What created California’s hunger and homelessness problem? let us raise awareness!
On November 7th, 2023 at min 14.34 of the televised Humboldt Board of Supervisors meeting Steven Madrone, the chair, read the Proclamation on Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week into the record. He was followed by Winchell Dillon who made remarks about the proclamation followed by Natalie Arroyo, Michelle Buschnell, and finally Mike Wilson. Rex Bohn was not present, traveling for a conference.
This resolution, and the comments made by the supervisors regarding homelessness, appear authentic and their concerns sincere. However, in a closer examination of the topic itself with the wider context in which it exists, it is revealed that the California Hunger and Homelessness crisis, and subsequently the homelessness and hunger crisis here in Humboldt County, may be a self-inflicted wound.
From Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic policies, to California’s misguided environmental regulations in addition to Humboldt’s failure to properly support key industries ( Cannabis, Logging, Hunting ) all exacerbated by the unprecedented surge in illegal immigration, have all created a perfect storm that is driving homelessness and economic hardship.
Dive with me into this Proclamation, the broader context, and the way this Proclamation completely omits the causes for homelessness and potential solutions. We will cover statistics directly from government sources relating them to mainstream reports from historically left-leaning news sites to eliminate the idea of cherry-picked data.
Stay with me to the end so you can better understand the situation at hand, and how folks currently running our Government, from local to state to federal, are to blame for the failure of their policies. Let us draw awareness to the facts so we can make better decisions picking our representatives in the upcoming election cycle.
Trouble in Humboldt County
As stated directly by the Proclamation, which is embedded at the end of this article, the big idea behind it all is to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger.
However, if that were truly the case the language would read more like an anthropological recount of detective work and draw awareness to the causes and solutions.
Doing that would, unfortunately, leave mud on the faces of those who have enjoyed unfettered political control over California, wouldn’t it? Who else can we blame other than the leadership in charge, holding the wheel, and steering the ship for decades as expressed in the chart above?
Concurrently, unlike its neighbors Del Norte and Shasta, Humboldt County, and its Board of Supervisors, have been plagued by the same party and its reckless idealism. It is that brand of wreckless idealism we read in the Proclamation.
Raise Awareness But Not Causes or Solutions
While yes, it draws awareness to the fact homelessness exists, and that it affects many people from all walks of life. Curiously, it completely fails to identify a single policy decision by their political opposition, the Republicans, that is to blame for the devastating levels of homelessness.
No studied person of politics would let that go unnoticed as such an open opportunity would most definitely be seized if one indeed exists. But how could it when Republicans haven’t enjoyed a moment of Power in California in what seems like my entire lifetime? Consequently, but exactly as expected, the same is also not drawn back at themselves and the Democrats who run California, because let’s be honest it’s easier to gaslight than to point the finger at the leaders you’ve been following.
While the proclamation on Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week does raise some important issues, its biggest failure as you can likely gather by now, is to address the significant role government policies play in creating and exacerbating hunger and Homelessness. This is deeper than a California issue, and broader by exponential factors, and unfortunately due to the same party. Since the members of the Board of Supervisors who made the commentary are all registered Democrats, one can only assume the pressure they are under to turn a blind eye to the content of this article.
California – Worst Quality of Life in all 50 States
In 2018 Business Insider ran an article titled, “California has the worst quality of life in the 50 US states, and some conservatives are celebrating,” however, the conservatives who still live in California are not. Especially so for conservatives in Humboldt County.
Once upon a time, Humboldt County was “the largest source of tax revenue in the State of California.” This was back in the 1950s during the logging boom. That same County has a different disposition to logging, and industry in general, which only goes to show how successful socialist democrats have been at molding the minds in Humboldt against their own best interests.
Where any reasoned individual would see the bounty of endless lumber Humboldt owns as a golden egg for the County to flourish economically, Humboldt Hippies chose a different path. The hippies who took over didn’t think it through, and now there are forest fires every year from a mismanaged forest that could have been providing value, jobs, and everything it did back in the ’50s.
Now these hippies and their children claim rising CO2, or what they brand as “climate change,” is a threat to humanity forgetting how they single-handedly left millions of acres of trees which actively convert Carbon dioxide into oxygen as do the millions of plants below them. Maybe if they had allowed logging to continue unmolested there may be a fragment of merit to their new idealistic fantasy, but I digress.
