Sunday, November 9, 2008

Joseph Stewart Asks Barack Obama About Inner Cities

My student in management at Brooklyn College, Joseph Stewart, asked then-Senator Barack Obama a question on television recently. Joseph, who lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, knows at least 40 people who have been murdered. He wanted to know how Barack Obama thinks that hope can be injected into the inner city.

I agree with parts of Mr. Obama's remarks. I do not believe that improvement of medical care, after school programs or teacher quality are relevant to crime. The creation of jobs would help, but not if taxation of income makes a good job a pastime for a sucker. One way to encourage a focus on the work ethic is to limit taxation, government intervention and inflation to encourage saving, thrift and self-improvement. As well, elimination of minimum wage requirements for training programs would enable firms to employ unskilled labor that they train for the best jobs.

Perhaps Red Hook could become a free trade zone and attract industrial enterprise back to New York, enterprise that was ejected (and its associated jobs destroyed) during the "urban renewal" of the 1950s. As well, decriminalization of drugs would reduce violent crime. Along these lines, Mr. Obama suggests drug courts that decriminalize drugs.

I agree with Mr. Obama's claim that young people should be given opportunity to learn construction trades, although if much of their earnings are taxed, good jobs may not be so desirable. Strengthening of the family and individual assumption of responsibility (and rewarding assumption of such responsibility) are the best ways to end crime.

Crime rates did not increase in inner cities until the early 1950s. The increase was concomitant with increased government programs, welfare, social work and urban renewal. As someone once said, government is not the solution, government is the problem.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

Apparently Obama's education policy is for everyone to learn another language, however which one should it be?

The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish. Yet this leaves Russian and Mandarin Chines out of the equation.

It is time to move forward and discuss the subject of a common international language, taught worldwide, in all nations?

It's totally relevant then, that UNESCO will meet in Paris, on 15th December, to acknowlege Esperanto, as a living language, in conjunction with the International Year of Languages

An interesting video can be seen at A glimpse of the language can be seen at