The Poor People Obama Left Behind

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by beretta304, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. beretta304
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    beretta304 BANNED

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    Four years after Barack Obama's historic election as president, little seems to have changed for the African-American communities on Chicago's South Side. The lack of change -- or the sense that these neighborhoods are getting worse -- is eroding the president's standing among African-Americans in his hometown.

    In 2011, Chicago suffered the third-highest black jobless rate among the nation's major metropolitan areas, at 19 percent, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute. Chicago still lacks enough affordable housing. Not only did the city demolish 25,000 public housing units in the previous decade, it also experienced more than 80,000 foreclosures, mainly in low-income neighborhoods.

    Chicago "black nationalist" Eddie Read contends Obama has never fought for the black community. "I would not honestly tag Obama as a fighter for black people, black agenda or black issues," Read told The Washington Examiner. After Obama's election, Read said, "I hoped that it would change."

    But four years later, as he looks around Chicago's neighborhoods, he said things haven't improved under Obama. "I don't see where the quality of life or the quality has changed," he said, "except that it's worse."

    Dr. Conrad Worrill is an African-American educator, activist and former radio talk show host on Chicago's African-American-oriented station WVON. He told the Examiner that Obama was an inspirational speaker who moved people. But in the end, he became just another Chicago politician.

    "His rise in politics, his trajectory in politics has led him to make adjustments in his political decision-making. And that's the case with many politicians. So he's no different from many others in that regard. He's a politician," Worrill said. Cheryl Johnson and her mother, Hazel, lived in the economically deprived Altgeld Gardens housing project when young Obama was a community organizer there. Her late mother also was an organizer at the housing complex and often welcomed Obama into her kitchen.

    "He's everybody's president," Cheryl Johnson told the Examiner, saying she is proud she knows him. But has he made a difference? "We, as poor people, don't feel it and don't see it," she said. Read believes Obama's problem is that he does not understand the unique needs of Chicago blacks.

    "Obama came through Chicago through Saul Alinsky organizing," he said. "The Alinsky piece seemed to have had an agenda about what it thought was in the best interest of black folks, from the white liberal perspective." Obama instead allied himself with Chicago's MacArthur Foundation, local housing nonprofits and real estate developers. Valerie Jarrett and Allison Davis, Martin Nesbitt and Tony Rezko -- all Obama friends -- were at the epicenter of that powerful coalition.

    Obama's low-income-housing campaign still resonates among Chicago's poor today. Deborah Taylor, a public housing tenant in the Kenwood section of Chicago, also told the Examiner things are as bad as ever for poor tenants. "The residents at the end of the day still suffer here," she said. "A lot of times a lot of people start out idealistically thinking they are helping," Taylor said.

    "I don't think any of them are in favor of the tenants," she said. "Everybody's in it for the money. It's all about profit now. So the residents lose, lose, lose." D'Anna Carter, a neighborhood activist in Chicago's Woodlawn section, singled out the Habitat Co., which was run by Jarrett, now Obama's closest White House adviser.




    Chapter VI: The poor people Obama left behind | WashingtonExaminer.com
     
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  2. swizzlee
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    swizzlee RedWhiteAndBlue

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    I left Chgo 23 yrs ago.......

    I've never wanted to go back. What I left behind doesn't seem to have improved but instead has worsened. Chgo the city is bankrupt. Chgo its people is bankrupt.

    The state is bankrupt. Its politicians have sucked it dry and have nowhere left to go except to jail for those who get caught.

    And Obama has never been able to shed himself of the stink of his Chgo background.

    I read the entire article yesterday, bringing back a flood of memories, knowing this has been one of the best articles I've seen yet on Obama - who he is and who he isn't.
     
  3. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    There is no substitute for "Value for Value", or Living Within Ones Means.
     
  4. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    This is a difficult topic, but one we see played out all over the world.

    Poor people living in urban slums naturally want change, but maybe don't have very realistic expectations.

    What did they think - that Obama would wander around handing out hundred dollar bills to them? That they would all be given new homes?

    Change for the poor is not achieved through welfare, but through job creation, fair wages, and better public services such as public transport and healthcare.

    That SHOULD be what they vote for this time, too.
     
  5. toomuchtime_
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    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

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    Job creation has become just a slogan. When the government sets out to create jobs, they are nearly always just temporary jobs. Long term jobs are nearly always created by private investors seeking a higher return on their money by backing new ideas.

    The prosperity of the late 1990's was created by corporations investing heavily in new IT and communications equipment in order to increase productivity and profits, and the equipment they invested in was created by start ups funded by wealthy investors who were willing to take on high risk for the promise of high returns, and much of the money they invested came from the deregulation and tax cuts of he Reagan era. The lesson to be learned here is that to create jobs for the poor the government has to empower and encourage wealthy investors to invest in new and often risky ideas. That's not a message many of the poor will want to hear.
     
  6. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Toomuch -

    I do agree that the state itself is not an ideal creator of job - it has to be business.

    But that need not always mean wealthy investors. Small entrepreneurs running cleaning companies or becoming translators or website designers can do as much to stimulate the economy at a local level as massive corporations can. I'd like to see more microloans and more small startup businesses right around the world. Some of those can grow to become world leaders.
     
  7. toomuchtime_
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    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

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    For them to grow, they need financing and that comes from wealthy investors who are willing to risk their money for the promise of high returns. When Apple, Microsoft and Dell were small but successful companies, they did little to move our economy, but once they were able to attract the financing to grow, they changed the world.
     
  8. Saigon
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    Saigon Gold Member

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    Toomuchtime -

    Why not lend money from banks or venture capital companies? You have Microloans, too, presumably?

    Of course the wealthy play a part as investors, but usually on via venture capital firms and banks.
     
  9. toomuchtime_
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    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

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    Banks tend to be too be risk adverse to fund new ideas and venture capital firms get most of their funding from wealthy individuals who can afford to take risks in hope of high returns.
     

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