Take a look at the excerpt taken from Cal State Edu on the History of Logging in Humboldt. They spell it out clearly – our lumber industry was a godsend for our community. But, as it says below,
We will cover more on Humboldt County’s failures as we go, but in the spirit of raising awareness let’s pivot our focus to another factor that has directly contributed to homelessness and hunger in Humboldt, California, and the Nation at large.
The Biden Administration’s Economic and Immigration Policies
The Biden Administration’s economic policies, including massive spending increases and a focus on green energy initiatives, coupled with the “sanctuary” immigration policy with a wide open border, have contributed to soaring inflation a weakening economy, and a disenchanted people.
These policies have made it harder for me to afford necessities like food and housing, and they have also discouraged investment into opportunities and much-needed job creation. As a result, more and more everyday people like me and you are struggling to make ends meet, and some are being forced into homelessness.
Wide Open Border, Creating Problems Galore
According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there were over 2.3 million apprehensions of people crossing the Southwest Border illegally in fiscal year 2022. This was an increase of over 22% from fiscal year 2021. Of those apprehended, 1.7 million were considered noncitizens. The number of apprehensions of unaccompanied children also increased, from 14,122 in fiscal year 2021 to 19,255 in fiscal year 2022.
CBP also seized over 11,000 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2022, a significant increase from the 6,000 pounds seized in fiscal year 2021. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is a major driver of the opioid crisis in the United States, and it is responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths each year.
Fentanyl left lying around by irresponsible addicts, has led directly to the deaths of countless children Nationwide, some cases as close as San Francisco. It is not a stretch of reality to rest much of the lives lost, grief, and pain from this ongoing crisis directly on the Biden Administration and those who continue to support the Democrats.
- The number of people crossing the Southwest Border illegally has been increasing for several years. In fiscal year 2019, there were 458,000 apprehensions. This number increased to 1.7 million in fiscal year 2022. SOURCE
- The majority of people crossing the Southwest Border illegally are from Mexico, but there has also been an increase in the number of people from Central America and other countries. SOURCE
- Fentanyl is trafficked into the United States from Mexico and China. It is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, and it can be deadly even in small doses. SOURCE
- The opioid crisis in the United States has been devastating. In 2021, over 107,000 people died from drug overdoses, and fentanyl was involved in over 67,000 of those deaths. SOURCE
The illegal immigration and fentanyl trafficking crisis is a major problem for the United States. It is important to address this issue with a comprehensive approach that includes border security, drug interdiction, and addiction treatment.
But here in Humboldt, our leaders vote for Needle Vending Machines and then ask the public for solutions they seemingly are not capable of resolving and enacting themselves. The conclusion of the Proclamation that fails to list any worthwhile solutions begs the public to discover more solutions- in addition to those the community has created for this purpose already.
The Board of Supervisors states that in order to “eradicate homelessness” you must do so, “by solving the root causes of it.” However, the information and statistics listed in this article seem to have somehow missed the take.
California’s Domestic Outmigration
California’s environmental regulations, while well-intentioned, have had a devastating impact on the state’s economy. The high cost of complying with these regulations has driven businesses out of state and has made it difficult for new businesses to start up. This has led to job losses and a decline in tax revenues, which has further strained the state’s budget.
In addition, California’s environmental policies have contributed to some of the highest gas prices in the nation. This has made it more expensive for people to get to work, school, and other essential services. It has also made it more difficult for businesses to transport goods and services, which has driven up costs for consumers.
Statistics Showing the Exodus from California
California has seen a net outmigration of businesses and citizens in recent years. This is due in large part to the high cost of living in the state. As people and businesses leave the state, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide the necessary services to those who remain, especially those who are homeless.
- 2020: California experienced a net domestic outmigration of 331,000 people, the largest single-year exodus in state history.
- 2021: California’s net domestic outmigration continued, with 410,000 more people leaving the state than arriving.
- 2022: The outflow from California to other states decreased slightly compared to 2021, but the state still lost a net of 340,000 residents.
- July 2022: California’s net move-out numbers reached a record 407,000.
The top destinations for California migrants were Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. Texas had the most California transplants, with over 105,000 people moving there between 2020 and 2021. Arizona and Nevada each received over 30,000 California migrants during the same period. For the ultra-proud California Socialist Liberal Democrat that still has some self-awareness intact, these statistics have to sting a little.
