It’s easy to see the events in Dallas through a racial prism. It is harder to see them as the consequences of a political system which relies on keeping people in dependency, in which black Americans are the furthest advanced and therefore the most afflicted. As Mark Blyth, a professor of political economy at Brown University, put it, the problem is global. In Europe the Romanians, Spaniards and the Greeks are given the part African Americans must play. Blyth points out that after one creates a class of dependents, the next and inevitable step is to control them.
For the past 25 years, particularly the center left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution the following story: Globalization is good for you. It’s awesome. It’s really great. We’re going to sign these trade agreements. Don’t worry there will be compensation. You’ll be fine. You’ll all end up as computer programmers. It’ll be fantastic, right?
And by the way we don’t really care because we’re all going to move to the middle because that’s where the voters are and they’re the people with money or the ones that we really care about. … And you basically take the bottom 30% of the income distribution and you say we don’t care what happens to you. You’re now something to be policed. You’re now something to have your behaviors changed. We’re going to nudge you to better parts …
It’s a very paternalistic, it’s a very patronizing relationship. This is no longer the warm embrace of social democracy, arm-in-arm in solidarity. They’re there to be policed and excluded in their housing estates so that you feel safe in your neighborhoods, so that you can have your private schools; they have their public schools …
As I like to say to my American hedge fund friends the Hamptons is not a defensible position … Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you.
The police are the flip side of big government programs. There is a perverted symmetry about the Blue Model — and a fatal weakness. A political system which encourages crime then controls guns, opens the borders to spend billions watching the multitudes admitted; a regime which destroys jobs then increases the welfare payments to the displaced is eventually going to run out of room evading the horns of its own dilemma.
In the end the fulfillment of a promise and its opposite are less real than Blyth’s observation: “you’re going to be a problem to be policed.” You’re going to be policed because there’s no other way out of the dilemma. It’s not just a black problem, but the problem of seating ten people in five chairs when the music stops. As soon as the news flashed of 11 cops shot in Dallas, it was evident that a hefty percentage of the casualties were bound to be Hispanic. Someone is always going to come up short in the zero-sum redistribution game.
Strange though it may be, in a narrative largely cast as Afro-centric, a white crisis has been brewing in parallel with black fears of police brutality: the slow death of self-respect and pride. Henry David Thoreau observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” For many years a booming America kept despair at bay. But now it’s back. A friend recalled a man he met at his door some years ago.
All I can see in my mind’s eye is a salesman immaculately dressed, spit shined shoes, early 40’s man knocking on my door trying to sell me a newspaper subscription with no names on his clipboard anxious to move on, going home, to be greeted by his son “how did it go today Dad?” Which hit me very hard – in the instant of seeing his self-control to be polite though he knew he had to go knock on my neighbor’s door. And so I couldn’t not help but ask “what did you used to do?” – almost biting my tongue through “mechanical engineer at Boeing.”
The strain of an ex-Boeing engineer maintaining appearances at a stranger’s door in the face of an urgent need to make a sales quota is the effort of trying keep the last vestiges of dignity in the face of destitution. That struggle is statistically captured in a recent Wall Street Journal story describing the rising death rates among middle-aged white Americans. “While middle-age blacks and Latinos have seen steady declines in their mortality in recent years, whites in the same age group saw their mortality increase about 10% between 1999 and 2014.” As death rates plummet across the board, white people are dying.
“This is a world in which people are dying that shouldn’t be dying,” Angus Deaton, a 2015 Nobel Prize winner and an economist at Princeton University, told an audience at Brookings on Wednesday. …
What’s confounding researchers is that this is a uniquely American phenomenon. Europe’s economic woes haven’t had the same impact on life expectancy.
Maybe the reason for the differential mortality rates is that the Americans are still burdened by the vestiges of pride. The dying will continue until the pride is beaten out of them. It will end when the ex-Boeing engineers stop trying to earn a living and fall back on welfare.
Michael Yon, a former correspondent in Iraq who has seen societies collapse, observes that when the tide goes out we all get to see who had no trunks. An outbreak of white, Latino, Asian, straight, gay, Christian, Muslim. Once you open the doors of Hell you can’t choose what devils get to come out.
Many veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and other such wars, likely view this through a different glass.
Using Iraq as example, after things truly began to spin out of control in 2004, many people were fighting for vastly different reasons. It was difficult even for dedicated analysts to keep up with who was fighting, and who was fighting for what. … chaos, is suddenly uncorked .. General criminality skyrockets …
Groups or individuals who are honestly fighting for some cause .. often will be in opposition to one another. They will simultaneously fight the government while fighting each other. Some people just like to fight. Fighting is their cause, and they will latch onto any cause if it helps them get ammo … They could pop up almost over night, often based on some cult-inspiring personality such as Zarqawi.
In the U.S., this could translate into the normal unleashing of the insane, of the criminal elements, of people who are merely fighting “the man,” ethnic divides of many sorts (white and black is the least of it), religious, and other motivations ranging from environmental terrorism to anti-globalism and endless sorts of backwater motivations that become wrapped in violence.
Perfect breeding ground for militant Islam, and anti-Islamic violence also no doubt would raise its head. … If it increases to high levels, National Guard will not save the cities. They will be pop up targets. And every time they (are seen to) overreact, they fertilize the opposition.
Law Enforcement and the government ultimately do not control the people. Control is an illusion, such as the illusion that the mahout controls the elephant. When the elephant loses his mind, the mahout gets flattened. Happens every time.
Millions of people around America are upset and often for different reasons, but in most cases they share a vision that justice no longer exists in the United States, or has been so undermined that they no longer respect it.
The BLM movement has its own agenda and though not baseless is itself on the verge of terrorism. Meanwhile a completely different sort of people see the FBI as a puppet for the Clintons and other ‘elites’ who are not just above the law, they are the law. The problem at hand is straightforward: millions of Americans see injustice and disrespect for the population coming from the government, and the people arrive at this conclusion from different roads.
The door to Hell can’t be shut by speeches. It can’t be resolved by the epideictic presidency of Barack Obama. It has to be met by real reform. Once black grievance gets going, what answer do we give to the cry, “Why not me? Why not me?” The basic problem is that the current system is economically and politically unsustainable. It’s been writing checks for years that it can’t cash. That is the message of the crisis in Europe. That is the message of the crisis in America. That is the message of Dallas.
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