Why Blue Can’t Save The Inner Cities Part I
Published on: July 17, 2011
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  • John Barker

    A charter school in my area uses a combination of online and in house education. The school serves three times as many students per teacher as the district schools, funds capital projects out of operating funds, (not school bonds) and has maintained higher levels of academic achievement than many regular schools.The teachers at this school will probably be involved in starting other schools using a similar model.

  • WigWag

    Professor Mead doesn’t think that “Blue” can save the inner city; there’s nothing surprising there. After all, he thinks “Blue” should be blamed for virtually every problem the United States is facing.

    But if the “Blue” model is doomed how does he explain how our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, live in a nation that practices a version of the blue state model far bluer than seen in even the bluest of American blue states, yet they manage to thrive?

    Even the most conservative Canadian provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have provincial systems far bluer than American states like New York, California or Massachusetts. Unemployment insurance is more generous, welfare payments are higher and government run health insurance is mandatory.

    Despite this, the Canadian unemployment rate is significantly lower than the American rate; it was 7.2 percent in June, 2011. While the unemployment rate reached double digits in the chronically depressed and under populated Maritime Provinces, in the rest of the country unemployment rates were reasonable even if the economic climate wasn’t exactly robust.

    The three bluest Canadian provinces, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, had unemployment rates of 7.9%, 7.7% and 7.3% respectively; certainly not stellar, but not bad by American standards. All three provinces had balanced budgets and no one in any of Canada’s political parties, including the “progressive-conservative” Prime Minister who just won a new term with (at last) a Parliamentary majority, would ever contemplate eradicating Canada’s welfare state. They might advocate tinkering around the edges by lowering taxes slightly, but Canada’s taxes are still quite a bit higher than in the United States and income inequality is far less severe.

    Crime is the Canadian inner city is dramatically lower than in the United States, all its citizens get decent health care, the environment of its inner cities, while far from perfect, is much safer and healthier than America’s inner cities and black unemployment is lower than in the United States.

    Somehow Canada manages to accomplish all of this while maintaining a highly unionized environment for both private and public employees.

    Why is the Blue State model chugging along (if not exactly thriving) in Canada while it appears to be failing in the United States?

    There are many reasons, not the least of which is that Professor Mead and his fellow travelers are blaming the Blue state model for the failures of Red state oriented policies. The economic calamity faced by the federal government and blue states and red states alike, stems not from the social welfare policies of blue states but from the deregulatory fervor introduced into the national dialog by Ronald Reagan and his allies who advocated the red state philosophy. The idea that Wall Street needed less regulation was a Republican idea picked up foolishly by Democrats like Bill Clinton. The idea that home ownership is as American as apple pie was also a Republican idea picked up by centrist Democrats. The roots of the housing bubble can be found in part in America’s worship of home ownership. It wasn’t that long ago that Republicans wanted to sell apartments in public housing projects like Queensbridge (the housing project that Professor Mead disparaged in a post a few months ago) to welfare recipients.

    Canada never made the mistake of giving up on the New Deal. That’s why regulation of the Canadian banking system was so much more vigorous than that practiced in the United States. The end result is that few Canadian banks were ever at risk of failing and hardly any needed to be bailed out at enormous taxpayer expense. It’s also one of the reasons that Canadian banks never fell all over themselves to foster a calamitous housing bubble.

    By respecting union protections, by maintaining a social safety net far stronger than anything seen in the United States, by assiduously regulating its financial institutions, by providing health care for all and by respecting that a healthy dose of government is needed for capitalism to function well, the Canadians emerged from the economic crisis relatively unscathed. They have the Blue state model to thank for that.

    Of course the Canadians also have other assets; they have a vibrant energy sector enjoying high oil prices right now and they also have a healthy agricultural sector at just the moment that food prices are at an all time high. They are also fortunate that they never had to underwrite hundreds of billions of dollars for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (or anywhere else for that matter).

    Nonetheless, their model, the blue state model on steroids, seems to be doing much better than our model; a headlong rush to the red state philosophy. If you don’t believe it, just check out what’s happened to the exchange rate between our two nations in the past few years; the loonie has appreciated by over 20 percent versus the dollar and it is now worth more than an American dollar (it closed this past Friday at about $1.04).

    Unless Professor Mead can explain why a muscular version of the blue state model works so well in nations like Canada, Denmark and Germany, his thesis about the blue state model in the United States can’t be taken seriously.

  • Independent Observer

    Trying to draw comparisons with the Canadian “blue” economy is rife with potential pitfalls, especially if you consider the historical context in which Canada’s present economic paradigm presently operates. I suggest reading up more about Canada’s market-based enhancements, adjustments to globalization, and debt reduction programs during the 1990s, which account for Canada’s current economic successes. If not for these reforms, Canada’s present economic/fiscal stability would most likely never have occurred. Here’s the link to one such story about Canada’s economic transition in the 1990s: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2001/01/speeches/canada-economic-future-what-have-we-learned/
    Canada’s “Blue” state model would most likely have suffered and perished during the post-Trudeau years if it hadn’t been for these aggressive measures, which you fail to specifically account for in your analysis. Canada’s decision to adopt “Red” ideas guaranteed the continuation of the “Blue” state model in Canada.

  • Joe

    IRT #2 above–You bring up European blue-state “success stories” and expect to be taken seriously, in July of 2011? We are past that, friend: Germany, at this point, is the exception bailing out the rule(s). For a variety of reasons, Denmark really holds no basis for comparison against a country the size and complexity of the U.S.

    It’s also worth noting that Canadian liberals were massacred at the ballots in May, in the manner of their friends in lower latitudes back in 2010. There’s no denying that the country is still very liberal in its policies, but then again, they can afford to be in many ways that we cannot.

  • WigWag

    Professor Mead’s thesis is that the blue state model is moribund, that disintermediation is the way of the future and that a failure to embrace what he believes is the newest incarnation of capitalism will result in economic stagnation. He believes that clinging to the blue state model will have particularly negative consequences for the American inner city in general and its African American residents in particular.

    But like a doctor who examines a colicky child and diagnoses diabetes, Professor Mead can’t come up with a strategy likely to succeed. After all, if the diagnosis is wrong, the prescription won’t help.

    It’s not the blue state model practiced at either the federal level or the state level that is responsible for America’s simmering economic crisis, it’s the red state philosophy that is at fault. Blue states that enthusiastically embrace the red state model (as opposed to making changes around the margins as in New York) will only succeed in becoming what red states already are; poorer, less developed and less habitable; at least for their inner city residents.

    The economic problems that blue states are experiencing right now largely result from the recent economic implosion. While cycles of booms and busts are endemic to capitalism, the severity of the current crisis stems directly from Republicans and Democrats alike eschewing the New Deal regulatory scheme and allowing the financial and banking sectors to run wild. But for the “red” philosophy, the financial sector would not have faced near collapse, the economic turndown would not be as bad as it is and the problems of American states both red and blue would not be as severe. To prevent a repeat of the recent disaster, the only thing that will work is to embrace once again an intrusive regulatory regime at least when it comes to banking and finance. Continuing to follow the “red” scheme of eschewing aggressive regulations will only insure that the recent debacle is repeated.

    Many American states both red and blue also face financial ruin because of the cost of providing health care to the poor and the elderly. Professor Mead is right; we have the worst health care system imaginable. In any developed nation, health care will always be a subject of vigorous debate; after all demand for quality health care will always be relatively insensitive to price. But there is no nation in the world that experiences anything like the health care inflation we see in the United States.

