I’ve wondered here why there isn’t a massive migration of homeless Americans to Santa Monica and other warm beach-side California towns. What do the economics look like in comparatively cold and rainy San Francisco? From NBC, Bay Area:
San Francisco is slated to spend nearly $280 million this year on housing and services for the homeless — a roughly 40 percent increase compared to just five years ago. Over that same span, however, the number of homeless in the city has largely remained the same at about 7,500 people, according to city counts.
So they’re spending $37,333 per homeless person. In other words, if San Francisco simply gave each officially “homeless” person this money, instead of shoveling out the cash to the official do-gooders and bureaucrats, those who are homeless would be receiving, on an after-tax basis, roughly the same as the median full-time American worker (Wikipedia says $44,980 is the median for pre-tax earnings). I think that this is not counting whatever the state and Federal governments spend on these folks, e.g., for Medicaid, SNAP, and Obamaphones. Thus, if they could convert all of their welfare benefits into cash, they would presumably be above-median earners.