Donald Trump makes an essential point when he visits black churches and predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods and tells the people there that they ‘have nothing to lose’ by supporting the abandonment of almost a century of statism run amok in their communities. While Republicans share some of the blame for this, it has primarily been the Democratic Party’s urban political machines that have sabotaged millions of black lives (and many others) with socialistic central planning scheme after central planning scheme for generations. America’s inner cities are islands of socialism that have proven time and again that Americans are no better at socialism than the Russians were. Let’s briefly review some of their evil and destructive work over the past half century.
First, the federal government literally bulldozed hundreds of decent, working-class neighborhoods in the inner cities during the 1960s that were filled with modest private homes and apartments, small businesses, playgrounds, parks, and peaceful citizens and replaced them with ‘public housing’ in the name of ‘urban renewal’ (See Martin Anderson’s book, The Federal Bulldozer). Socialized housing predictably turned into dilapidated slums because of the complete absence of property rights in housing. Unlike private rental housing where tenants can be held responsible for any damages they cause to the property, government housing tenants were (and are) let off the hook by the state. Unlike private housing, where improvements that increase a property’s value benefit the property owner, there is no incentive to spend one’s own time and money on improving government housing projects. America’s government housing projects are almost identical in appearance to what one would have seen in the former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe during the twentieth century.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 1, 2016.