Sunday, May 3, 2015

WSJ: Baltimore's failure typical of "blue-city" governing

The Wall Street Journal didn't pull any punches but instead laid Baltimore's failure at the feet of progressives who have run the city for decades in an editorial published last week:

You’re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.

Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.

Let’s take them in order. The first and most important responsibility of any city government is to uphold law and order. When the streets are unsafe and crime is high, everything else—e.g., getting businesses to invest and create jobs—becomes next to impossible.

People also start voting with their feet. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has stated that one of her goals is to attract 10,000 families to move to Baltimore. Good luck with that after Monday night.

It’s not that we don’t know what to do. Rudy Giuliani proved that in New York City, which he helped to revive in the 1990s starting with a revolution in policing that brought crime rates to record lows. A good part of this was policing in areas that had previously been left to the hoodlums.

His reward (and that of his successor, Mike Bloomberg, who built on Mr. Giuliani’s policies) was to become a villain of the liberal grievance industry and a constant target of attack. Few blue-city mayors elsewhere have been willing to take that heat. (Yarber is first mayor in a long time who got out of way of police and let them do their jobs.). 

Or take the economy. In the heyday of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the idea was that the federal government could revitalize city centers with money and central planning. You can tell how that turned out by the office buildings and housing projects that failed to attract middle-class taxpayers. Baltimore’s waterfront is a gleaming example of this kind of top-down development, with new sports stadiums that failed to attract other businesses. (KF: See this earlier post about the failure of Baltimore's crony capitalism.). 

The latest figures from Maryland’s Department of Labor show state unemployment at 5.4%, against 8.4% for Baltimore. A 2011 city report on the neighborhood of Freddie Gray—the African-American whose death in police custody sparked the riots—reported an area that is 96.9% black with unemployment at 21%. When it comes to providing hope and jobs, we should have learned by now that no government program can substitute for a healthy private economy.

Then there are the public schools. Residents will put up with a great deal if they know their children have a chance at upward mobility through education. But when the schools no longer perform, the parents who can afford to move to the suburbs do so—and those left behind are stuck with failure. There are many measures of failure in Baltimore schools, but consider that on state tests 72% of eighth graders scored below proficient in math, 45% in reading and 64% in science. (Hello, JPS)

Our point is not to indict all cities or liberals. Many big-city Democrats have worked to welcome private investment and reform public education. Some of the biggest cities—New York, Boston and San Francisco—have also had inherent economic advantages like higher education and the finance and technology industries.

But Baltimore also has advantages, not least its port and one of the nation’s finest medical centers in Johns Hopkins. If it lacks the appeal of New York or San Diego, that is all the more reason for city officials to rethink their reliance on high taxes, government spending and welfare-state dependency. (KF: Sounds like UMC)

For a time in recent decades, it looked like the reform examples of New York under Messrs. Giuliani and Bloomberg and the growth of cities like Houston might lead to a broader urban revitalization. In some places it did.

But of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice.

Kingfish note: Substitute the name "Baltimore" with "Jackson" and the appropriate politicians with their counterparts as well. 


Anonymous said...

This article is garbage. It singles out Baltimore for voting democrat as if there is a major city that doesn't vote democrat. The cities that are growing today: Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, etc., are all democrat too. Even the article's example (NYC), is undeniably blue. So that's the explanation for why Baltimore isn't the posterchild for success while these other cities are?? Please!

Kingfish, you know your last sentence in this post is a cheap ploy to get your loyal followers to comment on Jackson voting democrat. Way to pander to the Gov Bryant fan club.

Anonymous said...

Ok, 8pm....I'm sure you're partying down at the Farish St Entertainment District right's it going?

Polly Morphic said...

Hello there 8:00. Listen up! The only thing that differentiates Baltimore (Balmer City as the locals used to call it) from the others you listed is the fact that the others you list still have an employment base that thrives (to a degree) due to tourism and business purpose.

Nobody goes to Baltimore and it's not been a destination for decades. Your list contains the names of destination cities. And those, too, will dry up and decay and rot on the vine, in due time.

Give 'em time, Pancho, give 'em time.

Anonymous said...

The absolute real problem is the Federal government has given out entitlements over the decades to women to have babies. This has been happening since LBJ was elected. Now all these welfare kids are growing up in a nation that cannot remotely support them in the job market. So, the fault is not in the police but the politics.

Anonymous said...

"one of the nation’s finest medical centers in Johns Hopkins. .....(KF: Sounds like UMC)"

KF - your comment is a little vague - surely you realize UMMC has nothing in common with Johns Hopkins.

PS When I lived in Houston I realized that the city's phenomenal growth was because the city annexed every surrounding suburb with a total of about 500,000 people.

and 8:00 - I could explain it for you, but I couldn't understand it for you.

Kingfish said...

