Obviously, the New York Times Editorial Page is Lying*
I know for a fact that the alleged facts stated in this New York Times editorial today are false. Or at least that, contrary to the editorial’s claim, those facts, if true, no longer have any impact on black Americans’ financial status and educational opportunities. None whatsoever.
I know this because I read John Roberts’ and Anthony Kennedy’s opinions in cases that touch on such matters.
Okay, so maybe the writer of that editorial isn’t actually a liar. Maybe he or she actually believes that the claims in the editorial are true. Which would indicate that that writer does not read John Roberts’ and Anthony Kennedy’s opinions, at least not the ones that concern such things.
In any event, that editorial should be retracted. Immediately. With a concession that it misstates fact.
*Okay, I know from experience that someone will post an angry comment here indicating that he or she thinks the title of the post, and the post itself, aren’t, y’know, facetious. The title of the post, and the post itself, are facetious. The Times editorial, by the way, is titled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore.”
I certainly think the title of the New York Times editorial itself — y’know, “How Racism Doomed Baltimore” — is totally facetious.
I watched Meet the Press on Sunday and saw former Baltimore mayor O’Malley (very impressive otherwise — my prayer for president) frame the nation’s domestic agenda in terms of rebuilding our cities — presumably concentrating on the poorest parts.
The show replayed a 50 year old video of Senator Patrick Moynihan (co-author of Beyond the Melting Pot) explaining the plight of the black family back then as a result from a century of horrific discrimination. Those on the panel then took up the ghetto solution as repairing families.
That’s when I turned it off. As my brother John expressed it after I explained the American un-organized slave market to him: “Martin Luther King got his people on the up escalator just in time for it to start going down for everybody.”
It is not a matter of moving ghetto dwellers out of the ghetto — it is a very doable matter of moving the ghettos out of the dwellings.
I read Sudhir Venkatesh’s American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto and William Julius Wilson’s When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor at the same time. Venkatesh’s book went on past the end of Wilson’s book. It was only as the federal minimum wage dropped almost in half from LBJ’s peak (under performing Malthusian theory by early 2007) that the projects turned into gang infested hell.
If I were still young enough to work there wouldn’t be anything much out there for me to do. Chicago’s taxi meter is now 50 cents per mile lower than it was in 1981 when I started here — with possibly half the taxi business erased (subways to both airports, unlimited limos, free trolleys between the downtown hotspots) — and 40% more taxicabs!
Today’s federal minimum wage is $3.50 below what it was in 1968 — possibly the most inexplicable wage fact in any rich economy. Labor unions have disappeared. How is any victim of the ghetto supposed to navigate themselves through the modern American slave labor market? End today’s non-discriminatory slave market and you will solve everything else.
How to do that below:
well, as far as i know i am the only person whom beverly would think “posted an angry comment here indicating that he thinks…the post… is not facetious..”
i will just say that my comment was not angry, and i knew full well that beverly was being facetious. i just pointed out that she failed to maintain her irony by listing “true facts” amongst her “facetious facts.” i was afraid that some innocent reader, not “in the know” would be confused about just what she was saying.
here, i have to say that I am confused about just what she is saying, as she seems to have neglected to actually say it. perhaps all would be made clear to me if i had access to the new york times and the Roberts and Kennedy “opinions that touch on such matters.”
Or as E.A.Poe wrote when he was writing as a literary critic, and which I read while I was a student “learning to write essays,” “an essay should contain within itself all the material necessary to understand it.”
Note to Joel: that is not actually a quote, but that doesn’t make it a lie: it’s the best I can remember what he said. It is an honest attempt to capture the meaning.
All this is an extract from my autobiography, “How I Became a Troll.”
Mere civil penalties — if you can call reinstatement a penalty — carry zero deterrent against union busting. Firing employees who attempt to organize a collective bargaining unit can be overwhelmingly profitable (unlike practicing forms of discrimination). Firing a few organizers packs the same tactical punch as locking out the entire workforce but with zero economic inconvenience to the boss. An employer may even feel compelled to bust a union because the firm down the road does so and he wont be able to compete equally.
Labor unions have no chance to ever resume their role as the natural counterweight to employer interests unless union blocking/busting will be met with serious jail time.
Disappearing organizers deprives them of more than a job: it strips them of — both — the economic and political sinews they need to interact effectively against competing interests. Employees may be able to find another job but they cannot find another fair and balanced society (unless they emigrate to Denmark).
* * * * * * * * * *
Once a state legislature makes union busting a felony, federal and state RICO prosecution will kick in (there are 33 state RICO laws).
