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The Clintons' Post-Blue Flop
The Greatest Failure of Democratic Social Policy
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  • Pete

    Black dependency on government jobs is a quasi-welfare program given that a high content of government jobs is ‘make-work’ by design.

    • Anthony

      Pete, if you “truly” want an appreciation of that you imply, read “Just Mercy” (a story of Justice and Redemption) by Bryan Stevenson.

  • Proud Skeptic

    The relationship between the Democrat Party and black Americans is complex. Theoretically, at least, it began on the 1960’s to change from its former Jim Crow roots into one of benign, well intended government support. Over the years, as the blue state policies started hurting instead of helping blacks, the importance of this group transitioned from a civil rights issue to a voting block.

    By that time the government aid programs were ingrained in the system and in the black culture. Blacks started feeling like they need the programs in order to be able to compete. The Democrats responded by pushing more and more programs. The programs institutionalized black people and the Democrats realized that they needed to continue convincing blacks that they needed the government programs in order to overcome the fact that the deck was stacked against them. As the programs started to display the insidious unintended consequences of making blacks dependent on others, the Democrats need to take steps to ensure that this voting black was not lost. Enter the Republicans, who made a perfect villain and have now achieved official status as “the man” who is keeping black folks down.

    Now, it is all cynical politics. The last thing the Democrat leaders want is a race of free and independent blacks. There is a thing in medicine called Munchausen’s by Proxy where a person creates a dependent bond between him and another person by poisoning them and then caring for them because they are sick. That is what is happening now between the Democrats and the black community.

    • LarryD

      LBJ intended for his “Great Society” programs to buy the black vote. The cultivation of dependency was foreseen when they were debated. The pernicious effects were documented within decades, but Democrats have never cared.

      • Jim__L

        The worst part is that the Federal government destroyed the black family by incentivizing bastardy.

        Now with no-fault divorce, they’re pushing it on everyone else.

        Leftist social “innovations” are an unmitigated disaster, and need to be pushed back against on all fronts.

        • phwest

          To be fair, no-fault divorce is state law, and was very much bi-partisan. It also largely preceded the Great Society. Modern society is still struggling to deal with the long-term consequences of cheap, effective contraception and dramatically longer life expectancy.

          • Jim__L

            Your second sentence is a non-sequitur. Dramatically longer life expectancy is largely a function of a reduction in infant mortality, and so if anything has a positive correlation with lasting marriage.

            The “technological” argument of contraception leading to social change is even more nonsensical. Latex (condoms, essential for non-lethal promiscuity) has been available for over 200 years now — just in time to influence… the Victorian Era?

            Nope, this is social engineering propaganda, pure and simple, by those who believe that Big Government (with them at the top) is the only social relationship that any human being should ever have.

  • dwk67

    The Democratic party only seeks to create a coalition of dependent constituencies. By falling head over heels into the trap of dependency, black America has effectively sold its collective soul to the devil. While they ensure for themselves a social safety net that they feel their ancestors suffering has earned for them, they fail to realize that the safety net is really a trap that robs them of the initiative to strive to better themselves and advance up the proverbial ladder of success. Concurrently with the growing dependency a crippling of the ability for anyone to publicly utter anything critical of black culture or black individual behavior, no matter how self-destructive it may be, without being immediately branded a racist for daring to mention even the most genuine of concerns, This allows problems to fester as the usual corrective and reflective social measures aren’t able to be applied anymore. The end result is the total chaos and dysfunction that now typify our inner cities. Republicans cannot comment on the situation for fear of being called racist, and cannot offer constructive incentives to the end the welfare state without being accused of poo-pooing the legacy of slavery and black suffering in America. As a result, the right has largely come to avoid the minefield the left has ensconced the black community in today…

  • Andrew Allison

    What we need is less obfustcation. The report discuses all black familuies, not just the middle class (whatever that is). It might be instructive to compare the wealth change between middle class blackc and whites.

  • lhfry

    I would be interested in seeing whether the same divide exists between the white working class – as profiled by JD Vance, for example, and other whites. Many have pointed out that the thought was at one time that if the underclass were just granted the trappings of middle class life – a job and home ownership, for example – a middle class life would ensue. That hasn’t happened because middle class values undergird middle class life and the underclass doesn’t share them – white, black, Hispanic, doesn’t matter. It’s as futile as trying to establish democracy in cultures that have always been ruled by autocrats.

    • LarryD

      Magical thinking. Someone labeled this particular variant “Cargo Cult Mentality”.

  • QET

    The underlying report, I submit, is more propaganda than science. Much more. It appears to have been written to exaggerate to the furthest numerical limit possible, while still presenting to the tl;dr reader the aspect of “science,” the representation of racial economic inequality among the tried and true progressive workhorse categories White, Black and Latino. Asians are mentioned as having had much more success, but the writers quickly dispose of this inconvenience to their desired message by stating that the Asian data aggregate many different Asian nationalities together (what, and whites and Latinos are all from the same one spot on the planet?).

    The writers assert that use of an average provides a more “conservative” measure of the economic inequality than would use of a median. I suggest that this is in fact untrue, because the median, unlike the average, conveys the additional information, necessary to any correct (and unbiased) appreciation of the economic reality, of the numbers of people involved. There are approximately 275 million whites in the US and 35 million blacks. Meaning that 137 million whites are below the median while at most “only” 35 million blacks could be. As a general matter, what this means is that there are an awful lot of white people in this country whose wealth doesn’t look so unequal when set beside that of blacks. An average exaggerates the effect of the infamous 0.1%. Even the report alludes to the outsized influence of the wealthiest 400 people. 400 people!!!!

