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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 7:53 am | Fair 45º


Ron Fink: Baltimore — Another Liberal ‘Success Story’

Politicians of all stripes are always running on platforms that promise hope for the lower/middle class and economic growth — Baltimore is no different.

It just so happens that this city has been run by progressive Democrat politicians for many years, so why haven’t things gotten better? You would think that the folks who complain the loudest about the plight of the oppressed would find solutions to these problems after all these years.

But for liberals it’s always about the fight, but rarely about meaningful solutions. Dollars spent count as successes and not tangible results.

In many poorer neighborhoods crime, common street crime, assaults and murders are common place. What has Baltimore done about it?

Liberals do not support proactive policing of their communities; instead, they prefer that police avoid contacting street hoodlums and instead of proactive policing they create policies that harm business owners for crimes committed by others.

Jay Steinmetz, a Baltimore business owner, contributed a commentary to the Wall Street Journal recently. He wrote, “On any given day, what takes place in this neighborhood is a slow-motion version of recent events. Graffiti, which anyone with experience in urban policing will affirm is the first sign of trouble, regularly appears on the exterior of our building. From there the range of crimes escalates to burglarizing cars in the parking lot, and breaking and entering our building.”

He also observed, “When the building alarm goes off, the police charge us a fee. If the graffiti isn’t removed in a certain amount of time, we are fined.” Thus in Baltimore it is the business owner who is punished and not the thugs who try to break into his business or deface his property.

It is this sort of liberal mentality that produces cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland and other Democrat-run areas. The people in these communities and prospective business owners deserve elected who leaders will protect them and their businesses from those who choose to destroy their surroundings and they also need elected leaders who support efforts that will improve their lot in life — not what they have today.

And, the average citizen who just wants to live in a safe environment deserves much better than what they see and hear every day.

Liberals are also missing many opportunities to help the lower/middle class move up the economic ladder.

Many black leaders have been interviewed from the inner city recently, and some have sage advice for the black community. The true leaders in the black community are those who say, “We don’t want government help; we can do this ourselves if we try.” This is the sprit that’s needed to change the outlook in the inner city.

Other black leaders have taken it upon themselves to establish vocational schools to teach what’s not being taught by public schools — how to work and personal responsibility. Even though these programs are small, they seem to be successful and they don’t want government funding because it only burdens them with reports and lofty goals that have failed them in the past.

For example, raising your kids to know right from wrong isn’t the responsibility of the government. In a widely broadcast video, we saw a Baltimore mother “take charge” of her son when she saw him in a hooded mask and wearing his back pack. Although her words to him were rather crude and the very public punitive action she took could make some cringe, it still had the positive impact of removing one potential hoodlum from the streets that day.

This was an example of a parent taking responsibility for her child, and in later interviews with the young man in the video he acknowledged that it was his mother’s tough love that day that probably kept him out of jail.

Baltimore is just the most recent manifestation of a nationwide problem. Ever since President Lyndon Johnson created the Great Society program in 1964 whose “main goal was the elimination of poverty and racial injustice” things haven’t really gotten any better. Instead, this program and many follow on programs have only created two generations of people who simply wait for the next failed program.

Liberals have been working on this issue for decades, tossing billions of taxpayer dollars at the problem and blasting conservatives who want more accountability and better outcomes. The liberal approach can only be judged as a failure at this point.

So, what have we learned in the last 50 years? First, liberal black politicians are no better at solving black issues than their white counterparts and second that black parents who take responsibility for the actions of their children can be effective.

Maybe it’s time for politicians to let religious leaders in the black community continue to spread positive images, create effective programs and encourage parents to properly educate their children on how to succeed in life because the liberal/progressive method of tossing billions at the problem hasn’t worked.

If you don’t think that will work, talk to Dr. Ben Carson.

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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