The Wider Image: Homeless in America's tent cities

From a comment on iSteve, a useful mnemonic for what appears to be the increasing and increasingly dire problem of the homeless:  CATO 4321

C – Crazies. 40% of the homeless

A – Addicts. 30% of the homeless

T – Tramps. 20% of the homeless

O – Out of Luck. 10% of the homeless

The Crazies’ brains are broken. This is the lion’s share of homelessness. They cannot be cured. They cannot maintain housing, or income, or anything of value. All we can do for them is give them barbiturates and stick them in institutions. We can no more fix their broken brains than we can fix Mike Utley’s damaged neural tissue, much less diagnose and repair the consciousness interface.

I’m becoming convinced very few psycho-pathological conditions can be cured. People either age out of them or they don’t. (Or age into them, e.g., Caitlyn Jenner). I would love to be proved wrong.

The Addicts don’t require much elaboration. My family has had its problems with functional alcoholics but nothing like drug addicts. Addicts are socially toxic and families end up having to kick them out. I personally know only one “cured” addict. The rest just disappeared. Many Addicts graduate to Crazies.

The Tramps are the happy homeless. In the US, they were more commonly called “hobos” or pejoratively, “vagrants.” “Free spirits” is the euphemistic term. There are no public policy implications for the happy homeless, ceteris paribus. It would probably be a good idea to provide them with antiseptic facilities for their temporary encampments, away from net tax-producing areas. I don’t know if this is workable or not because as I conclude below, nobody is interested in actually solving the problem of homelessness, to the extent it can be solved.

The Out of Luck are what Rollo Tomassi calls the Zeroed Out:  people, usually men, who’ve had a series of setbacks that consume their psychic or physical health and financial well-being. This fairly well-known academic is at risk for zeroing-out:

zero out

He posted this on a public forum but may have some regrets so I’ve blanked the name. He is (or perhaps was) a devout Protestant Christian. He and his ex-wife adopted four Guatemalan infants, so he was carrying around five eaters on a nominally upper middle class salary of around $100,000. God bless him and those in his charge, because he’s probably just about ready to walk out the door.

The Out of Luck are the only group with any potential for returning to a normative lifestyle.

Obviously, there is significant overlap and transition among these groups.

This all seems like common sense to me and I’d bet the statistics, if anybody measured them, would support CATO 4321. From there, we could proceed to some workable solutions, diagnosis being the first part of healing after all. But since we govern by ideology and not by reality, nobody compiles these metrics because it would upset the proposition that homelessness is caused by lack of affordable housing. “Affordable housing” is a related but different problem, exacerbated by immigration and the diseconomy of scale of large, democratic cities. Building more and more-dense housing won’t really solve homelessness, just like building more roads doesn’t really solve traffic congestion.

Immigration and urban locuses of power and wealth are part of the regnant American ideology, so nobody is going to touch the real issues of homelessness with a ten-foot pole, no more than we’ll examine the real issues of terrorism, or economic recessions, or numerous other things.

13 thoughts on “Homelessness

  1. CATO4321 sounds like a perfectly reasonable and usable mnemonic. For white people, that is. Where I live and work, where it’s 50% black, I notice some differences. I work for a charitable organization, so when I deal with homeless white people, that’s pretty much what I see. Most are either mentally ill or addicts/alcoholics. I’ve also met a few of what we used to call hobos, people who just seem to prefer that life (they’d certainly like to live better, but not if it means all that work to maintain it). The out-of-luck types are always temporary. Their luck changes, or they work their way out of it.

    There’s a noticeable difference with a lot of the black homeless. A good portion of those that I deal with aren’t crazy (that I can tell), and aren’t addicts (that I can tell). They’re much more like tramps, seeming to prefer that life to working steady, but much more emotionally volatile and easily offended, Their homelessness is often more intermittent than white hobos. They find a place to stay for a while, and screw it up somehow, usually by arguing too much with the person or people that’s putting them up, and they repeat this cycle for most of their lives.

    They’re also much more criminal than any of the white homeless, regardless of what type. Some of these are able to get into public housing (white homeless very rarely try to, at least around here), but they eventually get evicted, usually for not paying their minimal rent, but sometimes for committing crime.

