20 June 2008

Cultivating Weeds in the Lawn

Thorough information; not something you get on tee vee:
Memphis has always been associated with some amount of violence. But why has Elvis’s hometown turned into America’s new South Bronx? Barnes thinks he knows one big part of the answer, as does the city’s chief of police. A handful of local criminologists and social scientists think they can explain it, too. But it’s a dismal answer, one that city leaders have made clear they don’t want to hear. It’s an answer that offers up racial stereotypes to fearful whites in a city trying to move beyond racial tensions. Ultimately, it reaches beyond crime and implicates one of the most ambitious antipoverty programs of recent decades.
Read it all and then recall Econimics 102: You subsidise what you want more of. Thanks to Lyndon Johnson, I guess.

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