    Canadian provinces can afford a muscular blue state approach because provincial budgets are not racked every year by extraordinary increases in health care costs. As Independent Observer (#3) points out Canada’s provinces deleveraged during the 1990s; it is doubtful they could have achieved this if they faced the kind of health care inflation we have in the United States. The solution to the health care problem is not to be found in the red state philosophy or even in Obamacare; it’s to be found in the Canadian model even with all its imperfections. Nothing else will work.

    Independent Observer (#3) kindly includes a link to an article that explains how the relative prosperity Canada has in the 21st century is rooted in the decision of the government to pare debt in the 1990s. But of course the American government also pared debt in the 1990s; American budget surpluses were so robust that Alan Greenspan actually wondered aloud what would happen if the sovereign debt of the United States was completely paid off.

    The Canadians sustained the economic policies of the 1990s while the American economy adopted a more “red” approach of reducing taxes, lessening regulations and spending hundreds of billions on wars paid for by Chinese bond holders. We would have been wiser to be more like Canada. Had the man Professor Mead spent two weeks ridiculing, Al Gore, been elected instead of George W. Bush it is entirely possible that the brilliant fiscal policies of Bill Clinton would have been preserved, hundreds of billions spent on Afghanistan and Iraq would have been unnecessary and the current crisis faced by the state and federal governments might have been avoided; of course this is mere speculation.

    In addition to bearing the burden of economic mistakes made by the federal government and suffering from America’s health care imbroglio, blue states in particular also face a tremendous fiscal burden from unfunded pension obligations. Here Canada is also instructive. The bluest Canadian provinces also provide generous benefits for retirees but unlike American states these provinces invested ample funds into their retirement systems and thus the unfunded obligations that American states are experiencing are much less acute in Canada. Interestingly, at the time that American blue states like California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts were under investing in pensions (that they themselves had contracted to pay) so that they could provide wealthy residents with tax cuts, these states were run by Governors named Wilson, Pataki, Todd-Whitman and Weld. What they all have in common is that they were all Republican.

    Joe (#4) seems to suggest that there is something special about Germany that allows them to sustain the blue state model and still be the powerhouse of Europe while it’s impossible for Americans to do so. It seems to me that Germany has quite a few things in common with Canada; powerful unions, a vibrant social safety net, universal health care and urban life that is far safer than inner city America. Why are they succeeding better than we are? I think it’s because they were never tempted to dip their toes in the red state cesspool. Their conservative leaders, Merkel and Harper, were not like our conservative leaders, Bush and Cheney. European and Canadian conservatives are more like Richard Nixon when he admitted, “We are all Keynesians now.” Sticking to that credo has fostered relative prosperity in those nations while the United States faces relative decline.

    A resurgent United States will require a return to the blue state roots that helped America become the greatest nation in the world; following Professor Mead’s advice, or even worse, the advice of fierce red staters is the road to perdition.

  • Rob Crawford

    “Why are they succeeding better than we are?”

    Are they succeeding better than we are?

  • EconRob

    The key to the Canada is less corruption and above all the energy and mining sector. Same goes for Oz.

  • avidus

    As a Canadian emigrant I would offer two observations regarding the notion of Canada being the successful “Blue” model.

    Much of what the provinces can accomplish is due to massive transfer payments from the federal government to the provincial government. One of the reasons the federal government can afford to do so is that Canada’s national defence is outsourced to America. The Canadian Forces numbers less than some city police forces in this country. Like many European countries, Canada can spend massively on social programs as their military, while quite competent, is also quite small.

    Secondly, this success is slowing down due primarily to health care costs. Projections of cost increase in the Canadian health care system are catastrophic, and no government federal of provincial has put forward a successful plan to address them. Unfortunately accompanying such projections are declines in healthcare quality that are so widespread that they are being increasingly difficult to be spun away. For a genuine view on the Canadian healthcare system I would strongly suggest viewing the Oscar winning film about such, “The Barbarian Invasions”. It is also important to note that in Canada all private health insurance is illegal. Only Cuba and North Korea share such a ban. In Canada you can get an MRI for your dog within 48, but if you Mother needs one it’s a six month wait. Canada’s leading news magazine, Macleans, has shown that healthcare for animals is more advanced that humans, as investing in animal healthcare offers rich rewards while none exist in such for humans. That one reason why we see cancer survival rates being lower in Canada.

    Thirdly, what is often overlooked by those who see the grass being greener on the Canadian side, is the price paid for such an approach. The Canadian standard of living is 30% less than that of America. This lower standard is also common across the EU.

    Finally, once government controls your health and welfare it increasingly believes that it knows best for you in other areas. That is why there are Human Rights Tribunals that control what you may and may not say and write, with many averaging of 98% conviction rights.

    In conclusion if the Canadian model is to be promoted than let us consider the costs:

    – Loss of sovereignty through lack of ability to defend self
    – Massively increasing healthcare costs while quality declines
    – A dramatic decline in the standard of living
    – A potential loss of them most primal liberty stemming from the growth of government

    Perhaps the Canadian model isn’t one to pursue. If our inner cities aren’t working despite massive government intervention and spending perhaps we might try less government intervention and less spending.

    It seems we’ve tried everything else.

  • char

    But if the “Blue” model is doomed how does he explain how our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, live in a nation that practices a version of the blue state model far bluer than seen in even the bluest of American blue states, yet they manage to thrive?

    Because we’re their neighbor. We undergird them, we undergird the world. Money they don’t have to pay to protect themselves against us means money to put other places. We are their largest trading partner.

    There is no way they could protect their border against us.

    And – when the healthcare going gets tough, they come to America for care.

  • Burke

    Those who claim that the blue state model brought prosperity and stability are rather selective in their memories. It was the blue state model that brought New York City to the brink of bankruptcy, that has destroyed Detroit and is destroying Cleveland, Newark, and other cities.
    Christie Whitman’s tax cuts never did the harm that Jon Corzine’s tax hikes, runaway spending, and partnership with government unions did. George Pataki took the huge deficit left him by Democrat Mario Cuomo, and turned it into a surplus. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan and California are all states which have largely adhered to the blue state model–high taxes, high government expenditures, powerful unions.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Wig Wag,
    Your long comments can be winnowed down to two basic thoughts.
    1. Democratic ideas are good
    2. Republican ideas are bad, with the corollary
    2a. Democratic ideas only fail when they are adopted Republican ideas
    So what we are really need are higher taxes, more regulation and more government spending?
    Just making sure I’m understanding you correctly.

  • Char

    Canada has a thriving energy sector because we don’t.

    … all its citizens get decent health care,…

    I don’t think making angioplasties available in Windsor, Canada, until 2008 could be considered “decent” health care. OTOH, I don’t think making people wait 1-2 years for hip or knee replacements in chronic pain is very decent, either.

    And the Danish way of forbidding their subjects to travel to another country for health care is positively disgusting.

    Good thing Canada signs those agreements with our hospitals, eh?

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    I can tell what will happen if we spent another trillion – a lot of politically connected folks and their cronies will get RICH and there will still be lotsa of poor for some reason, so they will say MORE money is needed. This con game has been going on for decades. Dump a bunch of meat into the ocean and the sharks will arrive first and take most or all of it. This is the model for most government spending.

  • waytooexperienced

    All this talk comparing the U.S. to Canada is, IMHO, a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

    Canada has a population of about 34 million, the U.S. about 340 million. The experience in one will quiet likely vary in the other.

    Further, the Canadian population is far more
    homogeneous than that of the U.S. The black proportion of the Canadian population, for instance, approximates 2.5%, compared to 14% in the U.S. Similar disparities exist for other minorities.

    Finally the social/cultural ethos between the two societies would appear to be quite different. One marker for this is migration patterns…viewed as a percentage of population, the outflow of Canadians to the U.S. is approximately ten times greater than the outflow of U.S. citizens to Canada.

