Our Take: Fort Lauderdale’s Homeless Morass





Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis got it right.

Trantalis proposed a moratorium on enforcing the law which makes illegal most feeding of the homeless in public.

His idea got the brushoff from other commissioners….so far. And that’s shortsighted.

Here are the facts:

The city is reeling from bad publicity due to its crackdown on the homeless.

Instead of negotiating with homeless advocates up front, City Hall started enforcing the law by fiat.   This diktat on the homeless resulted in a public relations disaster.

“After 15 days of worldwide attention and 11 people charged criminally so far with feeding the homeless,” said WPLG-Channel 10.

The image being presented to the world is that Fort Lauderdale is overrun with homeless. Who knows how that will impact tourism?  It can’t help.

So Trantalis proposed his suspension of the anti-homeless feeding law.

“We need to stop what is going on because it’s (not) only hurting the homeless. It’s hurting us as a city. Our community is shamed as a result of what we’ve done,” Trantalis is quoted as saying.

Trantalis wanted the suspension to last until arrangements could be worked out with private and religious groups to feed the homeless. Its a smart idea.  It would cool off the situation. With no pictures of homeless advocates being led away by police and the feeding programs back to normal, the news media would quickly move on to something else.

But Mayor Jack Seiler and Commissioner Romney Rogers said it was not the business of the city to arrange for the homeless to be fed, according to Channel 10.

It is the business of the city, when their policy is harming city businesses.


 Dean Trantalis has scheduled a town hall meeting on the homeless question.  Here is the invitation:   homeless -- Nov

33 Responses to “Our Take: Fort Lauderdale’s Homeless Morass”

  1. FTL Resident says:

    Channel 10 is 100% wrong. No one has been arrested (taken to jail, had a booking photo and released from jail) for feeding the homeless. People have been arrested for refusing to identify themselves or disorderly conduct unrelated to feeding the homeless. If you get pulled over for speeding and refuse to produce your license you get arrested for a misdemeanor.

    Everyone has talked about the impact on tourism, yet I don’t hear owners of the Ritz, the W or other major hoteliers or other tourism related businesses asking for repeal because they are loosing bookings.

    Does anyone seriously believe there are people residing in cold weather cities that are going to say I am going to pass up FTL because of the homeless. That makes nice TV but in reality while there are those who participate in eco tourism there are not any who participate in homeless tourism. People to don’t vacation here to experience the homeless situation.

    Do we hear the masses of Fort Lauderdale residents asking the repeal or non enforcement of this law? No. Last night at the Commission meeting 98% of those in the Commission Chamber stood with the Mayor and Commission in support of the ordinance.

    People are also coming around to see Arnold Abbot is unreasonable here as well, he now says he would only leave the beach if a hotel with a beach view offered their restaurant as a feeding venue.

    Lastly, the Mayor and Commissioner of Fort Lauderdale are elected by the residents of Fort Lauderdale. 90% or more of the people griping over this law do not even live in the city limits.

    It is easy to be critical when you don’t have to deal with the City’s homeless epidemic on a daily basis.

  2. Carlos Grande says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Buddy.

  3. Also FTL resident says:

    Read the Miami Herald’s PolitiFact fact check on this subject. A notice to appear is an arrest. Even the city spokesman acknowledged that to PolitiFact.

  4. Just Saying says:

    @FTL Resident…

    You’re simply wrong. Abbott WAS arrested (3x so far by FLPD). Here is what Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald’s Politifact found about Seiler’s claims:

    Seiler is correct that Abbott wasn’t taken into custody — the activist was not handcuffed or taken to jail but was instead given a notice to appear in court. But his carefully worded claim glosses over the fact that Abbott was indeed arrested on more than one occasion for allegedly feeding the homeless in violation of city ordinances, something that leaves Abbott at least theoretically in peril of being sentenced to jail.

