Women with Infants Begging at Midtown Safeway Tonight
Original post made by Midtown Guy on Aug 1, 2012
a need for recognition) I have automatic deductions to Doctors Without Borders, the Salvation Army, and other good organizations.
Although I am retired and 75, and live on a fixed income,I wish to continue to help make the world, and Palo Alto, a better place.
But seeing two different sets of women with infants (babies) in their arms, and cardboard signs, at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Safeway tonight got me to thinking about so many things. I flashed to what would happen in some European countries--I saw an image of a pair of bobbies (male and female) in England, approaching the women genttly and guiding them away to a social services unit, probably.
I wondered what we do in Palo Alto to spot child endangerment on the public streets? Call a cop? They don't even come for auto accidents. Would they show compassion?
How about all the people rushing in and out of the store, past the women and babies, still locked in the heads at cyberwork? Will they social network about it?
And what about the women and their babies? Obviously they don't live here, so is it believed that kindness and generosity are easily available here? Don't they feel there are social service agencies and religious organizations that can help them better than begging in the streets and damaging their babies?
So, no, I don't think we have the advanced social services of the Europeans, nor do the princes and princesses of startups here have the time or inclination to do much after 12 hour brain drains and accumulation of their own needs (wants).
It also connects with the car campers and homeless living on the streets of Palo Alto, some obviously very mentally ill--almost dangerous-- and totally ignored by us for safety and other reasons. Women and men on University Ave have staked out THEIR habitual begging spots (which they will sometimes fight over as if it their property). You walk past every day, as Maseratis and BMW's and Mercedeses surge by. Do you disconnect? Experience futility and despair at the uselessness of trying to help?
So do you "doublethink," a la Orwell? Hold two simultaneously contradictory thoughts in your mind at the same time, as if that's normal? To stave off the madness?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm
The only way to motivate your "princes and princesses of startups" as you call them - in my opinion - is to put this kind of assistance into the tax code and make it an item that shows up on their bottom line within those taxes is some way. Because taxes are minimal for these people they don't give a damn how much it costs of what happens, because they don't see it.
These folks are supposed to be the bringers of innovation, and the only innovation we have ended up with is war, encroachment to our privacy, and a society that is inversely proportional socially to the size and number of our so-called social networks.
If we did this, and the same with health care, there would be an actual incentive for people, and corporations - ie. fake people, to look at, complain about, criticize and eventually figure out how to minimize these costs while getting the same outcome. This is the way our country ought to work, then with aligned incentives things might actually get better instead of waiting for global austerity to kill off these people.
As it is, these costs, government costs, social costs, environmental costs are all socialized - on the people, who do not have the scope, connections or bandwidth to do anything about it. The people we have depended on to react to social problems are oblivious to the problems. Put a more tax margins and more progressive rate increasing right to the top, and these people will get the message and improve the situation.
on Aug 1, 2012 at 11:50 pm
We're they gypsies? Regardless, I suggest subtly calling the police for possible child endangerment. Scam or real need - or some of both - they're putting babies in harm's way & that's unacceptable. It is the job of peace officers to ensure public safety, incl the safety of those who are helpless.
on Aug 2, 2012 at 8:24 am
In this country, unlike any other that you mentioned, our ACLU made it part of a person's right to live on the streets and beg, and NOT be forcibly brought to any social services or psychiatric agency. Women have the "right" here to keep their children, regardless of ability to care for them, often in the face of drug abuse,neglect or flat out physical abuse. In other words, we have made it virtually impossible to "help" anyone against their will. Right or wrong, that is why you don't see "bobbies' moving people along. Right or wrong, that is why our police can do nothing in the face of no actual criminal activity occurring. For example, in health care, we MUST discharge a patient to the street, if that be his chosen "address", as it is his "right" to live where and how he wishes, regardless of his mental status or ability to care for himself. We can NOT force him into a shelter.
Anon: good grief. Charitable donations ARE part of the tax deduction code..you are on the wrong side, as the Dem party led by Obama has repeatedly tried to eradicate the tax deduction for charitable giving ( which would drastically reduce charities' funding). And, of course, government has done such a great job with poverty since beginning the War on Poverty 40 years ago, we have more on welfare, food stamps and officially in poverty than since the Great Depression. So, obviously, we need more government to fix it, don't we?