The specter of mobs of marauding youths beating random Chicago residents and visitors makes us all feel vulnerable. With apprehension, citizens watch over their shoulders when on the street to see if they are next. The issues raised by this early summer nightmare are serious and need to be addressed.
First, this Obama recession/depression has devastated inner city job creation. Only 54,000 jobs were added in May as the Obama recovery is in slow- motion turning to the Obama double dip recession. There are still at least 14 million U.S. workers who can't find jobs. When you add part-time or under employed workers who want full-time jobs, the total rises to 30.6 million who want more economic opportunity.
Blacks and inner city youth are the hardest hit by Obama's policies. According to the US Department of Labor the percentage of black adult men with a job has fallen below 60% for the first time. The latest unemployment rate for black men is 16.1%. These unemployment numbers rocket higher when you study those formerly in jail or living in the most economically depressed big city neighborhoods like those in Chicago, formerly represented by Barack Obama.
According to the congressional Joint Economic Committee report: "The youth unemployment rate of 19.6% is the highest for the age group since the government began tracking the data in 1947." In the U.S. 16-24 year-olds make up 13% of the labor force, but they represent 26% of the unemployed, according to the JEC report.
After the attacks, the liberal Democratic political machine in Chicago moved quickly to limit the PR damage. Obama's former chief of staff and now the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel came out swinging. "I want all the young men that were involved in this," Emanuel said. "Because I want to be very clear up front that as it relates to this crime, the full force of the law enforcement community and justice system will deal with it."
It strikes us as ironic that these same liberal politicians who have spent a career stifling economic freedom and stealing opportunity from these youths, are now at the forefront of the parade seeking their quick incarceration.
Chicago business regulations are so prohibitive and Illinois taxes are so exorbitant that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why business job creators are fleeing to first Texas and then oversees. These young people need hope. Hope comes in the form of a job, a wage, a living and a life.
As we watched the coverage of the "flash mobs" unfold we were taken aback by the loot stolen. This paragraph from the Chicago Tribune is a good illustration: "Moments after a group of teens wrestled with Singer over his iPad and BlackBerry, members of the same mob attacked a 42-year-old doctor visiting from Japan. That doctor was beaten and robbed of his iPod Touch while walking in the 700 block of North Lake Shore Drive, authorities said." These thugs are after the status symbols of wealth and Apple I-Pad or Blackberry.
These young people watch the same TV as all of us. They are grabbing for a symbol of the American dream. Given opportunity for a job, they could have these symbols legitimately, but not as long as they are being held back by a political establishment that is too intent on its own status. These ultra-liberals are crushing the American dream in their misguided drive to give us a European socialist utopia.
The Chicago streets are not the only place with robbing going on. Obama is stealing their dreams and their future.
©2011 Floyd and Mary Beth Brown. The Browns are bestselling authors and speakers. To comment on this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism.