Monday, January 5, 2009

Wait Listed by Jail

"The recession is driving America's city governments into an epic fiscal storm. Unlike earlier downturns, all three big revenue sources--income, property and sales taxes--are falling together. Cumulative budget shortfalls are already in the tens of billions of dollars. ... This recession seems sure to be so serious, say urban finance experts, that many cities will be forced to go well beyond their familiar tight-times reductions in park and library budgets. A growing possibility: to cut into that historially inviolate sector--police officers and firefighters. ... How to do it? There's an oft-neglected candidate: corrections. Because of politically motivated manadatory sentencing legislation, prisoner rolls have been growing rapidly, reaching world-leading shares of the total population. Complains Maricopa County, Ariz., Manager David Smith: ... 'We're going broke slowly with this criminal justice system'," Neal Pierce at the Houston Chronicle, 30 November 2008.

"One measure of how tough times are in the Motor City: Some of the offenders in jail don't want to be released; some who do get out promptly head back where there's heat, health care and three meals a day. ... Even with no hurricane to blame, Detroit has, by many measures, replaced New Orleans as America's most beleaguered city. The jobless rate has climbed past 21 percent, the embattled school district just fired its superintendent, tens of thousands of homes and stores are abandoned, the ex-mayor is in jail for a text-messaging sex scandal. ... The roots of Detroit's current plight go back decades. Court-ordered school busing and the 12th Street riots of 1967 accelerated an exodus of whites to the suburbs, and many middle-class blacks followed, shrinking the city's population of 1.8 million in the 1950s to half that now. ... Rev. Edgar Vann, pastor of the Second Ebenezer Church ... [said] 'Somebody needs to hear us before we begin to see a rise of social upheaval. ... I hate to say that. It's a God-forbid reality.' ... The challenges are daunting. A City Council fiscal analyst projects that Detroit's budget deficit could surpass $200 million by June. The public school district faces a deficit exceeding $400 million, prompting the state to declare a financial emergency. ... Yet Jeriel Herd, chief of jails and court for Detroit's Wayne County, said jail conditions may deteriorate because of pressure to eliminate a quarter of the deputies who guard them. ... Overall, the residential real estate market is catastrophic, with the Detroit Board of Realtors now pegging the average price of a home at $18,513. Some owners can't find buyers at any price. ... Mark Douglas, 41, is among the metro area's most sucessful African-American car dealers--he succeeded his father as president of Avis Ford in suburban Southfield. ... [said] 'Whites have to move back in. You've got to have the integration factor. Everyone has to come together'," my emphasis, David Crary and Corey Williams at the Houston Chronicle, 21 December 2008.

End the drug war. Now. It's a luxury we can't afford. If you think this situation portends well for muni bonds, you are mistaken.

Wow! Some day instead of "dropping the H-bomb" at a party, i.e., saying "I go to Harvard Law (or) Business School", a man will impress the nearby attractive young lady by saying, "I went to Wayne County Jail". Eventually young ladies will swoon by one's even being wait-listed by Wayne Country Jail! "Whites have to move back in". Why? Will you force them at gunpoint? Will Douglas do anything for whites to encourage their return? This article reminds me of 1963's "Ocean Hill Brownsville" fiasco. New York City's (NYC) Board of Education decided an inexplicable osmotic process existed, i.e., sitting Negro kids next to whites in classrooms would improve their scholastic achievement. White parents wanted no part of this as the largely Negro schools their kids need be sent to had, drumroll please, high crime rates. Racism said NYC's liberals. The whites moved out. This is a microeconomic analysis failure. If white kids are valuable, pay them to attend largely Negro schools. At some price, they'll go. I searched the web and found a May, 1966 gem, Improving Ethnic Distribution of New York City Pupils by Jacob Landers. Laugh, read all 78 pages. Remember, this was written 42 years ago, link: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/recordDetail?accno=ED011270. This document is dear to me. Why? I went to page 70's Wingate HS, being zoned into it from Erasmus, the boundary being extended southward to Church Avenue. When I went to grammar school, I walked past J-210-K every day, a page 59 "Sending" School for the "Free Choice Transfer Policy". I saw it all. Columbia Teachers' College (CTC) "experts" visited our schools from time-to-time urging we engage in Maoist self-criticism, for not wanting to attend largely Negro schools, depriving them of a good education. As a high school kid I would say, "take the subway back where you came from". I remember 1958's George Goldfarb (GG) incident, Time, 10 February 1958, http://www.time.com/printout/0,8816,868253,00.html, "It was another grim chapter in one of the more shocking tales of modern education--the continuing story of a great city apparently unable to cope with the teen-aged hoodlums who terrorize its streets and public schools. ... As a result of these incidents, Principal George Goldfarb, 55, was twice called before a special grand jury investigating juvenile delinquency in the schools. ... He was supposed to appear a third time last week ... Instead he headed for his own six-story apartment house, climbed to the roof, and, without leaving a word of explanantion behind him, plunged to his death". So it was reported. I lived about 1/3 of a mile from Eastern Parkway, GG's 1958 residence. No one I knew believed the official story. We thought GG was killed. By whom and why, we had no idea. GG may have been a "hate" crime victim. In 1958, against a white? Impossible. Read Time's account. The New York Daily News has an account here: http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2001/02/28/2001-02-28_displeasure_of_superiors_mr_.html. Good luck Michelle Rhee. I saw "you" before you were born. Your CTC professorship awaits. Go and leave Washington, DC's school kids alone.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