    A less glibe comparison of these two nations is in order.

  • Wigwag, I have not noticed that “red states” are poorer, less developed and less habitable compared to “blue states”. Perhaps you would care to compare the economy of one of the reddest states Texas with blue and bankrupt California. I would note that my home state red Indiana is in a better condition than our neighbors blue Illinois and Michigan.

  • theBuckWheat

    At their core, these are moral problems. We have lied to ourselves that we could live beyond our means. One way we have done that is to think we print wealth when we print money. Another way is to pretend we can pay people $2 for $1 in value they create on the job.

    Government by its very nature cannot create wealth. It only creates values when it facilitates value creation by the private sector. It does that when for example, spending $1 million on a bridge makes more than $1 million in business profits or cost reduction.

    But the opposite easily occurs. When government issues a regulation that forces us to use a different light bulb but in the process causes us to trash expensive fixtures and the new bulbs have a life-cycle cost advantage that cannot be economically justified especially when surprisingly expensive hazardous materials cleanups are factored in, wealth is destroyed.

    Even if expensive government mandates could somehow be justified on an economic basis, there is the liberty factor. Liberals, who love to scold the rest of us on the topic of “sustainability”, want government to stay out of their bedrooms, no matter what benefits the epidemiologists might suggest. On an economic basis, if the personal and social costs of contracting HIV/AIDS were a matter of energy policy, it would overshadow the economic calculation used to justify banning the 100 watt light bulb. But Blue Staters can justify keeping government out of their private decisions with respect to sexual conduct even as they demand that government has every right to intrude on private decisions regarding how a person illuminates their home.

    The moral issues here are timeless: the more we hide true costs, the easier it is for various participants in the economy to make unsustainable economic decisions. This hiding is made possible by official lies, by distorting prices with subsidies by excessive regulation, by causing materials shortages, or by a host of other mechanisms. Distortions are also caused when government finds it easy to seize private property which it redistributes. This disconnects the recipient of this loot from the true costs of things. Over time, people become habituated to making imprudent economic decisions. For example, the demographic group with the highest rates of obesity are the poor on government aid.

  • dave72

    Wig Wag totally ignores many realities in his simplistic red/blue argument:

    Canada has a miniscule defense budget.
    Canada has a miniscule minority population, except for the high-achieving Asian minority.
    Canada has no plaintiff’s bar driving their health care costs through the roof with phony class action lawsuits.
    Canada had no Blue-promoted Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac to create a huge housing bubble.

    These factors alone more than account for the current difference in the economies.

  • jetty

    IRT #2 – “Professor Mead and his fellow travelers are blaming the Blue state model for the failures of Red state oriented policies”

    New York and California are failing because they have been blue, not because of red state policies that can be found in Texas (where, I might add, many Californians and New Yorkers are moving to these days).

  • John

    So basically all we have to do is to have Canada annex New York. No arguments here.

  • Atlanta Lawyer

    Check out Sandy Springs, Georgia, a city incorporated six years ago in suburban Atlanta. It has very few municipal employees, having outsourced almost all of its operations to private companies.

  • iuhw36tgf6tr9ol

    There is a very simple way to alleviate poverty. Enact policies that lead to economic growth. When companies are growing they need to hire more workers and they have to offer better wages and working conditions to attract and keep workers. To stimulate economic growth the government as to get out of the way of business and let them make a profit. Less taxes, less regulation.

    We need some regulation regarding safe working conditions, to control pollution, to prevent expolitation of child labor but there has to be a balance. Right now we are out of balance. We need policies that are pro-free market, (not pro-businees cronyism).

    It is very simple and it works in every country and state that tries it. It is too bad for voters who foolishly elect liberal politicians that liberals don’t like these policies.

  • David N. Narr

    Dr. Mead: The diagnosis is right on; I don’t hold out much hope for the prescription, however. What passes for black “leadership” these days is too invested in the blue model. Same for union “leadership,” although the latter is also driven by anti-capitalist ideology.

    Nothing would help the black community more, IMO, than to smash (yes, I said smash) the teachers unions and free black children from the chains binding them to dreadful public schools. Many black parents know this; most black “educators” will not admit it.

    WigWag: Why don’t you get your own blog?

  • HC

    The problem with the ‘blue’ vs. ‘red’ paradigm is that it doesn’t connect to human nature very well. The Blue model is indeed coming apart, but the so-called ‘Red’ model simply won’t work on a large enough scale to replace it, and it’s loathed by far more than _just_ government employees and blue collar workers. Politically, an economy based on a pure ‘Red’ model is a non-starter, because not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Most people, in any economy, cannot be entrepreneurs. It’s not possible.

    This splits the TEA Party, it splits the GOP, it cuts directly _across_ rather than between the two big political parties. Free trade, for example, is not much more popular at street level among much of the GOP voters than it is with blue-collar Dems, while Dem leaders talk a good game against it while supporting quietly.

    Ditto illegal immigrationm amnesty and open borders, loathed at street level by voters among both Dems and GOP, and embraced by the leadership of both political parties and a key unofficial element of the Red economic model, at least among business men.

    Right now, the national Chamber of Commerce is pushing yet another effort to lock in open borders with some of the GOP Congressmen. It’s natural, that’s where the cheap labor comes from, and business always wants the cheapest possible labor, and if they can push off the costs of that ontot he state, they’ll do it.

    (Which means that only government regulation and political coercion can actually keep a Red economy Red, ironically. Given the chance, private business will turn it into oligarchy.)

    The fact that the electorate soundly rejects Obamacare doesn’t mean they also want to privatize either Social Security or Medicare. The social conservatives are an _indispensable_ element of the GOP/Red voting base, yet they are sympathetic to government regulation of the economy, at least in certain respects. The libertarian element of the GOP are in many cases social liberals, creating tremendous tensions within the Red side of the ledger.

    Red vs. Blue economic models simply don’t describe the political and economic reality, they’re too crisp and clean. Reality is messy and sloppy.

  • Owen

    Walter: What an excellent analysis, full of useful observations and, particularly, a way to explain the public sector’s predicament in non (post?) racial terms. This may superficially appear, as you say, to be Red/white versus Blue/black, but at bottom it’s about disintermediation. The digital technologies have at least challenged, and largely dissolved, the old structures (public or private) through which services were delivered to customers (voters, buyers, whomever).

    This is NOT about race, and I thank you for finding and sharing ways to show that.

    As for Wigwag: I don’t buy your thesis. Canada did dodge (most of) the housing bubble because its banks were not free to go crazy (and maybe some Canadian horse sense was present as well). What made our banks so crazy? Greed, yes. But also –and I submit, chiefly– they were FORCED to go crazy by the Community Reinvestment Act and its various reinterpretations into the 1990’s and its hard-left defenders like Barney Frank. The premise was “poor people deserve houses too!” which was economic suicide; but because of the Racist theology, the CRA was politically untouchable. Banks had to drink the Kool-aid. And, as with Jonestown, the bodies are everywhere. It is not the Red economic model that caused this; it was the Blue social justice model. IMVHO.

