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With the depressing news out of Baltimore, conservatives are again decrying the social consequences of the welfare state, fatherless neighborhoods, and multigenerational poverty. We have repeatedly warned that misery and unrest would be the result of LBJ’s War on Poverty and related policies sold to the American people as “compassion.” There is no joy seeing these predictions come true.
As with Detroit and other failed liberal utopias, the press is desperate to blame the Baltimore riots on conservatives, even though the city has had only Democratic mayors since 1967 (when Nancy Pelosi’s brother was elected). Observers also blame systematic racism, even though just one white mayor has served since 1987 (expected presidential candidate Martin O’Malley) and the city has an African-American city council president, police chief, and top prosecutor. Even half of the police force is black. Despite the spin, fiscal and social liberalism is what failed Baltimore.