  5. Just Saying says:

    And here is the link to the article which explains clearly that Abbott was ARRESTED by the city:


  6. Sam The Sham says:

    There is a law against feeding pigeons because if you feed them you get more of them. There is a law against feeding feral cats because if you feed them you get more of them. You people are pretty simple minded if you can’t figure out that the law against feeding the homeless is just a logical method for not attracting more homeless. Someone said there is no “Homeless Tourism”. I beg to differ. Homeless people from all over the country travel to warm South Florida to escape the winters just like all the other tourists. All it takes is cheap bus fare.

    People have a right to feed the homeless, especially if they see it as an act of their religion. They don’t have a right to feed them anywhere they want to.

    Many churches have fairs and carnivals to raise funds to do good works. These fairs and carnivals are serve their community and the volunteers there feel they are serving God by raising funds. These carnival acts of feeding the homeless on the beach is no different than if a church decided to hold their carnival there. Without permission.

    Who thinks that is reasonable?

  7. Mary Macomber says:

    Hi, Buddy!!
    We have been following the story of our good friend, Arnold Abbott, as he does his work to feed the homeless. I am chair of the South Florida Hunger Coalition. We totally agree with Commissioner Trantalis—we as a community need to take this time to think through the needs of the hungry and homeless here in our Broward County home. The Sun-Sentinel editorial on the 16th urged that the community take the time to put a task force together while we wait for the court to rule in this matter, so that we can together work through the issues at hand.

    The Coalition is willing to join in to share our experience with dealing with hunger here.It is the thoughtful and compassionate thing for us all to do right now. The facts about hunger here are just astonishing! When we started our work 12 years ago, 20% of school kids in Broward were on free and reduced lunch. The number is now 65%–what does that tell you about how are families are themselves struggling to feed their children, never mind those who have lost their homes to foreclosure and other homeless folks who were struck by the financial turn-down.

    We are ready and willing to join with our community partners to address this issue in a calm, informed, and thoughtful manner. We know there is a better, more humanitarian way to address the issue, despite what Mayor Seiler and Commissioner Rogers say.Their actions and that of the Ft. L Commission are reflecting so badly on our beautiful community.

    Mary Macomber, Chair
    South Florida Hunger Coalition

    P.S. I STILL miss your columns!

  8. The Guess Who says:

    The much more pressing issue, and the cause of the bad publicity, is the fact that there are homeless people literally starving in Fort Lauderdale.

    THAT is the issue. Who cares about bad publicity. Starving humans is much more important!

  9. pdub says:

    unfortunately until these laws are gotten rid of entirely there will be not be a whole to talk about for many of the people outraged over this situation.

    enjoy the holiday boycott.

  10. go hungry says:

    ft ldle comm was played by the homeless and supporters.
    trantalis is the lone voice of reason which means zilch with 3-2 votes setting law and precedence.
    the good christian lawyers rogers and seiler could give 2 paper plates about the down trodden or worse. only reduced hotel occupancy, empty sidewalks on los olas and riverwalk (ooops river walks are always empty) will get their attention.
    the writing is on the wall and its is not nice or civil.

    thanks to bob norman for setting city hall on its ear

  11. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Broward County needs a homeless summit of all community stakeholders to review how many homeless people and families we have, how many beds and other assets are in place to help them, identify the gaps, establish the cost and means of bridging those gaps, and proceeding quickly to enlarge and improve the homeless system.

    We can talk and posture and talk some more. But a crisis requires leadership that acts.

    If you want to help the homeless, the thing to do is recognize. They are experiencing a highly complex personal crisis that requires professional intervention. They need the services of social workers and sometimes clinicians offered together with a safe restoration of their human dignity.

    To do that, we must get them off the street. Street life is the WORST possible thing for a homeless person, we need to get them into places that can help them. I’m not suggesting store housing them, I’m talking about places that offer the substantive help they need.

    Broward has talented organizations capable of providing that service. But if help doesn’t exist, then the achievement of other goals becomes untenable.

    Every day that we delay in putting that summit together generates more human pain and suffering in our community and makes the homeless problem worse.

    What the hell are we waiting for?



    Good idea, Angelo.