  • tom beebe

    Even, EVEN schools could benefit from the idea which I have suggested applicable to industrial regulation.. My thought is that while competition is the best regulator of commerce, it is not always available. Competition is not available in the delivery of power to your home or business (only one set of wires is practical) but it has become available in the delivery of telephony (who needs wires?). Same is true of roads, airports, even railways, but not for cars and trucks, airlines; and trains. Where competition is not available to a segment we must consider reglated or publicly owned enterprise (I personally reefer the former). How does this principle apply to schools? I can think of no case where a competitive environment could not be created, with the buyers (parents) free to choose the education of their childrem. Will they? That is the question. Now we’re back to compulsory purchase of a service. Sounds like part of the Obamacare controversy. Like so many things, this boils down to the right to be irresponsible. Where can this sort of “right” be voluntarily forfeited? A cultural change, centered on a functional family, is the only answer, and its biggest threat is the nanny state. Nowhere is this change less feaseable than in the minority community where the Great Society programs have created a disconnect between responsibility and security or material well-being. Who, particularly in the balck community, can or will undertake that change?

  • Sam L.

    Blue Model Education: How has it helped black children? And why do many black parents prefer vouchers to supporting their public schools?

  • James Robertson

    #2 – there’s also the fact that Canada – unlike the US – aggressively exploits its natural resources. You don’t see enviros shutting down all possible tax revenue in Canada like you do in, say, California.

  • Kenny

    It is not just government ‘workers’ who enjoyed a holiday from history in the last thirty years; it has been the blacks, too.

    Political correctness has made it, shall we say, uncomfortable to openly discuss black dysfunctionality. The standing rule seems to be that black sensitivity must be given the highest priority and blacks must be condescended too whenever possible.

    Any discussion on subjects like black crime, illegitimacy, illiteracy, drop out rate IQ, etc. has to be frist protected with an amada of excuses & rationalizations to try and explain away the facts.

    Well, that party is ending.

    The middle class is sick & tired of the inordiante amount of money spent on blacks and the special privileges they are graced with as in hiring preferences via quotas & affirmative action.

    It is time for blacks to stand (or fall) on their own. And if they think a government job is the answer, they’re in for a rude awakening.

  • Anthony

    “The government job machine is no longer an escalator to the middle class…. The cause and effect relationship between performance and pay is much higher and much more dramatic in the private sector than in the public one.” Social capital and American “Grand Strategy” economically and politically with specifics (since there are no angels in our whirlwind.) may provide counterpoise to dismantling of Blue Social Model. Such, as WRM has mentioned, requires leadership.

    WRM has intimated an emerging form of social and economic organization challenging U.S. populace; equally, he has intimated new social/economic arrangements are needed to lessen uprooting impact. Discovering these new arrangements comes via utilization of not only technology and science but also social capital tuned into communitarian opportunities (entrepreeneurial opportunity where appropriate). The analysis requires careful public policy thought. For me, inferred in WRM’s latest Blue Model exposition is the inevitability of Blue Model demise and how transition can be less bitter for many Americans if structural origins of change are identified – politico/economic leaders needed.

    As the Blue Model dies and an emerging form of social and economic organization develops, are Americans going to permit regional, ethnic, urban, rural differences to becloud importance to national interest in recognizing that impending change affects Americans blue or red? The question ought to be: How has such an economic reordering occurred without economic policy discussion locally, statewide, and federally?

    Non Nobis Solum Nati Sumus (we are not born for ourselves alone).

  • Joseph Somsel

    So it is “racist” to cut government spending that will disproportionately hurt blacks (with 20% of government jobs) but it was NOT racist to create policies that would disproportionately GIVE jobs to blacks and create welfare systems that disproportionately benefit blacks?

    Seems to me that the new liberal RACISM has benefited minorities at the expense of the majority white population.

    Segregation was defeated on the moral premise that we would henceforth judge people on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin.

    Yet we need to remember the Biblical wisdom “The poor are always with you” – partially because of individual character.

  • WigWag more than holds his own, in my opinion of course. The Red State model is a model for downward mobility. The only winners, I predict, will be the people with brains, the talented tenth as Dubois called them; and if they are only for themselves, what are they? We are headed for trouble — in fact it is already here — and Mead’s solution is, again in my judgment, wishful thinking. “As our times are new, we must think anew.” I think Abraham Lincoln said that. (Or was it Bob Dylan?)

  • Luke Lea

    [Dear editors: what happened to my first comment? Was it censored? It shouldn’t have been. If we can’t say what the challenge is, how are we going to meet it?]

  • Jon

    Human social policy that doesn’t take into account biological reality is doomed to fail.

    This “Red” and “Blue” stuff is nonsense. Is it “red” or “blue” to recognize that blacks consistently, in the US and the world, score at least 1 SD below whites on IQ tests? Is it “red” or “blue” to look at crime statistics and recognize that blacks are significantly more likely to commit violent crime (even when controlling for IQ and socioeconomic status)?

    How much evidence do we need to acknowledge that the biological differences between whites and blacks makes our cultures only partially compatible?

    Blacks will never be whites. It’s just not going to happen. The US has been engaging in a grand social experiment to try and make it happen, and yet 30 years later we’re no closer to achieving that goal.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      This post doesn’t call for violence and makes its points without expressing hatred, so I have passed it on to readers on the site, partly to show that such attitudes really do still exist in our country. That in no way implies agreement with any of the points made.

  • WSL

    The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

  • The mean intelligence quotient of black Americans is one full standard deviation lower than the mean intelligence quotient of white Americans. This difference has been stable over the past several decades and continues to this day.

    Intelligence quotient correlates quite well to educational achievement, income levels, professional and occupational status, crime rates, and a number of other meaningful variables which separate the middle class from the lower classes.

    There is no model whatsoever — Red State, Blue State, Green State, Purple State etc — which can compensate for large differences in mean intelligence quotient between populations. Those populations will invariably demonstrate different strata of achievement and functionality.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      See response to “Jon”.

  • Pete Dellas

    Another great read, Prof. Mead.

    As for Wig’s commentary, comparing Canada to the US is an apples/oranges comparison.

    1) The US military takes up a substantial portion of our budget (for better or worse).

    2) The Canadian economy is based substantially on creating wealth from natural resources. The American economy doesn’t–at least not as much–primarily because our government discourages it by regulation and bureaucracy.

    3) It is American entrepreneurialism that discovers the lion’s share of new technologies, medicines, etc. Those R&D dollars are written off, and therefore untaxed.

    4) There are many dollars which are counted as circulating in the GDP of the US which, ultimately, do not get taxed. That makes any GDP/debt ratios unfair comparisons. We have chosen to be world leaders (or, it has been thrust on us). There is a price to pay, along with the benefits.

  • Char

    The Red State model is a model for downard mobility?

    Well, if Sweden were a state, didn’t it usually rank in the bottom 5?

  • Tracy

    I grew up in a lower-middle class working neighborhood. The houses were small, but neat, and the neighborhood was mostly white.

    It was an inexpensive place to buy a house, so soon after I left home for college, many black families left their inner-city rentals to invest in the American Dream.

    My parents retired to a different community, so I took a drive through my old neighborhood last week for the first time in almost 15 years.

    It looked like a bombed-out war zone. A very few of the houses were well-kept, but most looked as if they were about to be condemned. The community pool had been filled with dirt and closed. The neighborhood church had bars on the windows. There were people just roaming the streets, hanging out on front lawns laying atop junk vehicles–not children playing, not BBQs, not family gatherings.
    I spoke with a friend who still lives there. She said that they had to be inside by dark in order to be safe and that she could hear gunshots every night. Sure enough, the local newspaper reported shootings in my old neighborhood just that week.
    I do not understand this phenomenon. All the sociology classes I have taken have not explained it to me.
    There must not be an economic reason for these occurances, because these people bought these homes–invested in this neighborhood.
    I keep coming back to the same idea–
    I think that where there is a lack of assimilation into the American Culture, that there is a lack of prosperity.

