San Francisco is one of America’s richest cities, yet it has a major problem with homelessness and crime. An average of 85 cars are broken into daily, yet fewer than 2 percent lead to arrests.
The homeless themselves are often harassed. “They run around and they shout at themselves,” one man who usually sleeps on the streets told our crew. “They make it bad for people like us that hang out with a sign.”
Since store owners can’t rely on city cops for help, some have hired private police to patrol their stores. There used to be hundreds of these private cops citiwide—and then the city’s police union complained. There are fewer than 10 left.
San Francisco’s politicians have promised to help the homeless going back decades. In 1982, Mayor Dianne Feinstein bragged about creating “a thousands units right here in the Tenderloin.” In 2002, Mayor Willie Brown said “you gotta do something about it.” In 2008, Mayor Gavin Newsom boasted about moving “6,860 human beings off the street.” In 2018, San Francisco passed a new local tax to help pay for homeless services.
Why have the results been so lackluster? One reason: San Francisco has the nation’s highest rents
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The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.