  12. Andrew Markoff says:

    That’s a good idea, Angelo, but that’s just not how America in general appears to operate anymore. We really need a change in the overall paradigm we’re all operating within. The USA is no longer a solutions-oriented nation. Locally and nationally, we most often observe only the short-term interests of the moneyed elites attended to by our political system.

    For example, I support our President using his executive authority to deal with cross-border issues such as immigration policies and the international segments of the Keystone Pipeline. We need bold leadership that thinks through the dynamics of given situations and takes actions when local representatives (including Senators and other members of Congress) will not or will only attend to their immediate political interests of their own constituencies rather than attend to the national interest- and the human interests.

    Bold leadership may occur eventually, but we’re seeing an awful lot of foot dragging and political incompetence. As for Seiler, it’s one thing to cite individuals for violating an ordinance, but it’s quite another for the whole world to see homeless advocates, including a 90 year-old zealot being handcuffed and led away.

    I fully understand the necessity of regulating outdoor feedings of cooked foods in public spaces, but leadership, politics and public perceptions have to be carefully attended to as well. Overall, Angelo is correct: the situation involves a pervasive crises that requires a thorough assessment of what the city and the county are facing with and how best to deal with it.

    I’d also like to say that homeless vagrants that prefer to drink and/or use drugs and hang out in downtown areas in a warm climate are a permanent situation- not one that will vanish. There are those who are homeless and/or hungry after being victimized by bad economics and government policies, and that requires a particular approach, but those who suffer from mental illness, including addiction and who are not blending into the job and housing market are not going to vanish because of any finger wagging. They are a factor of metropolitan coastal communities lacking harsh winters.

    We shouldn’t pretend that chasing them around will solve anything at all. It’s likely much cheaper over all to simply provide those who do not acclimate into society with housing that’s beyond temporary and communal shelters. Some cities, such as New York, have been trying that. It offends too many to give anyone anything for free, but when the overall economics are vetted and government takes a genuinely humane approach, that may make a lot more sense than harassing people and expecting them to find safety in homeless shelters.

  13. seems simple says:

    One of the issues that was part of the new ordinance is safe and sanitary conditions in food preparation to feed the homeless. As you can see here from Channel 7, looks like there is something moving in the food being served.


    For those like myself who have grown up in Fort Lauderdale, a couple of pastimes here are leaving food at the firehouse at Birch State Park for the raccoons or going to the area by Birch House just south and feeding the monkeys. What is the difference in these ways to feed animals and feeding homeless on the beach?

    Why are people opposed to indoor feedings where the homeless can be somewhere clean, with restroom facilities and the opportunity to talk with someone who could help them?


    The difference is that the homeless are PEOPLE, doofus.

  14. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Guess Who,
    Do you really believe “there are homeless people literally starving in Fort Lauderdale”?

    Some periodically hungry people? Yes.

    Starving? Hardly! Unless you are talking about rich, White, teenage girls suffering from advanced anorexia or bulemia.

    Go over to Stranahan Park and tell me you see anyone who looks like they spent the last six months in Auschwitz.

    Let me also add that much of the hunger among the poor–not to mention disease among the rest of us– is a result of poor food choices. Like most of America, they waste money buying expensive, unhealthy food…think animal and sugar based diet.

    Who has not watched some person in line at Publix buying the worst food and paying for it with Food Stamps.

    Bacon and Twinkies are not two of the food groups?

    A plant based diet would reduce the cost of feeding the poor to a fraction of what we now pay. It would cut down on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

    Admit it, we’ve all scratched our heads at the TV news story with the 300.lb woman talking about how she and her kids are going hungry.

    To produce a calorie from meat takes between 25 and 50 calories of plant life.

    Did I forget to mention that farting by cattle produces a 1/3 of the methane promoting climate change.

    Don’t even get me started about how much food is wasted and thrown out.


    The Washington Post said recently that roughly 35 million tons of food is thrown out annually in the United States. The biggest component of that is fruits and veggies.

  15. I get it says:

    You are right buddy they are people so why are we railing against the city who is trying to organize feelings in a safe and clean manner while feeders like abbot insist on feeding them in the same way we feed animals, give them food and we move on.