More tough talkin IA...

It's almost like you see the same collapse in social institutions that we just had in financial institutions...

Why all the dislocations?

Is it the systems became so unbalanced that they fall under their own weight?

Independent Accountant said...

Anonymous:
I call it the way I see it. No matter what the supposed "experts" think. I see a similar collapse coming. I referred to Crane Brinton's "Anatomy of Revolution", 1965, on a few occasions. The system becomes unbalanced because ignoramuses think they can fix what they haven't a clue how to fix. We call them legislators.

Anonymous said...

It ain't the drug war. A close relative teaches inner city, and it is culture.

Time to read Nature via Nurture by Ridley. There is no hope for black inner city culture, and drugs are but a manifestation, not a cause.

If you look carefully, the programs advocated by Sanger are dealing with the problem. Talk about grim. I wish that I have an answer, but this is a real world and it can be very ugly and hopeless. In Africa, a similar culture is being transformed by Islam, altering the birth rate balance, and often bringing death such as Darfur. It may not be a surprise that some survivors in Detroit are taking up Islam.

All of this paints a picture of an ugly denouement, partly because no one can face it.

I see whites coming back to Detroit nearly as probable as whites migrating to Darfur.

Independent Accountant said...

Anonymous:
You misunderstand me. Ending the drug war will not cure many inner city problems. I favor it as a matter of freedom and because we can't afford it any more. In 1933 we ended prohibition. Until 1914 we had no illegal drugs. Do you remember Richard Boone's "Have Gun Will Travel" (HGWT), 1957-63? HGWT had a character named "Heyboy", a Chinese kid. Heyboy's uncle ran an opium den. HGWT was situated in San Francisco in 1875. I suspect opium dens were common in 1875. Somehow the US survived without drug laws from 1792 to 1914. We could again. Which Sanger are you referring to? Can you imagine seeing a character named "Heyboy" on television today?

Anonymous said...

Islam or Christianity or Rap or whatever... the transformation starts within the community... federally imposed "programs" and jails aren't solutions...

Cities are abandoned for different reasons in history... it happens... the question is how do you protect those that remain?

And the schools... money pits... nonsense pits...

End the silly drugwar...let big pharma sell those drugs...

Heyboy!

Junior said...

Pop,
We're already seeing this in San Francisco. Because of California's ridiculous Three Strikes law (with very little support or encouragement for "chronic" offenders to turn their lives around), our prisons have long been overpopulated (read: at the breaking point). Add the Drug War to that (some offenders are doing LIFE for selling marijuana which is now LEGAL in CA - what backwards logic is that again?! I guess that's how folks think on Planet Bizarro) and you've got quite a mess on your hands.

But then you have the San Francisco Sheriff's Department working double and sometimes even triple shifts to rake in the overtime.

Social systems are slowly but surely collapsing under the weight of financial greed and this is going to be one component that we cannot afford to ignore (but most likely will anyway).

Makes me sad.

Jr