    Lastly, some are noticeably dumber than white hobos, but not all. Some have seemed to me to be fairly bright. It’s a combination of emotional immaturity, shiftlessness, and criminality, from what I can see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This pattern of CATO is what I see as well, for whites and the vanishingly few Mestizo homeless. (Interesting there are so few Mestizo homeless despite living in a 30% Mexican area, strong families? )

      Most of the homeless near me are extremely low IQ black males though. I think what’s going on there is bell curve effects, a large number of blacks have sub 70 IQs, too dumb to do much but for sit and stare, slack jawed. I mean it’s sad but not hard to imagine how some fall through the cracks.

      The West Coast seems to harbor a breed of super homeless. Whenever I’m in LA or SF I’m struck by how much higher functioning and menacing the homeless are. Younger, whiter, filled with malice and clad in brown and green camping clothes more often than not. Usually with dogs and always reeking of weed. These are the people who leave the needles everywhere, they’re trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It turns out drugs are bad for your brain. You do drugs at one point in your life and the rest of your life, drugs do you. The “Seattle is Dying” documentary showed that 100% of the homeless were hard drug users, crazy or not. The ones who use drugs longer are probably crazier.

    I think the “lack of affordable housing” claim politicians keep making is related to some sort of kickback they’re going to get from developers when they convince the public that it’s needed. IOW, a lie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those who fear they may become “zeroed out” should invest in a cheap, ultralight trailer and something to pull it with, preferably something with a V6 or less. Mobility allows you to find work without worrying about a house and paying property taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, if you’re truly “zeroed out”, I’d rather just fucking leave the United States. Move to the Philippines or somewhere cheap, and market yourself as a high-end, business related English teacher. Perhaps even Japan (where I live). They don’t do rigorous background checks here and you’d be competing with hordes of Chinese proletarians the locals hate, which is good if you’re a foreigner. You don’t HAVE to stay in America. GTFO.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If borders should be open and people should be allowed to move freely, well, I’m all in favor of illegal EMIGRATION.


      2. Great point. The formerly best cities in America are already substantially third world populated. I feel bad for some of these new immigrants, they kind of got here too late. Incomes are certainly generally higher in the USA, usually by a lot, but there are increasingly more edge cases where it makes sense for a single person or even a family to beat it. LatAm, east Asia, Eastern Europe are all pretty compelling in certain cases. One family the father works remotely for a US company, they live great abroad, their children are shielded from the sick culture and school systems in the US. Know two girls who bailed on their student loans to work in former Soviet countries translating and teaching. A dude who just can’t keep a job who gets social security disability and lives well in LatAm. He was on his way to homelessness in the US. I say more power to them, if it makes sense, cash in on your Americanness before that brand is finally run into the ground.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Also, many thanks for linking to Rollo’s blog. The specific post you linked to is very interesting. I’m still reading it.

    What are your general thoughts on Red-Pill/PUA type blogs? Have they actually improved your life in a material way? I think they are useful as a gateway to more serious blogs such as Unz, which in turn allows individuals to experience racial/ethnic self-awareness. This in turn confirms intuitions that are otherwise denied by society, and also allows people to form relationships with people that are also aware of such intuitions. I’ve found that it’s very refreshing “meeting” people through my blog with whom I can talk candidly.


    1. Depends on which type. I like CR Wiley, Aaron Renn, Rollo, and Roosh V. These people are all Christians. Talking about race was ok for awhile but I got tired of it. THe USA is going out much like late Rome and there’s only so much you can discuss the incoming hordes before you just need to make a plan, stick to it, and shut up about it.

      He posted this on a public forum but may have some regrets so I’ve blanked the name. He is (or perhaps was) a devout Protestant Christian. He and his ex-wife adopted four Guatemalan infants, so he was carrying around five eaters on a nominally upper middle class salary of around $100,000. God bless him and those in his charge, because he’s probably just about ready to walk out the door.

      Sounds like he married a crazy/hot ex-student. Choose your wife wisely, boys.


      1. Hi. Thanks for your comment. Myself, I’ve actually become more skeptical of Christians. Or rather most who openly identify as such (not including our esteemed host). Non-orthodox Christians are too unreliable and uninterested in saving the culture. They are apparently quite happy to live in a boiling cauldron of racial resentment as long as everybody is on Team Christian, or who they think will convert, any day now. They tend to get caught up in virtue signaling one another. Bummer.


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