A business (which is not the defendant and which can be perfectly legit) fits the case law definition of an ongoing enterprise — if it has:
(a) a purpose,
(b) a life outside the crime (a bank robbery gang is not an enterprise),
(c) longevity — which is taken as over a year or substantially over. Longevity however may be considered built in: for example, if a demand is made for $1,000 a month. I imagine union busting action could be taken as having a common sense expectation of longevity — if not, wait a year, then factor in the common sense expectation and start your prosecution.
* * * * * * * * * *
The Industrial Revolution replaced decently paid individual cloth weavers with steam loom operators whose incomes were squeezed below subsistence by the “Iron Law of (unorganized) Labor.” Over the same period, anyone in England who publicly advocated universal suffrage for all males was on his way to jail and then to Australia.
The Making of the English Working Class (1966) — E. P. Thompson
How much happier cloth makers would have been to support legislation protecting collective bargaining — than to burn down the looms. Labor unions trump Luddites. 🙂
PS. Can’t believe I just read that four years ago, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed card check legislation for farm workers (of all most desperately in need). Could have opened the way for other employees to demand the same. Not to mention other states picking up on the issue! What could he have been thinking? ???
I wrote my comment above before seeing yours. I think you are essentially right. But the Baltimore problem was seen coming as early as 1970. And I like to point out it isn’t at bottom a matter of racism. Heard “the poor” into “inner cites” and you will get violence and police brutality whether the poor or the rich are white or black.
I suspect “more jobs and better wages” would solve this problem as well as other problems. But The problem is getting there. Also the remaining problem would be that no matter how good the jobs or better the wages, there will always be a fairly large number of people who are going to be “in poverty” if only “as compared to others.”
I think my answer to that… “enlightened paternalism” would offend most people if they were ever made aware that was what was happening. But if it could be made to work wihtout calling it that, most people would think they had reached the promised land.
“herd” not “heard”
The British labor movement in the early 19th century was quite violent, but the only reason there were any social changes was that King William stepped in and threatened to knight enough pro-labor lords to get Parliament to do something for the typical working Englishman. That was his feudal prerogative. It has since been repealed.
I hope we can get there if some progressive states see their way to criminalize union busting — at least as seriously as taking movies in the movies or pushing pot. 🙂 Other people will view the common sense of this and hopefully get the idea. The toughest thing is always social inertia.
Hopefully, people in other states may become jealous of the freedom of employees who can just organize (even minority unions) if they just feel like it.
O’Malley could run against Hilary. However, his policing experiments in Baltimore is Guilliani level and I would never vote for him.
I have a sixtiesish acquaintance who was raised in Maryland.
He is, pounding table, sure the Baltimore riots were all that money the libruls spent.
He is a racist.
I do not dispute the issue in Baltimore, Detroit, Ferguson and 1000 other US ghettoes, is racism.
If you listened to Faux News the days after the riot, I did not miss the racism!
It is now shaded as blaming the victim, and keys on the impact on the criminal oppressors!
What a useful idea! “Every work of art should contain within itself all that is required for its own comprehension.” And here is the original essay:
http://www.eapoe.org/works/criticsm/glb45se1.htm I had always half wondered why so much modern art, with an essay of a few hundred words appended in the place of a mere title, date and media, so annoyed me, but your Poe quote wraps it up and delivers it beautifully.
I got to the end of Beverly’s post and still didn’t know what the NYT may or may not have lied about. But youse guys are my friends, so I assume you all know.
What I never hear people muse about might run like this: “What life situation would I have to be in, in order to move me to riot in the streets, risking my life, my freedom, and the cohesiveness of my community?”
Well first, one person can’t riot (though I’ve known some who tried.) A riot is a communal thing. Also, a riot is a public thing. People can’t go strolling to the village green, quietly rioting for the afternoon while pretending all the other rioters are just there by accident, like coincidental picnickers. Also, a riot needs an opponent, I think. Otherwise it’s just a party. The opponent needn’t be present for the riot itself, but would have had to be injuring the rioters in some way in the time before the riot. And riots need a trigger. Riots are expenditures of energy, released all at once. The energy is inherent to the rioters, but bottled up by pressure applied by the opponent, the trigger could be from the opponent or from some other, perhaps unrelated event. The need for individual energies to be bottled up is probably why rioting is largely an activity of the young and the male.
But finally, rioters need to have limited resources and other outlets for their frustrated energies. No civic recourse, no hobbies or sports, no social context in which to compete and achieve, no safe arena in which to excel.
