Skip to comments.[Walter Williams] Politics and Blacks
Posted on 08/13/2009 7:31:05 AM PDT by rhema
President Barack Obama won an unprecedented 96 percent of the black vote. That's not much of a news story since blacks typically give their votes to the Democratic candidate. Blacks are probably the most politically loyal people in the nation and it is almost taken as gospel, at least among civil rights organizations and black and white liberals, that the only way black people can make socioeconomic progress is through the politics of race and special government programs. However, such a vision can be subjected to empirical evidence.
In 1940, when blacks were politically impotent, their poverty rate was 87 percent. By 1960, before blacks achieved much political power, it fell to 47 percent. During that interval, in various skilled trades, the incomes of blacks relative to whites more than doubled. Before 1960, there were no anti-poverty programs or affirmative action programs that can explain an economic advance that exceeded any other 20-year interval, though there were Truman and Eisenhower administration attacks on some of the gross forms of racial discrimination. A significant chunk of black progress occurred simply through migration from rural areas in the South to big Northern cities. Between 1960 and 1980, black poverty fell roughly 17 percent and continued falling to today's 24 percent. The decline in black poverty between 1960 and 1980 might have simply been a continuation of a trend starting much earlier and cannot be attributed solely to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, President Johnson's War on Poverty, or Richard Nixon's affirmative action.
Most of the major problems that many black people face are not amendable to political solutions and government anti-poverty programs. Let's look at some. In 1940, 86 percent of black children were born inside marriage, and the illegitimacy rate among blacks was about 15 percent. Today, only 35 percent of black children are born inside marriage, and the illegitimacy rate hovers around 70 percent. Today's breakdown of the black family is unprecedented. It began in the 1960s with the War on Poverty and the harebrained ideas of the welfare state. In the mid-1960s, Daniel Moynihan sounded the alarm about the breakdown in the black family in his book "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." At that time black illegitimacy was 26 percent. Moynihan said, "(A)t the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of the Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family." He added, "The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States." Moynihan's observations were greeted with charges of racism and blaming the victim. By the way, the welfare state is an equal opportunity family destroyer. Today's illegitimacy rate among whites, at nearly 30 percent, is higher than it was among blacks in the 1960s when Moynihan sounded the alarm. In Sweden, the mother of the welfare state, illegitimacy is 54 percent.
Blacks hold high offices and dominate the political arena in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and other cities. Yet these are the very cities with the nation's most rotten schools, highest crime rates, high illegitimacy rates, weak family structure and other forms of social pathology. I am not saying that blacks having political power is the cause of these problems. What I am saying is that the solution to most of the major problems that confront many black people won't be found in the political arena and by electing more blacks to high office. In fact, politicians tend to be hostile to some of the solutions to problems many blacks face such as school choice as a means to strengthen education, the elimination of oppressive licensing restrictions for various occupations, and supportive of job-destroying labor legislation such as minimum wage laws.
The bottom line is there is very little evidence anywhere on the planet that political power is a necessary condition for economic power.
“Blacks hold high offices and dominate the political arena in Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and other cities. Yet these are the very cities with the nation’s most rotten schools, highest crime rates, high illegitimacy rates, weak family structure and other forms of social pathology.”
DAMN... I WISH I COULD HAVE SAID THAT!
I mourn the fact frequently that our first black president couldn’t be someone like Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell.
To sum up, as I think Mr. Williams would:
You should not be surprised that an artificial unlimited demand for illegitimate black babies yields an unlimited supply of them.
Walter Williams is great. I wish he subbed for Rush more often.
Don’t forget Birmingham. Bankrupt!
Washington, D.C which has the nations most rotten schools:
1)has a high black population that wants school vouchers
2)the DC leadership is more loyal to Teacher Unions than their own constituents.
3) Yet, the same constituents CONTINUE to elect the same people who deny them vouchers
I have sympathy for the children being placed in horrific schools but none for the parents who vote the same clowns over and over again because these clowns blame everything on ‘white’ historical injustices rather than the reflection in the mirror.
Beg to differ. Somewhat.
Without political power, or a limited government like we used to have, political power is a necessary condition for retaining economic power. Otherwise, those with political power will just loot those with economic power.
Who’s the Black “intellectual” with the Manhattan Institute (Conservative Think Tank) that supported Obama?
I haven’t seen or heard from him for a while.
Does he still feel Obama is the GREAT HOPE?
I wouldn’t support the MI again for letting this take place under their noses. Intellectual freedom is ONE THING; intellectual SUICIDE is another.
The biggest problem is the isolation in which the black community practices it’s social/economic/political life. The communities run by blacks cut themselves off from the mainstream except for the taxmoney that supports them and pays their salaries. Fred Reed put it well when he mentioned that the US has Kenya scattered among the nation that otherwise breezes along.
Blacks cut out ‘outsiders.’ Hispanics have their places along with Asians, but they yearn to become mainstream and do so in the end.
I always like it when Mr. Williams describes what he gets his wife for her birthday or Christmas. He say he always buys her something practical like a vacuum or an iron. He is indeed funny.
I think the classical text book case here is Malaysia and Singapore. The former is about 70% ethnic Malay and 15% ethnic Chinese. Singapore is just the reverse.
I've done extensive business in both places. Ethnic Chinese hold nearly zero political power in Malaysia. But they pretty much run the economy. Chinese are seldom seen even in the low-level government bureaucracies, but they hold a near monopoly on positions of influence in companies save for the occasional Malaysian which is window dressing or public spokesman.
The Malaysian majority, even though they have political power to easily change this instead accepts it because they understand the Chinese do the better job of running the economy which makes their figurehead jobs and government jobs possible. This would be like SEIU or the welfare class voting Republican because they understand a healthy private sector generates more tax dollars for them.
Meanwhile, over in Singapore, the Chinese majority bends over backward to include the Malay and other minorities in the government as well as the economy. The Malays may, like the Mexicans in the United States, may complain that the majority doesn't do enough, but none of them want to return to their homeland.
His act about Mrs. Williams was classic. Unfortunately, Mrs. Williams has passed on. After 48 years of marriage that must be a tough one.
Oddly, there are about 7% conserv blacks who do not get any cred. The fact that black communities never seem to be informed enough outside of race, blaming whitey, they still will not deal with their own out of wedlock problems, crime rates, prison rates, gun and drug running, gangsters, and lack of education because many think it is not worth it. Some day, I would like to see Walter or Tom explain to all of us just how Pubs could actually break through this inexperience with reality, facts, and lessons that dependence that the Dems foster, hurt the varied black communities. That would be an article for the RNC to actually use in their recruiting and voter registration.
You are of course correct.
However, I’d like to point out that enlightened self-interest doesn’t always prevent the party with political power from looting the party with economic power.
Couple examples from Africa:
Uganda 1972: Amin expelled the Indians, the backbone of the economy, and looted their property, handing it out to his cronies. Result was dramatic contraction of economy and impoverization of the country.
Zimbabwe, 2000 and ongoing. Much the same action taken against white farmers, destroying the previously quite prosperous economy.