Baltimore: a Jewel of Progressiveism

Freddy Gray’s death in Baltimore Police custody and the riots/protests that followed have brought the US city of Baltimore, Maryland, into the news recently.  Protesters in Baltimore have decried oppressive policies of the city and its police department as well as lack of jobs and economic opportunity.  Political activists on TV have called for more Federal spending in large cities in general and in Baltimore in particular.
          Rome wasn’t built in a day and the city of Baltimore didn’t become what it is today overnight.  The city’s population is approximately 60% African-American/ Black and Democrats have consistently controlled the levers of power in Baltimore City for over five decades.  Baltimore voters have elected Democrats as mayors, city council, state assembly and member of the U. S. House of Representatives for over fifty years.
          So, if the police and city government have oppressed the citizens and residents of Baltimore, it has been on the watch of Democrats and under Progressive policies.  The lack of jobs, businesses and economic opportunity in Baltimore cannot possibly be caused by the Tea Party or white Republicans, because these people and their ideas have had negligible .  Democrat policies and one-party rule have created this situation.  A lack of competition in the arena of ideas for how the city should be governed has created the situation.
          If the Progressive agenda and government spending programs were the answer for American cities, wouldn’t Baltimore be shining jewel of an example?  The Democrat and Progressive agenda has held sway in Baltimore for over half a century.  If their ideas were going to work, to create prosperity or give their voters fulfilled lives, wouldn’t fifty years of unopposed rule be enough time to accomplish this?  In about 50 years under a constitutional republic with capitalist economy, Korea (South Korea) climbed from agrarian nation to industrial power with world class companies like Samsung and Hyundai.
          The Democrat and Progressive agenda has actually lead to the state of affairs we see in Baltimore today.  The Democrat and Progressive agenda has led to the conditions of policing, the lack of jobs, and the communities dependent on Federal programs instead of self-reliance and living within their means.  More government spending programs will create more dependence and accentuate the economic conditions already plaguing Baltimore.
          So what alternatives are there to the policies of the Progressive agenda?  Well, let’s consider states where companies are opening factories, tax-rolls are growing, and people are getting off of unemployment benefits. South Dakota, Wisconsin, the Carolinas and Texas fit this description.  These states have relatively low corporate taxes, moderate regulatory regimens, and modest state level welfare/unemployment benefits.  These states don’t tolerate looting and lawlessness.  South Dakota and Texas are seeing an energy boom.  North Carolina is seeing computer and medical technology growth.  Volvo selected South Carolina as the site of its first US auto plant.  Wisconsin put its public sector unions in check and they have seen job growth as well.
          Private capital flowed into these states to create jobs.  Not government spending and programs.
          What investor is going to build a factory or a store where looters and rioters are “given space to destroy?”  Building a store is expensive.  Stocking it with merchandise is expensive.  Building a factory and filling it with manufacturing equipment is even more expensive.  Private sector capital flows to places where it can see a return on investment, not to places where the investment will be destroyed.  Holding citizens and residents accountable for unacceptable behavior (arresting rioters and looters and prosecuting looters and arsonists), will improve local security.  Improved local security will allow private capital to see more likelihood of a return on investment, which will lead to job growth.  More jobs will lead to more citizens and residents becoming self-sufficient and no longer needing government benefits.
         Work is where people discover their talents and abilities, share them with their fellows by selling their goods and services through voluntary trade.  Working builds the skills and qualities that will lead to promotions and raises and eventual prosperity.  Sitting on the couch or staying in a minimum wage job and relying on government benefits doesn’t lead to raises, or promotions or prosperity.  Viewing the accomplishments of others with envy and jealousy will lead to poverty of spirit.  Finding your God-given purpose and developing the talents and skills to allow you to accomplish it will prosper your soul.
Thank you for taking a moment to read my thoughts what Baltimore shows us.  Do you have thoughts or stories about protests?  Share them with us in the comments section.
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