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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

Letter: Inequity fuels homelessness

By Frank W. Goheen, Vancouver
Published: January 18, 2018, 6:00am

Cities in the western part of the United States, in particular, are contending with a truly emergency societal condition of homelessness.

Something definitely is very wrong when glittering tech havens like Seattle and San Francisco count their homeless citizens in the many thousands, and it is difficult to avoid reaching the conclusion that an ever-greater concentration of wealth in a few hands contributes mightily to the problem. Homelessness exists in grotesque excess where a tiny minority of the population grows bloatedly wealthy from the tech economy, while many more people have to settle for scraps.

Seattle is proud of its progressiveness and its determined liberalism, but it nevertheless is the scene of a terrible crisis of homelessness. A tech haven it truly is, but it also counts deaths among its homeless people in the hundreds. As a tiny minority of King County’s people grows obscenely rich from its post-industrial economy, many more people find themselves either homeless or on the edge of homelessness.

Sharp socioeconomic division seems to be an inevitable result of the tech economy.

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