I typically have zero tolerance for whiners who complain about what they don’t have and that someone else, i.e. the government, should do for them. I was taught to work for what you want. Sometimes that work isn’t easy or even enjoyable. Pretty basic. Not much common sense needed there.
I realize, however, that there are times when you’re dealt a little more than you can handle and rather than a hand-out, you need a hand-up. The current homelessness issue here is one example. I have my theories on it and unless someone proves them wrong, I am sticking with them.
Panhandlers, for the most part, are not homeless. They don’t want food, they want money. I know this is true. I have seen food left behind at the intersection of 19th and Valley Center. Those people probably make more in a day than most of us, all tax free and without a business license. The city of Bozeman should consider making them get a license and reporting their names to the state and IRS. Why should they live tax-free when the rest of us are paying?
Too many in this county suffer from ostrich syndrome. Maybe it’s because we live in a beautiful area. We choose not to see the ugly side. Pretending there’s not a problem or shipping those problems to a neighboring town does not make the problem go away. It’s time we deal with our own issues. The Greater Gallatin Homeless Action Coalition is doing this in a very dignified way. Raising $18,000 in a few short months is admirable. It is extremely disturbing for me to turn the newspaper page and read “Bobcat Stadium expansion exceeds $10M goal”. Ten million dollars, really?
Priorities and freedom of choice. That’s America!