The System That Has Failed the Inner City


  The riots we are seeing today in major cities are another symptom of a problem we saw previously after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  The riots really aren’t about abusive policemen.  The protests may be, but mixed in with the protestors are teenagers and young adults who think nothing of breaking into businesses or setting fires to their city.  These young adults don’t have the supervision they need.  They don’t have the motivation they need.  The don’t have the skills they need.  They don’t have the values they need.  They don’t have the hope they need.

It is true that the system has failed them, but it is not the free enterprise system.  They are not using the free enterprise system.  The system that has failed them is the government system.  The Socialist system.

Free enterprise works and works well for everyone who has tried it.  America embraced free enterprise and became the biggest economy in the world with a standard of living that is the envy of many places in the world.  China threw off Socialism and embraced free enterprise (albeit with tight government control of social freedoms) after the riots in the 1990’s and have risen to the point where they are challenging America.  

Free enterprise works because people are incentivized to work and produce things for themselves and other people.  Everybody who eats a loaf of bread bakes a loaf of bread, or at least produces enough work to equal the labor needed to make a loaf of bread.  People learn new skills, allowing them to produce more, because they will have a better standard of living if they do so.  Eventually it gets to the point where it is easy to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves because people are producing way more than they need.  That is why the poor in the United States have multiple televisions, cars, phones, food, and shelter.  Go to India or Vietnam and you’ll find a much different lifestyle among the poor.  They barely have food.

The system that has failed the inner city is the government welfare system.  Those living generation after generation on welfare are discovering that waiting for the government to make their lives better is not a good plan.  Replacing a child’s father with a government check and state-paid daycare is not a good plan. Escaping your troubles with drugs and alcohol is not a good plan.  Relying on others to provide for you is not a good plan. 

After hurricane Katrina we saw those who had lived their entire lives on government assistance suddenly pulled out of the shadows by the rising flood waters and into the sunlight.  They were utterly unable to take care of themselves, instead waiting to be rescued by the government.  They also found out that this was not a good plan.  FEMA had never before been expected to save people or shelter people in disasters.  They just paid for damage to city infrastructure and made low-interest loans available to rebuild after the fact.  Suddenly people were expecting George Bush to swoop down in a helicopter and take them away to a Holiday Inn.

And how did this work for them?  They waited for weeks in the Superdome and in flooded streets.  They waited for FEMA trailers for years.  Those who were used to taking care of themselves simply left.  They were back to their lives within a few months of Katrina.  But the story was different for those depending on the government.  I have no doubt that there are still people who were waiting on the government to save them living in limbo today.

If this is you, give up on the system of government dependency – it doesn’t work.  There is not enough money available to take care of everyone who just doesn’t feel like working.  If you give money to the government in large amounts to take care of things like food and shelter, it gets wasted and stolen.   Plus you give someone else power over your basic necessities, which gives them power over you.  You have the ability to take care of yourself and your family with your two hands and your brain.

If you can’t find any jobs, move to where there are jobs.  If your streets are not safe, move to where they are safe, even if that is out in the country.  If your children’s schools are controlled by gangs, move to where the schools are safe.  If working more will cause you to lose benefits, suck it up and work your way through – it will be better on the other side.  Nobody will ever take care of you and your family as well as you can.  Do it.  

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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning advice, it gives information on a specific investment strategy and picking stocks. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.


  1. Yup. America was never designed to be a social-welfare state. It was designed to reward those committed to working hard. American history and media has many examples of people who decided to get up off their butts and work their way out of the illiteracy or failure or poverty or discrimination or whatever else they found themselves in. The story of Dr. Ben Carson is one of many excellent examples. But, human nature is inherently lazy and it likes to blame others, and unfortunately the ranks of such people have multiplied over the past several decades, to America’s shame and growing demise. Even though I’m Canadian, I see it on the news more and more and I really notice it whenever I visit your great country.

    • Really it’s pretty simple. Someone needs to produce the thing you consume, so if you are producing nothing, there will be less for everyone to consume. Get enough people producing nothing, and there won’t be enough to go around. Get everyone producing at least as much as they need, with a few people producing a lot more, and you’ll have a wealthy society. The ones producing more will have more, but there will also be more to go around, so you won’t need to work as hard to get what you need. Unfortunately, since the Great Society movement of the 1960’s where they tried to get rid of poverty by giving people stuff whether they had the ability to provide for themselves or not, we’ve seen generations who’ve come to believe the way to prosperity is to just wait for the government to give you stuff. They’re getting tired of waiting for someone to give them the good life after hearing false promises by all sorts of politicians, which is why you see the riots today.

      Note virtually all of the city officials in Baltimore have been Democrats for decades, all making the same promises and then blaming the rich man or the white man, or both when things don’t work out. Detroit is the same way. Someone needs to make people realize the way to prosperity is within their own two hands. Maybe I need to write a children’s book and get it into the hands of inner city children or something.

      • No great ideas…the best I can do is share great articles like yours, on every FB group I am a member of. Hopefully it will it find open minds and then they share it. Slowly it could make a difference. What we need is for our leaders to stand up and make a difference.

      • You need to realize we don’t elect “leaders.” We elect representatives. They aren’t there to decide what we should do – they are there to carry out our directions and take care of the minutia so that we can do the important work. The issue is we (collectively) aren’t keeping a watchful enough eye and we’ve let them take way too much power. They are kind of like the manager you hire to watch your restaurant while you’re away. It is hard to find a good one and you’ll never find one who will run the place with the passion you will, but at least you try to find one who won’t steal from the registers. Note every representative ends up rich, no matter how much money they start with.

      • I agree with you for the most part…but our representatives have stopped caring about what we think. Their main concern is making sure they get re-elected. And they believe they are better than we are….just like at Obama Care, it is great for us, but they exempted themselves. I want to have hope, but I am not sure how.

      • Well, there is more power for ordinary citizens to spread information than ever before. You could support someone running against the incumbent and get the word out when your representative is not representing you. You can even write to people in other districts when their representative is failing the country. Rather than needing to spend millions of dollars on a TV campaign, you just need to put something in a blog or on FaceBook, get your friends to agree and spread the word, and you’ve informed a lot of people. I agree it is difficult to change things and can be very frustrating, but it is easier than it was before.

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