  16. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    There are two healthy ways to justify funding programs that the homeless regain their dignity.

    One, it’s the humane and compassionate thing to do. The other, it’s a societal cost of doing business that if ignored does cost society more over time.


  17. Sam The Sham says:

    It is not the City’s (or the county’s or the state’s or the Federal Goobermint’s) place to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. That is the job of private charity.

    Public entities have the responsibility to be good stewards of the public’s facilities. This means no shanty town squatters, no unlawful homeless feeding, no urination and defecation in public, and no sleeping bags in the bushes. If anyone is in favor of any of these things, I suggest you adopt some homeless people to camp out in your front yard.

    BTW, Sam. While 1/3 of green house gases may come from farting sheep and cattle, the other 2/3 comes from bloviating liberals. They are like watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside. Didn’t you get the memo? Global Warming is a hoax.

  18. Also Attended says:

    @17. What you say about private charity alone dealing with the plight of the poor and the needy is interesting rhetoric but does not reflect how planet Earth works and for sure the United States does not and never has worked that way.

    Government is forced to provide for the poor because levels of private charity haven’t ever been close to getting the job done. It’s hard to recall a time when that was ever the case. Our national security is threatened when poverty is not kept in check and government has a responsibility to insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare.

    The question isn’t whether government should play this role but rather to what degree that role is needed. Most agree that the answer to that question depends upon how much pain the nation and its communities can tolerate before society becomes dysfunctional.

  19. Sam The Sham says:

    Also Attended*

    It is not just rhetoric. In fact it is how this country was founded. Of course you can’t recall government working that way because you are not 120 years old. Read a history book.

    You call what I write rhetoric. I call what you write dangerous, confiscatory and dictatorial. It is the Tyranny of the Majority.

    National security is jeopardized when we fritter away public money on the never ending parade of feel good projects and the never ending supply of welfare recipients. The question absolutely is whether or not the government should be our nanny or Uncle Sugar. Once the camel’s nose is in the tent, the rest will follow. Once the public learns that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury it is damned near impossible to stop them from bankrupting the country.

    But you already know that, or should have known it.

  20. Also Attended says:

    Thank you Sam for clarifying your earlier position so eloquently, leaving no room for error. It all makes perfect sense to me now. Be well.

  21. 2 sides says:

    The law is needed. Nobody wants these feeding programs, next to their business, homes, or children.. While helping people in need is genuine, how it is being done is not. Anyone could decide to set up a feeding event at Bayview Park, George English Park, Virgin Shuman Young Park (middle of Rio Vista Children Park) or directly next to yours or my home and business. None of these people doing the feedings are inviting the homeless into the parks next to their home, business or children. Supporting this law doesn’t mean, you don’t support helping and feeding the homeless. It just means there is a right way and a wrong way to handle this situation.. Letting anyone to be able to start feeding events in any public park without any regulation is not the right way to handle this situation.

  22. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @19 – Sam, you’re the one who needs to read a history book. This country was founded on (in relevant part) on the idea that there should be no taxation without representation. And as a Broward County resident, you do have multiple representatives. In fact, you talk here all the time about your voting interests.

    Greed and selfishness are not founding principles of the United States. That’s just you – not us. Here’s a much-needed history lesson for you, Sam the Scrooge:


    Poverty was a constant threat to a preponderance of colonial residents. Poor harvests, Indian wars, sickness and other difficulties were all too familiar trials that could plunge colonial residents into indigence. Consequently, the American attitudes concerning poverty were more benign than in England. Most early settlements had adopted the major elements of the English outdoor relief programs. … Local relief programs were administered by town officials and paid for by local taxes. Early American poor laws had some qualities that were unique. There was a strong inclination to keep the church and state separate. Local administration of indigent programs fell to the town or city rather than the parish. … Even before the Revolution, urban poverty was creating fiscal challenges. In addition to the constant threat of sickness and injury, working people were susceptible to periodic layoffs due to weather and economic downturns. Most working people were unemployed for at least several months a year. Relief expenses in America’s major cities increased exponentially. By the mid- 1700s, relief programs represented the largest single expenditure in the cities of Philadelphia, Boston and New York.

