I slept outside the Day Resource Center for a night to try and get first-person perspective on the challenges experienced by those who spend every night on the streets.
by: Fayetteville City Council Candidate Justin Herbe
Last Sunday, in an effort to better understand the issues our city is experiencing with a growing unsheltered population, I slept outside the Day Resource Center in Fayetteville alongside ten other individuals, all of whom routinely live outdoors. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Unnecessary government bureaucracy and responsibility avoidance has led to a homeless crisis within our city limits.
First off, I need to give a special thanks to Ms. Quancidine Hinson-Gribble and Mr. Joseph Wheeler, who organized the Sleep Out Fayetteville event. I saw many folks out there in support of the homeless throughout the night, and it did so much to give me hope for our future. I saw Carl Pringle, owner of Flip Flop sauce that is sold inside all our local Food Lion’s. He and his friend Michelle Ornelas, who was also present serving food, have a special ability to quietly live the ethos "do what you can where you can."
Personally, I am still undecided on the role a government, local or larger, should play in providing housing for people. This is a delicate issue where the problem is growing and resources are limited. People work hard to provide housing for their family. They have chosen to live in areas with higher property taxes in order for their children to go to better schools. Many have raised themselves up out of difficult situations with no handouts.
On the other side of the issue is the human cost and the reality of what I personally experienced. Over the course of the night, I had the chance to speak to several people and hear lots of personal stories about how they ended up living on the streets. Over and over again, what I heard was that they don’t want to be where they are. They did not ask to be homeless, and they need help. What absolutely broke my heart was the woman, 39 weeks pregnant, sleeping outside the center. Just past 11, her husband returned from his shift at the grocery, all his belongings in hand, gave her a hug and was able to sit and chat with her for about five minutes, until he had to leave for an eight-hour shift at the gas station, his second job. They don't get to spend much time together.Read more
War Reparations: A Choice for Taxpayers
Opinion by Phil Jacobson
Libertarianism opposes war conscription of all types. But it also advocates for freedom of choice.
In Part 1 of this discussion, which focused on the Ukraine War, I asserted that no conscripted government funds should be allocated to a war. I specifically called for an end to USA funding in support of Ukraine in its war with Russia without the consent of the taxpayers, voting with their tax dollars. If this were policy, the only taxed funds which could go to that war effort would be funds which had been deliberately allocated by individual taxpayers from their tax assessment. Tax payments from taxpayers who did not choose that option would no longer be available to fund the war.
While this policy would prevent any war funding from automatically coming from opponents of the war, it would not allow war opponents to reallocate their own taxes. War supporters would be able to send some or even all of their tax money to fund the war. I ended the first part of this discussion by asking if the idea of giving options to taxpayers be appropriate in other contexts.
In this, Part 2, I explore a policy proposal which grants an option, a choice, to taxpayers who oppose a war that the USA government has funded. Again, the proposal is very narrow, but in principle could be applied in other specific examples.
The rhetoric of many, if not most, who support the Ukrainian side in this war has included a demand that Russia withdraw completely from internationally recognized Ukrainian territory. There has also been a call by some for reparations. It is not clear that, given the stresses placed by the war on the Russian economy, a Russia which has ceased fighting and withdrawn from Ukraine could provide a lot of material or financial aid to a recovering Ukraine. But whether or not any effective aid program from Russia is established, there is no question that the USA government has assigned to Russia blame for the economic damage to Ukraine caused by the war.
Yet a similar claim might be made against the USA government itself with regard to the need for aid to Afghanistan to address the damage caused by USA military operations there, only recently ended. Similar claims against the USA government might also be made in other parts of the world.