Since Dan took a (well deserved) pot shot at my town of Chicago recently I couldn't help but notice this article in today's Chicago Tribune titled "Public casts colder eye at homeless" subtitled "In Madison, rising suspicions in wake of unsolved slayings fuel backlash".
The article states that there are 224,000 people in Madison and 3,400 homeless. By some simple math that means that 1.5% of Madison's total population is homeless, if these statistics are correct. Per the article:
"A backlash against street people is under way in this renowned liberal college town after an uncharacteristically violent turn of events. Two unsolved murders in the span of a little more than two months have shaken Madison's secure sense of small-city living and, even though no suspect has been named, the eye of suspicion has been fixed on panhandlers who work the streets."
To put this in perspective, there are 800+ murders in Chicago every year. However, even in Chicago these types of murders would count as "news" because they involve attractive college students who are presumably not involved in criminal activities themselves (and not the usual gang bangers and people living in areas that gang bangers tend to shoot up).
The article doesn't dwell on some unspoken items. First of all, since Madison is a very liberal place and people tend to think that everyone who is homeless is there because of the guy in the White House who just doesn't care enough, their generosity and social benefits are very attractive. It is a commonly whispered item that homeless and the jobless move to Wisconsin to take advantage of a far more liberal system of subsidies when compared to Chicago (where we don't really even pretend to care about them, and can't take down the projects fast enough).
Since virtually every student in Madison dreams of working in some non-profit and "changing the world" maybe living among a sea of alcoholic, mentally unstable lunatics can give them some hands-on experience of what their policies bring. Remember, all the lunatics were let out of institutions because the left didn't want to limit their potential and believed that their human rights were being violated (and also because the Right didn't want to foot the bill anymore, and all these people weren't exactly going to be let out in the conservative neighborhoods, anyways).
But who could have guessed living among a sea of bums lured in by feel-good policies would have consequences? And it is only the definition of irony that they are preying on the students in this liberal area, whose belief that everyone is a victim can reach its logical conclusion. And hey, they aren't armed, either, because no one needs guns, so they can call the police while a large man is threatening them. Women in particular are at risk because unless they are very skilled at self defense the fact that they are outweighed and the guy attacking them is mentally unstable or on drugs puts them at a massive disadvantage.
Obviously not everyone in Madison is a liberal and Madison is an island in the sea of generally conservative Wisconsin. A lot of the students are studying constructive topics like business, engineering, and science, and just going to school there because it is a high quality school and a great value for in-state residents.
But it is instructive that the school leadership, which is unabashedly liberal, and the sea of liberal arts students, can now contemplate the embodiment of their policies.
Cross posted at Chicago Boyz