Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tourist Events Mean An Uprooting Of Homelessness & Poverty

One very unfortunate side effect of cities that host large scale tourist events is the local governments are using policing powers to uproot those living in poverty or who are homeless simply to impress the tourists. In China, ahead of the upcoming Olympics, those living in poverty are already being uprooted in order to give the parts of the nation where tourists are likely to travel an impression of the relative wealth of many of the people while prosperity has certainly not touched all citizens in this developing world nation seeking to grow beyond an agrarian based economy into a full blown industrial power.

In Portland, Oregon, normally a tolerant and liberal city, police are being used to give the homeless a deadline of today to move on from parts of the city where tourists may attend annual Rose Festival events. No new prograsms are being established to assist those living in poverty or any new shelters scheduled to open, only a policing policy to give tourists a false impression that poverty does not exist in parts of the city where they are most likely to sightsee.

World cities like the tourist dollars that are generated by high profile public events. Yet the problems of poverty remain all year long for the poor. World cities need to develop sound policies to provide shelter, low cost housing, food assitance, or other basic essentials to the very poor instead of developing policies that simply move the problem around from one area to the other.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani will run for president partially on a platform that he "cleaned up" New York. Yet he simply forced many of the very poor and homeless from out of the city to other cities. In other words, he didn't solve New York problems, but simply moved the problem to other cities to do the hard work.


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