In the attached article Kevin D. Williamson associates functionality and competence a little too closely with Republicans. Saying this his analysis otherwise is right on.
What we saw in Baltimore this week is a symptom of big government urban politics. Why are places like Detroit, much of Chicago, St. Louis, Philly, still large parts of New York, Atlanta, Richmond, a good part of Washington DC, and dozens more cities so poor and so dysfunctional? Largely (but not solely), because in these places the reality of the marketplace is not embraced. (At least not the legal marketplace.)
Why do businesses leave these cities? For many reasons. But a big part is because taxes are too high in major cities, almost across the board. Or perhaps like Seattle the minimum wage is being pushed up to levels which are divorced from reality, which also acts as a tax. There is a reason some cities feel like skeletons, because the business community long ago was picked clean. Urban America killed the goose that laid the golden tax base egg. Now it wonders why all the jobs are gone.
If urban America really wants to turn things around – and frankly I think too many well paid cronies in these cities could really care less about turning their communities around – they would embrace low tax or no tax environments. Make it easy to do business in cities. Declare Detroit a free-zone as we suggested a couple of years ago. Watch things revitalize.
But the dirty little secret is that if businesses moved in and did well, and created jobs, this screws up the balance of power in many little urban fiefdoms. Local politicians are not interested in inviting new sources of power into their back yards. Better to have a welfare dependent ghetto which is yours to run than a prosperous neighborhood with (new) residents who demand something from their elected officials.
Of course the local politicians will wail and wail about the lack of “jobs.” But these same politicians know that if jobs actually came in they, sooner or later, would be out of a job.
(From The National Review)
Yes, Baltimore seems to have some police problems. But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party.