April 29, 2015 11 Comments
I suppose it’s time to say something about Baltimore, not that I have anything overly pertinent to add. I have noticed though (as has David French, in the linked article) that what is going on is really nothing more than two of the Democratic Party’s prized identity political groups: public employee unions, and welfare recipients, having a disagreement.
In Baltimore, as the National Guard steps in, curfews are imposed, and business owners pick up the pieces from their burned-out, looted stores, let’s not forget why one more American city has been torn apart by racial violence. Blue America has failed at social justice. It has failed at equality. It has failed at accountability. Its competing constituencies are engaged in street battles, and any exploration of “root causes” must necessarily include decades of failed policies — all imposed by steadfastly Democratic mayors and city leaders.
Are the riots caused by the Baltimore Police Department’s “documented history” of abuse? Which party has run Baltimore and allowed its police officers to allegedly run amok? Going deeper, which American political movement lionizes public-employee unions, fiercely protecting them from even the most basic reform? Public-employee unions render employee discipline difficult and often impossible. Jobs are functionally guaranteed for life, and rogue officers can count on the best representation money can buy — courtesy of Blue America.
Continue reading The Left’s Burning Cities | National Review Online.
As always seems to be the case, people despair when they don’t have the self-respect that a job, almost any job, engenders. We innately know, deep within in us, the difference between earning something and simply being given it. And frankly, it’s hard to imagine a much more hostile place, in America, than the city of Baltimore to start a business that would provide jobs. Michael Tanner noticed this as well:
The unemployment rate in Baltimore in February was 8.4 percent, compared with just 5.5 percent nationally. In the Sandtown–Winchester/Harlem Park area, which is near the center of the unrest, more than half of the people did not have jobs, according to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative.
One reason for this is the city’s — and the state’s — unremitting hostility to business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that only seven states and the District of Columbia have a worse business climate than Maryland. The state’s tax burden is huge and growing. According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Maryland ranks a dismal 40th in terms of business taxes, and an even worse 45th in terms of personal-income taxes. According to this report, Maryland is one of just a few states where the personal-income tax creates “an unnecessary drag on economic activity.” The state’s small businesses face the nation’s seventh-highest marginal tax rates.
As if that were not bad enough, the city of Baltimore adds one of the highest property taxes among comparable cities. Despite a recent modest reduction in property-tax rates, Baltimore still has a tax rate more than twice the rate of most of the rest of the state. A recent study by the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy ranked Baltimore twelfth out of 53 major cities in terms of high property taxes. When the city taxes are combined with state taxes, Baltimore ends up with the ninth worst tax burden out of 50 major American cities.
Not where I would start a business, would you? And so, the cycle will continue, until it doesn’t of course, because at some point the politicians will run out of other people’s money.
And at that point, real poverty will ensue. When people find out that they have nowhere to spend their welfare benefits, not even MacDonald’s, what will happen? I don’t know, and doubt anyone else does either,.
I suspect, if we are lucky, Detroit does