Monday, May 16, 2016

A Plan to Flood San Francisco With News on Homelessness

NYT reports:
As the editor in chief of The San Francisco Chronicle, Audrey Cooper has overseen countless stories on homelessness. But the issue became personal three years ago when she was pushing her 6-month-old child in a stroller through the city’s business district. A homeless couple in a tent on the sidewalk were having sex, tent flaps open, as their pit bull stood guard.
Ms. Cooper expressed her outrage loudly and in colorful language.

“I probably shouldn’t have started yelling at them,” she said in an interview in her fishbowl office in the heart of the Chronicle’s newsroom. “They let their dog loose.”

San Francisco residents have over decades become inured to encounters with the city’s homeless population, the clumps of humanity sleeping on sidewalks under coats and makeshift blankets, or drug addicts shooting up in full view of pedestrians. There are also the tension-filled but common scenes of mentally ill men and women stumbling down streets, arguing with imaginary enemies or harassing passers-by.

One particularly vocal group of residents, San Francisco’s journalists, say they feel a sense of urgency in addressing the problem. They are banding together in an exasperated, but as yet vaguely defined, attempt to spur the city into action.

Next month, media organizations in the Bay Area are planning to put aside their rivalries and competitive instincts for a day of coordinated coverage on the homeless crisis in the city. The Chronicle, which is leading the effort, is dispensing with traditional news article formats and will put forward possible solutions to the seemingly intractable plight of around 6,000 people without shelter.

Representatives from Bay Area television and radio stations, The Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, Mother Jones and online publications, among others, met last month to figure out a plan to share resources and content. They agreed to publish their reports on homelessness on June 29.

“We are all frustrated,” said Jon Steinberg, the editor in chief of San Francisco magazine, which is also taking part. “We are all fed up. We feel there is not enough movement and accountability on the issue.”

“We want the full force of the Fourth Estate to bear down on this problem,” he added.

Thirty news organizations have confirmed their participation. KQED, a public television and radio station, is also taking a lead role in the campaign.

The premise of the effort is to create a “wave” of coverage that will force politicians to come up with solutions, Ms. Cooper said.

“You will not be able to log onto Facebook, turn on the radio, watch TV, read a newspaper, log onto Twitter without seeing a story about the causes and solutions to homelessness,” she said.

The homeless problem is very much out of control in San Francisco. I have covered the disaster, here at Target Liberty and at EPJ numerous times. Something does need to be done. However, I fear the "solutions" that the economically ignorant will propose.

I too will be providing coverage and libertarian solutions. I invite Target Liberty readers to submit to me essays outlining solutions from a libertarian perspective. I will publish the best of them here. If there is a sufficient quantity of superior essays, I will publish them in a collection titled, Libertarian Solutions to the San Francisco Homeless Crisis.

Send submissions to me at:



  1. Given the current state of big government, anything could happen: from expensive new shelters to Soylent Green.

    If it were me implementing MY solutions (power surging through my veins!), I would enact sweeping changes toward all charitable shelters to incentivize the activity. Then I would chat with the head policeman of the city to instruct his men to taxi the homeless to those charities, whether they wanted to go or not.

    Oh.... the power.

  2. a Chicago winter. you know the deep state is working a on a bad weather weapon so get some good use out of it.

  3. "The homeless problem is very much out of control in San Francisco...Something does need to be done. However, I fear the "solutions" that the economically ignorant will propose."

    Rothbard reminds us that efforts to deal with "homelessness" are peripheral, and do not cut to the heart of the matter:

    "Doesn't the Establishment realize that all these seemingly unconnected problems: housing, food, clothing, transportation, etc. are all wrapped up in One Big Problem: lack of money? If this were recognized, the problem would be simplified, the causal connections would be far clearer, and the number of afflicted millions greatly reduced: to poverty, period."

    "It is...far easier to sentimentalize the issues and get the public's juices worked up by sobbing about the homeless, the foodless, etc. and calling for specific provision of these wants-far easier than talking about the "moneyless" and calling upon the public merely to supply to the poor. Money does not have nearly the sentimental value of home and hearth and Christmas dinner."


    Rothbard, "The Homeless and the Hungry and the..." The Free Market Feb. 1987 Pgs. 1,5


  4. You should post a new blog entry for the essay submission. With a concise new post others could easily repost with a focus on the essay. I'd be interested in what people suggested.

  5. What is the cause of poverty ? There is no cause of poverty; it is the absence of wealth ! What causes darkness ? The absence of light !

    Eliminate government interference in the economy and we will get somewhere.

  6. San Francisco is a "good" place to be homeless; the city provides many services for the homeless. If the city increase its aid programs, homelessness will double. Count on it.