Episode 62: What Liberalism Has and Will Do To Big Cities, Learning From Mistakes, and the Reason Poverty Plummeted
I’m back from vacation, and it’s time to get back into conservative commentary, all in 10 minutes or less.
Bill de Blasio was recently elected as the mayor of New York City. De Blasio is a liberal Democrat, as opposed to the liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg, who just left the post. He promises to bring liberal policies to New York. Well, more liberal than Bloomberg, I guess. But is this a good idea for the city? The NY Times thinks so. Detroit, however, might not.
And speaking of Detroit, is it fair to blame Democrats for the downfall of that formerly fair city? I mean, 50 years is hardly enough time for government policy to affect the economy, right?
What poverty program did the most good, dropping the rate 80% in less that 40 years? And why haven’t you heard about this success story?
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Bill de Blasio was recently elected as the mayor of New York City. De Blasio is a liberal Democrat, as opposed to the liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg, who just left the post. The NY Times wrote a rather hopeful piece on de Blasio just before the end of the year, which included this paragraph.
His administration could be a redemptive moment for a national left whose policies were often blamed for the crumbling of urban centers in the 1960s and 1970s, yet has now started to reassert itself in smaller jurisdictions with bold new approaches on issues like income equality and poverty.
1960s and 70s? How about the 2010? Detroit anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That city had half a century of Democratic rule, and look where it is now! But the Times conveniently forgets this, preferring to suggest that Democrats only screwed up 50 years ago, and really haven’t had a chance since then. These “bold new approaches” are simply novel ways of destroying the economy, which hurt the poor the most.
And speaking of Detroit…
I posted something on my personal Facebook page about how one of the booming businesses in Detroit is photographing the dilapidated buildings. I labeled my link to the article, “Documenting decades of Democratic dominance.” Can you tell I like alliteration?
This bothered one of my Democrat friends who said that my bias was showing, and that blaming Democrats for Detroit was like blaming Republicans for the Katrina response. His contention was that both were unfair. I, and some other friends of mine, had to point out a few differences.
- The Republican administration wanted to come into Louisiana before the storm hit to be ready when it arrived, but the Democrats in the state capitol wouldn’t allow it.
- The Democrats at the city level in New Orleans failed to use the resources they already had to evacuate their own people.
- Democrats have been running Detroit for 50 years. To say that blaming their policies is unfair, is to make one wonder how long one party has to rule a city for their policies to actually affect that city.
So no, the analogy isn’t even close. And the devastation in Detroit wasn’t caused by Mother Nature, either.
This is yet another example of how Democrats seem to take the stance that it’s never their policies that failed, and in fact the best way to solve any problems they cause is to do the same thing with more money. That has always been Paul Krugman’s solution regarding stimulus spending. That has always been the solution for failing public schools, poverty programs, and every other idea that just isn’t panning out the way they thought it should.
Oh, and when ObamaCare drags down our economy, expect the same excuses, because we’re hearing them already. Republicans are being accuses of “sabotaging” it, when all they did was make the Democrats own it by not voting for it. As it is, the need to a revamp of the website, and delaying key parts of the law, are not sabotage by any means. But Republicans will get the blame while the Democrats will throw more money at a program that was sold as a way to reduce the deficit.
Blame is useful, if it is honestly applied. Using it, we can find our mistakes, and correct them. Democrats will never accept it, even after a half century track record. Does that give you confidence?
In 36 years, from 1970 to 2006, the world poverty rate fell 40%. 40%! This is huge news, but you probably didn’t hear about it anywhere else. I certainly didn’t until I saw the link someone posted. But the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would have put it, is how this happened. For the explanation, I defer to Arthur Brooks.
It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – people who live on one dollar a day or less – that has decreased by 80 percent. You never hear about that.
It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.
80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.
So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.
It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.
I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.
Not aid, not handouts, and not a government interfering with the economy; capitalism and free enterprise are the poor’s best friend. Remember this the next time a politician has a “bold new approach” to income inequality and poverty.