Posts Tagged ‘Charles Murray’

Baltimore is the Natural Fruit of the Democratic Welfare State

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Despite the best effort of the far-left to spin it as such, the riots in Baltimore were not an “uprising” against “oppression.” (What oppression, the tyranny of CVS stores selling goods people want and the racism of fire hoses?) Instead, they were the standard, predictable outcome of the American welfare state.

Liberals pounced on Rand Paul citing a lack of fathers for the Baltimore riots, but he is essentially correct. Walter Williams addresses the theme:

In 1950, female-headed households were 18 percent of the black population. Today it’s close to 70 percent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children lived with the biological mother and father. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. Herbert Gutman, author of “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925,” reports, “Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents.” Also, both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia found that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families (composed of two parents and children). What is significant, given today’s arguments that slavery and discrimination decimated the black family structure, is the fact that years ago, there were only slight differences in family structure among racial groups.

Coupled with the dramatic breakdown in the black family structure has been an astonishing growth in the rate of illegitimacy. The black illegitimacy rate in 1940 was about 14 percent; black illegitimacy today is over 70 percent, and in some cities, it is over 80 percent.

The point of bringing up these historical facts is to ask this question, with a bit of sarcasm: Is the reason the black family was far healthier in the late 1800s and 1900s that back then there was far less racial discrimination and there were greater opportunities? Or did what experts call the “legacy of slavery” wait several generations to victimize today’s blacks?

Charles Murray made an exceptionally strong and well-researched case in Losing Ground that this rise in illegitimacy is a direct result of the perverse incentives of the American welfare system, in that single women garner far more welfare benefits than married women. (Another factor blighting inner city prospects is the loss of entry levels jobs for those who never attended college, some from globalization, but even more from an unchecked flow of illegal aliens taking those same jobs for lower wages and no government-mandated job benefits, thus knocking them off the first rung of the economic opportunity ladder.)

That welfare dependency was a big reason welfare was reformed in the 1990s to require more wlefare recipients to work. Naturally the Obama Administration gutted those reforms.

As John Nolte puts it, Baltimore is the direct result of Democratic Party policies:

Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America’s problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem. Like many failed cities, Detroit comes to mind, and every city besieged recently by rioting, Democrats and their union pals have had carte blanche to inflict their ideas and policies on Baltimore since 1967, the last time there was a Republican Mayor.

In 2012, after four years of his own failed policies, President Obama won a whopping 87.4% of the Baltimore City vote. Democrats run the city of Baltimore, the unions, the schools, and, yes, the police force. Since 1969, there have only been only been two Republican governors of the State of Maryland.

Elijah Cummings has represented Baltimore in the U.S. Congress for more than thirty years. As I write this, despite his objectively disastrous reign, the Democrat-infested mainstream media is treating the Democrat like a local folk hero, not the obvious and glaring failure he really is.

Every single member of the Baltimore city council is a Democrat.

Liberalism and all the toxic government dependence and cronyism and union corruption and failed schools that comes along with it, has run amok in Baltimore for a half-century, and that is Baltimore’s problem. It is the free people of Baltimore who elect and then re-elect those who institute policies that have so spectacularly failed that once-great city.

Kevin D. Williamson expands upon the theme:

American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic, and not only in poor black cities such as Baltimore and Detroit. Money can paper over some of the defects of progressivism in rich, white cities such as Portland and San Francisco, but those are pretty awful places to be non-white and non-rich, too: Blacks make up barely 9 percent of the population in San Francisco, but they represent 40 percent of those arrested for murder, and they are arrested for drug offenses at ten times their share of the population. Criminals make their own choices, sure, but you want to take a look at the racial disparity in educational outcomes and tell me that those low-income nine-year-olds in Wisconsin just need to buck up and bootstrap it?

Black urban communities face institutional failure across the board every day….

Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project…

The evidence suggests very strongly that the left-wing, Democratic claques that run a great many American cities — particularly the poor and black cities — are not capable of running a school system or a police department. They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore — this is what Democrats do.

And, as Allen West notes, it is more specifically a black democratic problem:

The population of Baltimore is 622,000 and 63 percent of its population is black. The mayor, state’s attorney, police chief and city council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force. But as 36-year-old Robert Stokes says, “You look around and see unemployment. Filling out job applications and being turned down because of where you live and your demographic. It’s so much bigger than the police department.”

Everyone wants to have an honest conversation about race, so let’s us endeavor to do just that. Now, of course, when you speak the hard truth about race issues in America – and not just the liberal progressive talking points – and you’re white, you’ll be branded a racist. And if you’re black, well, y’all just watch the comments below and see the denigrating drivel.

