Murderous Chicago–the city that doesn’t work—49h.,b63
What have 85 years of uninterrupted democratic rule and unremitting progressive dogma gotten Chicago? Murderous gang wars with no armistice in sight. This is a Chicago specialty: The city has had more homicides this year than New York and Los Angeles combined. As crime rates declined elsewhere, August was Chicago’s most violent month in 20 years. The more than 500 murders this year already exceed the 20l5 tally. Over the July 4 weekend, someone was shot every 2.8 hours. The labor day weekend total was at least 13 people killed and 52 wounded.
The volume of shootings has become so terrifying that residents themselves have pleaded for the Illinois National Guard to be called out to so patrol their streets. Clearly Chicago has something unique going for it. Polemicists, politicians, professors, and good hearts of all stripes have rolled out their favorite “root causes”: illegal guns, poverty, family disintegration, fatherlessness. Lousy schools, hopelessness, segregated housing, anomie, drugs, unemployment. All these maladies affect at: every American city, yet none have the spawned Chicago’s level of gang violence. What makes Chicago special?
The underlying—and naive—assumption was that poor people would be transformed into productive citizens if only they were better housed. Chicago went hog wild. The Chicago Housing Authority, headed by social reformer Elizabeth Wood began a federally funded, massive, and years-long building program that became Chicago’s signature disaster. The resulting barracks warehoused tens of thousands of poor people in ugly megaliths, some 19 stories tall.
Faced with this reality, the social engineers turned on their own creation. Their new canon insisted that the poor would become productive citizens if only they could be integrated into decent housing in decent neighborhoods, where they would ream middle-class values. Lawsuits were filed. The ACLU intervened federal judge ruled that new public housing had to go into white neighborhoods. Which virtually halted their construction.
“As the buildings fell to the wrecker’s ball tenants were funneled into, Section 8 housing, the federal Program that provides subsidized housing by paying rents to cooperating private landlords.
The destruction of the old high-rises changed all that. Structure and discipline collapsed as mutually recognized boundaries were erased. The old generals no longer held sway as their slid soldiers were strewn hither and yon. Leadership was splintered.
Sections 8 tenancy into virtual war zones between contending factions and sub-factions.
There’s no going back. Neither the packing the poor into squalid high- in rises nor scattering them around town has worked. They’ve only demonstrated that social engineers are not exempt from the law unintended consequences.
Longer term, the solutions are clearer but harder. Mostly it requires major cultural changes: Rebuilding families and recognizing the importance of fathers. Reversing the normalization of the drug culture. All the things of value that are popularly ridiculed today. Mostly, though, don’t count on social engineers to get it right—whatever their next big vision is.
source-weekly std, denis byrne, elizabeth wood,