A couple of days ago, I commented on a previous open thread about Mardell’s latest journey amongst the great unwashed in search of more hope for the President’s chances of re-election. It was basic human interest stuff, anecdotes about how the economic crisis and continuing New Depression have hit black people hardest. He didn’t do any in-depth analysis in that piece, as it was just supposed to set the stage for his next, more profound installment, in which he said he’d find out why this is the case.
I gave my own two-cents worth about why black people have been affected most by unemployment in these times, wondering how Mardell would approach it seeing as how we have a black President and, according to all of Mardell’s previous reporting, none of it is His fault. To save people scrolling through the open thread to find the comment, I’ll reproduce that bit here:
It’s pretty obvious to someone who doesn’t live inside the bubble, but let’s see if Mardell discovers for himself that a far higher percentage of blacks work in blue collar and service industry jobs. These are always the first to go when the economy sags. I wonder if Mardell will understand the irony of the President’s penchant for attacking the rich, when it’s the rich who provide the bulk of the jobs in the service industry.
If rich people have less to spend, they don’t hire cars, they don’t have parties, they don’t go out to dinner as often, they don’t spend so much on vacation, they don’t buy more products so less needs to be manufactured, their businesses don’t have as many cleaners or secretaries or maintenance workers. I can say from personal experience and lots of first-hand accounts I’ve heard that the service industry in NYC has been hit very, very hard. When there are less of these kinds of jobs, there are a lot less employed black people.
And it’s not just the evil rich, of course. The unloved middle classes also spend money on all these things, and they’re tightening the belts as much as anyone right now.
Why blacks are overwhelmingly employed in the lower, more vulnerable job ranks is a topic for another discussion entirely. But the fact remains that they are more vulnerable, no matter who is in charge. We’ll see how Mardell deals with it.
As it turns out, in his next installment, Mardell has a partial clue. But he’s got other problems.
It’s kind of an odd title for a piece in which the success story is only the first part, while the rest is, as Mardell himself puts it, “depressing”. The first section is about the success of a new charter school in Chicago. I’m sure many here will enjoy the BBC actually reporting that one of these non-government schemes for education works very well for minorities, considering how they attack Michael Gove for his attempts to provide the same chances for success to minorities in Britain. In any case, Mardell starts things off with this bit of hope for the future, which is nice.
Then he gets into the details of unemployment. As it turns out, Mardell actually discovered that, as I said, blacks are especially vulnerable to public sector cuts as they are proportionally over-represented in government jobs. So good for him for actually doing a bit of research for a change. He missed out, though, on how so many of the service industry jobs held by black people vanish when everyone – evil rich and unloved middle class alike – tighten their belts due to increased taxation and economic recession. I suppose it might be too difficult for Mardell to admit that the evil rich and the sneer-worthy middle class actually provide lots of jobs. I have no problem with him adding the bit about “cultural and historical” reasons for blacks mostly having jobs on the low end of the scale, as it’s not exactly false. But it is a topic for another discussion, so he leaves it at that, as he should.
But the big problem for Mardell is when he learns this about his beloved Obamessiah:
‘The president is not God’
What’s this blasphemy? Who said such a thing? Another person whose criticism of the President is based on race? Er, no.
Robert Blackwell believes more enterprise is the answer.
He’s part of President Obama’s set, a good friend and a fundraiser.
Indeed, he once employed Mr Obama. Although he’s the same age as the president, with the same cool good looks, he could be Mr Obama’s younger brother.
“Cool good looks”? Is this superficial editorializing necessary? He just can’t help himself, even if he’s really suggesting that the job has seriously aged the President.
He is one of Chicago’s wealthy black professionals, who made his money out of a ping pong business before branching out into management consultancy.
He says the public sector cuts have hit hard.
“There’s no business that can absorb that community. Black companies are pretty small and neither government nor large corporations have a very good track record frankly doing business with blacks.
Therefore, there’s nowhere for these people to go who come off the public sector roles.”
New York has a big government department devoted specifically to help, guide, fund, and make contract connections for minority-owned businesses, and so does Illinois. You can bet every other state has a similar department. I guess we’re back to talking historically here and not bothered about the current situation, although I’m certainly not saying that everything is great and there’s a ton of business and job opportunities waiting for them at the moment. But this is really just to help paint the picture that blacks have it rougher than anyone else due to historical white oppression, so let’s not quibble over details, right? Still, I think I see where this is going. He’s not going to suggest that – quelle horreur! – the private sector is the only way to really create permanent jobs and that government can’t save the day, is he?
But Mr Blackwell says the challenge is really one of entrepreneurship.
“If blacks were to participate in proportion to their skill and population, we would have a lot more dollars in our community,” he says.
“We could hire people, we could take more risk. There’d be social capital. I think entrepreneurship is really the only way out. “
Oh, my goodness. This goes against just about everything we’ve heard from the BBC about how to create jobs in tough times. It also goes against Mardell’s own beliefs. How many times did he criticize the Tea Party for not believing the government should take care of everyone? The last time Mardell went amongst the blacks in a job center to ask how they were doing and what they thought, government spending was all the rage. How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya now, Mark?
While he has raised money for Mr Obama, he doesn’t seem like a fan of the president’s policies.
He says he’s a libertarian: he doesn’t think the government can create jobs and wants less red tape.
Sound a lot like what we’ve heard from the Tea Party movement. Yet when they say it, Mardell dismisses it as misguided and based at least in part on racism. Still, I give him credit here for not censoring this blasphemy and allowing you to hear it. It must have pained him greatly. But now for the most important question of all: Is this His fault?
But he doesn’t blame the president.
“Barack didn’t start this. I mean the economy was not in good shape when he came in,” Mr Blackwell says.
Whew! That was close. Is Mardell going to ask if the President’s policies made things worse, better, or the same? No way in hell. After all, when the President got His way with a Democrat-controlled Congress, Mardell thought it was a Golden Age. Instead, it’s time to protect the President.
“The other thing I think is the president is not God, which means he can’t control everything. If you believe in free enterprise, which I do, he has a limited role.”
“So he doesn’t create jobs, it’s the private sector that creates jobs.”
Few here do blame the president.
If they express a political view, it is that Congress is blocking Mr Obama’s policies: exactly the line the White House is pushing at the moment.
And exactly the line that Mardell and the BBC have been pushing. What about discussing if the President’s own policies have hurt job creation in the private sector? Nope, can’t have that. Mardell’s goal here is not to criticize the President. He’s here to find yet another way of telling you that none of this is His fault, and sure as hell isn’t going to suggest that blacks are always going to support the black man, regardless of what happens. It’s a fact, as far as Mardell’s concerned, that none of this is His fault, and that none of His policies have hurt the economy at all. No, they don’t blame Him, so neither should you.
Here’s another question glaringly absent from Mardell’s piece. It’s especially glaring considering the racial angle of the whole thing: what do these people think of Herman Cain? Instead, check out Mardell’s closing line:
But it remains a depressing fact that under the first black president, black people’s economic prospects have only got worse.
This is an intellectual failure. Black people’s economic prospects have gotten worse because the first black President was unfit for office, inexperienced, and has governed poorly, with the wrong ideology to create jobs and right the economy, or at least stop the decline. Every single one of His ideas has backfired, every single policy a failure in this regard. If you want a black President who might do something to help black people’s economic prospects, look to Herman Cain. And it won’t be cos he is black, but because he won’t be a far-Left ideologue pushing another misbegotten hyper-Keynesian spending bill.
But since he’s ideologically of the Left, all Mardell can do is focus on race.