  • Marty

    Not that it would work everywhere, but I could solve Detroit’s problems in one step: amend the MI constitution to make Detroit right-to-work, with no minimum wage higher than the Federal one, and no MBE/WBE/DBE requirement on private businesses that work with the govt on things like land assembly. It would be a right-to-work island in the closed-shop sea of Michigan, and a huge magnet for labor-intensive businesses. All sorts of businesses, including non-Big 3 autos, would clamor to get in, and wages would be good because all the competition for (suddenly) scarce sites in Detroit, would bid up the value of the land and the businesses that could make highest and best use of it. Workers and then City revenues would follow.

    Never happen, of course.

  • Toni

    Rational (not racist) reasons why minority set-asides don’t make sense in 2011:

    1. Like college admission set-asides, they imply to everyone, “Blacks can’t make it without special help.”

    2. Having companies bid to provide municipal services is a good idea the same way Ford competing with Toyota is a good idea: you get a better product at a lower price. GE lobbying for “green” tax breaks and mandates, and getting them, is rightly called corporate cronyism. Minority set-asides are merely another form of cronyism, and every thinking person, including non-minorities competing for municipal contracts, knows it. What better way to encourage inefficiency and corruption?

    3. To my mind, ongoing inefficiency, corruption and “questionable savings” should disqualify minority set-asides on their face. To tolerate those faults not only says “Blacks can’t compete with whites.” It also says “And that’s okay!” Isn’t that attitude patronizing?

    A friend of mine was the first native-born Hispanic woman in the US to earn a PhD in math — from Rice University, while working full-time at Exxon. To my everlasting shame, I once said to her, “For Exxon, you’re a two-fer.” As if Exxon had an unspoken quota for women and minorities. No, Exxon doesn’t, and that very attitude had complicated her rise in the company. Others subtly or explicitly questioned her qualifications.

    How often do blacks face the same challenges to their abilities? Probably less often explicitly — which would make the situation worse, since others (of all races) may withhold judgment until the black person has proven their abilities over and over.

    I say again, isn’t it time to let blacks (and Hispanics) be just plain people? Isn’t it time to grant them the dignity of being accomplished individuals — and capable of becoming accomplished individuals — who don’t need special help to succeed? Isn’t special help itself patronizing?

    To put it another way, job discrimination has been illegal for nearly half a century. When does the clock run out on special help?

  • Toni

    HC, what makes you think “the so-called ‘Red’ model simply won’t work on a large enough scale to replace it”? It worked just fine until the Progressive blue social model began to replace it a century or so ago.

    It’s always been true that “Most people, in any economy, cannot be entrepreneurs.” No, but they can work for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create jobs, sometimes whole new industries, and thus a healthy economy.

    “The national Chamber of Commerce is pushing yet another effort to lock in open borders with some of the GOP Congressmen” not only for “cheap labor.” For labor, period. Newcomers to this country want to get on the economic ladder and move up, and they are willing to work hard to move up. Native-born Americans often take more for granted and aren’t willing to work as hard no matter what the wage.

    I speak from first-hand knowledge. My best friend is a Hispanic immigrant, and another is the daughter of Hispanic immigrants.

    Reality is indeed messy. But in these times, and as a reaction to Big Beneficent Blue Government, the Red “Get Government Out of the Way” approach has every chance of succeeding. It has in Red states, which are generally economically healthier than Blue ones.

  • BTW, I really enjoy Prof. Mead’s blog.

    I’m no economist, but what seems missing from this analysis is the pool of cheap, unskilled labor swelled by immigration, both legal and illegal. I think the abundant availability of dirt-cheap labor (paid with cash under-the-table) affects our economy like sugar affects diabetes. When the economy booms, easy access to under-paid workers artificially increases profitability of businesses and raises the standard of living for the middle and upper class. But when the economy busts, the giant surplus of unskilled labor becomes a serious burden as the unemployed masses consume welfare and other social services.

    How does illegal immigration affect the availability of jobs in the inner city? Some people are singing praises to Canada, but I don’t think they’ve got a border control problem like we have.

    There are a lot of other factors too, of course, including globalization, pathetic schools, political leadership that promotes helplessness, and a welfare system that pays individuals to live in dysfunctional families. So many people (both blue and red) are invested in the status quo, making even small changes needed for progress will be very painful.

  • Bernd

    We need to start with the following simple facts.

    1) When the liberals took over the cities, the families who were concerned about the education of their kids, and who had the means to do so left the cities and went to the suburbs.

    2) Therefore for the most part middle class families have school choice – they choose the schools for their kids by moving into that district.

    3) Suburban school districts feel this competition. They know that they have to provide a good product, or else they lose customers.

    4) This dynamic is wholly non-existent in the inner city. There the liberals hold sway, with policies that benefit everyone who works for the government (including the entire public education system) at the expense of the taxpayer and the family who wants a decent education for their kids but cannot afford to move out.

    5) To fix the inner city, it first needs a root canal, but it must be imposed from within by the citizens who live there.

    6) The first step in the root canal would probably be to shut down the inner city school system in its entirety, and replace it with charter schools (as has been done in New Orleans).

    7. The second step would be to ban union membership on the part of all city employees, and to then use the resulting ability to reset wages and benefits to cut the cost of ongoing city government and retirement benefits to private sector norms.

    8. The third part of the root canal would be to lower city property tax rates to what they are in the surrounding suburbs, erasing a cost of living advantage to living in the suburbs.

    This steps taken together would result in a place to live that had all of the advantages of a city, a great school system for the kids, and an affordable tax structure.

    I live in an Atlanta suburb with great public schools, who have done a great job of educating my first child, and who now have my second child in high school. Property taxes are reasonable, and police/fire services are excellent.

    The nearby city of Atlanta is mess, with its school system embroiled in a text cheating scandal. Time for a root canal.

  • Great survey of the rise and fall of the Blue Social Model!

    But there’s a flaw in your post-Blue approach, the relentless grip that the bureaucrat has on society. You can’t break it because too many people have a vested interest in its continuation.

    The only way to break it is to BUY OFF those who have a vested interest in its continuation.

    That’s why I think the best post-blue model is LMAD because it BUYS OFF every one.

    LET’S MAKE A DEAL or LMAD (pronounced L-MAD) is a balanced practical plan that gets America off the bench and back in the game. It is a set of solutions and reforms, fashioned in the form of a trade designed to cater to, well, to everyone: Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, independents, apathetics, and even cynics. AND EVEN bureaucrats.

    The economic essence of LMAD is simplicity… A simple, single rate carbon tax, A simple, single rate VAT tax, A simple, single rate size of government (limited government)

    Healthcare-for-All? It’s in there. Balanced budget? It’s in there. Carbon tax? It’s in there. Rational taxation? Amnesty? Border Security? Limited government? Social Security and Medicare solvency? It’s all in there; it’s all paid for and it’s all optimized to grow the US economy in these austere times.

    It’s trite but true, a rising tide does lift all boats. and LMAD is a spring tide.

    Like your work! Thanks.

    Plan Blog: letsmakeadeal-thebook.com/
    Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Lets-Make-A-Deal-The-Book/143298165732386
    Twitter: twitter.com/#!/lmadster
    Or just Google “LMADster” for more.

  • WRM: “The current Washington battle over deficits is a perfect example; in some ways it boils down to a battle of mostly white Republicans to keep taxes on mostly white rich people low while cutting spending on programs that disproportionately hire Blacks and seek to serve them.”

    While I would argue that taxes on the “rich” are in fact not low at all (the tax code during the Bush years actually got *more* progressive), why is it the responsibility of white (or blue or green or red) “rich” people to subsidize the employment of black people?

