Monday, August 03, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

When Solutions Fail,
Don't Change the Strategy?

October 1, 2013 --

The late Bayard Rustin, the leading organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, writing in the February 1965 issue of Commentary, called for "alternatives to technological unemployment, urban decay, and the rest."

"We need," he wrote, "to be calling for public works and training, for national economic planning, for federal aid to education, for attractive public housing--all this on a sufficiently massive scale to make a difference."

Nearly half a century later, and the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars for social programs proposed by leftists have failed "to make a difference" in the standard of living for Americans at the middle of the economic ladder -- and lower, unless that difference is to reduce their standard of living.

The continued existence of "urban decay" can be summed up with reference to one American city: Detroit. The massive public residential projects of urban centers have turned into housing horrors.

Public education continues to decline, giving us children who fall below grade levels. Unemployment afflicts millions of Americans; about one-seventh of the population qualifies for food stamps. At the end of his article, "From Protest to Politics," Rustin acknowledged "We cannot claim to have answers to all the complex problems of modern society."

LPR has a hunch, however, that the left is either unable, or unwilling, to consider any solutions that do not come in a government package, a package administered by political insiders.

And so, half a century from now, with "urban decay" endemic throughout the nation, LPR expects there will be far more demands for federal programs to improve living conditions for Americans, but, of course, those programs will be administered under the barter system, the nation having, years earlier, gone broke.