An op-ed published in the New York Times Wednesday blamed the horrific conditions in America’s cities on “wealthy liberals,” saying their policies are directly related to rising crime, homelessness, and public drug use.
“To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: ‘Catastrophic success.’ The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged,” writes columnist Farhad Manjoo.
“The basic problem is the steady collapse of livability. Across my home state, traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives — what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality,” he adds.
“Just look at San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s city. One of every 11,600 residents is a billionaire, and the annual household income necessary to buy a median-priced home now tops $320,000. Yet the streets there are a plague of garbage and needles and feces, and every morning brings fresh horror stories,” he concludes.
The op-ed comes on the heels of a new report that Los Angeles garbage piles have grown so “high” they’re threatening to unleash a new epidemic throughout the nation’s second largest city.
“Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases,” reports NBC Los Angeles.
“Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms,” adds the article.
“I can’t walk down the street without thinking that a flea could jump on me,” complained a local business owner.
“It’s something that we’ll look into,” said Pepe Garica, of Los Angeles’ bureau of sanitation.
Read the full op-ed here.