Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Reverse New Deal - All all-out attack on the homeless (part 10 of 10): Making the homeless uncomfortable, with creativity

(Perhaps this could be a design for a new park bench? Image courtesy of

Since America does not want to put too much effort into building more shelters for the homeless, and since America is certainly not going to create work camps for the able-bodied homeless who want a job (after all, how would that help Wall Street bankers??), methods must be devised to shoo the homeless away. In other words, since positive policies are out of the question, negative policies must be developed. 

Apparently, a growing trend is to design public spaces to be very uncomfortable so that homeless people won't want to be there. Of course, this has the unfortunate side effect of making public spaces uncomfortable for everyone else too, but I guess a lot of people are willing to make that sacrifice if that's what it takes to make those people go away.

In a June 19, 2014 article in The Atlantic, you can see some of the park bench designs intended to make sure homeless people won't sleep on them or sit for too long ("How Cities Use Design to Drive Homeless People Away"). Over time, I'm sure we'll see bench designs become even more medieval in appearance, until you might not be able to distinguish a park bench from an iron maiden or a brazen bull.

In my 10-part blog series on the homeless I've highlighted how the homeless are routinely evicted from their forest encampments, how they're vulnerable to physical assault, how they're fined for sitting down, how they seek refuge in subterranean environments, how they're insulted by people who don't even know their story, how crowded homeless shelters can facilitate the spread of infectious diseases, how some homeless people freeze to death, how creative designs are being used to drive the homeless away, and how--in some areas--those who try to help the homeless risk prison time.

This is what happens when our culture drifts further and further away from the policies & principles of the New Deal, and instead embraces the policies & principles of Ayn Rand.

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