Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Darwinsville aka What to do about the Homeless

So it has been reported in Nashville that the biggest problem we face is the homeless epidemic. And with good cause. Walk through midtown or downtown at nearly any time of the day and you can’t go more than one building without somebody bugging you for change. The nice ones only ask… some scream at you… Hell, the other day some bum came up to me holding a beer and had the balls to ask for money. Not the right time…

This brings up the question about what we should do about this problem. Compared to many other cities, Nashville isn’t even that bad. Most of our homeless are deputized into selling newspapers on the street corner… they still bug you for the money and yell at you when you don’t give them anything but at least its somewhat of a job. But go to a place like Memphis and you’ll wish you were back in your own city. Just kidding, there’s no reason to ever go to Memphis… it’s like a 1930s shantytown meets a 1980s crack den…

Obviously this is a sensitive issue, since these people are still human. Droves of dirty people huddled in alleys next to cluttered shopping carts make our cities look disgusting, and statistically are elements in high crime rates. Rather than throwing them in prisons or worse, we need to do something constructive.

So here is the Netheredge plan… the out of the box idea…

Every city has some sort of budget to deal with homeless issue. Instead of putting these people in lockup, or some bureaucratic nightmare of a breadline, each city chips in and buys every bum a one-way Greyhound bus ticket to bumfuck Wyoming… There’s plenty of space there, so a city of bums will be established.

I call it Darwinsville because it employs the principle of Survival of the Fittest… those who want to work for it prosper while those who don’t, perish… It’s how society naturally works, except in this country we have so many rules and handouts that we can’t let nature run its course.

With the funds that used to go to these social programs, we buy tools, wood, drywall, nails, etc… all the elements to build houses. Each bum is given all the materials they need to build a house… Seriously, with labor costs factored out, a house could be built for a few hundred dollars. Might require an outhouse instead of a bathroom, but hey, better than an alley or inside an unlocked car.

And there will be professionals on hand to assist (emphasize ASSIST) those with no construction experience or those physically unable to do so. I’d even say bring Ty Pennington in with his crew and make this an entire season of Extreme Makeover Home Edition… I think the charity and non-profit sectors would jump at the chance to work at this…

Everyone has the chance to build a house with the materials and help they are given. If they do so, they get to keep the house free of charge. If they earn their keep, they deserve it. If not, well, at this point its ok to say they can starve or freeze to death. We gave them the chance to help themselves and they refused, so let Darwinism run its course.

Once there’s a population in these areas, it’s a near guarantee corporations will move in to cater to the needs of the population. I’d expect Walmart to move in immediately, which will provide hundreds of unskilled jobs for this new city (not to mention affordable household products), and soon many businesses will follow. An area like this could even be a beacon for manufacturing. If these bums wish to work, they make money to eat and buy things and improve their lives… if not, well, they starve. No social programs in this new town.

So this idea will clean up our existing cities and allow those bums who wish to contribute to society a fair chance. I can’t think of a more humane way to do this… house the homeless while letting them earn their keep and avoid giving handouts to those looking for a free ride.

Obviously this will never happen, but think about it for a minute…


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