Snip.

Every single major urban center in America is run by Democrats — more specifically, liberal progressives, black or white. The morass that became Detroit. The killing fields of Chicago. The depravity of Washington DC. The shame of South Dallas. And yes, even the place that was once my home, Atlanta — even with all the successful black entertainers…

Just do the assessment yourselves, who are the elected officials heading up the urban centers? And where does one find the most dire socio-economic statistics?

Yet we hear these rioters blame whites — well, they need to make sure they’re specifically blaming the correct whites — those on the left. Blacks have been herded into these inner city clusters, a new economic plantation and in this 50th year of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — well, the unintended, or maybe intended, consequences are deplorable.

There was a time when America’s disasterous welfare policies could be chalked up to good intentions gone awry. That time had long since passed. It seems that both a large, welfare-dependent underclass, and a small cadre of thugs willing to riot over racial grievance-mongering at the drop of a hat, benefit the Democratic Party.

At what point do we conclude that the destructive welfare policies the Democratic Party promotes and maintains exist not despite their exceptionally harmful effects on poor black Americans, but because of them?

Do Liberals Believe in Any Limiting Power on Government Action?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Here’s a great description of natural rights from Judge Andrew P. Napolitano:

As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are perfectly free just as He is. Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government, and as our humanity is ultimately divine in origin, the government, even by majority vote, cannot morally take natural rights away from us. A natural right is an area of individual human behavior — like thought, speech, worship, travel, self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal intimacy — immune from government interference and for the exercise of which we don’t need the government’s permission.

Read the whole thing, the main thrust of which is the role of the Second Amendment and the natural right of self-defense.

However, with so many of the Democratic Party’s urban elites embracing atheism, is it is even possible for them to comprehend, much less agree with, a natural rights framework for limiting the power of government? Why should humans have any rights at all if they are, in Charles Murray describing the viewpoint of European elites, “a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate”? (And if you haven’t read Murray’s entire piece before, I urge you to do so.)

There was a time when a good many patriotic liberal atheists believed in the Constitution as a sort of civil religion, even if they tended to ignore or downplay sections (such as the Second and Tenth Amendments) they weren’t wild about. But now a prominent liberal professor of constitutional law has just come out and said we should get rid of the Constitution because it doesn’t let liberals spend as much as they want, which is rather like a librarian endorsing burning books because they get dusty.

So too, many liberals wanted to believe in a framework very similar to natural rights in order to ensure their children lived in a strong, free and fair America. But, as Murray points out, our elite are increasingly childless, because children are a hassle. So why should liberals worry if they’re bankrupting their children and grandchildren when they have none?

Do modern American liberals believe in anything but their own smug sense of moral superiority? Or their own will to power? They seem distinctly uninterested in “a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people,” unless the people in question are their kind of people. Many see themselves as “citizens of the world,” with more in common with Eurocratic elites than with the working class lumpenproletariat shopping at Walmart. They seem uninterested in the baleful effects of welfare policy and unlimited illegal immigration on the poor as long as such policies continue to swell a permanent underclass of Democratic-voting dependents.

Conservatives believe that America is a nation of free citizens first, not a political entity embodied in an all-powerful federal government. By contrast, liberals did not seem to have any limiting power to their conception of the size and power of the federal government (at least beyond sex). Is there any limiting factor they are willing to accept as a bedrock principle rather than a temporary expedient?

LinkSwarm for May 12, 2012

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

All sorts of stories bubbling away in various states of completion. In the meantime, here’s a nice Saturday LinkSwarm that includes some (but not all) of the links I’ve put up on my twitter feed:

  • We’ve gotten use to Democratic office holders in Texas switching to the Republican Party, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen all the Democratic officeholders in a county switch at the same time, which is what just happened in Throckmorton County, including the sheriff, county judge, clerk, treasurer, justice of the peace and three commissioners.
  • Texas Democrats give up on Texas Democrats. “Of the $21 million Texas Democrats have given to candidates running for federal office, Super PACs and party political committees in the 2012 election, only $4.8 million has gone to candidates from Texas.”
  • Today’s Texas Democrat under federal investigation for corruptions comes to you from Cameron County DA Armando Villalobos, who’s also running for U.S. congress in the newly created 34th congressional district.
  • Could Wisconsin be the first domino to fall?