    The progressive knows that those “rich” people don’t *need* all that money. Obama, a rich black man, even said so! The leftist knows much better what to do with that money than the greedy old rich white guy. The liberal doesn’t really believe all that money belongs to the rich white guy anyway. After all, they’ve only “won life’s lottery” as Richard Gebhardt so infamously once said.

    Here is a fact: No matter how much money is stolen via taxes and transferred via government to another segment of the population, it will never solve problems that originate in culture or people’s character.

  • Anthony

    Sagging IQs: The mean for Americans is less than 100; the bell curve norm: 68% 1SD to left and 1SD to right reflects unfavorably on Americans black or white (not to mention 2 or more SDs). So, no matter how we define it, intelligent quotient for average American regarding distribution begs the intelligent question. Moreover, genuine research not psychological propaganda has, since Hernstein and Murray, refuted racial basis of IQ differences (cf. Genetic Code of Human Life is Cracked by Scientists – Human Genome). The intelligent consideration ought to be why are so many Americans incapable of clear-headed thought vis-a vis sociological construct (“race”).

  • rpm

    Canada is a suburb. I do not intend that in a derogatory manner. Suburbs are usually nice places to live. Canada is a pretty well run suburb, for the most part, but comparing them to the US is like comparing Westchester County to NYC.

  • Mitchell Ross

    “Wig Wag” should move to Canada. It’s shocking how many thoughtful, reasoned, people can arrive at such ridiculous conclusions.

    Please list for me all of the countries that have used economic socialism as the pathway to success?

    The Soviet Union?


    North Korea?

    Redistribution of wealth = failure. EVERY TIME ITS TRIED.

    Academic and media elites don’t like the inequality of free market capitalism, because there are clear winners and losers and harder working people are generally rewarded with more material gains.

    Please move to a socialist country and stop voting here. It’s depressing to watch liberals in this country drag it down in a futile effort to create a socialist utopia. There are plenty socialist countries that have already put into place all the things you dream about, please go there.

  • Luke Lea

    [A note to the editors: two posts of mine on this thread have yet to appear, one very short which might have given you pause, and one much longer which should have taken that pause away. Would you please show them to Mr. Mead for a final decision. I always try to be constructive. thanks, Luke]

  • Walter. Just one question:

    “Minority and small business set-asides ensure that Black owned or managed firms get some of this business; the process can be both inefficient and corrupt and the savings are often questionable, but the promotion of Black business is, in my view, a clear gain for African Americans and for society as a whole.”

    If this isn’t about race, and shouldn’t be about race…how could you possibly rationalize the continuation of this practice. It IS corrupt, and it’s part and parcel to the problems that you’re describing. You can’t have your cake and eat it to.

  • Sorry…I meant to say: otherwise, great analysis.

  • mnemos

    Brief comment on a point that hasn’t been pointed out to my knowledge. Blue model solutions should be expected to be less effective in the cities at this point, since the portion of the population that is likely to be helped by it has already moved on. If I tried to remove a stain with one soap and it didn’t work, I better try a different soap. Some particular program may be effective for the problems of a portion of the poor inner city population, but others will have other problems and need different approaches. The longer you stay with some particular approaches the less effective they will become. In some sense this mirrors the race climate. Racial discrimination exists, but it has been decades since racial discrimination was a significant problem – so much so that we need finer and finer statistics to track it down. Yet many black politicians speak as if it is still a dominant problem. It pales in comparison to out-of-wedlock birth rates, poor schooling and lawless neighborhoods. As long as our remedy is fighting racial discrimination we won’t see significant results.

  • don

    I grant all the problems (having lived through many of them up front and in my face) delineated about the blue state model. However, the blue state model did get to the moon; its (NASA’s ) history since then has been dismal, even during the red state resurgence in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I would point out the capital for the Panama Canal (much less winning the west and building the railroads) wasn’t a function of Horatio Algers and a red state model of heroic private investment devoid of government involvement. I find it curious the current president eschews the blue state model for the red state model of developing low earth space without humans, which is cheaper; it is also rather like Columbus discovering the “New World” and hoping to further develop the “natives” resources and new technology without the deep pockets of the Spanish state. It didn’t happen.

  • JohnLeeHooker

    60% of non-hispanic black pregnancies end in abortion. in some places/contexts this would be called genocide

  • mel

    If the philosophy in charter schools is so great, why not allow the public schools do it also. If there is too much corruption in public school why not eliminate it? Charter schools and private schools succeede because they kick out the students that refuse to conform and work hard. If public schools were allowed to do this, a lot of black kids would be searching for new schools. This is why blacks tend to support public schools- they know their screams of racism and teacher blaming work in a government institution created by a government that has legalized racism against NONblacks.

  • Mike B.

    I’m with David Narr on the prescription. The only way having it community based is for the unemployed to do this, as government jobs are cut. Otherwise, don’t see government bureaucrats or pols giving up the current patronage system. This would mean less money/benefits for the workers, and less votes for the pols. No doubt the system is broken and will only get worse for blacks. But this is a leap.

    Anybody hear about the recent corruption in the Massachussetts Liquor Authority? Evidently, there was a $1.7 million charge to earnings due to “employment charges.” What were they? Primarily, a former military veteran(and maybe others) sued in that they were denied a job, and it was discovered that the pols would only appropriate monies for the Authority in the upcoming year if, and only if, two of the pols relatives were hired(out of 3 slots). Aggrieved applicant(s)sued and won. Unreal.

  • Ray Jin

    All the comparisons with Canada are [not as intelligent as one could wish]. Canada has l/10 the population of the US with about equal land mass and natural resources to exploit. DUH!!!!

  • Hugh

    As usual, the dialogue on race and intelligence must [suffer expressions of strong disapproval] by the politically correct police like Anthony up there. Race is not a sociological construct, it’s a genetic fact. (You might sometimes mistake a particularly ugly man for a woman, or vice versa, but no one argues that sex has no genetic basis.)
    For reference please read the following awesomely informative link that discusses racial classifications and the current state of genetics research. If you look at the graphs I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to suss out that modern genetics research in fact is extraordinarily accurate at determining ethnic groups, and is an immensely valuable tool for science but would be dismissed out of hand by ideologues like Anthony.
    The relationship between race and g has been well established for decades, and while we certainly don’t know enough about the topic, it’s a shame that it’s essentially kept off-limits for polite discussion, scientific research, or debate on social policy.

  • PerryM

    The big city ghettos will remain ghettos until individual families realize that prosperity is linked to assimilating with the rest of America.

    Look at the oriental folks – outside of a China Town they assimilate – they don’t huddle together and spawn ghettos – they buy homes far away from fellow Orientals – they blend in and do very well.

    That’s all that is needed – stop looking at Washington for any answers – they have none and have proved that fact for 50+ years……

  • Anthony

    [email protected], thanks for suggestion; nevertheless, we must agree to disagree: social construct in that usage became paradigm for human categorization about five hundred years ago. Biologically/Genetically what is a race? Not to be confused by your own usage of ethnics. And because you affimatively claim something has been well established on a blog does not make it so. Additionally, polite discussion as you say ought to be open and not off limits to differing viewpoints. Finally, I am neither thought police nor ideologue; but I am an interested observer/reader.

  • Anthony

    [email protected], permit me to add that “humans” are one species with phylogenetic variability; the idea of race has served many purposes, not all noble. Most importantly, the main need in physical anthropology is an application that does not misuse abstract averages, standard deviations, coefficients of correlation, and artificially created concepts for outmoded ideas deemed invalid by modern science.

