Apples to Oranges

 

Either we’re doing something wrong or we’ve got the most criminal population on the planet.

– Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Jim Webb

 

webbFormer Virginia senator Jim Webb wonders what’s wrong.

Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images

 

PARIS – The stock market seemed chilled last week, like a corpse waiting for an autopsy.  Monday morning, gold was falling in Europe… as investors anticipate a higher dollar. But we’ll return to the markets, the dollar and the absurdities wrought by our money system, tomorrow.  Today, we look at other perversions.

America’s crime-fighting techniques were the subject of one of our recent Diary entries.  Readers did not like our comparison of Dublin to Baltimore – not even tongue in cheek.

“Apples to oranges,” said several. None said so directly, but we suspect some critics were thinking neither about apples nor about oranges, but about their own safety. Former Reagan advisor Pat Buchanan said in Suicide of a Superpower:

 

“An analysis of “single offender victimization figures” from the FBI for 2007 finds blacks committed 433,934 crimes against whites, eight times the 55,685 whites committed against blacks. Interracial rape is almost exclusively black on white – with 14,000 assaults on white women by African Americans in 2007. Not one case of a white sexual assault on a black female was found in the FBI study.”

 

Buchanan continues:

 

“Though blacks are outnumbered 5-to-1 in the population by whites, they commit eight times as many crimes against whites as the reverse. By those 2007 numbers, a black male was 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse.”

 

And the overall crime picture in the U.S.:

 

“In New York from January to June 2008, 83% of all gun assailants were black, according to witnesses and victims, though blacks were only 24% of the population. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98% of all gun assailants. Forty-nine of every 50 muggings and murders in the Big Apple were the work of black or Hispanic criminals.”

 

buchanan-meet-the-pressFormer Reagan advisor Pat Buchanan, one of the last members of the of paleo-conservative wing of the GOP – which may actually see a revival under Trump, as many of his positions on trade and foreign policy are congruent with Buchanan’s.

Photo credit: NBC, Meet the Press

 

Mr. Fixit

Mr. Donald Trump has pledged to fix our problems. He claimed that he “alone” can do the job. It was a remarkable promise.

“Ye shall not enter the kingdom of solutions but through me,” he asserted.

Well, all right, Mr. Fixit, whaddy gonna do about this one? Erect a wall? What’s the use? The criminals are already here!

 

Trump (1)The Donald. What many people apparently don’t know yet is that crime will wither away as soon as he looks like it with his crime deletion stare demonstrated above.

Photo credit: Mark Seliger

 

But wait. Are our dark-skinned, Afro- and Latin-American citizens inherently or genetically prone to criminality? Are those the rotten apples you can’t compare to Dublin’s light-skinned oranges?

As you know, dear reader, here at the Diary we are incurable optimists and cheerful romantics. But our soft steel heart was hammered hard by 10 years spent living in a predominately black ghetto in Baltimore (in which we got robbed twice and beaten up once by a gang of youths).

In the Druid Hill area of Baltimore, especially in the summertime, police sirens sang to us every night. Occasionally, you’d hear the pop of a pistol, too, followed by the inevitable police car siren. We adapted to it so well; now, we can barely sleep without it.

 

North Ave-Druid Hill AveThe corner of North Avenue and Druid Hill Avenue in Baltimore…

Photo credit: Nether Street Art

 

But there’s “more to the story.” People are neither always bad nor always good, but always subject to influence. The black community in Baltimore had adapted too – to living in a war zone.

The War on Poverty, announced in 1964 – along with minimum wage and labor protection laws, as well as the welfare system itself – attacked black families. It pulled the rug out from under black men, who couldn’t earn enough money to play their traditional role.

 

v2-crips2Baltimore street gangs: on occasion of the most recent riots, the normally warring Crips and Bloods joined forces to battle the police together.

Photo via independent.co.uk

 

Black women turned to government programs – such as Food Stamps, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children – for the support they needed.  Housing, medicine, doctors’ visits, education, food – it no longer came from the efforts of a coherent family, but from the Great White Welfare System.

Then came the War on Crime in 1965… and the subsequent growth of the prison industry… minimum sentences… helicopters… tanks… and get-tough-on-crime politicians. After all this, the War on Drugs, circa 1971, hit the Baltimore ghetto like the British air force at Dresden.

 

In the Ghetto

In the 1980s, we were renovating an old house in a bad neighborhood.  Whenever we could, we hired local teenagers to help. Pookie, Lonzo, and a few others. They were nice and well-meaning. But they were completely unskilled and unreliable.

They had no experience with tools of any sort. Nor had they any concept of punctuality, self-discipline, or forbearance. They had never lived with anyone who had to get up and go to work or save money.

Thanks to the feds’ prohibition, profit margins on illegal drugs soared, making the trade irresistible. By the 1980s, young black men in our neighborhood were almost all involved, or affected, by drugs… and skirmishing regularly for control of important markets.

 

BM Junkies-2The drug-addled of Baltimore… the city’s junkies can be easily spotted, as they always seem to be searching for something on the ground (a large collection of pictures proving this assertion can be seen here).

Photos via thatguysonheroin.com

 

Inevitably, they did some time in prison. Typically, they were permanently enrolled in the criminal underground before they were out of their teens.  We left the ghetto 20 years ago; it was too dangerous to raise children there.

We moved to Europe. Then, years later, we moved back to Baltimore and caught up with friends from the old “hood.”

“What happened to the ‘boys’?” we asked.

“The ones I kept up with are all dead,” said our source.

“Murdered, drug overdoses. Pookie was the last of them. Good kid. And smart. His brother was in jail, but he went to community college. We tried to help him by giving him a little remedial tutoring.

“I don’t know what happened. But he committed suicide last year.”

 

Image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “A Nation of Crooks?”

  • FreemonSandlewould:

    All I can say is evolution / Darwin at work when it comes to all the drugs and dying.

  • wmbean:

    How often do socialists misinterpret Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables? Jean Val Jean was harshly imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed himself and his siblings. Therefore the system is rigged against the poor. Bad system, bad! They failed to understand the period during which this novel takes place. They failed to understand the economic conditions that varied through the years from the French Revolution to revolution of 1848. I suppose if Hugo had called it a tale of two men’s experiences over forty or fifty years then that might have given them a clue. If he had expounded the idea that faith offers salvation through religion, then they might have condemned the book. If Hugo was pushing the cause of inequality then it was the inequality of false gods to a real god.

    To their minds you offer a tale of systemic injustice. Government is at fault, it hides systemic injustice through white privilege. Of course five bucks and your white privilege will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Just make sure you bring the five bucks. There are a few different lens through which we can view history and no one of them has the exclusive correctness many desire. Dinesh D’Sousa made a film the is largely about the Democratic Party and its interactions through the years that include Hillary Clinton. Essentially the Democratic Party is the Party of prior slavery in the US and has continued that role into our modern world. The big difference is that the plantations are now inner city ghettos and the crop it raises are voters and crises to use as the cannon fodder of progressive change. Of course the party has widened its agenda to include poor whites, hispanics and the like. The middle class is a different group and part of it must be destroyed in order to further society’s progress towards perfection.

    If billionaires and technocrats know best for us then what happens when we reach that perfect society and what will it cost us? One might ask what happens when the king has all the gold? The people will decide that the king’s gold is not real money and use something else. That is the reduction of perfection, it becomes useless in the real world.

    In one way Mr Bonner, you hit the nail on the head. The people, particularly the men, in the ghetto need jobs. But they need far more than that. They need to learn how to be punctual, they need to learn responsibility, and they need to learn how to learn. Besides, if they can obtain an income without needing ant of the above then what is the use of jobs in their community? Welfare creates its own downward spiral if left to itself. I will be called a racist for say that I do not believe most of the inhabitants in these ghettos are capable of existing without government assistance. They have become like the master’s house negros, incapable of living on their own. They knew nothing about planting or harvesting, nothing of working at a trade, nothing about animal husbandry. A few knew how to cook but most only how to serve and clean house.

    It is interesting to compare that particular period in history to another period in England. As the great manors were broken up due to the spending habits of the nobles, fewer in service employees were needed. More were discharged from their cradle to grave positions and forced to compete in an industrial world of machinery and useful skills. Not every footman’s hand could force itself to fit a shovel handle. And not every farm worker could exist without being at some level of useful productivity. Machinery was replacing so many. Yes, they struck, stuck it out for a year. And in the end only half were accepted back and had to accept less wage due to the use of new machinery. The rest headed for the big cities and rotten slums in the hope for work, any work. So what hope can we hold out for what may well constitute 20 % of the population in America? Will they always be shackled to the welfare system? Will they always be dooms to drugs and violence? Ms Hillary and company, including the Bern, have yet to understand that problem. Which agenda is Ms Clinton pushing, Big Brother or Brave New World?

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