The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Detroit’

SANCTUARY AND THE RUST BELT

In his attempt to find something as a “legacy,” President Obama is, through his minion Secretary of State Kerry, attempting to forge a deal of some sort with Iran.  Sadly, the president has not come to the realization that this deal, good or ill, will not be his legacy.  He has already established that.

The obvious and lasting legacy of this administration will be its consistent refusal to enforce the laws of the land – or, more exactly – to enforce those laws which it chooses and from which it sees a sense of political advantage and to ignore those which do not fit its agenda or which might benefit its opponents and all the rest of “We The People.”  The legacy of Obama will be that a nation whose foundation was built on equality under the law will have moved to a state of lawlessness on its way to nihilism and possible anarchy.

The unfortunate, tragic and avoidable death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco at the hands of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez is a direct result of the Obama administration’s refusal to enforce the laws regarding illegal aliens which are on the books.  But they are not alone in responsibility, the Sheriff of San Francisco, the members of that city’s Board of Supervisors and its mayor also share some part of the blame.  But if there were one specific cause for this tragedy to which we may point as being the culprit, it is San Francisco’s self-adoption of its “sanctuary city” policy – and the Federal government’s tacitly condoning it.  Translated, that means that San Francisco has chosen to ignore Federal law and do what it wants.

By now everyone knows that the alleged (and now admitted) murderer had entered the country illegally and been deported five times; that he was guilty of seven felony convictions; and had chosen to reside in San Francisco largely because he knew that he would find a safe harbor there and not be turned over to ICE authorities for yet another deportation.  So, in addition to the loss of a perfectly innocent young woman who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, we will now go through the expense of a trial and most likely spend good taxpayer money incarcerating a man for life who shouldn’t have been here in the first place.

You might have thought that with the brouhaha that Donald Trump made with his statement about illegal aliens that we would have heard something from BoPeepObama.  But the highest level of commentary came from California’s two senators, Feinstein and Boxer.  The two of them, who have been in the Senate since shortly after the great flood, took time to put down their hairspray and rinse just long enough to issue two separate but equally insipid statements in which they expressed an appropriate amount of tut-tutting and said that we really should do something about this whole thing with (using the PC term) undocumented aliens.  If there is a silently imposed invisible glass ceiling which keeps women from the same opportunities that men enjoy, these two and their colleague representing San Francisco in the House, Nancy Pelosi might well be the reason.  This troika might well be named the “Three Ditzketeers.”

Washington state and Colorado’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana are another example of how local government has decided to thumb their noses at Washington and do what they will.  They have received a non-response from Washington just as have the two hundred “sanctuary cities” that have self-declared themselves as such.

So as long as we are cool with local governments adopting policies which are in variance to what the Federal government mandates, this provides an opportunity to extend the logic of local self-determination to a higher level.  And this concept may go far to help revivify some of our rust belt cities which have fallen into a state of near collapse – places such as Detroit and Baltimore.  Those and similar declining municipalities should declare themselves a Federal Income Tax-free sanctuary zone – exempting their residents from the necessity of paying any Federal income taxes in the future.

There is very little reason for a person to want to move to a Detroit or a Baltimore.  Hundreds of properties in both are either abandoned or extremely run down.  The crime rate is so high that living there is a bit like taking a vacation in ISIS controlled Iraq but with no exit visa.   Unless there is some substantial incentive, soon they and similar cities will turn into a vast wasteland.  So the city governments should turn over those properties to pioneers who would like to take a shot (no pun intended) at rehabbing them.  Returning them to the tax rolls would provide the local governments some much needed revenue – if they could entice enough adventurous people to take part in this experiment.

Would the Feds go along with this income tax exemption?  After all, they’ve overlooked states that violate Federal narcotics laws – and municipalities that ignore Federal immigration laws.  But then when it comes to money, that may be where the buck stops.  After all, the reality is that collecting money from the American people is the lifeblood which continues to finance pompous politicians and bloated bureaucracies.  And in the end, maintaining their own privileged lifestyles may prove to be of sufficient importance that they would actually take action and put their feet down.  Money is probably more important than the citizens of this country to them.  Just ask the family of the late Kate Steinle.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM DETROIT

If you were to compile a list of cities in the old “Rust Belt” that are on death watch, Detroit might well head the pack.  The once great center of commerce and industry has been in steady decline – in large measure because of the now no longer dominance of domestic auto production on the world market.

Detroit is one of the direst examples of what can happen to a once great city when businesses shut down, workers become unemployed and neighborhoods go into decay.  The lack of good jobs brought an exodus from the city.

According to the 1950 census, Detroit topped out in its population with just under 1.9 million people living there.  The 2010 census shows there are now only 717,000 residents – a decline of 25% in the population from the census of 2000 and the lowest recorded number of residents since 1910.

As you would suspect from these numbers, vacant housing is everywhere to be found in the once proud Motor City.  This is one source of Detroit’s cosmetic problems – and, where you have people struggling to make ends meet with little job opportunity or creation, crime is a second one.

The number of murders in Detroit increased from 344 in 2011 to 377 in 2012 – making it the Murder capitol of the U. S. on a per capita basis – if no longer the Motor capitol.  There is plenty of time for people to commit murders as the official rate of unemployment is nearly 30% in Detroit – although the Mayor and City Council members put the real number at nearly 50% of all adult Detroit residents.

But if we were to envision some magical genie who could wave his hand and all of a sudden industry were to return to Detroit – would it make a difference?  The unfortunate answer is – probably not.  Detroit has one of the lowest rates of graduating students from its high schools.  The number of boys who graduate is now at 25% and for girls at 39% – among the lowest numbers of any city in the nation.  So even if jobs returned, there would be few Detroiters who have sufficient education to qualify for them.

The State of Michigan has attempted to address one source of this problem – truancy.  Detroit school children have among the highest absentee rates in the country.  Forgetting for the moment about the quality of education children in Detroit may receive when they do attend, it should be intuitively obvious that if they don’t attend they will receive no education, period.

So the state proposed cutting off welfare and other subsidy payments to households in which a child has been absent for 10 days during the school year, in an effort to get parents more involved in making sure their kids go to school.  Needless to say, this evoked a strong reaction from concerned parents as shown in the following story and video:

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19633772/michigan-families-to-lose-welfare-benefits-for-too-much-truancy

Where does lack of education and lack of job opportunity ultimately lead us?  The answer is to dependence, poverty and slavery.  The following video demonstrates how desperate people react when they hear a promise of some new government sop which is being dangled before them.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b66_1254962584

Those in Washington, in our state capitols and in our city halls should all be aware of these issues  and be concerned.  If we continue on our present path, all of our major cities may start to look a lot like Detroit.

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