  • Hugh

    Anthony, so referring to articles that put actual scientific data to back up what I’m saying is easily dismissed as “a blog post”? Funny, I noticed you never referenced any scholarly material to back up your assertions.
    It is quite funny to me. I mean, the article itself references (among several others) a study of over 550 genomes from individuals worldwide and analyzed over 250,000 SNPs and establishes relatedness among these populations via comparison of shared traits, and you wave your hands and ask “What is race?”
    How about what is sophistry?
    Anyway it’s clearly a waste of time trying to discuss with you

  • john werneken

    We certainly need more tax revenues, starting with eliminating pork barrel regressive loopholes for individuals and for corporations. Kill home mortgage interest deduction, state and local tax deduction, charitable deduction, loss carry forward and loss carry back, LIFO accounting, limits to types and amounts of income to which social security/Medicare tax applies. Remember that the federal personal income tax is large and important but far from the only tax, and neither the source of most tax nor the most tax most people pay.

    Total government spending (all governments) tends to be 33-36% of GNP in the US, far less than in the other civilized countries. Total tax on the average of 1/3 is NOT an outrageous burden.

    The dumb spending must go: ethanol, farm subsidies, full retirement from a typical occupation at 65, payment for medicine on fee for services basis; ALL support payments should be indexed by income.

    The smart spending must resume: infrastructure, research, development.

    NIMBY must go. No more consent of those nearby considered, when investment is concerned. No more “protective principle” regulation. Allow energy exploration and production everywhere, free GM crops.

    How about introducing efficacy into contract privately/do internally decisions as to who performs government work? Not just price. Ask the consumers, the citizens. Like a real business would. See who does the best job. Efficiency is not just cost; it’s also capital and productivity.

    On the Red/Blue thing, I think the author’s key point is NOT ideological; it’s about security-seeking. A lot of Blue thinking is about risk aversion. Same on the Red side really, we have opponents of change galore on that side.

    Change is necessary and to make it possible it needs to seem to work for most of the people most of the time.

    A good start would be a decent government. One that trimmed some of its responsibilities, and collected enough to pay its bills (more in good times less in bad times but enough, over the cycle). One with a stable currency, a strong but not aggressive defense, a rule of law, and support for progress.

  • johneb

    Thanks Dr. Mead. If more liberals spent their time, energy and resources trying to swim with the river called Reality, less people would drown.

  • Smoking Frog

    Anthony 48 said Sagging IQs: The mean for Americans is less than 100; the bell curve norm: 68% 1SD to left and 1SD to right reflects unfavorably on Americans black or white (not to mention 2 or more SDs). So, no matter how we define it, intelligent quotient for average American regarding distribution begs the intelligent question.

    Anthony, that’s nonsense – words strung together. You don’t know what you’re talking about. With IQ or anything else, at least 68% of any population is within 1 SD of the mean. What you say has no relevance at all to the fact that the black mean is 1 SD below the white mean, when the entire US population is included in the distribution.

  • Mike

    Toni got it just about right. “I say again, isn’t it time to let blacks (and Hispanics) be just plain people? Isn’t it time to grant them the dignity of being accomplished individuals — and capable of becoming accomplished individuals — who don’t need special help to succeed? Isn’t special help itself patronizing?”

    Sounds like she thinks we ought to judge people on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Novel idea.

    My only quibble: she said we ought to “grant them the dignity of being accomplished individuals.” All of us were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. It’s not that “we” should grant “them” anything. Let’s all of us respect each other’s rights.

  • Anthony

    Smoking [email protected], you miss the point; of course under bell curve norm 68% falls 1SD to left and right of mean. Does not change my proposition whether you concur or not.

  • Anthony

    [email protected], shift in terms clouds discussion; We have a different view over what is at issue (verbal dispute/not real dispute). You and I both know sophistry and race has long practice; although I work hard to use neither hypocritically/cynically/incorrectly.

  • stuff

    Ah,I see now. Anthony uses sophistry correctly.

  • Anthony

    Sophistry brought up by other respondent; I responded to his term (I prefer and use term in its philosopher/thinker meaning). Finally, do not conflate Anthony’s responses with his person. Argue his responses in American Interest fashion not….Ideas, Ideas,Ideas in the American way.

  • stuff

    Anthony said: Sophistry brought up by other respondent; I responded to his term (I prefer and use term in its philosopher/thinker meaning).

    Wow, sophistry about your use of sophistry. Very meta.

  • Canada

    WRM writes a very interesting piece. And it hits many good points but leaves out the most important piece of the pie: groups that successfuly integrate into the American dream without needing constant taxpayer assistance to survive are those who procreate in responsible fashion with the two-parent home as a majority model for their ethnic group.
    Giwe any black child a stable black family unit and the odds are very good that child will thrive in private or public workforce.
    The tragegy of the black community is a total lack (80% in NYC, 70% nationally)of two funcioning parents with high shool completion. As to Canada — have you been there? There are no black majority inner cities.

  • B. Samuel Davis

    Well, the Prof is wrong, all wrong – this piece is an exercise in avoiding the real issue, and evading the real problem. The issue is a single group, and how that group has been used, abused, spit upon, taken for granted and destroyed, all for the political gain of the Democratic Party. Ask yourself, who in the world would reward a political party with a 60 years record of failure, despite a trillion dollars spent?

    How has this happened? It is no great insight to realize that our media – especially the traditional media – is immensely powerful. So powerful that African Americans have been convinced to consistently align itself with people who have systematically destroyed their families, ruined their culture, and exposed them to incredible amounts of violence. And the popular culture promoted by Democrat media has popularized chemical dependance on a massive scale.

    And the traditional media keeps the Democratic Party in power in power in the African American community – through lies, manipulation, half truths and the like, and despite decades of worsening conditions. It is a story not told since the very media that allowed this to happen has adopted a policy which makes impossible to even talk about it.

    In short the Democratic party has in just a few generations taken the promise of the civil rights era and ground it to dust. Consider this:

    — The Democratic Party through family aid policies have destroyed the black family. 70% of black children are born out of wedlock. Many are born to women who have multiple children from multiple fathers. How did this happen? In the late 60’s the New Jersey Newark Evening News used to run articles about how Essex County New Jersey welfare agencies were throwing fathers out of the home if the mother was “on” welfare. DEMOCRAT family assistance policies, implemented nationwide led to fatherless homes, which led to the ruin of the Black community. Statistics show that when two parent families are used as a basis for comparison, then on education and crime black and white are equal. But, when considered as a group, crime for African Americans in the inner cities is totally out of all proportion to numbers and education achievement is dismal – The reason? Destruction of the black family. And no amount of money can’t put this right. In fact, the vast amounts of money spent on the poverty industry by government and foundations ends up the pockets of Democrat ‘community’ leaders. What these don’t take is funneled it to friends and family. And yes – I have seen this.

    —Destroyed family means crime, crime and more crime. Maybe rich Hollywood stars can afford to raise children in single parent households but for everyone else an intact family,a mother and father, and hopefully, aunts, uncles, and cousins as well, is necessary. When an entire community is filled with single parent households you have today’s African American ghettos – crime ridden, drug infested, ruled by gangs. Was it anything but Democratic policies that caused this? This result was not unexpected. In the early 1970’s Democratic Senator Daniel Moynihan predicted that welfare policies that kept fathers out of the home would lead to the situation we have today. But this prediction went against the grain of feminist teachings which are part of overall Democrat policies, which is that a father in the home is unnecessary. The result was a nationwide social experiment, the results of which we have in the ghetto community today.

    — How about employment? Democrat policies destroyed the black working class. Democrat policies put into place massive legal and illegal immigration. But for this there would have been a severe labor shortage, and an opportunity once the rest of society became more open, as there was access to loans, assistance. education etc. So those jobs would have been a stepping stone to advancement, In 1968 the so-called “friend” of the black community, Ted Kennedy enacted legislation that brought millions of immigrants to America. These immigrants took work in areas that had traditionally employed African Americans – the jobs that the Democrat media derisively calls ‘jobs that Americans won’t take.’ In the absence of immigrants those jobs would have paid much better wages as the only way to attract workers, and could have acted as a springboard toward better employment. Thanks to Democrat policies those jobs are gone for African Americans.

    –Yes, you can say that Republicans supported immigration too, but never as a matter of overall policy, and rank and file Republicans, like most Americans, are dead set against immigration. And wouldn’t Democrats protect the group that every election gives it 100% support? And, ironically, African Americans are against immigration – read some of Rev. Wright’s speeches, one of many examples. But Black leaders, who are beholden to the Democrat party, actually support immigration, throwing their community under the bus in favor of what helps the Democrat party. And Democrat media is SILENT this antipathy.

    –Let’s not forget all the poverty assistance programs – billions if not trillions in aid meant for African Americans now shared with newly arrived immigrants with little or no history of repression.
    — You think that Democrats would appoint leaders in the black community who would support the community. Forget about it – black leaders are only interested one thing – what’s good for the Party. On issue after issue – immigration, drugs, education, charter schools, funding black leaders put Party over community.

    —So….where are the headlines about what has happened to the black community, the terrible crime statistics, lack of education achievement etc. Where is the outcry, the “60 Minute specials, where? Why is there no mention of what immigration has done to African Americans, no mention of the relationship between fatherless homes, crime and education, after all the statistics are crystal clear – where is all the reporting? You won’t see it – Democrat media has formulated a concept known as ‘political correctness’ which silences the anyone who wants to talk about what’s going on. So we hear nothing about the crime, loss of jobs and why things have not improved despite decades of Democrat control of the major cities, and trillions of dollars spent.

    –In 2005 there were – finally -some evidence that African Americans were actually starting to think that maybe conservatives were right after all. I remember wondering how the Democrats would respond. It wasn’t long before the Democrats found in the response to Hurricane Katrina the way to stop the defections from the party line. The Democrat media went in overdrive – with lies and exaggerations, but the Democrat media has had decades to hone its media blitz machine. The response to Katrina was not wholly different from the response to any other disaster, with most of the problems caused by an incompetent mayor and governor (and the storm itself – that got lost in the phony reporting), but in this response the Democrats saw a way to tar the Republicans with the hoary racist tag. And, of course, it worked.

    –It is incomprehensible that African Americans can’t see what is and has been done to them, and the reasons for it. Do you really think that the Democrat Party, which is led by a small coterie of white men, supported by a media that is also almost completely white, almost completely male, really gives a crap about the black community? Look at what has been done for the last five decades – actions, not words. Trillions spent, and the only thing to show for it is that the ghetto is far worse than in 1960. (if you don’t believe it read Heather McDonald’s articles on Chicago). The silence in the media about all this is deafening- but since the blame falls squarely on the policies instituted by the Democrat Party you will never hear anything about what’s really going on.

    —Back in 2003 I told Tavis Smiley at NPR that in ten years the problems in the black community would not only be unchanged, they would be worse. It’s now eight years later and nothing has changed – despite phony promises from Obama, the community is in worse shape than in 2003, and nothing will have changed in 2013 or 2023.

    — =There was so much promise at the dawn of the civil rights era, all that blood, sweat and tears had to result in good, but instead of equal rights, and a healthy, prosperous, happy community, African Americans in America have been used, abused, it’s children have been exposed to crime, substance abuse, it’s leaders paid off, and on the ground nothing changes – things get, if anything worse. African Americans are, if anything puzzled about the situation – it should be better but its not. Their leaders shout ‘racism’ at the drop of a hat, but this excuse is wearing very thin indeed, and it is readily apparent that the real cause of all the problems can be laid squarely at the feet of those who are supposed to be helping the community. Democrats have been in charge of the cities now for for 50 years or more, and take a look at Detroit or in New Jersey, look at Newark, Camden, East Orange, Paterson, Plainfield, Trenton – it’s the same story everywhere. Immigrants come, immigrants leave, more immigrants come, same thing, but African Americans stay in ruinous conditions in the ghetto. And the rest of America has been cowed into silence – as to even mention the fact that African Americans commit too many crimes, are failing in education – just mentioning these things is somehow racist. Well, there is a reason Democrats want silence – it’s their own awful record they want to keep quiet, so that the money spigot from the poverty industry won’t shut off.

    –How many scientists, educators, writers, artists have we lost – and how many more will be lost before you understand what’s going on? And children – I’ve worked in Essex County, New Jersey Juvenile Court, a place out of a Dickens novel, I’ve seen two nine year old Black children accused of selling drugs to inmates of the Youth House, and who show up to Court without their parents, who can’t be found, the parents or grandmother. I saw those two children, likely working at someone else’s behest, frightened, not understanding what was happening to them, although in another sense understanding it all too well. What do you think happened to those kids, what was their future?

    You want to call this analysis racist? That’s just because it isn’t something you want to hear – not because it isn’t the truth. And all of the ‘solutions’, programs, studies, programs, money, money and more money doesn’t mean a hill of beans. Black leaders have failed their community in the inner cities, and they have failed because they were not held accountable – since they put party and money over community assistance. Do you have any concept of just how bad it is in the ghettos? Read some of Heather MacDonald’s articles on Chicago – what she described isn’t acceptable, and it is ENTIRELY the fault of one political party, which has made this one group it’s private domain and private money printing press for decades now. And all this with the protection and concurrence of the major media.

    It is sickening, as are those who participate in this calculated scheme to rob this one group of everything humanity holds to be precious.

  • In many places, government workers are mainstays of the Black middle class.

    And when government runs out of money?

    The Jews did not attach themselves to government. And look at the result. Every where they are given a chance.

    Look at real Nobels. About .2% of the world population is Jewish. Something like 20% of the real Nobels are to Jews.

    We don’t see anything like that among the Blacks. If anything the reverse. They are under represented.


    It is in part a result of a changed environment. Ordinary manual labor no longer pays. We saw that coming in the “John Henry – Steel Driving Man” song. That is rather an old song. Over one hundred years old. And now we have microprocessors to replace humans on the assembly line. Engineers design products to be assembled by machine. If the volumes are high enough. And the low volume stuff requires a more skilled worker.


    Well there is still trade. Except the licensing Depts of all the Urbans are controlled by the Unions or other entrenched interests. You often have to buy your way into the guild – think Taxi Medallion. Or hair cutting schools.

    And then all the paperwork and depts that must be satisfied. And deposits for this or that government “service”.

    And you wonder why there is such interest in the dope trade? Simple. You go to the “man” and ask him, “I want to sell dope. How much can you front me?” And if you make a deal you are in business. No paperwork. No regulations to satisfy. All you have to do is find customers and avoid predators (police). Might I add that paying your suppliers on time is a very important business practice in this market.

    Well anyway. Engineering and politics have designed low skill work out of our economy. The alternative is welfare or Darwin. Neither pretty choices.

    At the margins there are things that can be done – make hiring cheaper is one thing. That helps the low skilled. Eliminate the minimum wage. A neat little way to keep the low skilled and unskilled out of the market.


    Fix this? Progressives are going to have to be reduced. Short of war this takes time.

    Of course the “Conservative” attachment to the Drug War needs to be reduced as well. But overall the Conservatives are more in touch with reality.

  • Blue states that enthusiastically embrace the red state model (as opposed to making changes around the margins as in New York) will only succeed in becoming what red states already are; poorer, less developed and less habitable; at least for their inner city residents.


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