So, would there be a situation in which I, a retired old biddy, could be induced to riot? I think it would require a lot. I might not have the initial energy to build up any head of steam. Perhaps being cheated of my social wealth (my pension, health care system, voting rights, and justice under a shared law) would be a good start. Then, arbitrary and disproportional policing and prosecution, up to and including casual violence and murder in my community, by authorities not subject to discipline. Being scolded for not succeeding in a system stacked against success would lend an added tang to the fury. Seeing my children randomly killed in the street might put the lid on it, too.
But I’m old enough to see that pure rioting is just an explosion, not a useful, controlled use of the bottled energy of fury. No, rioting wouldn’t be my tool. But knitting might.
(Relax, I can’t knit worth a damn)
Aaaargh. Guys, I linked to the Times op-ed, which states pretty specific sets of facts that make clear why black Americans have, in such large numbers, not built generational wealth via homeownership, small-business ownership, or just plain ordinary decent-paying blue-collar jobs and decent schools for their kids, in so many big cities and metro areas. The current bare majority on the Supreme Court says that racism and its residual generational effects are a thing of the past.
I have it on the highest authority that men were designed by Darwin at the request of women so they would have someone to do their rioting for them.
Ilsm, I’m with you on O’Malley. Back about two weeks ago, in a comments thread to one of my posts, I wrote that I’d soured on O’Malley a few days earlier after reading a detailed article about O’Malley’s aggressive adoption of the arrest-teenagers-for-loitering-or-trivial-littering strategy. Not sure I’m happy with Clinton’s history on related matters, including even things she said not very long ago, before it became clear that the political tide had turned on these things; actually, I’m sure I’m not happy at all with it. But as with other issues, she’s apparently awakened to the realization that it’s no longer the ’90s. So ….
I am pretty sure O’Malley is sincere. He is no (racist) Bloomberg. In an earlier era with crime sky high (I saw Shaft in the movie Shaft started outside of — in Robert DeNiro’s Hell), so-called broken windows policing — massively overdone; crime was down 4X by the time Bloomberg took over from the more blatant racist and he upped stops 7X = 28 times as many stops per reported crime — may have seemed a justifiable tactic under extreme pressure to return the war zones to normal. It can take time for faults to shake out. I am pretty sure that the realization of the racism inherent in that kind of policing has reached O’Malley (not the other two).
I believe he is genuinely concerned to reverse the (so-called) inequality (sorry; but it is such a bland term for the American slave labor market) — which I don’t see Hillary worried about except as a political issue.
I see the Clintons and Obama as lemon squeezers — not culture changers. Obama adroitly squeezed Obamacare out of the drug, medical appliance and insurance industries by promising them more business for lower prices (Brill). Nice — but then he went away — no next act pending. Minimum wage almost $4 below 1968 — is O out crying out from the rooftops? Etc. These guys are system squeezers (and good ones) but what is always needed to take on the worst problems (and there are always worst problems) are culture changers. O’Malley seems to me the only viable Democratic candidate capable of that.
Frankly, I don’t know if O’Malley knows what needs to be done to change the culture — whether or not he knows what the big needs to push are (ask me: reconstitute the labor market) but I think he is prepared to push straightforwardly for whatever he thinks is needed, not just for what will poll well next Monday (O forgot all about the “defining issue of our time” when it didn’t poll a week later — all technocrat).
Denis, I agree with you that O’Malley, unlike (certainly) Giuliani and (probably) Bloomberg, is not (from what I’ve read) a racist, and he did have the support of a couple of high-profile local black leaders for those policies back then. And the crime rate in the 90s in large cities was horrible. But the idea of actually arresting teens and twentysomethings for utter trivialities was always patently inappropriate.
Here’s the thing: If a cop saw a teen, say, littering—the article I read two or three weeks ago talks about a 16-year-old kid who was arrested when he was sitting on the stairs to his aunt’s house and tossed a candy wrapper on the lawn—why not just politely ask the kid to please not litter because littering helps make the block and the neighborhood unpleasant?
Seriously; why not? Is there really much chance that the kid wouldn’t just say “okay,” pick up the wrapper, and actually think before doing it again?
What bothers me most now about O’Malley is that apparently he had planned to build a big part of his campaign around his pride in such tactics, and that now he’s not really talking about the downside to the tactics and how to reverse the harm that has been caused by them. At least, to my knowledge he’s not.
Which isn’t to say that I’m not grateful to him for running—and for taking the steps he’s taken in the last two months or so toward running, and running as a Warren progressive on economics issues. And for responding so forcefully three weeks or so ago to Marco Rubio’s silly, generic claim that government regulations are the cause of the near-complete lack of socioeconomic mobility in the U.S. I’m grateful for that. Definitely grateful.