Guess you missed this part:

Our point is not to indict all cities or liberals. Many big-city Democrats have worked to welcome private investment and reform public education. Some of the biggest cities—New York, Boston and San Francisco—have also had inherent economic advantages like higher education and the finance and technology industries.

The point is policies that result in crony capitlism, poor public schools, high crime rates, higher taxes, more spending, and higher unemployment will result in urban decay and destruction. Period. Pointing that out is garbage, however.

Anonymous said...

So are we allowed to discuss the roaming mobs of black people attacking random innocent white people (see Seattle and charleston also) or has it not yet become enough of an epidemic for Whitey to discuss?

Anonymous said...

The mayor of Ferguson, MO was the chair of the Missouri Young Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Why beat around the bush instead of just placing the blame where it really is? Crime became so overwhelming in the cities that most of the white people and educated black people moved out and left the cities with a majority of uneducated thugs, who run in feral packs (gangs). A group of racist black opportunists who are better educated than these thugs manage to take political control in order to enrich themselves with money pumped in by the federal government and the whole infrastructure collapses.Jackson is well on it's way to becoming another Detroit.It is NOT a black/white issue, it is a criminal issue.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, the premise of this article is clearly "hey America, don't be liberal or you will turn out like Baltimore." That is unchanged by the article's half-recognition that San Francisco and NYC vote blue - a fact so apparent, even the writer of that article had to acknowledge it.

Here's a challenge: name me one thriving city (actual city, not a suburb) that doesn't vote liberal, and I will name you three that do. This article treats Baltimore's politics (which mirrors that of other cities) as a distinguishing factor. It's academically dishonest to say the least.

While we are at it, Mississippi has been a conservative state almost since it's inception. Yes, I know that it used to label itself democrat, but if you really think this State was liberal in 1950, I fear for your sanity. How has Mississippi's politics worked out for it since 1880? Do you think someone could just as fairly do an article on how that turns out?

Anonymous said...

That dumb state attorney simply tried to stop violence, we hear the people, that crap won't stand in court. You have experts and judges on tv saying the same thing about it will be impossible to get a conviction. At best a civil suit. These officers will get off and she will still be standing there with egg on her face. Go POLICE. Keep up the good work. Thank you Gov Bryant for taking charge of Mississippi and making this one of the best states in the South

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile MS is still one of the fattest, poorest, and dumbest states. Yeah . . . Go Gov. Bryant.

One of the few places where people can be doing bad and be proud of it.

Anonymous said...

MS unemployment rate was 4th in March, only behind DC, Nevada, and Puerto Rico. Go Gov. Bryant. (blame Obama)

Anonymous said...

Ok so we are a poor state but u don't see liberals running it. Haha!!! Mississippi Deep South handles business. Come try to burn our city down.

Anonymous said...

6:40 AM nailed it. The black Mafia controls the major cities, secretly sends protesters to fan racial flames, and is hell bent on destroying this country they all hate so much. I have a better idea, repatriate Africa, I will give you all my taxes next year to fund getting rid of you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe cops shouldn't kill people for no good reason?

Anonymous said...

Maybe criminals should stop breaking the law. Freddie Gray was nothing but a Heroin dealing thug that was a menace to the Community. I hope one of these black mobs targets me.

Anonymous said...

3:11pm: So anyone who breaks the law should be executed?

Anonymous said...

3:11, I guess illegal arrests don't exist or anything. Also, there is no such thing as police harassment. For such conservatives, y'all sure love big government power when it comes to select issues.

Anonymous said...

I like your logic, 3:11pm. If anyone breaks the law, they should have their spinal column severed and die. What a great country this would be if that happened! I hope a black mob targets, you, too.

Anonymous said...

This line of argumentation doesn't seem to well thought out. Did this come from the WSJ Opinion pages? Did it have a by-line?

Anonymous said...

3:31, no. My logic is if a person is arrested for dealing heroin, they should be locked up for a long time. Not back out on the streets in short order like Freddie Gray was.

With the judicial system so screwed up, the best thing we can hope for is for the criminals to be so hopped up on their own product that they commit suicide. Baltimore got lucky by Freddie Gray killing himself (as the medical examiner and all evidence suggests). Baltimore is certainly a better place without that thug.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Patrick Monynihan, a liberals liberal (and an honest one when he was wrong) wrote two seminal papers/reports. The first he wrote as the Assistant Secretary of Labor. It was titled the The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. That was 1965 and the out of wedlock birthrate was 25%. You can read the report on the DOL webstite:

The second he authored as the Demoocrat Senator from New York in 1993. Some may remember the fire storm it caused at the time:

The problems are the same he described, just worse. The US ship of PC cannot be turned at this point. We have hit the iceberg and we are sinking. Just a question of when the whirlpool starts.

Senator Moynihan will be credited with being a prophet, but little good prophecy does - no one ever listens - that is why prophets are so famous!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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