Race Riots Aren’t the Only Evidence that Big-Government Progressivism Doesn’t Work


With race riots in Baltimore shocking the nation, streamed in full color and graphic video across the Internet and social media, discussion has turned to the causes.

Speaking two days after the riots began, President Obama blamed the failure of a Republican Congress to pass his agenda.  Writing on National Review, Kevin Williamson focuses on the progressive Democrats who’ve tended to dominate cities that are wracked with such uprisings.  “They are incompetent, they are corrupt, and they are breathtakingly arrogant.”

Boiled down to core beliefs, there are two mutually exclusive political hypotheses on the table.  Either a centralized government can implement programs to raise up struggling communities, or centralizing government creates a font of money and power that will attract the sorts of people who use — prey on — those communities.  Both cannot be true.

My article on WatchDog Arena, this week, looks at Rhode Island’s rank of 42nd among states when it comes to return on taxpayer investment in government, according to WalletHub.

Put in Williamson’s terms, poor infrastructure maintenance shows incompetence, green energy boondoggles (not to mention regular arrests of legislators, including the last speaker of the Rhode Island House) show corruption, and the regulatory overreach shows a “breathtaking arrogance” about insiders’ ability to control an entire society.

If only because it shares New England’s typical lack of racial diversity, Rhode Island is not likely to face race riots anytime soon.  (Rhode Island is 7.5% black, to Maryland’s 30.1%; Providence is 16% black, to Baltimore’s 63.7%.)  That may only mean that the consequences of one-party rule dominated by a big-government progressive philosophy will come in another form.

When people are being pushed into difficult situations by a government that doesn’t serve their needs, and over which they feel they have no control, they can respond in different ways.  In Baltimore, large protests of people with few options are turning into riots.  In Rhode Island, people with more options are leaving.

The difference may only be a matter of time, though, as the state attracts people who think they need government services, even as those who pay for them exit.  Americans from all states should work to ensure that the experiments performed on collapsing and riotous cities don’t have to be tested across the country.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Either a centralized government can implement programs to raise up struggling communities …

    Yeah right … and they’re doing a bang-up job of raising up those communities

    If you are ever in an unfamiliar city and you want some drugs, a stolen firearm, or the ‘companionship’ of some crack whøre, just program your GPS to take you to “Martin Luther King Blvd”

    Every major city has one of these, and it is invariably a black-dominated slum. MLK himself would have been disgusted by this aspect of his legacy

    For those of you too prudent or law-abiding to venture into these areas, here is Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood =►


    Note: the film·maker was too PC to include Roxbury’s MLK Blvd in the street sign montage that open the video, but there is one there — it runs between Washington & Warren Sts in the heart of the slum. Also, “Malcolm X Blvd” is seen very briefly at the 0:28 mark

  • Warrington Faust

    Justin’s points are all well taken. Even though many urban blacks must realize that they are essentially uneducated, do not speak standard English and are only connected to the rest of America by television, I doubt that much serious consideration will be given to the problem. In part, I am driven to this conclusion by the amount of “news time” dedicated to whether or not “Thug” is a racial epithet on a level with the “n-word”. For those who are not history fans, the word derives from “thugees”; a religious cult in 19th century India which focused on murder and rapine. In any case, it appears that blame was to be cast on “authorities” for hurling a racial epithet at the mob. So long as Jerry Springer continues to feature performers assigned names like Cadillacwha and Shitheadra, I doubt serious attention to the problem will prevail

    • ShannonEntropy

      … whether or not “Thug” is a racial epithet on a level with the “n-word” …

      “Inner city youth” is the polite substitution for the “n-word”

      And here is a new one I just recently learned … call them “Mondays” (( kinda sounds like “monkeys” + everyone *hates* Mondays ))

      • Warrington Faust

        For many years, the Boston court system used “Canadians”.

  • Mike678

    “In Baltimore, large protests of people with few options are turning into riots. In Rhode Island, people with more options are leaving.”

    Few options because the assumption inherent in “central planning” is that there will be an assigned spot for me despite any failure by myself to bring anything of value to the job. Capitalism thrives on competition–the antithesis of this philosophy. Little wonder these “centralized” areas attract dependency and those that can see the handwriting on the wall and have the wherewithal to leave do so. Reference the devolution of Detroit.

  • why do you need to know?

    Coming up with a better alternative is the key to ending “one-party rule”. Until you baggers do that you’ll have to remain satisfied to continue to snipe from the sidelines and enjoying your echo chamber.