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Libertarian Answer to Deal with Homelessness?

I currently live in one of THE worst places for homelessness – Atlanta, GA.

The other day I walked out of my apartment and a homeless man ran up to me shouting “Hey man, give me some money for food!” I’ve been in Atlanta 10 years and every year the problem gets significantly worse. Homeless people/panhandlers are EVERYwhere looking to get something for free. They harass pedestrians and constantly shout at apparently nothing as they’re walking to wherever they go.

I don’t mean to sound curt regarding this issue. I know it’s serious and it would be great if homeless shelters could provide perpetual care for these individuals who need it, but the constant harassment is taking its toll on Atlanta residents.

So what IS the Libertarian solution to this?

I don’t want the police rounding them up and throwing them in jail just for panhandling. This is, after all, a form of free speech. But what should be done? I know the poor will always be with us, but does that mean we have to deal with constant harassment from folks who are (probably) looking for money to go get a fix?

Give me some ideas, DPers!

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Also, Tokens an interesting idea


A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

Two libertarian solutions to homelessness

1. Reduce poverty via free market, including ending Federal Reserve.
2. Encourage charity via 100% tax deductions.

‘Each individual is separated from others by a "taboo of personal isolation"...this "narcissism of minor differences"'
--Sigmund Freud

The mistake people make about Libertarianism

is though it is against state run coercion via taxes, laws, fines, and jails to enforce safety and social programs, does not mean that Libertarianism prevents the individual to use his freedom to help others.

One can carry the ZAP principle to ridiculous extremes, such as not helping someone who is unconscious because they have not given you verbal permission to save them, thus violating their personal space and rights!

One can carry any good principle too far. We are failiable humans Neither people nor life situations are perfect. Sometimes there have to be exceptions. The Savior said its better to break some lesser laws, like getting the ox out of the mire on the Sabbath day, as he said the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around. So should Libertarianism be treated. To consider violating someone's freedom, like my children by grabbing them forcibly to keep them from running into a busy street as a violation of ZAP is nuts.

So look at ZAP as an opportunity to help others without the government confiscating the bag lunches you hand out to the homeless because they are not approved by the USDA.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

Its the same as the Statist answer to homelessness

Without the violence


Lava Mae means "Wash Me," right?

Ingenious. Way to go.

"Lava Mae is not about ending homelessness. What we are about is providing hygiene because we believe that hygiene brings dignity and dignity opens up opportunity."

don't speak Spanish but exactamundo

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I thought it was pretty cool that they were taking old buses, ones that weren't good enough for the government to use, to do a job the same government has proven itself inept at handling.

These buses were renovated with donations from Google, among others, for $75k which left $25K of the money that was raised for the project for future maintenance and repairs.

End the individual income

End the individual income tax.

Cut the US corporate tax rate in half to 20%.

Revive the Glass Steagall Act.

Fire the IRS.

Term limits for everyone.

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

Tiny house communities

Texan4liberty posted about a very small community that is starting near Austin, Tx. Someone has a tract of land outside the city and they are planning to set up a tiny house town. These houses will be built with salvaged wood from other buildings. This would be an interesting model for a non-profit to train and provide homes for those with nearly nothing.

Brad Kittel's website and vision:

also eliminate safety nets.

Just as you are careful to not injure yourself in everyday life, people should be careful to not become homeless. But these safety nets take away such fears since they know that the suffering can only be so bad.

Many are homeless because of government

As many have expressed, government intervention has caused poverty and homelessness.

Paraguay, a third world nation, doesnt have much homelessness. The ones that exist are cared for by the church and other entities. I get very surprised by the numbers of homeless people in the USA.

Last time I was in Japan, the

Last time I was in Japan, the figure being thrown around was 50,000 homeless men there.

A sound currency would reward

A sound currency would reward savings and create a more stable overall economy. In a free society with sound money we could all live without the need for more and more money.

I feel like I'm chasing my tail sometimes. I make money, even good money, only for it to feel like a "drop in the bucket". It's because everything's so gdamn expensive. Why is everything so expensive? Because the money is becoming worth less or worthless.

"Who will build

the roads?"

lib answer

Since libertarianism is about personal responsibility then the answer would be each one adopt one. Take personal responsibility as if they were your son or brother that was homeless.

You're right about the

You're right about the personal responsibility part, but there is no obligation to do anything, only free will.

ConstitutionHugger's picture

set up a hand out spot

giving out free food or what have you-- on the other side of town. Somewhere where very few people live. I think it's horrible that you cant leave your home without being confronted.

Not complicated beyond reason

Not simple either.

End the FED
End the IRS
Bring the Troops Home

That was Ron Paul's offers of solutions as far as I heard, and I listened, because those ring true each angle viewed including this so called homeless problem.

It is important, in my view, to first know the following:


First in the importance of its evil influence they considered the money monopoly, which consists of the privilege given by the government to certain individuals, or to individuals holding certain kinds of property, of issuing the circulating medium, a privilege which is now enforced in this country by a national tax of ten per cent., upon all other persons who attempt to furnish a circulating medium, and by State laws making it a criminal offense to issue notes as currency. It is claimed that the holders of this privilege control the rate of interest, the rate of rent of houses and buildings, and the prices of goods, – the first directly, and the second and third indirectly. For, say Proudhon and Warren, if the business of banking were made free to all, more and more persons would enter into it until the competition should become sharp enough to reduce the price of lending money to the labor cost, which statistics show to be less than three-fourths of one per cent. In that case the thousands of people who are now deterred from going into business by the ruinously high rates which they must pay for capital with which to start and carry on business will find their difficulties removed. If they have property which they do not desire to convert into money by sale, a bank will take it as collateral for a loan of a certain proportion of its market value at less than one per cent. discount. If they have no property, but are industrious, honest, and capable, they will generally be able to get their individual notes endorsed by a sufficient number of known and solvent parties; and on such business paper they will be able to get a loan at a bank on similarly favorable terms. Thus interest will fall at a blow. The banks will really not be lending capital at all, but will be doing business on the capital of their customers, the business consisting in an exchange of the known and widely available credits of the banks for the unknown and unavailable, but equality good, credits of the customers and a charge therefor of less than one per cent., not as interest for the use of capital, but as pay for the labor of running the banks. This facility of acquiring capital will give an unheard of impetus to business, and consequently create an unprecedented demand for labor, – a demand which will always be in excess of the supply, directly to the contrary of the present condition of the labor market. Then will be seen an exemplification of the words of Richard Cobden that, when two laborers are after one employer, wages fall, but when two employers are after one laborer, wages rise. Labor will then be in a position to dictate its wages, and will thus secure its natural wage, its entire product. Thus the same blow that strikes interest down will send wages up. But this is not all. Down will go profits also. For merchants, instead of buying at high prices on credit, will borrow money of the banks at less than one per cent., buy at low prices for cash, and correspondingly reduce the prices of their goods to their customers. And with the rest will go house-rent. For no one who can borrow capital at one per cent. with which to build a house of his own will consent to pay rent to a landlord at a higher rate than that. Such is the vast claim made by Proudhon and Warren as to the results of the simple abolition of the money monopoly.

If people invest in earnings (instead of people having earnings stolen) there is a rising of the tide that lifts all boats.

Homelessness is relative.


Yeah, and while we're at it...

Why haven't libertarians figured out how to make gravity optional?!


deacon's picture

Is it gravity?

or lack of belief you can?

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


Luke: I can not believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.

First give all the

Govt owned land back to the people, stop building houses based on property tax revenue (building code), get rid of the minimum wage, allow free trade of services and goods without burden of the state or local govt when starting a business (repeal stupid regs), get rid of that pesky little IRS and rewrite the tax code into something the average person can understand (and afford), peg the dollar to a basket of commodities (maybe include something yellow and shiny), End the Fed, give them raw milk, and legal weed baby!

PS also pass one new law (or amendment) that cops can not have crew-cuts

Bam done deal



You get it. You should run for office.

in re Crewcut ban:

Also outlaw cheesy mustaches! The cop-stache remains a parody of itself and an abomination unto the senses. (Also it tickles.)

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
West of 89
a novel of another america

Oh yeah annnnnnnd

Just in case anyone asks... (cause they always do) ...we will employ the homeless to build the roads!


Legalize freedom

Any voluntary consenting transaction with protection from coercion by anyone without a valid cause of action.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...


has everything to do with government. The more government (regulations, taxes, laws etc. etc.) you have the more homeless you have.

When I first started thinking like libertarians do I actually sat down and plotted economic freedom vs poverty rates and inequality for all the countries in the world. What did it show? The more free a society is (the less government, the less regulation ect.) the less poverty exists. I went further and plotted a bunch of other factors....medium wage, pollution rates etc......all showed the same thing. More government = worse conditions for the people.

Democrats constantly want to help people and I get that...what they don't get is it is counter-intuitive....the bigger you make government...the more homeless and poverty you get.

Actually...i still have it...here's a link to it posted online:

Poverty vs economic freedom:


Life expectancy vs economic freedom:


Forget the specifics of the calcs...but each dot represents a certain number of countries averaged....so you can see the trend as you become more economically free. Have the excel spreadsheets around here somewhere...I know I do.

A lot of Homeless people are Veterans

Stop the wars
Jail the Banksters
Tax the rich
Feed the poor.
Watch crime and homelessness go away.


It's never been tried before.

"Tax the rich"?

I think you've been smoking that 'Occupy' ganja.