  • Speaking of Texas Democrats, a look at the fake Texans for Individual Rights, run Mark McCaig, the same person who runs the fake Conservative Voters of Texas and the legal associate of personal injury trial lawyer (and top Democratic Party donor) Steve Mostyn. McCaig has also been a constant foe of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
  • Young Conservatives of Texas would like for former member McCaig to stop using their name to smear conservatives.
  • Texas tax revenue up for 25th straight month in a row, up 10.9% compared to April 2011.
  • Dick Morris: “Romney should win in a landslide.”
  • Slamming RINOs and referencing Forbidden Planet? I like the cut of Michael Walsh’s jib.
  • Claire Berlinski attends a Turkish dinner party.
  • In Argentina, as with everywhere else, nationalization sucks.
  • Obama can’t crack down on Wall Street fraud because his team is far too cozy with the perpetrators.
  • A look at how the Obama fundraising team operates.
  • Charles Murray gets a letter from a Fishtown school teacher.
  • Is Columbia getting ready to legalize drugs?
  • Germany considers banning Salfists. (Hat tip: Michael Totten sitting in for Instapundit.)
  • Old and busted: Objective-C. The new hotness:Objectivist-C, the programming language of rational self-interest.
  • LinkSwarm for January 26, 2012

    Thursday, January 26th, 2012

    LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? Well, the first link has some of each, but with Davos just starting up, I imagine their will be a nice helping of EuroDoom ready to serve tomorrow, so let’s put up a LinkSwarm today:

  • Mark Steyn looks at the Costa Concordia sinking and smells a metaphor.
  • Myth: Newt Gingrich told his first wife he was divorcing her on her hospital deathbed. Fact: They had already agreed to a divorce, Newt was just visiting her, the tumor was benign, and Jackie Battley Gingrich is still alive. But who are you going to believe: Online liberal trolls, or the daughter who was actually in the hospital room at the time?
  • Borepatch says that Gingrich is particular effective at demolishing the Left’s Thought-terminating cliches.
  • Larry Elder lists all the things Gingrich can nail Obama and the media on.
  • Jonah Goldberg discusses Newtzilla, but his best barbs are reserved for his opponent: “Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough and surprisingly lifelike.”
  • Maureen Dowd on on Obama’s cocoon of self-aggrandizing victimization. Like all Dowd’s columns, it focuses on the trivial minutia of the-personal-as-political…and is all the more devastating for it. “The man who came to Washington on a wave of euphoria has had a presidency with all the joy of a root canal…The Obamas, especially Michelle, have radiated the sense that Americans do not appreciate what they sacrifice by living in a gilded cage. They’ve forgotten Rule No. 1 of politics: No one sheds tears for anyone lucky enough to live at the White House. And after four or eight years of public service, you are assured membership in the 1 percent club.”
  • After 12 months, what has the Arab Spring wrought in Egypt? Cairo Winter: “The reality of the past twelve months, however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule. And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster.” (Hat tip: Michael Totten, who adds: “I know a few Egyptian intellectuals and activists who are authentic liberals, but they’re not remotely a majority. The percentage of Egyptians who genuinely support most or all the tenets of Western-style liberal democracy is in the high single digits at best.”)
  • An interesting quiz that ties in to Charles Murray’s new books asking how thick is your bubble?
  • A roundup of State of the Union reactions from the Texas congressional delegation.
  • Japan suffers its first trade deficit since 1980. Remember all those stories from the 1980s about how Japan was going to take over the world? They were very similar to the ones we were getting about China just a few years ago…
  • Hat tips: Ace, Insta, The Corner, and the usual suspects.

    LinkSwarm for December 29, 2011

    Thursday, December 29th, 2011

    The year winds down, and I have a bunch of more-or-less lengthy posts in various stages of completion. You know what that means? That’s right! LinkSwarm!

  • Even profitable firms are leaving California for Texas.
  • Charles Murray concludes that more prisons means less crime. “Higher imprisonment was the necessary condition for 100 percent of the reduction in violent crime.”
  • Riot at the Mall of America.
  • My amazing psychic powers prove accurate again.
  • Some good news: ethanol subsidies have finally expired. Now let’s make sure to keep them dead.
  • That’s a Heller of a lot of money.
  • Michigan men: Are you living with someone who’s pregnant? Congratulations! If this proposed law passes, you’ll be a slave.
  • “”The Occupy movement is alive and well and kicking, and doing precisely what it was intended to be: The Re-Elect Obama Campaign. Period.”
  • Hat tips: Insta, and a smattering of others.

    Linkswarm for Monday, November 29, 2010

    Monday, November 29th, 2010

    Like everyone else, I’m a little slow getting back into the post-Thanksgiving swing of things, so here’s a collection of links: