Thursday, October 14, 2021

SanFranSicko And Hillbilly Elegy

Right now, I'm making my way through SanFranSicko (SFS), a progs' description of how he came to see that progressive politics are making many cities worse. It's well done and the author doesn't really take a red pill so much as open his eyes to the reality of homelessness and drug addictions. He's a long-time veteran of the fight to end homelessness, so it's written with emotion and knowledge.

Hillbilly Elegy (HE) was a book describing a man's extended family in Kentucky and Ohio and their struggles with poverty and drugs.

SFS is mostly statistics and data. The people aren't fleshed out and the protagonist is the government. The government takes the form of both the various official departments and the crowd of publicly-funded Not-For-Profit organizations. As the numbers wash over you, you really can't be sure if they're accurate. There's a ton of money in homelessness and mountains of egos on the line. None of the activists ever want to admit they were wrong. Further, the government can pretend to have limitless resources as they can print money at the Federal level and hand that down the line.

HE is all stories. The family members are detailed and the family has very limited resources indeed. HE shows the tough decisions being made every day and many of them are wrong. When wrong decisions are made, things get worse and there's pain. You learn, if you didn't know already, that some people are just bad at life and throwing scarce money at them is a bad idea.

In SFS, bad decisions mean the numbers that should go up go down and numbers that should go down go up. That's it. The dead are tallied, but no descriptions are given of the phone calls to family members or the visits to the hospitals to see the last gasps. It's all antiseptic and theoretical.

SFS was written by a progressive. HE was written by a conservative.

Make of that what you will.

I'm off for the weekend, working on a men's retreat. I usually blog from my phone when I do these, but I'm not sure I will this time. If not, have a great weekend.


Mostly Nothing said...

I've been meaning to read HE. Garage Logic has talked about it. I think Joe interviewed the author. But I may be wrong there.

As it happens, today's (10/14) episode of Garage Logic has Kendall Qualls on again. A local school district had invited him to come talk with the superintendent about CRT. The meeting was cancelled at the last minute, when they found out he was against it.

K T Cat said...

Hillbilly Elegy is a great book. It's an easy read and unless you've lived with serious rednecks, it will be educational. I've barely intersected that culture and it opened my eyes to a lot of things.

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IlĂ­on said...

==There's a ton of money in homelessness and mountains of egos on the line.
In SFS, bad decisions mean the numbers that should go up go down and numbers that should go down go up.==

Which then becomes "proof" that the "solution" to the problem is to throw even more money at it. Why, it almost as though the problem exists merely as an excuse to toss money around.