Ferguson: Life in the Promised Land

The final problem for all political and religious movements is what to do after you get to the Promised Land. You've defeated the enemy, you've conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. What next?

What's next is that the soldiers of the revolution should get a job, get married, and start a family. And forget all about millennial hope.

But usually they don't. Instead they get angry.

That's why blacks rioted in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Finally, they'd got to the Promised Land, and nothing had changed.

Fast forward to 2012 in Florida and 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. We've elected the First Black President and nothing has changed.

Wouldn't you be just a teeny bit upset?

But that's life in the Promised Land. The prophet dies, the revolutionaries fall out amongst themselves, and ordinary politics resumes. 

Then people get angry and riot like they did in the 1960s. 

What did the liberals in response? They appointed the Kerner Commission, and the Kerner Commission lost the plot. It didn't say: look, it's natural that blacks should be disappointed; that's what always happens after a successful revolution. Instead they wrote that the problem was not enough government. “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal.” And then they blamed white racism for the riots.

Let's give liberals their due. They purged America of white racist politicians like George Wallace and Lester Maddox. They made would-be white racist leaders like David Duke radioactive. But just to be fair and balanced, they boosted black racist politicians like Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Gee, what could go wrong?

So now, 50 years after blacks entered the Promised Land and 47 years after the death of Moses, it's time to face the truth. Blacks must finally disband the millennial movement that got them to the Promised Land. They must get jobs, get married, and raise families. In that order.

It won't be easy. All the wonderful beneficial liberal legislation, the stuff that “saved capitalism from itself,” from minimum wages to police tenure to credentialism to regulation to the swingeing taxes on labor, all that is standing in the way of blacks that want to work in the formal sector. In fact, as Sudhir Venkatesh shows in Off the Books, the combination of welfare and labor regulation condemns blacks to working in the informal sector.

And then there are the incredibly high marginal taxes on people struggling to get off welfare. I wrote about this in 2012. When you are earning about $30,000 a year, the reduction in welfare benefits that kick in as you earn more money means that your effective marginal tax rate is 167%!  That's not a misprint: you pay $167 in extra taxes and reduced benefits for every extra $100 that you earn.

I tell you. If that ever happened to billionaire greenie Tom Steyer he'd be on the phone to Nancy Pelosi within seconds. “Hey, Nance,” he'd say (because liberals are so over formality). “I just had a text from Kat.” (Kat is billionaire liberal Tom's spirited billionaire liberal wife.  Did you know that Kat has a tattoo?) “Kat says there's some kind of a scheduling problem with that fundraiser up at the ranch next month.”

You have to admire the fiendish cunning that seems to be at work with liberal race politics. Liberals have succeeded, with just about everything they do, in preventing African Americans from getting on with ordinary life in the Promised Land. Blacks can't get decent jobs; they don't get married; and here in Seattle there's Planned Parenthood just down the street from the Mount Zion Baptist Church helping to reduce black family size.

Could it be that even now it is not too late to follow escaped slave Frederick Douglass's heartfelt plea made just the other day in 1865?

Everybody has asked the question... "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!... And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!

Oh no. That would never do. Because compassion; because racism; because social justice; because liberal self-esteem; because political power. No, no. The future belongs to the Talented Tenth of every race, and if you disagree you are a hater.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

The final problem for all political and religious movements is what to do after you get to the Promised Land. You've defeated the enemy, you've conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. What next?

What's next is that the soldiers of the revolution should get a job, get married, and start a family. And forget all about millennial hope.

But usually they don't. Instead they get angry.

That's why blacks rioted in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Finally, they'd got to the Promised Land, and nothing had changed.

Fast forward to 2012 in Florida and 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. We've elected the First Black President and nothing has changed.

Wouldn't you be just a teeny bit upset?

But that's life in the Promised Land. The prophet dies, the revolutionaries fall out amongst themselves, and ordinary politics resumes. 

Then people get angry and riot like they did in the 1960s. 

What did the liberals in response? They appointed the Kerner Commission, and the Kerner Commission lost the plot. It didn't say: look, it's natural that blacks should be disappointed; that's what always happens after a successful revolution. Instead they wrote that the problem was not enough government. “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal.” And then they blamed white racism for the riots.

Let's give liberals their due. They purged America of white racist politicians like George Wallace and Lester Maddox. They made would-be white racist leaders like David Duke radioactive. But just to be fair and balanced, they boosted black racist politicians like Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Gee, what could go wrong?

So now, 50 years after blacks entered the Promised Land and 47 years after the death of Moses, it's time to face the truth. Blacks must finally disband the millennial movement that got them to the Promised Land. They must get jobs, get married, and raise families. In that order.

It won't be easy. All the wonderful beneficial liberal legislation, the stuff that “saved capitalism from itself,” from minimum wages to police tenure to credentialism to regulation to the swingeing taxes on labor, all that is standing in the way of blacks that want to work in the formal sector. In fact, as Sudhir Venkatesh shows in Off the Books, the combination of welfare and labor regulation condemns blacks to working in the informal sector.

And then there are the incredibly high marginal taxes on people struggling to get off welfare. I wrote about this in 2012. When you are earning about $30,000 a year, the reduction in welfare benefits that kick in as you earn more money means that your effective marginal tax rate is 167%!  That's not a misprint: you pay $167 in extra taxes and reduced benefits for every extra $100 that you earn.

I tell you. If that ever happened to billionaire greenie Tom Steyer he'd be on the phone to Nancy Pelosi within seconds. “Hey, Nance,” he'd say (because liberals are so over formality). “I just had a text from Kat.” (Kat is billionaire liberal Tom's spirited billionaire liberal wife.  Did you know that Kat has a tattoo?) “Kat says there's some kind of a scheduling problem with that fundraiser up at the ranch next month.”

You have to admire the fiendish cunning that seems to be at work with liberal race politics. Liberals have succeeded, with just about everything they do, in preventing African Americans from getting on with ordinary life in the Promised Land. Blacks can't get decent jobs; they don't get married; and here in Seattle there's Planned Parenthood just down the street from the Mount Zion Baptist Church helping to reduce black family size.

Could it be that even now it is not too late to follow escaped slave Frederick Douglass's heartfelt plea made just the other day in 1865?

Everybody has asked the question... "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!... And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!

Oh no. That would never do. Because compassion; because racism; because social justice; because liberal self-esteem; because political power. No, no. The future belongs to the Talented Tenth of every race, and if you disagree you are a hater.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

RECENT VIDEOS