methieu: Please don't misstate my views. I don't believe economic freedom automatically leads to personal freedom. I merely disagree that you can have personal freedom without economic freedom, which is a very different statement. And I believe it's true; I don't think it's a tenable position to say "you are free to do what you choose, unless it involves money"; many human activities involve exchange of some sort, and it's very hard to find any action that's 100% non-economic. I explained this to you over dinner the other night, so I don't think you have any excuse for misrepresenting me.
As far as the homeless people on the streets of San Francisco go, I do not feel sorry for them. I see a lot of young, healthy homeless kids, sitting on the street, wearing exspensive leather jackets, and with fancy haircuts. These people are not suffering oppression. They are homeless by choice.
I realize many homeless people are mentally ill or have problems with substance abuse, but San Francisco provides a lot of resources to the homeless that these people just aren't taking advantage of. The city will pay for homeless people to stay in residential hotels when the shelters are full. There are volunteer agencies that will give you an address and a phone number with voice mail for getting a job.
The fact is that many of these people like their lifestle. If they took the effort they put into begging into getting a job, they'd have no problems at all, given the SF job market.
Finally, being homeless in San Francisco is a pretty good deal to being what passes for middle class in many countries.
So basically, I do not feel sorry for them at all, they made their life choices, I've made mine, I do not owe them.