Regarding “Why Millennials love Sanders” (Open Forum, June 1): Kudos to the Opinion Page for publishing Ann Fishman’s fact-filled, deeply insightful analysis of our pampered young folks. Finally, a scholarly rebuttal to those who claim that stagnant wages, rising medical insurance profits, the student loan industry, deregulation of banking, and Citizen’s United are responsible for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ resonance with Millennials. The rightful function of government under both parties is the upward transfer of wealth. This singular goal serves us all. Nothing motivates our can-do spirit like hunger, disease and homelessness! She, however, failed to mention the destructive impact of recent increases in the minimum wage. Such coddling runs the risk of fostering an expectation that government policies could serve to support families and enhance the quality of life of working people. This socialistic ideology is indeed a dangerous virus that must be stopped before it spreads. Fishman reminds us of the “self-discipline and self-reliance” that energized our nation before New Deal organizers brought about Social Security and child-labor laws. It’s not too late.
No mental health month is complete without pointing out that our media noticed the failure of deinstitutionalization decades ago. Read on:
Many of the people living on Los Angeles’ streets lack health as well as homes. They were put there by social policy, legacies of the mid-1960s when California was a laboratory for reform–and they sit there as another reminder of reform gone awry.
In 1967 the California Legislature passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) which changed the state’s mental-commitment laws to limit involuntary detention of all but the most gravely mentally ill and to provide a “patients bill of rights” regarding treatment.
With the help of conservative Republican Assemblyman Frank Lanterman of La Canada (who liked to tell the American Civil Liberties Union that he had championed the rights of mental patients long before it did), the bill was pushed primarily by a group of young, liberal activists on the Assembly Office of Research staff. It was sold to Democrats as a civil-rights measure and sold to Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan as a savings–community care, without the long-term costs of custodial care in state hospitals, would cut California’s mental health care costs.
Other interesting snippets from this essay published nearlyTHIRTY years ago:
What the reformers didn’t know–or didn’t understand at the time–was that neither local governments nor private agencies would provide sufficient community services. That is where Lanterman-Petris-Short truly failed.
One mental health professional who helped draft and move the original legislation said, “In our zeal to move people out of very restrictive, very inhumane places, we forgot that there were a whole variety of supports that were being provided (by institutions) and we neglected to find adequate ways of replicating them . . . we had a simplistic notion that basically what you could do is take people out of the institutions, move them into the community and provide outpatient mental health care. But what we forgot is that institutions provide people shelter, food, health care and a whole variety of other basic human needs.”
As the political and economic climate continued a conservative shift, a trend the reformers hadn’t expected, state and county programs offering community services were cut back. For a while federal agencies, often by default, undertook major responsibility for maintaining housing, job training and counseling programs. Then federal cutbacks in such appropriations and the Reagan Administration’s shift to block grants for mental-health funding exacerbated the problems that LPS didn’t address–more shrinkages the reformers failed to predict.
How is this possible? Why is it Groundhog Dayfor the mentally ill in the United States?
Just a 5 minute walk to a public waste container; great for a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This luxurious corner is quiet, East and West exposed, and it is amazingly sunny and bright all day long.
This Pristine corner is located near the historic Duboce Triangle neighborhood. Visitors will find a range of transportation options: all MUNI train lines are within a couple blocks, including the Historic F line which travels down Market Street to Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, farmer’s markets, shopping, museums and more.
Market at Dolores
Fully furnished spot, clean with manicured garden. This is Ideally located near the vibrant and historic Mission Dolores across the street from the newly built Whole Foods Store and just steps away from the dumpsters behind the Safeway on Church and Market. Try the freshly discarded pastries and croissants!
Do you love art? You’ll love this quiet alley in San Francisco’s Mission District. Two blocks from BART this alley features modern paintings, an ample supply of cigarette butts and a concrete deck for passing the day.
Mission at 17th Street
Your private oasis in San Francisco
This luxury spot is located in San Francisco’s thrilling Mission District. You’ll have the best sleep of your life on our memory mattress with 500 thread count cotton blanket. So kick off your heels and unwind! You’re home.