: their city council just passed a proposal that effectively makes homelessness illegal. If you live on the streets, you have a choice: go to a shelter on the outskirts of town, or go to jail.
Homeless advocates are crying foul: they say it’s unfair and doesn’t address the root causes of homelessness. But city officials say the number of people camping on the streets has ballooned to over 1700, and they’re fed up. If all the homeless people don’t stop driving away customers from local businesses, eventually, everyone’s going to end up homeless.
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