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LETTERS -- Santa Monica Massages Homeless Numbers Like Orwell's Ministry of Justice, MIT Professor Says

June 4, 2018

Dear Editor,

In your June 1 edition you reported on the latest homeless counts ("Greater L.A. Homeless Count Shows Decreases Not Mirrored in Santa Monica," June 1, 2018).

Let's review the facts. Santa Monica "increased" by 3.9 percent while Venice "decreased" by 18.4 percent. The difference is statistically significant, which means the results are very unlikely to have occurred by chance.

LA Country also "decreased" by 3.3 percent. Again the difference with Santa Monica is statistically significant.

The City Hall "homeless czar" put the usual City Hall spin on it.

While the other comparisons "decreased" while Santa Monica "increased," she is reported to have said in your article that we should be thankful for the "absence of a big increase." Yet no one else had a "big increase." They had decreases.

City Hall massaging the numbers has similarities to the Ministry of Truth in the Orwell novel 1984. As a Santa Monica taxpayer who was assaulted by a homeless person last year at 7 p.m. on Ocean Avenue, I would like to see less spin and more results.

Otherwise, we should replace the City Manager and a good part of his bureaucracy.


Jerry Hausman
Professor of Economics MIT


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