  23. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    First Mr. Nevins, do you know where the term “DIKTAT” comes from? It was the charge by violent militarists, anti-Semites, and loonies of the right in Weimar Republic Germany that the Allies after World War I at the Peace Conference at Versailles “dictated the destruction of Germany out of jealousy and bile”. But, I guess you know exactly what you are doing throwing an un-democratic charge against a Demmocraticly elected City Commission just as the Nazis attacked the Democraticly elected Weimar Republic – with as much accuracy! The reason for the Ordinances is the residents of Fort Lauderdale, which you are NOT have experienced destruction of the use of everything from bus shelters to playing fields in parks to occupation of vacant houses which then become drug dealing centers by the homeless, usually able-bodied White men from outside the state. Every item I have just named I have seen or experienced in my neighborhood or around the Art Serve where the coin and stamp clubs no longer operate meetings or shows because of the half dozen able-bodied White men, 5 out of 6 under 40, who hand out on the grounds drinking beer, calling on cellphones the non profits provide them to “book” their multi-dinners from the Church groups! They urinate on the grounds, vomit or spill beer on the bus bench, and slways curse and some times annoy women or seniors.
    The Hittel Book Store in the 3000 Mall closed but before that homeless urinated into the flower pots, then defecated into the bench, and generally drove regular customers away.
    As for Dean Trantalis WHO VOTED TO LET A PLANTATION RESIDENT GO ON THE FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISSION, and don’t you live in PLANTATION Mr. Nevins? Where the Fort Lauderdale Coin Show, Stamp Show, are???? Dean Trantalis is famous for taking one position, than, when this or that pressure group comes to his “Commission Review” peopled by one step above “bums” status, he changes. And the idea you “negotiate” with “feeding groups”, OH, the City should “NEGOTIATE” with muggers? The US should “NEGOTIATE” with Terrorists?
    Finally I am NOT against feeding the homeless, which still goes on, as I contribute to homeless feeding programs MORE THAN DEAN TRANTALIS EVER DID, but I realize that much of the homeless population has SERIOUS MENTAL PROBLEMS which people like your “new hero” Dean Trantalis NEVER WANT TO ADDRESS. Today to put someone in alcohol or drug rehab its 33,000 dollars A MONTH! I know. A former City of Fort Lauderdale employee between 2010 and 2013 walked off his municipal job, left his car at a drug location and it was towed and he never paid the fines, and had his home foreclosed all while he had a large amount of money in the bank with which to become current on the house and pay his car fines. The cause of his and his wife’s collapse? Untreated medical condition, alcoholism, then drug abuse all leading to three arrests between 2010 (actually I believe September or December of 2009) and October of 2013.
    The first “intimation” of problems was a breakdown in 1999 that the City of Ft. Lauderdale handed by saving about 3,000 for what would have been intervention then by firing him. Public money THEN WOULD HAVE PROBABLY STOPPED THE SLIDE. But now, only police actions which lead to his returning to his native New England have kept his friends and neighbors from finding drug dealers with him in friends’ homes after he got foreclosed.
    Pious statements by people who live in Boca Raton, PLANTATION, Parkland, etc. about how those of us who DID NOT FLEE FROM THE CITIES should “put up” with anarchy frankly, STINK! “DIKTAT” indeed! SHAME ON YOU MR NEVINS! Using a phoney charge by Nazis as a parallel for the democratic actions of a responsible city commission and praising someone who, again, VOTED TO PUT A NON RESIDENT ON THE FORT LAUDERDALE CITY COMMISSION. And I see you have never WRITTEN ABOUT THAT!

  24. Plain Language says:

    Sham, the selfish philosophy that leads to your conclusions has never produced good public policy. Policy that avoids fighting poverty always costs society more. Talk about learning from history, the writer you seem to dispute is absolutely correct. There’s never been a time in US history when private charity has been nearly enough to fight poverty.

