I just learned that England has spent $150 Billion - yes, BILLION - on a "New Deal" for disengaged, disenchanted, disconnected youth over the past 12 years.
Further, that the entire cornucopia of programs has been a complete and utter failure, producing no more employment or education or even clean shirts.
But why should that make me feel so good?
Because it makes our own miserly local failure seem like a benign gift in comparison.
I speak of the Downtown East Side, the infamous smelly DTES, which absorbs $1 Million of your tax dollars every day.
Over 100 social service agencies and $1 Million a day.
Things have improved?
"Things" are self-evidently, noticeably worse.
Oh, yes, there are regular spewings of reports from the various social agencies that thrive down there, claiming successes. And the ever-compliant media, desperate and lazy, publish these fables unquestioned.
But any fool who dares risk life and limb by venturing into "da dark side" sees at a glance the degradation and misery flourishing unabated.
I resent the waste of governments spending my tax money on things that don't work and, worse, things that re-enforce the problem.
Here is some radical surgery.
Just a question now, but consider it.
What if all the grant money for all of the programs in that 4 square block of madness simply stopped?
What if, on the morning of Tuesday, August 11th, the gravy train ground to a halt?
Would anything really change? Would disaster unfold before our eyes?
Life, as it is played out out so dreadfully amongst the drunk and the drug-addicted, would most likely carry on much the same as yesterday.
Oh, yes, the social workers and activists would have to load up their wagons with their magic elixirs and move on to the next unsuspecting territories.
At present I see no real movement on this "file."
Neither his Goodness, the Happy Mayor, nor his Flameness, the Omniscient Premier, have made a single move to improve this disgrace.
Nor will they.
The solutions needed are too bold, too rife with political noise.
Olympics or not, the DTES will continue as is.
The Vampires of Misery will sleep well in their beds. The rest of us will avoid the place like the plague that it is.