Of note this month as Summer Solstice draws near is the rise of seasonal rioting in many American cities by mostly black Democratic voters. A white policeman apparently murdered a black man by kneeling on his throat for seven minutes that stopped the victim from breathing. Someone filmed the incident and riots immediately began with looting and burning in lieu of equal protection of the law. In this era of ubiquitous cameras and social media uploads the need for riots to serve instead of regular legal procedures isn’t too credible. In the U.S.A. each year about 250 black men are killed by policemen and about 50 policemen are killed- almost all of them are white. In a nation of 320 million citizens and a zillion gangs those numbers are not so high.
A little more than 2.5 million Americans own more than 35% of the U.S.A.’s wealth so go ahead and blame policemen and white people generally for keeping ‘Black America down’; it was President Obama that twisted Congress’s arm to make the vast Bush tax cuts permanent accelerating the concentration of wealth. Policemen aren’t economists- they are just people trying to keep the peace amidst tens of millions of poor Americans living collectively with less than 1% of the nation’s wealth many of whom are white people, fighting for scraps from the tables of the rich. Only Senator Bernie Sanders voted against the tax cuts- about every Democrat Primary Presidential candidate ganged up against Sanders and endorsed Joe Biden to prevent any chance of anyone being elected that would work to make America more financially egalitarian. Ninety five percent of blacks voted for Obama; who is more racist than that?
Criminal events such as murders are not soon going to be entirely stopped, thus a mad rush to riot when a single crime occurs without any particular change in the law as an object for protesting or looting, burning and rioting is not easily justifiable. Unfortunately social media can generate emotions that can cause mass social irrational choices such as rioting to be made. Crimes occur in every occupation of society including law. If a policeman commits a crime that is recorded for social media that cannot be a justification for retribution with several million crimes through rioting.
The riots caused many to be arrested and harmed their employment prospects needlessly in the future after the economy starts to recover from Covid 19 recession. Also noteworthy is the fact that the failure of social distancing by rioters will perhaps cause hundreds of blacks to lose their lives to Covid 19. Former rioters aren’t likely to cooperate with contact-tracing work either.
There is an American tradition of public demonstrations and protest marches with deep roots i.e. the Army Vet Bonus demonstrations in D.C., those led by Dr. King and anti Vietnam War rallies. Demonstrations that are effective have actual legal or political measures they want specifically changed. Politicians in the U.S.A. aren’t inevitably the brightest bulbs and have a need to know what legislation protestors actually want done if they are to work to that end; it is not enough to say that ‘the system’ is at fault and trust that some ethereal insights will appear to politicians whom will then fix it. If the protests are about economics then particular economic remedies need be advanced if change or reform is to occur.
The United States isn’t a dictatorship that can have a single individual change everything the way he wants- or if she is a benevolent dictator (an oxymoron usually) adapt the economy to conform to the wishes of protestors. With 50 states governments and a federal government that made permanent tax cuts to low levels during the Obama era with a Democrat-controlled congress the ability to reshape the national economy is very difficult. Protestors that want to change the economy should have an idea of what and how they want economics or political economy to change and let the public know instead of breaking out unintelligent tantrum-rioting.
Many Americans besides black Democrat rioter-voters would like the economy to change too. Realistically they don’t even know what they want to change in the economic structure or if the change would get them what they want. Bringing private business to riot prone, poor black urban communities might not be simple; it isn’t like getting the government to open new free bread and fruit smoothie storefronts or provide free rent in new free public housing projects.
It is possible that business likes peaceful stable neighborhoods more than those with rampant crime, dope, whoring and poverty and homeless people living in tents defecating on sidewalks. Police too may shy away from abusing prosperous citizens able to afford personal witness on-line storage body cams and good lawyers for lawsuits, especially if the prosperous don’t have illegal guns, don’t work human smuggling, smuggle drugs or coordinate community organized crime ventures. Police also have more trouble arresting white color criminals or broadcasters violating human rights-they aren’t legal theorists- than simple, plain vanilla or chocolate burglars, muggers and other simple material felons easy to spot.
A move toward ecological economics would be good, and that could have a guaranteed minimum income, free tuition through graduate school and a free walk-in national health service for the poor. Capitalism could be reformed so no-one could invest in more than three corporations at a time or have more than 300 times the income of an average worker. If human life productivity efficiency is to be maximized everyone needs adequate capital and good health to not fall into deep, dark whirlpools and undertows of social economic evils the comfortable and aloof are often unaware of (including well-off technicians that fawn over the ideals of the rich).
Rioters of average or below average intellect with little to do with their lives that could be regarded hopefully or productively encounter average policemen that interact all day with criminals that are controlled by politicians of average intellect without a lot of good ideas for reforming capitalism or to ecological economics. Expecting miracles in economics from uncomprehending average people without the ability to reform global corporate power and the concentration of wealth in 1% of national citizens is daft. Electing neo-liberals would produce more rich neo-liberal politicians that would probably not do much for poor Democrat rioters to make meaningful economic reform inclusive of ecological sustainability and a healthy wilderness portions of flora and fauna. Wealth is built up slowly, annually; rioting is the antinomy of that. One of the greatest economic injuries the poor can experience is simply termination of work and discontinuity in the process of slowly building up their own capital. With the recent covid 19 problems perhaps millions of people may experience home mortgage problems as they did a little more than a decade ago during the housing crisis. It seems that every decade or so some crisis appears that trims home buyers to subvert their slow acquisition of capital. It is the one percenters that profit from national crisis well as Wall Street in regard to political power- racism misses the point entirely when so many white people live paycheck to paycheck themselves.
The economy in the U.S.A. today is quite complex, and millions of people of all races experience a log-rolling contest of trying to stay meaningfully employed. Balzac’s published a book in 1835 named Pere’ Goriot concerning the issue of inherited capital versus labor as a better way of building wealth. Balzac found that the advantages of inherited wealth were so great that the work of labor was comparatively inefficient. The U.S.A. today concentrates wealth because of the shape of the economy that accentuated consumerism rather than saving, and illegal immigration laborers to help expand the economy and increase of capital. I wonder if black rioters have a clue about the way economics work or of the relationships between capital, labor, national income and ecological health.
Black culture in the United States has a much higher birth rate than that of the white population that is about zero population growth. There usually is a higher savings rate when demographic growth is stable. Disparities between different cultures and the sort of economic activity they pursue are interwoven with demographic and cultural facts, labor supply and demand and the kind of quality growth versus quantity growth economics that benefit from intellectual versus physical labor. Stable societies have better situations for educating fewer children than rapidly growing and poorer cultures. It is ironic that black democrats support illegal alien immigration that directly soaks up wages and work opportunities for physical labor such as were more common for American men in the 1950s.
I think there is no simple remedy for the challenges facing American black societies yet I am fairly sure that rioting exacerbates the problems as does racism. If blacks have good scientific education and support good scholarship values then they likely would find more work opportunities with the global corporations that employ so much of the work force today. If there were 10 million Americans of the 320 million citizens who actually make or invent new materials for qualitative improvements to the economy isn’t it better to be one of the ten million rather than one of the rest that fabricate or distributes product, finance or serve the people using new material product? A culture that reinforces qualitative materials science and quiet scholarship, even at home or independently, is of greater social merit concerning economics than those experiencing social instability and chaos socially.