Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Link here. Democrats will see this as a partisan attack. It really isn’t. It is instead another attempt to point out the stark fact that the leftwing policies put forth by the Democratic Party in the past half century have been routinely disastrous.
But by 1988, then-mayor Donald Fraser—a member of the DFLP—had grown troubled by the stark contrast he saw between the majority of his city and who were thriving economically, and a number of African-American neighborhoods where crime, teenage pregnancy, and welfare dependency were experiencing a growth spurt. Taking a page out of the same playbook other big city Democrat mayors were using, Fraser believed that the cure was redistribution of income. He decided to revamp the way in which social-welfare expenditures were allocated and believed, specifically, that federal and local agencies needed to focus more of their resources on the economic problems confronting unwed mothers (who were disproportionately black) and their children.
Fraser’s successors as mayors of Minneapolis—Sharon Sayles Belton (1994-2001), R.T. Rybak (2002-2013), and Betsy Hodges (2014-present)—have shared this same core belief in the importance of massive public expenditures on social-welfare programs and wealth-redistribution initiatives.
The result has been disastrous. As of 2015, the poverty rate in Minneapolis was 25.3%, nearly twice the 14% statewide rate for Minnesota and the 14.3% rate for the United States as a whole. In 2010, a study of 142 metro areas in Minnesota found that only 15 bore a heavier property-tax burden than Minneapolis, and that was before the city raised its property taxes by 4.7% in 2011.
More recently, Minneapolis property taxes increased by 3.4% in 2016, and by a crippling 5.5% in 2017. Notwithstanding the growth in revenues generated by these taxes, the government of Minneapolis has been incapable of balancing its budget. In 2015, for example, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s budget included $84 million in federal subsidies and grants. In 2017, the Metropolitan Council—which describes itself as “the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region”—received $91 million in federal funding. That same year, the Minneapolis Public Schools operated with a budget deficit of nearly $17 million.
This pattern has repeated itself throughout the United States. For the past half century almost every urban area has been dominated politically by Democrats. In that same time period, those urban areas have seen a distinct worsening of their economic situation. Even as these American cities have imposed a higher and higher tax burden on their successful citizens, they have seen higher and higher deficits. At the same time, poverty and economic failure has increased.
The important thing to note here is that the policies of the Democratic Party are a failure. Since that party seems incapable of changing those policies, it is essential that voters stop voting for it, either to force a change within that party or to remove that party from any position of power. Those are our choices, if we wish to improve the future of the United States.