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Democrats Condemn Blacks to Live in Urban Ghettos
Raymond Richman, 4/3/2014

During the Depression of the 1930s, Democrats created temporary government jobs in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Public Works Administration (PWA) but did little to encourage private sector jobs. In the current administration, Pres. Obama did even less. He spent nearly all of his first administration from 2009-2013, on enacting Obamacare, a health plan that actually discouraged hiring in the private sector. His economic stimulus plan of 2009 consisted almost entirely of pork, transfers to the states, and financing unproductive environmental programs. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt likewise spent most of his first two terms on a giant public program, the Social Security System, not a job-creating program, unproductive anti-competitive price-increasing policies, the NRA, and in 1937, he signed the Wagner-Steagall Act which provided for subsidies to local public housing.

This was followed by the creation of the Public Housing Administration, the U.S. Housing Authority, and the House and Home Financing Agency which Lyndon Johnson combined the into a new Department of Housing and Urban Development. We find no federal authority for such an agency. In any case, the record is filled with failures, high costs, new urban slums, and the bankruptcy of many cities, most recently the city of Detroit.

We know the record of the demolitions of huge public housing complexes in Chicago and a number of other cities, including the immense Pruitt-Igoe public housing development in St. Louis, and as recently as two years ago, the demolition of two high-rise public housing buildings in Pittsburgh. Despite this continuous record of the failure of public housing, the Department continues to exist.

What we know now but did not know then was that concentrating low-income Americans, largely blacks, into neighborhoods isolated from the surrounding communities, condemned millions of black youth to unemployment, poor jobs, poor education, and fatherless families. Middle class whites fled America’s central cities beginning in the 1960s, taking with them their tax base and investment dollars, leaving behind what amounted to ghettoes plagued by poverty and devoid of hope and opportunity.

The unemployment statistics corroborate the disaster. What accounts for the disparity between blacks and whites? We suggest that it is because blacks are concentrated in large cities and such urban centers have few jobs except in the service industries.

The unemployment rate in February, 2014 was a follows:

White males                    6.2 percent

White females                 5.2

White ten-agers               19.0   

Black males                     12.0

Black females                  9.6

Black ten-agers                31.5

For decades, new factories have avoided locating in the cities. The cities are not where the new jobs are being created. Keeping blacks in the large cities deprives them of good job opportunities. But more important, it encourages them to remain isolated and dto retain attitudes more characteristic of slaves than of free men and women. Millions of legal and illegal immigrants locate where the jobs are  but are native blacks seem immobile, which may suit black and white political leaders who depend on their vote but is not in their economic interest. 

Cities are the province of state governments not the federal government. The states are responsible for the incorporation of local governments, including school districts, and determining their powers and authority. The federal government has encroached upon the inherent power of the states in violation of the US Constitution's tenth amendment. It is time to reverse this encroachment and the harm it has done tol our black citizens.

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

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