WASHINGTON, April 29, 2015 – America watched in disbelief as hundreds of rioters destroyed parts of Baltimore. While a specific incident triggered these riots, the real issues run deep, as most rioters live in poor conditions and see little opportunity. This situation is seen in almost all cities in the US. Liberal policies have created this deplorable situation.
Liberal policies have long supported social programs that were intended to be short term. Instead, the programs easily give money to those who haven’t earned it for long periods of time. This comes in the form of welfare payments, food stamps, health care and some special funding programs. Because there is no opportunity to leave these programs, families get locked into the “welfare state” for an entire lifetime, even spanning generations.
This breeds anger in the recipients who feel trapped by the system. Because there is no work requirement to receive these tax-payer handouts, the recipients have too much idle time which eventually leads to improper or illegal activities. At some point a trigger brings out the anger.
Most US cities are in terrible financial condition, again the result of liberal policies. Claiming to have a desire to help the middle class, liberal policy makers have hired large numbers of public employees. In most cities payrolls are bloated with unnecessary and very costly workers who under-perform their duties.
These employees generally work far fewer hours, get far better benefits and experience much more liberal work rules than those in the private sector. Some studies suggest that public employees earn as much as 30% more than those in the private sector for similar work.
Liberal policies also want to insure that public employees enjoy a prosperous retirement. As such liberal policy makers have created extremely generous pension plans where many former employees earn six figure annual pensions, often retiring at a younger age than those in the private sector. These unfunded pension liabilities will simply be impossible for the cities to pay.
Because of the bloated salary and benefit packages paid to public employees, the cost for services is now more than cities can afford, especially since the bulk of city revenue comes from property taxes. Falling real estate values mean lower tax revenue. Struggling cities have had to cut back on services. The result is often under manned police and fire departments. Or worse, under funding in the area of education.
City school systems are trying to provide a proper education, recognizing that, for the children, the real way out of poverty is through education. But because of the bloated labor costs the schools can’t afford to provide a quality education.
More liberal policies have worsened this problem. In most areas, after a person teaches for three years, he gains tenure, which makes it virtually impossible to be fired. The result is that teachers, knowing they can’t be fired, tend to under perform. Although cities spend more than school districts in rural areas, and the US generally spends much more than other country, the result are abysmal. A large percent of students in inner city schools never graduate and many that do are poorly prepared for the real world. Too few go on to college, providing no opportunity to “educate your way out.”
In the last six years liberal policies have become more liberal, especially affecting those who live in the cities. The result has been an increase in the poverty rate, higher crime rates and more income inequality. The failed liberal policies must be reversed. The liberal approach is not working and taxpayers are footing the bill.
Since the taxpayers provide all of the funds that liberal policy-makers handout, we should demand a change. The reality is that there are so many people on public payrolls, so many people receiving handouts and so many more that have been convince they have moral obligation to provide handouts, that change will be difficult. But once everyone sees that when the recipients are provided the opportunity to earn enough to provide a better lifestyle than they currently have, change will be easier.
This change will save our cities.