More Businesses Leaving California And Heading For Texas?

CNBC is reporting today that San Francisco’s Proposition C, which will tax the city’s biggest businesses to raise funds to combat homelessness, passed Tuesday.

The article reports:

Proposition C will increase gross receipts taxes for companies with more than $50 million in annual revenue by an average of 0.5 percent, generating up to $300 million a year to combat the city’s homelessness crisis through initiatives like new beds in shelters and increased mental health services.

…Critics of the proposition argued that it lacked proper accountability and oversight, and would unfairly affect financial services companies like Square. Outside the tech industry, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and state Sen. Scott Wiener opposed the measure as well.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the measure became a point of tension in a city where tech-fueled wealth stands in stark contrast with the human suffering on display on its sidewalks.

Overall, more than 7,000 people experience homelessness in San Francisco. The median house price hit $1.6 million earlier this year and one-bedroom apartments rent for an average of $3,300.

Although I agree with the idea of helping the homeless, has it occurred to the residents of San Francisco that if you increase taxes on companies, some of those companies will relocate? When those companies relocate, you will have fewer jobs, less tax revenue, more unemployment, and possibly more homelessness–exactly the opposite of your intention. The only good news is that as people leave the area, you might have a housing glut that causes the price of housing to go down. No one will want to live there because of the scarcity of jobs, but housing might become more available.

Some Things Can Be Done Better Without The Government

This video was posted at YouTube yesterday by The Daily Signal. It is the story of Solutions for Change, an organization that is helping solve homelessness in Vista, California. The organization does not receive federal aid because the program requires residents to be drug-free.

The article summarizes how Solutions for Change makes a difference:

Instead of simply providing residents a place to sleep, Solutions for Change takes a holistic approach to solving homelessness, requiring residents to go through counseling, take courses in financial literacy, parenting, leadership, and anger management, and eventually, get a job.

 

Solutions for change had to choose between keeping their drug-free policy or accepting federal money. I believe that they made the right choice.

Laws Without Common Sense

CBN News reported today that Love Wins Ministries, a ministry that serves breakfast to homeless people in a downtown part in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been banned from handing out food.

Rev. Hugh Hollowell, the group’s leader had to explain to 70 people standing in line on Saturday that he could not feed them without being arrested.

The article reports:

The police were enforcing a city ordinance that bans the distribution of food in any of the city’s parks.

Love Wins had permission to set up on the sidewalk as long as they didn’t block it and cleaned up after themselves. Now they will need to get a permit that costs $800 a day.

The city ordinance will be discussed Wednesday in town hall.

I understand that the city might not want to encourage homelessness, but the fact is that homelessness is already here. I would think that the city would appreciate the fact that Love Wins is engaged in feeding the homeless–helping the city in that effort. Hopefully on Wednesday common sense will prevail.

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The Pitfalls Of Random Acts Of Charity

It feels good to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself. We encourage our children to be generous, and we try to set a good example. However, our efforts are not always as helpful as we would like to think. I used to know a Pastor who when someone on the street asked him for money would offer to buy them lunch–that way he knew the money didn’t go toward drugs or alcohol. I don’t know the actual percentage of homeless people with drug or alcohol problems, but I suspect it’s fairly high.

Recently, a video of a New York City policemen went vital on YouTube because he bought a barefoot homeless man on the street a pair of new shoes. It was a beautiful gesture, but the story is not what it appears to be. Scott Johnson at Power Line posted ‘the rest of the story’ yesterday.

It seems that the homeless man actually did have a home–and multiple pairs of shoes. He earns a few hundred dollars a day (tax free) by walking the streets of New York City barefoot, asking for money.

The article at Power Line cites a New York Post article which concluded:

Hillman reminds us how easy it is to exploit generosity. His scam seems to have been directed at passers-by who take pity on a man who goes about Midtown pretending to be barefoot, poor and homeless. His example reminds us why it is important for the city to ensure that its own assistance is not exploited by those who don’t need it.

For in addition to the needy, New York also has a whole class of politicians and activists quick to denounce City Hall as cruel and heartless (and to sue) whenever it takes reasonable measures to weed out the deserving from the undeserving.

Scott Johnson draws a different conclusion:

I don’t think the Post quite gets the lesson offered by the Hillman saga as a case study. Despite Hillman’s exploitation of the kindness of strangers, I think his case is inherent in the welfare state. One way or another, however, it provides a case study worthy of continuing discussion.

The generosity of the policeman is commendable. The actions of the barefoot beggar are those of a con man taking advantage of the kindness of New Yorkers.

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