Prosecutors in Atlanta have jailed Brian Eleby, who is alleged to have deliberately set the fire that destroyed an overpass on I-85. No one was injured, and the damage extent has not been calculated, but the Trump Administration has released $10 million in Federal Emergency Funds to the State of Georgia for repairs.
According to police reports, Eleby and two other scum were smoking crack-cocaine under the overpass when Eleby went berserk and started the blaze. Eleby has an extensive criminal record---almost all of which are drug-related offenses.
The case has generated some Corporate Media attention and become something of a cause celebre among Left-Wing activists. Eleby is said to be 'homeless'---a term that seems to elicit a magical spell of presumed innocence here in the Prozac Nation. This is in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of this class are addicts, fugitive criminals, registered sex offenders, and long-term mentally ill who are responsible for numerous---and often violent---crimes. Additionally, the 'homeless' are often responsible for introducing infectious diseases and parasites into whole communities and causing pollution of various kinds. And arguably even worse: this group ties up scarce resources within the Social Safety Net that should go to the deserving poor.
The Left is typically in denial about the state of 'homelessness' because to acknowledge the reality would be to admit failure of their policies. Since the 1990s, the Left's approach to welfare has been heavily focused on spending and services and treatment given a low priority. The general philosophy behind such an approach is that the State has no right to interfere in so-called lifestyle choices. The result has been that the US has about an equal number of displaced persons in 2017 as it had during the early years of the Great Depression. The Roosevelt Administration set up a system under which the displaced were re-integrated back into productive society; this policy was abandoned under the Clintons.
It's interesting to compare rehabilitation-based models to the standard system. Provo, Utah---ranked by some as the most Conservative major city---uses a rehabilitation-based approach. Provo has state-of-the-art shelters and services which are rarely needed and the city has practically no 'homeless' problem. Contrast that with the Liberal cities of the West Coast where the 'homeless' are like a plague of locusts. European countries---maligned as 'socialist' here typically use a rehabilitation-based approach as well. Though it adds to the welfare budget, this approach has been demonstrated to be much more cost-effective both in short-term help to the poor and long-term effects on society.
People like Brian Eleby should never have been loose on the streets to begin with. It's not compassionate to let people like this to rot to death of cocaine addictions under freeway overpasses; and it's even less rational when they cause millions of dollars in damage. That Eleby's actions caused no deaths was "a miracle" according to the Atlanta Fire Chief. The number of people murdered by the 'homeless' every year though, weren't quite as fortunate.
The Trump Administration has yet to enact any sweeping welfare reform, but the recent Task Force set up to confront the epidemic of narcotic addictions indicates that the Administration's focus will tend towards rehabilitation and reintegration. It's certainly not a sign of social progress when American cities look like 1970s Bangladesh. Our current approach has failed miserably, it's time for a new and better approach.