    Moreover, the chosen measure of “wealth” seems to have been selected precisely for its amplifying properties. The wealth being measured by the writers deliberately excludes “consumer durable goods (i.e., automobiles, electronics, furniture, etc.). This definition is rooted in the idea that wealth should be readily converted to cash (i.e., fungible), and durable goods are not.” Yet housing is included as an asset that is “fungible” and “readily converted to cash.” So the writers are making the same error (although something done knowingly can hardly be called an “error,” can it?) that Piketty made which was pointed out by the MIT economist whose name escapes me: namely, that almost the entire measure of “inequality” is located solely in the paper wealth figure of home equity. The economist from whom the writers borrowed the definition of “wealth” lists other kinds of wealth that are most certainly not “readily converted to cash” and are more ephemeral (“net equity in unincorporated businesses”??) than enduring. And excluding the kinds of assets that are excluded, which most people do associate with wealth, would seem to drastically understate the true economic position of blacks and Latinos relative to whites (which, as I speculate, is precisely the intent).

    None of this is to say that there is not a “problem,” just as the discrediting of the notorious “1 in 5” college rape statistic did not mean that no college women ever get raped. Presumably if the correct figure were 1 in 10, say, that would not lead anyone to sit back and say “hey, no problem here!” But both the 1 in 5 crowd and these writers desire to present a numerical value that maximizes emotional impact even as it can’t survive even the most cursory scrutiny, and if you ask me, that is no sound basis on which policy can be made.

  • Anthony

    Real simple and WRM says it well: we don’t need a black economic policy or a white economic policy; we need an American economic policy. All else is diversion and psychological balm. “All of Us or None” ( we may begin perhaps by giving up the public and psychological wages dependent on construct of “whiteness”).

    • TGates

      And yet he tries to soften the blow with, “The Clinton efforts to open up the home ownership system to blacks were
      both well-intentioned and historically justified. Their results,
      however, were tragic.” Manipulating credit scores and using self reported income, all for the goal of meeting GSA sponsored sub-prime mortgage quotas, was neither well intentioned nor historically justified but a simple cynical political calculation. You cannot invent a wealth creation culture overnight as the people of Brazil and Venezuela are finding out to their cost.

      • Anthony

        I don’t know whether he softens anything or whether he implies wealth creation comes differently via capitalism than acknowledged. Yet basic premise, for me, remains simple beyond self-serving interests.

  • Jim__L

    Any time you start using some economic metric to make policy decisions, that eliminates that metric’s value as people a) game the system, and b) the policy changes the meaning of that metric.

    Come on, even Soros has a clue on that one.

  • markterribile

    ‘Redlining’ was the response of the banks to neighborhoods that were in danger of collapse from the unintended (but not unforseen) consequences of The Great Society and a number of reforms in the criminal justice and school systems. History now shows that the banks’ foresight was largely accurate and that they were right to try to protect their depositors’ money.
    Blaming the banks for recognizing the problem is like blaming the phone company for your phone bills.

    • Tom

      You still don’t redline. You just simply look at the client’s qualifications and make your call. That way, people who can actually pay back the loans get them, and people who can’t won’t, instead of lumping everyone into the same clump.

      • markterribile

        That’s not enough. You need to know that the property will retain enough value to recover the loan if you have to foreclose. If the neighborhood goes to Tartarus, every property will lose value.
        It’s different today. With securitized loans the bank has little risk if the loan “does not perform” since it’s already sold the loan off. They didn’t do that in the way back when.

  • GS

    The only hiccuality there is is what we ourselves invented and dragged in: the hiccuality before law, and prior to that, before god. In all other meaningful aspects of life, from speed and strength to sexual performance to being good with money people are most emphatically unequal. The same applies to the groups, but there one needs to look at the distribution of any given ability and propensity in any given group of individuals, so as not to be confused by the outliers. Attempts to construe hiccuality expansively can do nothing but harm.

  • amoose1959

    So “we have a black problem”. Who are the “we”? i assume that means you and me.
    I don’t have a black problem. I haven’t cheated a black person. I haven’t beat up a black person. I haven’t demanded that a black person not sit next to me on a train. I give money to charitable organizations, in fact i tithe. My church has black members.
    So why do i ( being part of the we) have a black problem?
    Do any of you have a black problem?

  • ss396

    The article gets it backwards. Home ownership is not the foundation of middle class prosperity and wealth accumulation. It is the result of the middle class ethic: diligence, self-reliance, learning from mistakes, personal industry, and the like. Having those qualities enables wealth accumulation, including home ownership. Similarly backwards, Social Security is not a foundation of middle class prosperity. It is a program enabled by middle class prosperity, and again as a result of the middle class ethic.

    The discrimination and hostility against blacks prevented their participation in the general prosperity. The Civil Rights Act finally commenced the breakdown of this discrimination and hostility; unfortunately it also created government give-aways in welfare and in recompense for past horrors. Over time this created a dependency class who, because of the dependency, were well short of the middle class ethic that it takes to accumulate, manage, and preserve wealth.. By the time Clinton offered the housing programs, the middle class ethic of a significant percentage of black America had been severely damaged. Had the housing program to get more black home ownership been inaugurated in the 1970s, it would have been far, far more successful.

    The article also claims that what increase in black home ownership that there was occurred just as the housing bubble began to build. Again, this is backwards – the housing bubble was building because the government was compelling the banks to increase mortgage lending, under penalty of law, to increase black home ownership. The government created the bubble by the program of pushing home ownership. The result was to push people into houses – into illiquid wealth sinks – which many of them were not prepared to handle. Their multi-generational dependency had stunted their development of wealth management tools.

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