San Francisco government lacks responsibility

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but his idealistic verse about little cable cars never mentioned drugs, homelessness nor soaring crime rates.   

The once bustling city of San Francisco has become a ghost town. 

Retailers, consumers and residents are fleeing from the city due to the government having absolutely no handle on the massive problems they have created and allowed. The crime and drug problems have become insurmountable, and crime skyrockets as thieves walk into stores and take what they want without paying. NBC reports that shoplifting has increased by “15% from pre-pandemic levels.”

Retailers are leaving in droves. According to ABC News, “Nearly half of the stores in the city’s downtown shopping district have closed” over the last four years. Companies like CVS Pharmacy, Old Navy and Nordstrom refuse to keep their businesses open there. It is no longer safe to shop there, and stores lose more than they make because of the looting issues.

The government seems to be slowly waking up and accepting that things cannot continue on the way they have been. There is decreased foot traffic — down 56% from pre-pandemic levels. Not many people live or work in the city anymore, and a large portion of the people there deal with homelessness. 

According to U.S. News and World Report, the city ranks #9 in homeless populations for America’s cities. The San Francisco Chronicle also highlighted how drugs and alcohol contribute to 18% of homelessness in San Francisco. The city’s fight against drugs is failing as drug overdoses took 647 lives there in 2022, The San Francisco Standard reports. “The city’s preliminary count of fatal overdoses from January through April this year shows (overdoses) have killed 268 people versus 196 over the same period last year.” These numbers imply that there will be even more deaths by overdose this year. 

According to Curbed San Francisco, the city hands out 4.5 million syringes for drug use per year. Although the city intends to keep those who use them from getting diseases, many of the needles end up littered on the streets rather than being safely collected, further endangering people. Fox News interviewed a former drug dealer in San Francisco who spoke on the syringe exchange program. As he walked across syringe-strewn streets, he talked about how the city’s drug-allowance system has failed its people and only worsened the problems.

With businesses suffering in a big city and no one wanting to live there anymore due to the drugs and crime, is it any shock that the city is suffering? California’s government needs to step up and take its city back from the lawless people who have overtaken it. We cannot keep allowing people to do whatever they want in this country with no consequences for their actions. Eventually, the consequences will catch up, as we are seeing with “The City by the Bay.”

Carter is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion

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