Poverty

tara-evans-_DAY5kuDvsU-unsplash

A New American Poverty

The new American poverty is not primarily an economic phenomenon – it has become a social, familial and psychological problem that reaches the very foundations of our social order. Read More ›
Photo by Michael Longmire
person using syringe on yellow stone on spoon

“Safe Injection Sites” Aren’t Safe, Effective or Wise. Just Ask Canadians

If you've never heard of "safe injection sites" — public facilities for drug users to consume heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine under the supervision of medical staff — you probably will soon. In cities such as Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, drug legalization activists have launched a campaign to create such sites. Read More ›
johnny-cohen-o5bot9dytg0-unsplash-modified
Unconscious on the Street
Photo by Johnny Cohen at Unsplash

The Harm in “Harm Reduction”

As cities in the United States, including San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and Seattle, consider opening their own safe-injection sites, they should understand the full consequences of these practices. Read More ›
Photo by Anthony Garand
We The people text

To Hell with Main Street?

In times of trouble, Americans rally around a common cause. After Pearl Harbor, we liberated much of the world; during the Cold War, we sent a man to the moon. There was a shared sensibility that Americans were unified in pursuit of the highest ideals. But after some shocks, this sense of unity proves short-lived — and shortsighted. Read More ›
Photo by Brandi Ibrao

The Moral Crisis of Skid Row

They call Los Angeles the City of Angels, but it seems that even here, within the five-by-ten-block area of Skid Row, the city contains an entire cosmology — angels and demons, sinners and saints, plagues and treatments. Walking down San Pedro Street to the heart of Skid Row, I see men smoking methamphetamine in the open air and women selling bootleg cigarettes on top of cardboard boxes. Around the corner, a man makes a drug transaction from the window of a silver sedan, a woman in an American-flag bandana flashes her vagina to onlookers, and a shirtless man in a bleached-blond woman’s wig defecates behind a parked police car. Slumped across the entryway of an old garment business, a shoeless, Read More ›

Manhattan 2019. Behind the police with gun belt
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Abolish the Police?

The latest call to action from some criminal-justice activists: “Abolish the police.” From the streets of Chicago to the city council of Seattle, and in the pages of academic journals ranging from the Cardozo Law Review to the Harvard Law Review and of mainstream publications from the Boston Review to Rolling Stone, advocates and activists are building a case not just to reform policing — viewed as an oppressive, violent, and racist institution — but to do away with it altogether. When I first heard this slogan, I assumed that it was a figure of speech, used to legitimize more expansive criminal-justice reform. But after reading the academic and activist literature, I realized that “abolish the police” is a concrete policy goal. The abolitionists want to dismantle municipal police Read More ›

Seattle Downtown Skyline Out of Focus
Seattle Downtownn Skyline Out of Focus City Lights

Progressives Gone Wild

Homelessness in Seattle has reached a crisis point. Despite more than $1 billion in public and private spending across King County, more people live on the streets than ever before (a problem that will likely get worse, following the Supreme Court’s refusal to address the legality of public camping). But rather than focus on the causes of homelessness — addiction, mental illness, and social breakdown — progressives in local government have waged war against abstract forces of oppression. Last week, the leaders of the homelessness response in Seattle and King County hosted their annual conference under the theme of “Decolonizing Our Collective Work.” According to the organizers, the government’s primary responsibility in reducing homelessness is to “[interrogate] the current structures of power” and “examine the legacies Read More ›