Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Inner City Poor, Politicians Do The Wrong Thing or Nothing

Michelle Malkin has a post up about the Chicago area where Obama was a community organizer. During the campaign no one seemed to want to focus on the fact that Obama did almost nothing to change things for the inner city poor and mostly black community that he tried to help.

But as I read the article, I realized that Chicago is really a reflection of liberal policies. I'm sure Obama thought that he couldn't effect the change he wanted to there because MORE was needed. When in fact, he couldn't effect the change he wanted, because the ideas are wrong.

Recently I interviewed Ted Cruz who is running for Attorney General here in Texas. He said that he believes that Obama wakes up every morning believing that he is fighting for a better nation and fighting to help the underprivileged. I believe that too. I believe that for many liberals it is a sincere fight. But the problem is that the policies they embrace are profoundly wrong and don't work. Cruz said that ultimately the policies of liberalism result in more human suffering and misery whenever they are implemented. Chicago is a perfect example of this.

As this Chicago Tribune article points out, there was this grand 10 yr plan plan to tear down old public housing and build new public housing that would sit besides wealthier homes, and we could all live in peace and harmony together. The public housing would be transformed and upscale homes would improve the neighborhoods and businesses would move in. It always sounds good in theory, doesn't it? Of course these new buildings cost tax payers quite a bit, hundreds of millions in fact. But this is part of the "spread the wealth around" philosophy. The only thing? It just never works.

First, some of public housing units totaling more than $300,000 to build, are more than the price of a home in many Chicago neighborhoods. I think most of the poor would rather have the money so they could buy a home in a safe neighborhood, don't you think? It would have made about as much sense. Instead most residents are still moving from one poor neighborhood to the next, waiting to go back to their old one. But the bitter truth is they will never have the home they were promised.

This "Plan for Transformation" began in February 2000, Mayor Daley's 10 yr plan would replace Chicago's public housing with 25,000 new units for the poor.

This was the largest redevelopment of public housing ever undertaken in the country and unfortunately it prompted The federal government to encourage dozens of cities across the country to try fixing their public housing in the same manner. So this bad idea spread and now other cities are suffering the same as Chicago.

What happened? Residents were given federal housing vouchers that subsidize rent payments to private landlords. All these years later they have yet to return. Many of the residents imagine that the city just wanted to get rid of them and this was the way to do it. No, it was just the usual misguided efforts of liberalism.

By now, Stateway Gardens was supposed to be a bustling neighborhood filled with new buildings, businesses and diverse families, fueling a renaissance in the South Side area.

Instead, most of the 33-acre site is vacant, with piles of dirt and pallets of bricks sitting beside unfinished sidewalks and homes.


...almost nine years into what was billed as a 10-year program, the city has completed only 30 percent of the plan’s most ambitious element tearing down entire housing projects and replacing them with new neighborhoods where poor, working-class and wealthier families would live side by side

The area where Obama was a community organizer isn't faring well at all:

The largest is the Altgeld-Murray Homes, a sprawling 190-acre development built on the Far South Side for black factory workers during World War II. At that development alone, the CHA plans to spend $451 million rehabbing 1,998 barracks-style apartments, with politically connected Walsh Construction doing much of the work.

Altgeld sits in one of the city’s most isolated areas. The nearest supermarket is miles away. Only one bus route serves the development. And it backs up to the Little Calumet River in an area once known as “The Toxic Doughnut” because of a long history of environmental problems.

Crime is another challenge. Open drug markets thrive at Altgeld, and shootings occur frequently enough to keep residents on edge.

What liberals seem to never learn is that throwing money at problems never works. Giving people things, when they themselves have no stake in it, never works.

The late Jack Kemp understood this. His idea of "empowerment zones' gave tax breaks to lure businesses to inner cities. Just trying to make a neighborhood prettier and hoping business will come obviously doesn't work. You have to give business a reason to want to be there. He was also was an advocate of selling public housing units to the tenants living in them. This gives them a stake in upkeep and personal pride. This is key in changing how a person feels about themselves and how they conduct their life.

No one has all the answers to our inner city problems. But it's clear that liberal answers don't work. In order to change a place, you must change the hearts the people that live there. The inner city poor are mired in drugs, violence, and a lack of hope. A new building won't change that. The saddest thing of all is that the liberal policies of welfare, no accountability, subsidizing single motherhood, and a dependency on governement is what has led to the personal despair that so many experience in the inner city.

Kemp never got his ideas implemented on the scale of Chicago's Mayor Daley boondoggle. Maybe because it didn't benefit donors, personal business associates, and political hacks. But that doesn't excuse Republicans for their lack of trying. Republicans should be ashamed of how they have turned their backs on the inner city poor. The Democrats are wrong in their ideas, but the GOP is just as wrong to ignore the problems.

It's time we had someone in the GOP step up to the plate and put free enterprise and personal responsibility ideas to work in the inner city. For too long the GOP has seen the inner city as the Democrat's problem. They figure that the population will vote Democrat no matter what, so why should we do anything?

We should do something, not because of votes, but because it's the right thing to do. And at the very least, it would stop this insane spending that helps no one, and is taken from the hardworking taxpayers to fix problems that are never fixed.

Liberal ideas may not have worked, but the Democrats will keep wasting our money if the GOP can't man up and do something ourselves.