  25. Sammy says:

    Fields has proved once again that he is the typical Demo/LIb who wants to dictate how everybody lives. His Veggie screed has nothing to do with the homeless problem. He repeats the much told GOP talking point on how poor people waste the food stamp money. Sam is now going to tell us that he saw a homeless man get into a Cadillac and drive off. Fields is a 100% phony, baloony

  26. Sam The Sham says:

    Ha Ha Ha, you are really reaching with your “Social Worker” website. What a laughable joke.

    To both you and Plain Language, you mistake self reliance for selfishness. You mistake ambition for greed. I am sorry but I do not suffer from your Liberal Guilt. I don’t think I have to dash myself against the rocks of poverty and despair to prove my self worth. I don’t have to sacrifice myself and my family unto death, just so you don’t call me names like “greedy” and “selfish”. I really was expecting to be called a racist as well.

    It is irrelevant that the private charities are unable to staunch poverty. If we took 100% of the wealth of this country and spent it on the poor, it would still not be enough. It will never be enough. The government has chosen to take care of those who cannot care for themselves like the sick, the elderly, orphans and so on. A good argument could be made that the USA is the most generous country in the world and could privately take care of them. But even if government does, their numbers are so small and that burden is light. However, there is a never ending number of people who won’t work, who refuse work beneath them, who pretend to be sick or disabled. These are leaches whose numbers grow as the amounts spent on them grow.

  27. Broward Voter says:

    @26. Greedy and selfish has already been clearly established. Inventing facts and exaggerating others in an attempt to prop up an untenable point is also self-evident. Racist would be a likely accompaniment because it goes so well with stupid, but I sense a dash of self-loathing in there also. I’ll bet you’re a big hit at parties.

  28. Sam The Sham says:

    It is very telling when you lose the argument on points and then have to resort to insults. It is a typical ploy for losing leftist arguments. Of course you stopped at “Hitler” and “Nazi”.

  29. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @26 – Sam the Scrooge, you have provided NO references whatsoever to ANY source for your wholly unsupported and false allegations, so you’re hardly in any position to complain – and the Social Security Administration confirms the information I quoted above:


    When the English-speaking colonists arrived in the New World they brought with them the ideas and customs they knew in England, including the “Poor Laws.” The first colonial poor laws were fashioned after those of the Poor Law of 1601. They featured local taxation to support the destitute … all relief was a local responsibility.

    …As colonial America grew more complex, diverse and mobile, the localized systems of poor relief were strained. The result was some limited movement to state financing…

    Anyone interested in this topic can easily find much more information from books and academic research simply by using any good search engine. But I don’t expect Sam the Scrooge to do that – he’d rather sit around saying “Bah Humbug” and clutching his coins while obsessively following Real Deal’s classic recipe:

    Recipe for killing any good idea:

    1. Say it sucks even though you have facts that say otherwise. In fact don’t even read the facts, it will only waste time better spent on saying it sucks.

    2. If someone shows you the facts, then say they suck.

    3. If they insist that you look at the facts yourself, say they really suck. Then attack their character and family members.

    4. All other unrelated hateful miserable nay saying people and agendas, please feel free to join in. We love your company.

    5. Develop conspiracy theories whether based on facts or not as these always add extra spice to the conversation. And it keeps people from paying attention to facts. Facts are not our friend.

    6. Feel free to ask for audit reports, but keep saying no even before you read them and no matter what they end up saying. Just keep saying no because no.

    7. Never let them see that your real agenda is just to say no so other people can be as cheap and miserable as you are. That way, added misery in the world will make you feel better. Fight for your right to make others miserable.

    8. No matter what facts are brought to light, keep being stubborn because stubborn people win and facts only get in their way.

    9. The only children that matter are my own and even there the jury is out. Other people’s children can die for all we care because that’s good public policy.

    And finally,

    10. When in doubt, start at 1 and work your way down to 10 again.

  30. Sam The Sham says:

    And now we know that Real Deal and Ha Ha Ha are the same person.

