Los Angeles Has One Problem: Too Many People

By | June 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

It is said that Los Angeles has many problems: a housing problem, a homeless problem, a traffic problem,  a crime problem, a pothole problem, a drought problem, and a power grid problem, among others. This is incorrect. Los Angeles has only one problem: a people problem.

The population of the city of Los Angeles is now about 4 million, and of the metropolitan area about 12.5 million. But when I first arrived here, the city contained about 2.7 million. Freeway traffic moved well except in rush hours, and even then it moved at 20-30 mph. On weekends, I could drive on city streets from my apartment near downtown to the beach at Santa Monica in 25 minutes.

If I was too late for lunch at the small hospital were I was training, I walked two blocks to Woody’s Smorgasburger. The area was less than ideal, but often there were two motorcycle cops lurking near an intersection, so I walked without fear. Chief Parker headed the LAPD. The officers were armed with six-inch Smith & Wesson revolvers with adjustable sights, billy clubs, and a don’t-mess-with-us attitude. The term “community policing” had not been invented. The police policed. Making a community was our job.

Many things have changed since those days, some for the better, some not. But it is undeniable that most of the problems listed above were at least aggravated, and often caused, by the extra million-plus people who crowded in here.

The Southwest in general, and southern California specifically, are semi-desert. They were not intended to sustain huge numbers of people. A few years ago, leftists pushed zero population growth. They told us to have only one child, or preferably none, for the sake of Mother Earth. Now these same people tell us to open the borders and welcome however many millions of immigrants decide to come. Consistency is not their strong point.

They drive by homeless encampments without a second thought. They watch developers ruin beautiful landscapes. They watch housing prices reach absurd levels. They watch street crime rise alarmingly as police are defunded and demoralized. But that’s all they do – watch, as if the increasingly crowded conditions were a natural disaster over which they have no control.

Like other cities, Los Angeles has many problems. But most of them are aggravated, or actually caused, by its people problem.

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