Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some blacks feel abandoned by Democrats

A state Congresswoman in St. Louis' 4th Ward expresses disillusionment with the Democratic Party:

Leggette said there are two Democratic parties in St. Louis - one that benefits whites and another that ignores blacks. "At one time, Democrats were a solution for us. I don't know when that changed or why that changed, but it has," Leggette told me.
That sounds like two sides of the same coin, but the semantics aren't important. Democrats have been consistently worse for the black community than the GOP has been, and not just in the Republican talking points regarding ancient history: Lincoln being a Republican and George Wallace a Democrat, etc. Welfare reform corresponded with a drastic drop in the poverty rate of black children (from 41% in 1996 to 30% in 2001). Stiffer treatment for criminality led to a 50% increase in the proportion of blacks incarcerated from the late eighties to late nineties. Not surprisingly, this has corresponded to a decrease in the number of black crime victims, as the rate of black-on-black crime is far higher than for any other perpetrator-victim racial classification. When Patrick Moynihan issued his famous report on the degeneration of the black family, the African American illegitimacy rate stood at 22%. The cultural revolution's self-indulgent, atomistic mentality that most devastates those with the least intelligence and little long-term orientation, helped propel that rate to the near-70% mark where it sits tragically today.

Leggette points out the obvious:
Her comments underscore a familiar complaint from blacks who claim the Democratic Party takes them for granted.
As blacks are the most lopsided political demographic in the country, voting eight-to-one in favor of the Democrats, it's no wonder. Why spend resources to better a group (granting that this could conceivably be done) that already unanimously adores you? The political cost-benefit is too unfavorable. The exclusivity of the urban black community virtually guarantees that a vote against the Party is perceptually tantamount to a vote against the community, anyway. And urban blacks aren't the best candidates for alacritous independent thought that bucks the trends of their communities.

The greatest long-term threat to blacks is continued unskilled immigration. As the supply of menial labor increases, the price of that labor is going to decrease. And with a minimum wage floor in place, an increase in labor supply similarly leads to an increase in unemployment, as the most marginal laborers are unable to add enough value to the entities potentially employing them to be worth hiring in the first place. Even in the face of an economic recovery, black unemployment has risen since the good times started back up.

A merit immigration system that skims the cream of the world's crop, coupled with a closure of the Southern border, would have a much more benign effect on blacks. Without even considering the quality of life improvements such a shift would bring, an increase in the supply of professional labor would push the cost of professional services down (which blacks of course use) and the need for laborious services up (where blacks are heavily represented). Such a policy change would also attenuate the wealth gap.

Instead, a majority of our leaders, in a bipartisan effort, want the US to become an extension of Latin America. It's difficult to see how a racially polarized society of citizens that are politically inept, where poverty is rampant but the few who are wealthy are spectacularly so, is good for anyone (including blacks) save the political class and corporations that can profit from it.

The political class stands to benefit from the lack of unity among the population as it becomes increasingly heterogenuous. Rather than coalescing into advocacy groups for populist causes, grassroots efforts will increasingly be racially defined. As whites are pushed into minority status, white special interest groups will form to rival the race-hustling prowess of groups like La Raza and NAACP. Do we want ethnic advocacy groups replacing ones like Citizens Against Government Waste and Americans for Fair Taxation?

The multinational nature of the contemporary business world means that corporations have little reason to be concerned with the long-term well-being of a particular geographic region or its inhabitants. It is considered passe for internationally competitive companies to consider themselves national organizations--they are increasingly redefining themselves as international ones. Meanwhile, unfettered Hispanic underclass immigration provides the two things big business loves--cheaper labor and a larger consumer market.

But some politicians are too close to the people to so blatantly sell them out. House members face reelection every two years and are the more beholden to their communities than Senators are, as they represent smaller populations and geographical areas. Speaker Dennis Hastert boldly refuses to let the Whitehouse and Senate continue to fiddle:
House Republicans, who have campaigned hard against illegal immigration with few legislative accomplishments to show for it, announced Thursday they would try to cobble together a package of border crackdown measures before their recess next month.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he would convene an unusual forum Wednesday in which Republican committee chairmen would report their findings from immigration hearings held around the country this summer and suggest proposals such as the creation of voter identification cards that the House would try to pass before Congress adjourns.
Disgusted as I am with the Republican Party, I fear what will happen if it loses both houses. Unrestrained by his own party, Bush would likely sign on to an immigration bill similar to the one passed by the Senate earlier this year, with all the media strappings of 'reaching across the aisle' and 'realizing political detente'. The Iraq war has cost us $300 billion, the lives of almost 2,700 soldiers, and left over 20,000 wounded. It has exposed the US' inability to both occupy and liberalize the Muslim world at the same time (we can basically only do one or the other, leaving us with two bad choices [or a third better option--get out]). And it has strained US relations with Europe. But the immigration situation still takes precedence, because with a high-powered economy, a well-educated and high IQ population, lots of incentivization for entrepreneurship, and natural resource and real estate wealth, we can recover from the Iraq debacle. But altering the composition of our human capital hampers the underlying strength of the US itself. Iraq is like wasting discretionary income; having open borders is like decreasing earning power. So I've become a one-issue voter.

As the media focus has been almost exclusively on the 14 seats in the House that Republicans can spare and still retain their majority, little attention has been giving to tenuous Democratic seats (and consequently I predict that the GOP will retain both houses in November):
Riding a wave of discontent over the economy, Iraq and gas prices, Democrats are hoping to win enough seats to retake the House of Representatives this November. But their success could also hinge on their ability to keep the seats they already have — and doing so could prove difficult in two key races in Georgia.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Jim Marshall of Macon and John Barrow of Savannah are facing hearty challenges from a pair of former Republican congressmen with name
recognition and the ability to raise big money. Bolstering their chances are new district boundaries drawn up by the first GOP-dominated Georgia Legislature
since Reconstruction.
One of the challengers is running ads claiming that a Pelosi-lead House will grant blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants. It doesn't even refer to the incumbent, a Democrat who voted for the House's tough immigration bill. If that brand of message can prove to be a winner in this year's election, it will provide an impetus for another HR4437, a resolution that is good for black, white, and Hispanic Americans alike.

(Politics and Religion)


JSBolton said...

Restriction of immigration by use of high standards, is probably today the only popular way to reduce the share taken by government. Although, in terms of popularity, any great restriction of immigration would be hugely popular.
Officials have the responsibility to reduce the aggression which occurs in the jurisdiction which their office covers; not in foreign countries.
One can want more freedom in the world, but saving foreigners from unfreedom is dereliction of reponsibility if it increases the level of aggression in the jurisdiction for which the decision is to be made.
If the republicans got twice their shockingly low black percentage, as could easily be won by appearing loyal to the citizen over the foreigner; they could afford to lose every single immigrant vote that they get, by mistake or however.
Public services quite often do not simply expand and maintain their quality just because the population of the needy has been newly swelled by immigration policies which recruit illiterates as if by design.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that blacks are extremely sensitive to fashion. If it's fashionable to vote democratic among friends and family, that's how they'll vote.

You don't get the black vote by appealing to rational argument. You get it by changing perceptions of what is fashionable.

crush41 said...

Blacks are certainly more collectivistic in their perceptual patterns of thought than are whites.

How to make immigration restriction fashionable among blacks? Probably the simple carrying of the cause by black leadership. Or unsatisfactorily demonizing Hispanics.