Friday, August 19, 2022

Creative Thinking

 A year or two ago, the local NPR affiliate arranged a discussion about gun control between myself and a Democratic member of the legislature (yes we have a few, representing the rich sections of Boise).  During that discussion, I mentioned the role that deinstitutionalization played in the rise of mass murders and the increase in homelessness.  Her response was to call it "the independent living" movement.  Be warned that as states become increasingly concerned about the problems of mentally ill people turning cities into homeless encampments, this will be the Democratic response: they are not homeless; they living independently so give the government more money so that can live "independently" on subsidized housing.  

Before deinstitutionalization, many of the Severely Mentally Ill were involuntarily committed to state mental hospitals, where they were guaranteed a bed, not a park bench or steam grate.  They had no need to scavenge food from dumpsters.  Their non-psychiatric medical care was also guaranteed.  Many of the services that are now provided in a haphazard decentralized way (when even provided) were centrally located with the sufferer with both improved cost efficiency and a higher utilization of needed services. 

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