There are several reasons why people are leaving California. Some of the most common reasons include:
- High cost of living: California is one of the most expensive states in the United States. Housing costs are particularly high, and the state also has high taxes. SOURCE
- Traffic congestion: California is known for its traffic jams. The state’s highways are often clogged with cars, and commuting times can be long. SOURCE
- Natural disasters: California is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts. These disasters can cause damage to property and infrastructure, and they can also be disruptive to daily life. SOURCE
- Lack of affordable housing: California has a shortage of affordable housing, which makes it difficult for people to find places to live that they can afford. SOURCE
A reason many cannabis growers left California, and Humboldt County, the corner of the world once celebrated for pioneering Cannabis Freedom, is also connected to this bed of issues.
The Failure of the Cannabis Industry in Humboldt County
Humboldt County, once a thriving center of the cannabis industry, has seen this sector of its economy collapse in recent years. This is due in part to the high cost of energy in the county, which is driven by California’s environmental regulations. As a result, cannabis companies have been forced to move to states with lower energy costs, such as Oklahoma. These “red states” which are politically controlled by Republicans have created the exact opposite environment for Cannabis Businesses.
Sadly, this once legendary area renowned for its Cannabis culture has lost its luster and is now the topic of rap songs like “Orange Cap City” by local rapper Hiway. The burden of travel to Humboldt against the knowledge of cheaper Cannabis of the same quality elsewhere has had the logical effect one would expect. The Lost Coast which was once King of the industry for its widely celebrated “Humboldt Cannabis” sadly, no longer carries enough weight to draw buyers, both black and white market, for weed they can buy elsewhere for pennies on the dollar.
The Cannabis companies that remain are forced to struggle with these hardships and, lacking any cohesive leadership, pour their hearts out at the Board of Supervisors who seem to consistently fail at living up the the pioneering spirit of their predecessors. Once again we see the “leadership” of our county sit back like a pack of judges on America’s Got Talent listening to the passionate concerns of struggling local business owners and Cannabis farmers who seem to lack any real solutions to apply. Instead of making bold moves, they appear to work toward minor adjustments of policies they installed which have proven to be problematic down the road. Sound familiar?
This has led to job losses and a decline in tax revenues in Humboldt County, which has further contributed to homelessness. By putting the costs upfront, taxing Cannabis farmers when the industry was in full boom, they set up a situation where only a few could survive the bust, as prices and demand dropped exponentially – but the State and County tax man still expected their pay. As the cash flow that rained from the Cannabis Industry into the local businesses in Humboldt County began to dry up, leaving the State for greener pastures, layoffs, and closed businesses followed.
The Path to a More Stable Economy
To address the crisis of homelessness and economic hardship, California needs to adopt policies that promote economic growth and job creation. This includes reducing taxes, rolling back burdensome environmental regulations, and supporting key industries like Cannabis, Logging, and Manufacturing. By creating a more favorable business environment, California can potentially attract businesses and jobs back to the state, which will lead to increased tax revenues and a stronger economy. humboldt County, by extension, should embrace changes in this direction regardless of the political fallout.
In addition, California needs to address the high cost of living in the state, and Humboldt County leadership needs to call this out. This includes making housing more affordable – as many of the board remarked, reducing energy costs, and making it easier for people to get around. By making it more affordable to live in California, the state can attract and retain businesses and workers, which will further strengthen the economy. Then the stress will be lifted off of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for the need to opine about Homelessness while supporting the very policies and party that promulgated it.
Finally, California needs to invest in programs that help people who are homeless get back on their feet. This includes providing affordable housing, mental health care, drug rehabilitation, and job training. By investing in these programs, California can help people who are homeless find stable housing and employment, which will reduce the burden on the state’s social safety net. Humboldt County leadership needs to facilitate and promote this change by applying whatever pressure they can on the State Democrats in control.
Furthermore, eliminating the burdensome, destructive, and enabling “harm reduction” programs. While, on the surface, these programs seem to provide value in potentially protecting drug addicts from spreading diseases, in reality, these programs are causing more harm than good. They are only adding fuel to a fire raging out of control with needles and fentanyl foil peppering homeless encampments throughout numerous Humboldt County green zones.
Finally, closing the southern border by finishing Trump’s wall on all areas that are currently circumvented by migrants, posting the entire California National Guard along these open areas of the border, while eliminating “Sanctuary” policies with bans that carry hefty fines would all culminate into a more prosperous California.
By taking these steps, California can create an environment, unlike the one that currently exists, with a much lower burden on its citizens. This will no doubt reduce homelessness and other social problems, and it will make California a more attractive place to live, work, and raise a family.