The More Things Change the More They Remain the Same

Saturday, May 02, 2015
by Patrick Dorinson

While the ashes of the CVS store in Baltimore that was torched by rioters the night before was still warm President Obama went on the Steve Harvey Show and said the following.

“This is something that is obviously important to me. The communities in Baltimore that are having these problems are no different than the communities in Chicago where I first started working when I was a community organizer. So I have seen this movie too many times before”.

That was about 30 years ago when he was hired as the first executive director of the Developing Communities Project on the Southside of Chicago.

And the president is very correct that the problems facing Baltimore and Chicago are similar if not identical. And those problems are the same as Detroit, Oakland, Philadelphia and many other cities across America.

The common denominator that joins them all together is that they have been governed for decades by liberal Democrats who repeat the same failed policies over and over again.

Their solution to everything is to throw money at the problem, create more programs that ultimately end in failure and then blame others for their plight as they cry racism to the cameras.

And since there aren’t many conservatives or Republicans in their cities they lay blame at the feet of the skinflint racist Republican Congress.

But since the Great Society of the mid-60s the federal government has spent untold billions for welfare, food stamps and job training. As of 2012 there were 47 federal jobs programs at an annual cost of $18 billion.

If money was the answer to all the problems of the inner cities we would have solved them years ago.

In the 50 years from the Watts riots of 1965 to Baltimore in 2015 the only thing that has changed are the dates on the calendar.  

Cronyism, corruption and misplaced priorities are the other common denominators in Baltimore and the other aforementioned cities.

The baseball stadium in Baltimore, Camden Yards, is a perfect illustration.

When it was first proposed in the late 80s the supporters in city government and the bigwigs of the Baltimore Orioles the team that would occupy this new monument to bread and the circuses promised that it would be the catalyst for an urban Renaissance.

They said it would bring new development and jobs and most importantly tax dollars.

The already cash-strapped city and their taxpayers spent $210 million to build the ballpark based on those promises.

And even though the promises of Camden Yards proved illusory a few years later the taxpayers were again asked to fund a new football stadium for the NFL Ravens and they ponied up another $200 million to fund that venture.

According to Bloomberg News  as of 2013 the neighborhoods around Camden Yards and M&T Bank football stadium have fewer businesses than they did in 1998. Baltimore as a whole has some 16,000 vacant properties and the highest taxes in Maryland.

And debt service on these two sports palaces built by working stiff taxpayers for billionaires is $24 million annually and rising.

 Enter John Angelos owner of the Orioles who ranted on Twitter last week lamenting the “system” that is destroying Baltimore and urban America as a whole.

I don’t remember him complaining about the “system” when the politicians were writing him a check from the taxpayers to build his stadium.

And what about all that promised economic boom Mr. Angelos that was supposed to happen as a result of building your ballpark?

Why didn’t the media ask him that question?

Every public dollar that went to building two sports stadiums is a dollar that was not available for vital municipal services including police and fire as well as critical infrastructure repair in a city that desperately needs it.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week and it is from that great American and visionary Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

“Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to have been endowed with at birth; namely a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good”.

The president and his party never met a government program they didn’t like but they never go back and ask if the program ever did any good?

And they are never skeptical about what and how much government can really accomplish.

But the people are wising up about all this spending that doesn’t produce results.

Unfortunately for Baltimore and other American cities those folks don’t reside within their city limits.

Unfortunately for those who do reside within the city limits, they are stuck with the same politicians who got them into this mess in the first place.

And unfortunately if Baltimore doesn’t change soon in a few short years it will be the next Detroit.