The last year and a half has been a turbulent one in inner cities across the nation. We have seen unrest in Ferguson, New York and most recently Baltimore. The problems happening in these cities and others across the country are two-fold. First the way police are interacting with colored residents in the community is definitely less than ideal and secondly is the lack of opportunity for residents of these communities. In order to gain a better idea of the financial troubles happening in these cities, particularly Baltimore, Dawn Bennett invited Liz Peek, a contributor to Wall Street Journal, Oil and Gas Journal and a columnist and reporter for Fox News and the Financial Times.
Dawn J Bennett broke straight into the topic by asking whether government was performing well or not. Liz reminded us Baltimore is in fact the recipient of some of the highest amounts of federal money per pupil in the country, second only to New York City. The problem she highlights is when this much money is coming in it becomes a ripe breeding ground for corruption and that is what is happening in the city government. Additionally, she points out that the returns we are seeing for the amount of money invested in these students is incredibly underwhelming.
Liz Peek instead points out that one of the bigger problems for these kids in the inner cities is the lack of role models in their lives. All of the kids want to be a big name rapper or the next superstar basketball player, but the reality is most of them won’t be able to make it to there. There are no role models for these kids of responsible adults who work a regular 40 hour per week job which supports them comfortably. We also have schools in these areas not teaching kids the necessary skills for taking care of themselves after they graduate from high school.
Schools used to teach kids the skills necessary for making a living as a repairman/woman but many people felt that was discriminatory for these schools to teach and for a long time we’ve seen courses like that and two year programs disappear. Lately though, we’ve seen these classes start to make a return. People are realizing the importance of such classes and making sure these kids have knowledge that will help them earn a living. If we don’t give these kids more realistic education then their other options are basically welfare or jail which is very counterproductive.
Dawn J Bennett and Liz Peek made it very clear that what the country needs the most at this point in time is the passing of a strong jobs bill that will help improve the infrastructure of our country. We need a jobs bill that is productive and well laid out, and so far our government has failed to produce this.