Tags: MidPoint | Alan Keyes | Baltimore | decay | urban | left

Alan Keyes: Blame the Left for Baltimore's Decay

By    |   Friday, 05 Dec 2014 05:39 PM

An alarming study that says youth poverty in one American city — Baltimore — is worse than in less-developed parts of Africa and Asia proves that liberalism is harming, not helping, lower-income U.S. communities, says former ambassador and political candidate Alan Keyes.

Keyes, who spent part of his childhood in Baltimore and ran for U.S. Senate in Maryland, where he lives, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Friday that the left's approach to both government and culture is behind the urban despair depicted in the study.

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Keyes spoke first about "the centralization of government on account of a lot of this left-wing socialist influence, [with] more and more pulling power into the hands of a centralized bureaucracy that makes people victims, rather than really responsible citizens in the communities where they live."

The other factor, he said, is a cultural "assault on the family."

"Family life is essential … to the kind of conditions that are conducive to [a] good life for adolescents and people growing up, and that was one of the key things of the study, as I recall," he said.

Keyes said the study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, concluded that Baltimore and Johannesburg, South Africa, for example, were similar in having large numbers of children being raised in single-parent households.

Between cultural, political and forces at play in cities like Baltimore, Keyes said that, "There's been a systematic assault on the institutions people use to take care of themselves, the family being foremost, but also now the institutions of faith and, finally, the material control that people have over the results of their own labor — the right to eat the bread earned in the sweat of their brow."

He said the relationship between work and income is increasingly the domain of government "taking over the decision-making control of more and more … of our dollars, and squandering those dollars in ways that have very little to do with the welfare of our people."

"You're talking about bureaucrats and politicians trying to make themselves look good, increase their power base, serve their economic masters by aggrandizing themselves using our dollars, our credit," said Keyes.

"And we have to show for it, what?" said Keyes. "A declining, disappearing middle class, and cities that, in spite of many years of leadership from left-wingers … are decaying.

"And the people who are growing up in those cities are faced with problems that were once unheard of in America," said Keyes.

Keyes said that cities would do better to embrace a feature of urban life they long ago discarded: a small-town approach to individual neighborhoods as semi-autonomous enclaves with local control.

"We've actually destroyed for people who live in our cities what used to be characteristic of small-town life," he said, "which is that they governed the area where they lived through representatives who lived in the same conditions that they do."

He said today's practice of grassroots, neighborhood governing in cities is largely "window dressing."

"And one of the things it leads to is police forces that are visiting, rather than living in the community the way the sheriffs and constables used to do in the days when our towns and other local communities were vibrant and real," he said. "We need to recapture that."

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An alarming study that says youth poverty in one American city - Baltimore - is worse than in less-developed parts of Africa and Asia proves that liberalism is harming lower-income U.S. communities, says former ambassador and political candidate Alan Keyes.
Alan Keyes, Baltimore, decay, urban, left
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2014-39-05
Friday, 05 Dec 2014 05:39 PM
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