May 31, 2015

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Joel Kotkin has a thought provoking look at what areas in the country offer better opportunities for minorities, and why.

In the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, there is increased concern with issues of race and opportunity. Yet most of the discussion focuses on such things as police brutality, perceptions of racism and other issues that are dear to the hearts of today’s progressive chattering classes. Together they are creating what talk show host Tavis Smiley, writing in Time, has labeled “an American catastrophe.”

Yet what has not been looked at nearly as much are the underlying conditions that either restrict or enhance upward mobility among racial minorities, including African-Americans, Latinos and Asians. In order to determine this, my colleague at Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism  Wendell Cox and I developed a ranking system that included four critical factors: migration patterns, home ownership, self-employment and income.

We found, for all three major minority groups, that the best places were neither the most liberal in their attitudes nor had the most generous welfare programs. Instead they were located primarily in regions that have experienced broad-based economic growth, have low housing costs, and limited regulation. In other words, no matter how much people like Bill de Blasio talk about the commitment to racial and class justice, the realities on the ground turn out to be quite different than he might imagine.

Southern Comfort

Perhaps the greatest irony in our findings is the location of many of the best cities for minorities: the South. This is particularly true for African-Americans who once flocked to the North for both legal rights and opportunity. Today almost all the best cities for blacks are in the South, a region that has enjoyed steady growth and enjoys generally low costs. …

… What this study shows us is, if nothing else, the relative worthlessness of good intentions. As we have seen over the past 50 years, the expansion of transfer payments, while critical to alleviating the worst impacts of poverty, have not generally been best at promoting upward mobility for African-Americans and, increasingly, Latinos. If higher welfare costs and political pronunciamentos were currency, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco would not be, for the most part, stuck in the second half of our rankings.

Ultimately what really matters are the economics of opportunity. …

… There are other policy implications. Blue state progressives are often the most vocal about expanding opportunities for minority homeownership but generally support land use and regulatory policies, notably in California, that tend to raise prices far above the ability of newcomers — immigrants, minorities, young people — to pay. Similarly blue state support for such things as strict climate change regulation tends to discourage the growth of industries such as manufacturing, logistics and home construction that have long been gateways for minority success. …



The great irony of the past 60 or 70 years of American politics is that the ”progressives” who purport to be interested in the advancement of minorities are the ones who propose the policies that make the lives of blacks and browns more difficult. Next year’s presidential election will feature the campaign of H. Clinton. Minorities will support her and if she is elected their lives will get worse. And finally, she is showing her true colors and running as a radical leftist; which fact amuses Matthew Continetti who columns on what Hillary and Bruce Jenner have in common.

Bruce Jenner is not the only person trading identities. Hillary Clinton’s recent march to the left is one of the more remarkable political transformations in recent years, not least because she’s exploiting the public’s nostalgia for her husband’s presidency while repudiating the policies for which he is famous. Maybe this is how she plans to finally get revenge on Bill.

“If the centrist policies of the Bill Clinton years were known for stepped-up policing and prison building, deficit reduction, deregulation, welfare overhaul, and trade deals,” writes Amy Chozick of the New York Times, “Mrs. Clinton is steering her early candidacy in the opposite direction, emphasizing economic populism, poverty alleviation, and, in the criminal justice system, rehabilitation.” Despite a widespread gauzy attitude toward the 1990s as a time of peace and prosperity, a golden age, a holiday from history, Clinton is rejecting the president she married for the one she worked for—an implicit acknowledgment that the Bill Clinton of 1992 and 1996 could no longer win the nomination of his party. gleefully unearthed articles Clinton wrote in support of the 1994 crime bill, which her husband signed and which contributed to the decline of violent crime. But the turns of phrase associated with that bill—“broken-windows policing,” “more cops on the street,” “three strikes and you’re out,” “tough on crime”—have long been held in contempt by hard-left activists, whose influence in the Democratic Party has grown immeasurably since the Clintons last lived in the White House, and who now dominate intraparty and media debate. In the 1990s, Rudy Giuliani marginalized Al Sharpton, deprived him of influence; now Sharpton is—amazingly—one of the most important voices in the Democratic Party. Clinton needs to be on Sharpton’s good side, which she seems to have accomplished in April by vowing to “end the era of mass incarceration.” …



Ruben Navarrette writes on Hillary v. Hillary as he compares her before and after immigration policies.

On immigration, Hillary Clinton is a work in progress – and has been since she entered politics more than a dozen years ago. Depending on which audience she is trying to please, she assumes one of two conflicting personas: Restrictionist Hillary or Reform Hillary.

In 2003, Restrictionist Hillary told conservative radio host John Grambling that she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants” and that “we’ve got to do more at our borders.”

In 2006, while serving in the Senate, Restrictionist Hillary told the New York Daily News that she supported more fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border because “a country that cannot control its borders is failing at one of its fundamental obligations.” That same year, she voted for the Secure Fence Act, which directed the Department of Homeland Security to construct 700 miles of double border fencing.

In 2008, during a presidential debate with Barack Obama, Restrictionist Hillary tried to woo organized labor by blaming lost jobs on “employers who exploit undocumented workers and drive down wages.” …



Peter Wehner was in the NY Times wondering if the Dems have pulled too far to the left.

AMONG liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.

This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. On most major issues the Republican Party hasn’t moved very much from where it was during the Gingrich era in the mid-1990s.

To see just how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left, compare Barack Obama with Bill Clinton. In 1992, Mr. Clinton ran as a centrist New Democrat. In several respects he governed as one as well. He endorsed a sentencing policy of “three strikes and you’re out,” and he proposed adding 100,000 police officers to the streets.

In contrast, President Obama’s former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., criticized what he called “widespread incarceration” and championed the first decrease in the federal prison population in more than three decades. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has chosen to focus on police abuses. …



The Clintons are masters of getting well while “doing good.” The Sharptons are another successful crime family. Jillian Kay Melchoir writes on his daughter’s “non profit.”

Al Sharpton’s daughter Dominique has recently grabbed headlines for her $5 million lawsuit against the City of New York over a sprained ankle — but the shakedown may not stop there.

New records reviewed by National Review show Sharpton’s daughter and her boyfriend, Marcus Bright, together run a shadowy nonprofit that shares corporate donors, board members, and office space with Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and they won’t answer any questions about it.

In tax filings, Education for a Better America (EBA) states that its mission is “to build a bridge between policy makers and the classroom by supporting innovations in the delivery of education and disseminating information and findings that impact our schools.” The nonprofit’s publications show the group hosting or participating in education-focused assemblies, speeches, summits, and events in New York City, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., among other cities.

“It’s all a scam,” says one source close to the Sharpton family. “It’s a cover for money, basically, to subsidize [Dominique] Sharpton and Bright to do what they do. . . . They put it all on their Instagram and their Facebook. Most of the time, it’s like they’re on vacation. . . . One could argue, being totally objective, that some of what [Al] Sharpton has done in terms of advocacy has helped black people and civil rights. Tell me one thing that Education for a Better America has done to help education.” … says New York readers might want to prepare for Manhattan Henge which will take place Saturday and Sunday. Good news is the event repeats in Mid-July as the sun starts moving to the south.

Manhattanhenge, the unique celestial event in which the sun lines up perfectly with the grid of Manhattan, will make its 2015 debut this weekend, one of only four times this year that such an alignment will be visible.

The Manhattanhenge phenomenon, which was first noticed and named by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is an unusual occurrence which highlights the fact that the Sun does not set in the same spot on the horizon each day. …

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