At an out-of-town memorial service for my dear friend and mentor, Alan Schonberg -- a business titan known for his warmth, grace and generosity -- I saw "Paul," a man I've known some 30 years. It had been a long, long time. Paul, like me, is a black attorney. Unlike me, he is a Democrat, active in local politics.
While introducing me to someone, Paul made some casual crack about my "conservative" politics, something like, "Of course, we don't always agree ... " Usually, I have neither the time nor the energy to unravel the decades of slop in the heads of most liberals/leftists/collectivists/progressives. But sometimes, I can't help myself.
I decided to conduct an "intervention," as one would a friend or relative in need of assistance to confront and overcome a severe drug problem. We talked. I then sent him following letter:
To repeat, the only credible reason for a thoughtful black to stay a Democrat is "social justice," the premise that Republicans care less than Democrats do about the underprivileged. And even there, the case is weak. Your nonchalant allegiance to Democrats damages the country in general and the black community in particular.
From 1890 to 1940, depending upon the area of the country, a black kid was slightly more likely than a white kid to be raised in a home headed by two married parents. Today, nearly 75 percent of blacks are raised in homes headed by a single parent, triple the rate from that of 1965. Over the same period, the rate for whites and Hispanics have also soared. Blame LBJ's so-called "war on poverty," which incentivized women to "marry" the government, allowing the fathers to abandon their financial and moral responsibility.
FDR's New Deal also inflicted a great deal of damage to blacks. Land was taken for government projects, sharecroppers lost jobs and New Deal money was often spent for political gain, rather than actual need. UCLA economist Lee Ohanian, who has probably done more research on this issue than anyone else, says the New Deal deepened and lengthened the Great Depression.
The federal minimum wage, initially enacted in 1933, also devastated black unemployment. According to the libertarian Cato Institute: "Early empirical evidence attests to the unemployment effects of the minimum wage. ... By reason of the minimum wage provisions of the codes, about 500,000 Negro workers were on relief in 1934." Economist Milton Friedman said: "We regard the minimum wage law as one of the most, if not (SET ITAL) the (END ITAL) most, anti-black laws on the statute books."