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Author Topic: America's Inner City; Urban Issues  (Read 9009 times)
DougMacG
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« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2013, 11:38:57 PM »

What caused Detroit's demise?  How is it that everybody here seems to understand exactly  what policies caused the demise of Detroit and no one in a position of policy making power anywhere in the economy seems to understand it at all?

Photo currently showing with the headlines on the Drudge Report:


Perfectly good or repairable buildings serving absolutely no economic purpose.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 11:40:52 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2013, 12:53:44 PM »

This article is written with the Twin Cities MN metro of Minneapolis, St. Paul and suburbs in mind.  The same issues are likely in play in your metro as well.  Met Council of which she refers is the unelected governing body of the seven county metro area.  Minnesota currently has a Dem Governor, House and Senate, so these liberal causes are currently able to move quite rapidly.

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/218173402.html

Twin Cities suburbs should beware of the Met Council

    Article by: KATHERINE KERSTEN
    August 3, 2013

Crusaders for ‘regionalism’ want a more concentrated, centrally planned Twin Cities. Those who don’t may never know what hit them.

The Twin Cities of 2040 will likely be starkly different from the place you live now. People will increasingly live in dense, urban concentrations, even if they’d prefer a house with a yard outside the 494 beltway.

Government planners will have power to steer new jobs into central cities and first-ring suburbs, and to set what amounts to quotas for people of different incomes and races in neighborhoods and schools throughout the metro area. Outside the urban core, highway conditions will deteriorate and congestion — encouraged by government — will get worse.

As these changes unfold, you’ll never be sure how the freedom and quality of life you once took for granted slipped away. Plenty of elected officials will be as frustrated as you are. But mysteriously, they too will stand powerless as choices constrict.

What will be the engine of this transformation? An out-of-the-limelight agency we generally think of as running the buses and occasionally approving a new runway at the airport: the Metropolitan Council.

In coming months, the council will release a draft of “Thrive MSP 2040” — its comprehensive plan to shape development in the seven-county region over the next 30 years. Powerful forces are coalescing to use the document as a tool for social planners to use to design their vision of the perfect society — and to impose it on the rest of us.

A huge, unchecked power grab is about to take place beneath our noses. But mayors and city councils will find it hard to push back. That’s because the Met Council will increasingly wield the power to decide which municipalities thrive and which decline. It will both write the rules for development and hold the purse strings.

The Met Council was established in the mid-1960s at the behest of Republican-leaning policymakers, who believed regional planning of infrastructure could enhance efficiency. Its reach has grown dramatically, and today it allocates funds (state, federal and regional) among the region’s 187 municipalities for projects ranging from highway improvement to bridges to sewer lines. In the process, the council’s role has expanded well beyond its original mandate, as government so often does.

We can expect MSP 2040 to put this process on steroids, giving the agency a license, over time, to dramatically remake the entire region.

The forces shaping MSP 2040 — whose final vision the council will approve in 2014 — are part of a growing nationwide movement called “regionalism.”

Regional planning of service delivery and infrastructure is important, of course. But “regionalism,” as an ideology, is not, as its name suggests, about promoting the good of a region as a whole. It’s about metro centers — the urban core and inner-ring suburbs — usurping control over outer-ring communities to advance their own interests and, in the process, effectively replacing local elected officials with a handful of regional governments.

In the case of the Twin Cities, the ramifications for democratic self-rule are profound. The Met Council’s 17 members are not elected. Though they come from different parts of the seven-county area, they don’t represent the needs and interests of voters there. They are all appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, and they owe their allegiance to him.

The press for regionalism is coming from the highest power in the land: the Obama White House. The Obama administration’s campaign to build the regulatory framework to implement the movement’s agenda is documented in political analyst Stanley Kurtz’s 2012 book, “Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.”

The Twin Cities may be a showcase for how far the regionalist crusade can go. Our Met Council is unique, and we already have regional tax-base sharing — one of the movement’s most sought-after tools.

An army of academics, environmental organizations, foundations, and transit advocacy and left-wing religious groups is working to ensure that MSP 2040 greatly expands the Met Council’s regulatory control. And there’s a movement underway to organize politicians from inner-ring suburbs and Minneapolis and St. Paul, with the goal of taking on the outer-ring suburbs and forging a permanent legislative majority for the regionalist agenda.

Regionalism is driven by a core ideological conviction: The cause of the poverty and social dysfunction that bedevil America’s cities is the greed and racial bigotry of suburbanites — especially those in prosperous, outer-ring suburbs, which are viewed as unjustly excluding the poor. Regionalists believe that financial aid for the inner ring won’t remedy this injustice. A profound change in governance is required.

What sort of change? The title of a book by regionalist guru David Rusk puts it bluntly: “Cities without Suburbs.” In regionalists’ view, suburbs with their own tax bases are, by definition, a menace to cities, and the distinctions between the two must be wiped out as completely as possible.

Regionalists’ strategy to effectively merge cities and suburbs turns on two ideologically freighted buzzwords: “equity” and “sustainability.” “Equity” is code for using public policy to redistribute wealth and to engineer economic equality among demographic groups.

Regionalists view metrowide “economic integration” as one of government’s primary responsibilities. Their plan to accomplish it is twofold: Disperse urban poverty throughout a metro area via low-income housing and make suburban life so inconvenient and expensive that suburbanites are pushed back into the city.

“Sustainability” means policies that would override market forces to ensure that in the future, the great majority of new jobs, economic development and public works projects are funneled into the metro area’s urban core and inner ring — where, not coincidentally, regionalists’ own political base is concentrated. “Sustainable” policies promote high-density, Manhattan-style living, and attempt to wean us away from our cars and push us to walk, bike or use public transit to get to work.

As one critic — speculating on MSP 2040’s likely outcome — lamented: “Do we all have to live in a 1,500-square-foot condo above a coffee shop on a transit line?”

Suburbanites will disproportionately shoulder the costs of this socially engineered transformation, paying more in taxes and getting less back in infrastructure and public services.

Purse strings

Regionalists’ strategy for imposing their agenda hinges on giving regional bodies like the Met Council the ultimate trump: the power of the checkbook. The Obama administration’s “Sustainable Communities Initiative” (SCI) provides a model. SCI channels federal funds for land use, transportation and housing projects through regional bodies. The catch is that, to participate, municipalities must embrace redistributive “equity” goals.

The Met Council already has announced that “equity” and “mitigating economic and social disparities through regional investments” will be top priorities of MSP 2040. This explicit embrace of social engineering goals appears to signal an intent to initiate what could be a virtually limitless remake of our metro area.

Special-interest groups are lining up to lobby for proposals to embed “equity” and “sustainability” criteria in Met Council plans and/or funding criteria. These proposals include creating one giant seven-county metro school district to facilitate apportionment of students by race and income, and ensuring that “at least 70 percent of projected growth in population and households” in the next 30 years takes place through “infill and redevelopment of already urbanized land.”

In the future, if Prior Lake or Anoka want to get a grant to expand a major regional highway, officials there may need to demonstrate that their city meets the council’s “equity” criteria on low-income housing and doesn’t allow “exclusionary” zoning, instead of just showing that the project would improve safety or reduce congestion.

Over time, demands could escalate. Eventually, for example, a municipality may have to meet onerous “carbon footprint” or “clean energy” requirements to get approval for a new sewer line. Pressure will mount to make state and federal aid of all kinds contingent on meeting Met Council social planning dictates.

Most likely, the council will continue to operate under the fiction that cities have a choice. Yet a city council or a county board that declines to comply with “regionalist” criteria — citing its citizens’ needs and preferences — would ensure that funds and approval for improvement would stop, and so would remain frozen in time.

Advocates insist that the Twin Cities must embrace regionalist policies to remain “economically competitive.” In fact, top-down planning by unaccountable bureaucrats that distorts market forces is likely to constrict overall prosperity and stymie development. Ironically, it’s also likely to increase “sprawl,” as people flee to cities like Delano or Elk River to get beyond the Met Council’s iron grip.

Most importantly, the direction the Met Council is heading is inconsistent with our deepest beliefs as a people. The American dream is about striving for a better life through economic growth, not redistribution of wealth. Regionalists’ Orwellian appeals to “equity” and “sustainability” are hostile to our cherished traditions of individual liberty, personal responsibility and local self-government.
------
Katherine Kersten is a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment.
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bigdog
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« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2013, 11:44:15 AM »

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/map_of_the_week/2013/08/segregation_in_america_every_neighborhood_in_the_u_s_mapped_along_racial.html

From the piece:

How diverse is your neighborhood really? This map by Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service displays the population distribution of every person in America (as of the 2010 census) along racial and ethnic lines. The map features 308,745,538 dots, each smaller than a single pixel and each representing one person: Caucasians are blue, blacks are green, Hispanics are orange, Asians are red, and other races are brown.

The vast swaths of purple appear to show the racial diversity of some of America’s biggest cities. But if you zoom into the map and break these cities down at the neighborhood level, patterns of segregation become much clearer.

Cable uses the example of Minneapolis–St. Paul to illustrate a city where racial integration in the city as a whole appears far greater than it does in individual blocks of streets.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2013, 09:15:47 AM »

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/map_of_the_week/2013/08/segregation_in_america_every_neighborhood_in_the_u_s_mapped_along_racial.html
How diverse is your neighborhood really? This map by Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service displays the population distribution of every person in America (as of the 2010 census) along racial and ethnic lines. The map features 308,745,538 dots, each smaller than a single pixel and each representing one person: Caucasians are blue, blacks are green, Hispanics are orange, Asians are red, and other races are brown.

The vast swaths of purple appear to show the racial diversity of some of America’s biggest cities. But if you zoom into the map and break these cities down at the neighborhood level, patterns of segregation become much clearer.

Cable uses the example of Minneapolis–St. Paul to illustrate a city where racial integration in the city as a whole appears far greater than it does in individual blocks of streets.

VERY interesting post and map.  Interesting that people choose segregation to such a large extent, nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and segregation laws were ruled illegal. 

If you look at the inner cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul (the example chosen) from a distance you see apparent diversity.  Then they show a map down to the neighborhoods and you see apparent segregation.  What they don't show is that if you zoom in even closer to the household or even the bedroom you again see diversity.  Millions and millions of Americans are either mixed race individuals or live in mixed-race households.

One in seven new marriages in the U.S. involve spouses from different racial groups. Pew 2011.  That proportion, I will guess, is even higher for unmarried couples.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:39:04 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2014, 09:57:47 AM »

Where poitics meets culture, and vice versa.  A long story with good coverage of Paul Ryan going into the inner city, which he has learned to not call the inner city because that has racial overtones.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/paul-ryans-inner-city-education

Ryan is doing something rather unprecedented for a Republican: He is spending unchoreographed time with actual poor people. He is exposing himself to the complexities of low-income life that don’t fit in the 30-second spot, the outlay spreadsheet, or the stump speech applause line. He is traveling well outside his comfort zone — and it has been uncomfortable.
...
At one point, as he tells me about his efforts during the presidential race to get the Romney campaign to spend more time in urban areas, he says, “I wanted to do these inner-city tours—” then he stops abruptly and corrects himself. “I guess we’re not supposed to use that.”
His eyes dart back and forth for a moment as he searches for words that won’t rain down more charges of racism. “These…these…”
I suggest that the term is appropriate in this context, since it is obviously intended as an innocuous description of place. He’s unconvinced, and eventually settles on a retreat to imprecision: “I mean, I wanted to take our ideas and principles everywhere, and try for everybody’s vote. I just thought, morally speaking, it was important to ask everyone for their support.”
...
There is a familiar, approved narrative of the Woodson–Ryan union: The two men met in the early ’90s through their mutual friend Jack Kemp, the Republican Party’s big-tent visionary, and reconnected near the end of the 2012 campaign, when Ryan asked him to assemble a panel of grassroots-level advocates for the poor to participate in an off-the-record roundtable.
...
Ryan’s broad vision for curing American poverty is one that conservatives have been championing for the last half-century, more or less. He imagines a diverse network of local churches, charities, and service organizations doing much of the work the federal government took on in the 20th century. Rather than supplying jobless Americans with a never-ending stream of unemployment checks, for example, Ryan thinks the federal government should funnell resources toward community-based work programs like Pastor Webster’s.
...
If his rhetoric lacks poetry, his arguments against the current state-centric approach to aiding the poor is compelling. Since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” the U.S. government has spent an estimated $13 trillion on federal programs that have resulted, 50 years later, in the highest deep poverty rate on record. The failure, Ryan contends, is in the notion that anti-poverty programs are best managed from the top, with Washington bureaucrats crunching numbers and then issuing lowest-common-denominator directives. “It’s this premise that you’ve got to sit in D.C. and you can just have a really enlightened, benevolent bureaucracy that can figure all this stuff out,” he says, adding, “It’s well-intended. But it’s so, to me, paternalistic and arrogant and really kind of condescending. It doesn’t work, and it’s sort of debilitating. It takes the creativity out of communities, out of people.”
...
After more than a year of trying to lead a national conversation about the causes and consequences of poverty, what he’s gotten is a dogfight.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2014, 10:25:36 AM »

I am no fan and disagree on a couple of details, but kudos to Juan Williams for taking this on.  This is not about race; it is about a culture of not trying to join the productive economy.  Our public policies including the safety hammock and marginal effective tax rates sometimes greater than 100% on people trying to get out of poverty are perpetuating the problem.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303939404579529732883407464?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303939404579529732883407464.html

Getting Past Name-Calling to Talk About Poverty
Rep. Paul Ryan is meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Let's hope they give his ideas a fair hearing.

By JUAN WILLIAMS
April 29, 2014 7:26 p.m. ET

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is scheduled to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday to discuss his plans to address poverty and his March 12 comments in a radio interview about a "tailspin of culture" in our inner cities where "generations of men [are] not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work." Mr. Ryan's statement sparked liberal accusations of racism. Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) called it "a thinly veiled racial attack" that "cannot be tolerated" for ignoring that the majority of the poor are white and often live in the suburbs and rural areas.

All this provides what President Obama might call "a teaching moment." For more than a year, Mr. Ryan has been working closely with Robert Woodson, the head of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, to find solutions to generational poverty among inner-city families—many of them black and Hispanic. But because Mr. Ryan is white—and worse, a Republican, he is a "racist" for pointing out how many approaches to poverty alleviation aren't working.

"No wonder people who want to be thoughtful . . . and deal with the issue" are often afraid to speak up, said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a panel I hosted earlier this month at the Aspen Institute's Fourth Annual Symposium on the State of Race in America. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said that even though he is black, he is criticized by many black leaders for talking about an obvious problem in his city and others: black-on-black crime. Murders among black men ages 18-34, he noted, make up the majority of homicides in New Orleans and Philadelphia.

Mayor Landrieu pointed to Mr. Ryan's discussion of inner-city poverty as a vivid illustration of the need for white political leaders of goodwill to be given more leeway in discussing problems in black America—without risking knee-jerk charges of racism—if the nation is serious about solving those problems. Improving the schools that regularly fail black and Hispanic children is another example of a situation where anyone committed to reform faces racial name-calling.

Mr. Ryan and two Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, have recently been traveling the country to look for ways to reduce poverty, including the disproportionate poverty among minorities.

Mr. Paul has focused on lowering taxes in black neighborhoods to promote investments that lead to jobs. Mr. Rubio has discussed replacing traditional poverty programs such as the earned-income tax credit with direct grants to low-income, low-skill workers that allow them to decide how to best help themselves, with job training or education programs. Mr. Ryan's focus so far has been on ending high rates of unemployment among poor black men by providing incentives to pursue work.

All of the Republican strategies are in early stages of formation. But the immediate response by liberals has been to charge them with simply wanting to cut today's antipoverty programs. Rep. Gwen Moore (D., Wis.) a member of the Black Caucus who is also on the budget committee chaired by Rep. Ryan, recently told reporters that "his take on talking about poverty is to say we spend billions or trillions of dollars on poverty programs . . . and poverty won." She accused him of "playing with statistics or numbers, because in fact these poverty programs have helped raise people into the middle class . . . it has literally been a lifeline to millions of people and not just people of color."

The fact is that federal and local government programs have helped to lift people out of poverty. But it is also a fact that despite those efforts there is a persistent high level of poverty among black and Hispanic Americans, before, during and after the Great Recession. Obviously new strategies, not just spending more money on existing antipoverty programs, is needed to help people in poverty and especially minorities.

In his closed-door meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, Mr. Ryan is expected to explain his support for new public-policy options for lowering the poverty rate among blacks, a rate only slightly higher than poverty among Hispanics but three times as high as poverty among non-Hispanic whites. Any new ideas have to chase away old perceptions that contribute to people living in poverty. Racism is a reality and so is a tough economy doing a slow climb out of recession.

But that is not the whole story. As we've long known, education is key. Studies confirm that black people who graduate from high school, who never leave the workforce but take any job they can find as young people, no matter how meager, are rewarded with better jobs. It is also true that people who marry before having children have a much lower likelihood of living in poverty.

Mayor Landrieu, among others, sees an opening for honest debate about the true issues behind race and poverty—as well as high rates of black-on-black crime—with the 50th anniversary of the 1965 report titled: "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." The report, written by a white Labor Department sociologist who later became a U.S. senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, made the case that it was more than a shortage of jobs that led to high black unemployment. Moynihan, a Democrat, also pointed to the breakdown of the black family, specifically the lack of positive male role models, which led to increased dependence on welfare.

That report was sharply criticized as "blaming the victim" by liberals and black leaders at the time but was later embraced by many rigorous thinkers in both parties. Sadly, the ills that Moynihan pointed to have grown along with minority poverty. It is way past time for new ideas from all quarters about solving a serious problem.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 10:54:37 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #56 on: July 08, 2014, 08:13:26 AM »

My point looking into America's inner cities is not gun violence but the culture in the neighborhoods where that is happening.  This is IMO largely the result of our failed policies in the war on poverty.  George Gilder wrote about this in 1981 in "Wealth and Poverty" and the consequences he described then couldn't be more true today.  Government provides the necessities, lives without purpose, men without responsibilities, neighborhoods without home ownership, children without two loving parents in the home, businesses leave the area, schools fail, the cycle gets worse.

Instead of fighting poverty and a poverty mentality, pursue wealth and a wealth mentality.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-murder-shooting-violence-edit-0708-20140708,0,2426321.story
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G M
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« Reply #57 on: July 08, 2014, 12:02:14 PM »

My point looking into America's inner cities is not gun violence but the culture in the neighborhoods where that is happening.  This is IMO largely the result of our failed policies in the war on poverty.  George Gilder wrote about this in 1981 in "Wealth and Poverty" and the consequences he described then couldn't be more true today.  Government provides the necessities, lives without purpose, men without responsibilities, neighborhoods without home ownership, children without two loving parents in the home, businesses leave the area, schools fail, the cycle gets worse.

Instead of fighting poverty and a poverty mentality, pursue wealth and a wealth mentality.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-murder-shooting-violence-edit-0708-20140708,0,2426321.story


Personal responsibility and economic growth would run contrary to the needs of the dems/racial industrial complex.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #58 on: July 08, 2014, 10:35:28 PM »

"Personal responsibility and economic growth would run contrary to the needs of the dems/racial industrial complex."

That's right.  But it shouild be clear by now to some very key constituencies that these policies are failing those people.
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G M
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« Reply #59 on: July 08, 2014, 11:05:10 PM »

That's why school choice is opposed with such fervor. Can't have any kids escaping the public school indoctrination machines.
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