Many of our cities are collapsing

by Fabius Maximus

Summary: Many people worry about economic collapse and civil war, both of which are unlikely. A new crisis has begun, slowly. Probably a smaller one than the more popular apocalypses, but it might become pretty awful: the breakdown of order and solvency in many of our cities.

By Tommy Lowe from Flickr.
By Tommy Lowe from Flickr.

The FBI has a new report out: the Lone Offender Terrorism Report.

“To be included in the current study, offenders must have attempted or completed an act of lethal violence in furtherance of an identified social, political, or ideological goal. While offenders may have affiliated or associated with a terrorist organization/ideological movement or may have received assistance from others at some stage during the planning or implementation of their attacks, they must have been both the primary architect and the primary actor in the attack action. The attack must have occurred within the US and the offender must have radicalized, at least primarily, within the United States.”

They identified 240 cases that broadly meet the criteria during 1972 – 2015, and 93 that specifically meet them. While it is nice that they are addressing this problem, in addition to RussiaGate and Brett M. Kavanaugh’s actions at parties when he was in high school. But there are other things happening in America, things much worse and more serious.

Watch many of America’s cities slide into chaos

Four major American cities are in the Global Top 50 – of homicide rates. We are the only developed nation on the list. Or more accurately, there are no civilized nations on the list. Be proud, America.

Rank City Murders Population per 100k
15 St. Louis 188 311,404 60
23 Baltimore 318 614,664 52
46 Detroit 304 672,795 45
50 New Orleans 174 391,495 44

Other cities have homicide rates in this range: Flint MI, West Memphis AR, Gary IN, Camden NJ, Chester PA, and East St. Louis IL. These cities are just the worst manifestation of the decline of order in some of America’s cities (all of which are run by Democrats). In these areas, key social systems are slowly and inexorably breaking down. For example, see this from CBW Chicago: “Kids, some only 10-years-old, join weekend shoplifting mobs.

“Organized shoplifting teams, some taking advantage of children who appeared to be no more than 10-years-old, struck retailers repeatedly this weekend in the Loop, Magnificent Mile, and Lincoln Park, according to police reports. One crew pepper-sprayed a retail worker. Last Wednesday, another theft team slammed a store employee’s head into a glass merchandise case.

“Retailers are dealing with a wave of organized shoplifting teams that frequently use juveniles to do their dirty work. North Side locations of Forever 21, H&M, Ulta Beauty, DSW, Patagonia, and Burlington have been struck repeatedly – sometimes twice within hours. …Theft crews struck at least four downtown stores last Wednesday evening. …”

In California, as in Chicago, small scale crime – below the felony dollar limit – has become increasingly like an epidemic. Since this becomes a catch-and-release merry-go-round, police have little interest in playing. So people have little interest in reporting these thefts, except for business or insurance reasons – and the police records do not fully capture the increase in crime rates.

The loss of public order is at an advanced state in San Francisco, after decades of Leftist social engineering. See the horrific details here.

There is, of course, a growing political dimension to the violence. The Left’s experience on college campuses taught them that sympathetic authorities would allow them to suppress their opponents with violence. Now they are applying those lessons on a larger scale. See Andy Ngo’s reporting of Antifa’s violence. Of special interest is the lack of coverage this gets from the major media, and journalists’ indifference to Antifa’s attacks on him.

The next phase

The next two decades will see one of the most significant transitions in US history, as scores of State and local governments that have been long run by the Democratic Party collapse. Some States will default (in the US, States are sovereign – they can and have defaulted on loans but do not file “bankruptcy”). Many local governments will file for bankruptcy. Those with lavish but underfunded pensions will be the most likely to go broke.

A severe recession will make these bankruptcies more likely. The accompanying stock market crash will help sink many pension plans.

Some cities will crash due to social instability from a growing underclass (fed by open borders), eroding political legitimacy, massive middle-class flight, and mad public policies (e.g., in education and maintaining public order). San Francisco is likely a candidate for this, unless severe changes are made soon. Others will follow.

The combination of financial and social stress will make both worse, and can easily overwhelm a region’s leaders.

The State and Federal governments can provide aid. But the political divide will make that difficult. Will the socially and fiscally stable GOP-run regions fund help to the burning Democratic-run regions? Especially since this will bailout the Democrat’s failed social engineering projects. If they do, will they demand policy changes (“reforms”) in exchange for help?

All of this could be handled by a rational people having a high degree of national cohesion. We will find out if America meets that description. We failed such a test in 1860. We passed in the 1930s and 1940s, and again in the 1960s and 1970s. But past successes do not guarantee future success.

We are beginning a period of interesting times.

 

 

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