Crime imposes a hefty tax on law-abiding residents of black neighborhoods. Residents bear costs of having to shop outside of their neighborhoods; criminals have driven many businesses out. Children can't play safely in front of their homes. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers, including black drivers, often refuse to accept telephone calls for home pickups and frequently pass black customers by on the street. Neighborhood property values are lower as a result of crime. Plus, there's the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods.
Often, politicians who call for law and order are viewed negatively, but poor people, particularly poor black people, are the most dependent on law and order. In the face of high crime, wealthier people can afford to purchase alarms, buy guard dogs, hire guards and, if things get too bad, move to a gated community. These options are not available to poor people. The only protection they have is an orderly society.
Democratic and black politicians are beholden to and serve the interests of the powerful vested interest groups, such as labor unions, teachers unions and assorted liberals, not the ordinary people who voted them into office. Otherwise, they wouldn't begin to allow the rampant crime and nearly systematic destruction of learning opportunities for generations of black children by governmental schools.
None of this is to say that blacks should vote Republican. It is to say that political power doesn't necessarily translate into economic power and well-being for the ordinary citizen.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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