Homeless people don't have to pay real estate taxes. Homeless people don't have maintenance problems and yard work to absorb their 'free time'. Homeless people don't have to purchase fire insurance. There is apparently a long list of benefits that the homeless enjoy.
It is very attractive as a lifestyle... homelessness. If everyone chose to live with the advantages of being homeless, then the others of us would become the 'disadvantaged'.
Therefore, we can thank the city officials of Manteca California for saving us from this fate.
Federal courts, advocacy groups, Brave New Films, the ACLU and several California cities under the plaintive "Right To Rest" rubric have pushed back against such criminalization, but the laws - and the homeless - keep coming. Manteca's ordinances came after years of often tone-deaf public debate about how to deal with the homeless - many residents argue most are "bad" and just want to get rich off panhandling - and charges of police brutality against them. At the time of the laws' passage, Manteca's police chief said their aim was to "correct the wrong" of homeless people being in their pristine midst, and "if the correction (means the homeless) leaving Manteca, then that’s their choice.” Actually, not, say four homeless men, who have filed suit against the city charging, "We are being harassed for being homeless." Their suit says the policies violate their constitutional rights and have “the discriminatory purpose of driving the homeless from the city.” It adds, entirely sensibly, that "sleeping outside is not voluntary conduct." Explains Mario Acosta, one of the plaintiffs, “Sometimes things happen and people fall off their feet (but) I shouldn’t be arrested and dragged off" - for, in effect, being human. The fact that he has to explain that is, obviously, a crime in itself.
Poverty has existed in some form in American society since the founding of the nation in the late eighteenth century. Indeed, by the turn of the twentieth century the "percentage of Americans defined as poor by consistent standards was as high as it ever had been or was to be" - approximately 40 percent of Americans in the year 1900. This early twentieth century predicament, however, was largely the result of two interrelated problems at the root of early capitalist development in America. That is, an "economy insufficiently abundant to provide subsistence for all the able-bodied, and a social order that inequitably distributed what wealth there was." Moreover, "there was no unemployment insurance, little public welfare, and virtually no old-age pensions."
Indeed, in the early 1990s the poor constituted 14.5 percent of the total American population - approximately 40 million citizens. A large percentage of these people were actually part of the workforce. Moreover, the 1990s has also "witnessed the largest income gap between rich and poor since at least 1947 when statistics started being kept." In addition, there are "persisting gaps between blacks, whites, and Latinos in how they experience poverty and, in many instances, in how society treats the poor in these different communities." There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of women and children now living in poverty in the United States. Indeed, one in four of children under the age of six currently lives below the poverty line. And for the first time in United States history, American society has witnessed the emergence of a "class" of homeless people dating back to the mid-1970s.