  31. Sam The Sham says:

    Recipe for making a political boondogle:

    1. Find a “cause” that no one could be against. I know! Say its for the Chiiiillldren!

    2. Find a way to extract money from people against their will for your pet project. Taxes!

    2. Hire as many connected people as you can. Make sure to get this commissioner’s wife and that representative’s unemployed son and the other lobbyist’s idiot niece.

    3. Make sure you give out enough patronage jobs and contracts.

    4. Pay off the electorate with money stolen from those who earned it. It does not cost them anything so they will keep voting in largess that they did not earn.

    5. Remind everyone its for the chiiilldren and only a heartless SOB could be against it.

    6. Make sure you have lots of media attention when you give away other people’s money. Most people think it is “magic Money” that comes from the government.

    7. Any charities that don’t toe your line or do what you say, get the legislature to run them out of the business. You don’t want any competition from “do-gooders”.

    8. Convince the sheeple that there is no alternative but you (since you got rid of those pesky charities that used to do what you do for free.)

    9. No need for family, community, religious or private charities to form strong community bonds and support. We now have Big Brother and Big Sister looking after us in a nanny state.

    10. Repeat. Especially #5.

  32. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Very interesting – Sam the Scrooge knows perfectly well that I heavily criticized the Fort Lauderdale ordinances against private individuals and organizations (mainly religiously motivated) who try to feed the homeless, pointing out how unconstitutional they were as blatant violations of freedom of religion…






    But despite all that, Scrooge now falsely claims that I’m arguing “No need for family, community, religious or private charities to form strong community bonds and support” (@31, #7, #8 & #9)!!!

    The reality of the situation is that Jack(ass) Seiler, Romney Rogers, and Sam the Scrooge are the ones who are opposing (with laws, no less!) private religious charitable support for the homeless. Progressives, myself included, are fighting – in court, in protests, through hunger strikes, etc. – to defend and protect private religious charitable support for the homeless.

    As Plain Language correctly points out (@24), “There’s never been a time in US history when private charity has been nearly enough to fight poverty.” That’s why Americans have always, from colonial days to the present, throughout the entirety of American history, provided taxpayer-funded relief for the poor.

    I’ve never posted as either “Real Deal” or “Plain Language” – that’s yet another point where Scrooge is (as usual) completely wrong.

    And now for some very good news:


    Economists Say We Should Tax The Rich At 90 Percent

    All Americans, including the rich, would be better off if top tax rates went back to Eisenhower-era levels when the top federal income tax rate was 91 percent… a top marginal tax rate in the range of 90 percent would decrease both income and wealth inequality, bring in more money for the government and increase everyone’s well-being — even those subject to the new, much higher income tax rate. … labor supply among the 1 percent would decline — translation, they would work a little less — but it “does not collapse.” That’s because of who the [professors of economics] authors assume makes up the top income bracket: celebrities, sports stars, and entrepreneurs — people with innate talents that are hugely rewarding, but only for a short period of time. They only have a few years to use their skills to make most of the money they will ever make. High tax rates don’t lessen their degree of desire to be productive, the authors said.

    Krueger described the phenomenon like this: “How much less hard would LeBron James play basketball if he were taxed at a much higher rate? The answer is not much. “James knows he only has five years,” or so of peak earning potential, Krueger said, and so he will work to make as much as he can during that time. …

    And in other news:


    …the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%; …the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent”.

    The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1000% for the top 1%. The average employee “needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour.”

    …In Inequality for All — a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich in which he argued that income inequality is the defining issue for the United States — Reich states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1% net worth (HNWI [High Net Worth Individuals]) since 2009 when the recovery allegedly started.

    A 2011 study found that US citizens across the political spectrum dramatically underestimate the current US wealth inequality and would prefer a far more egalitarian distribution of wealth.

  33. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Criminalization is the most expensive and least effective way of addressing homelessness


    How Anti-Homeless Laws Violate The U.S. Constitution’s 1st, 4th, 8th & 14th Amendments