California: 'This is What a Blue Death Spiral Looks Like'

“Blue Storm Ravages California City,” Walter Russell Mead writes:

California’s cities have been going bankrupt left and right over the past few years. But what is it actually like to live in a bankrupt city? A new New York Times profile of post-bankruptcy San Bernardino paints the picture, and it isn’t a pretty one: plummeting home prices, dead animals left to rot in the streets, and, most troublingly, gang violence on the rise again as the police force trims down to a skeleton crew.


And even California cities that aren’t officially bankrupt (at least not yet) have many of the same symptoms:

Two groups are at war with each other on the streets of Oakland, after the murder of woman last  summer, and the subsequent feud is responsible for “90 percent” of the violence in the city since then, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday.

City officials held a news conference Monday to discuss the alarming wave of shootings in the city over the weekend. Four people were killed Friday and 11 more were wounded since then. Police said one suspect is in custody.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Police Chief Jordan and City Administrator Deanna Santana joined other local leaders in East Oakland to address a disturbing string of shootings in a city that has been plagued by violence and a soaring murder rate.

How soaring? The article linked to above notes that “Oakland saw 131 homicides in 2012.” That’s nowhere near the 500 killed in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago last year — but if any city can quickly make up the difference, it’s Oakland.

Incidentally, notice how the Bay Area affiliate of CBS is so PC, it doesn’t use the word gang until the ninth paragraph — and only then because they’re quoting Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan? When your copy of the Newspeak Dictionary is more up to date than a mayor who appeases the local branch of Occupy Wall Street, you might want to check your premises.


Related: Thomas Sowell on “Liberalism versus Blacks.” And speaking of Blue Death Spirals, “Let Courts Handle Detroit’s Inevitable Bankruptcy,” Reason’s Shikha Dalmia advises.

Update: Jack Dunphy, PJM’s man in the LAPD, has a new article in City Journal on another California city’s beleaguered police department: “Oakland Cop-Out — A federal judge is poised to make one of the most dangerous cities in America even worse.”


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