October 1, 2009

Resource Extraction

I live in an area where a lot of the economy comes from Resource Extraction. Timber growing and harvesting, there is an active Gold mine about 30 miles away, I visit the tailings of an old coal mine ten miles away to get coal for my blacksmith forge. A major part of the city of Bellingham has a coal mine underneath it. Commercial Fishing is another example of Resource Extraction; Bellingham and Seattle are the hubs for the Alaskan fishing fleet. What got me to thinking about this is that groups like ACORN, the Chicago political machine and the Unions are making a lot of money with Resource Extraction and the Resource that they are extracting is the urban poor black man. The money is not coming from the poor -- by default they have none. The money is being harvested from the US Government entitlement programs and is being skimmed off the top while the urban poor blacks are purposefully being kept in their condition of being urban (dense urban population) poor (no jobs and no incentive for either working or education) and black (playing the race card to win Government largess). An example: ACORN We have seen the videos from Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe that have caused so much consternation among the ACORN elite. These videos are just scratching the surface as the corruption has gone on a lot longer than most people realize. From Newsbusters and FOX News:
Former Employee on Fox: ACORN 'Most Corrupt Group in the Country'
Gregory Hall, a former employee of scandal-plagued ACORN, labeled the organization �the most corrupt group in the country� on Wednesday�s Fox and Friends on FNC. Hall placed the blame squarely on the national leaders of the left-wing group: �They�re the ones that are constantly giving the orders that say- make the money, no matter what- lie, steal, cheat- and I�ve got the witnesses to prove it� [audio clips from the segment are available here].
Some more at the website RottenAcorn:
ACORN Is A Bad Seed
Something�s rotten in the state of New Mexico, and Ohio, and Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and Florida, and�

ACORN calls itself a community group, but it is really a multi-million-dollar, multi-national conglomerate. Its political agenda is driven by a relative handful of political thugs for hire. ACORN spends millions promoting economic policies (like raising the minimum wage), but doesn't always want to abide by them.

In fact, ACORN sued the state of California to get out of paying its own employees the minimum wage, and even fought their efforts to create a union.

Before �subprime� became a household word, ACORN waded into the mortgage market, supporting policies that helped lay the groundwork for the catastrophic lending collapse of 2008. Working with another activist group, the Center for Responsible Lending, ACORN lobbied legislators and banks to ensure that any person, regardless of credit history, income, or assets, would qualify for a mortgage. They mastered the art of pressuring banks � often through radical and controversial methods � to provide subprime loans to all comers. It was many of these �toxic� loans that defaulted and sparked the subprime mortgage crisis.

ACORN's influence extends to the political sphere as well. The group is perhaps best known for its widely-reported role in voter fraud across the country.
Anyway, what got me thinking about Resource Extraction was the post today from Michelle Malkin on the Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics. I linked to it earlier today but that post stayed with me and kept me thinking about the dynamics involved and why things never seem to get better for the urban poor. They never get worse but they never get better. Let's take a look at a couple of scenarios: #1) - You are in the Real Estate business. Your core competency is building low income housing in urban areas. It would be in your own self-interest to have those buildings have as short a lifetime as possible so that you can demolish them and build something new. The city inspectors are in the same game so getting a building permit approved and getting the finished building signed off for occupancy is not an issue. This frees you to use as cheap materials as possible knowing that they only have to last five or ten years until you build a new structure. You, of course, bill the government for higher quality materials and pocket the difference minus the mordita to pay off the inspectors and the occasional contractor or three. #2) - You are a 'community organizer' and you are shocked SHOCKED at the conditions in the slum. The people (never your people) don't have adequate housing, the housing they have is falling apart. You enumerate a long shopping list of inequities both physical and societal that 'the people' have to suffer with. You have worshiped at the feet of Saul Alinsky but you don't directly involve yourself with the lives of the wealthy or the lives of the poor. You are an actor on a stage pointing out the travails of the poor and demonizing the rich but you don't really do anything. You cannot do anything because if you did, you would upset the balance and you would no longer have a function in life. #3) - You are poor. Not as poor as you think though, you probably have a cell phone and a flat-screen television. Your education is minimal as the schools aren't worth anything -- you do not see any reason to knuckle down 30 hours/week and learn a trade. After all, the government keeps you housed and fed. It also allows you to steal a little lagniappe every so often. You aren't going to be the squeaky wheel as if you were, the government might notice the lagniappe and take it away. You stay where you are, don't bother to do anything to improve your lot (after all, I got extra food stamps -- let's get some beer!) and sit back and grumble. This last pool of people is the Resource. The Extraction is done by the first group of people and they are legitimized by the second group of people -- the community organizers. Here is one story: From American Thinker:
Obama 's Friends and Chicago's New Slums
"Mayor Daley's always talking about fair housing and decent housing, and he's got Allison Davis, who he appointed on the planning commission," says Smith, who heads the tenants association that represents Evergreen/Sedgwick residents. "We still live in a slum." (From the article "We still live in a slum," Mark Konkol.
A bit more:
At Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, Allison Davis was Obama's boss and tutor in the legalities of government subsidized housing.

A generation older than Obama, Davis grew up in Hyde Park, home of the University of Chicago, where his father was the school's first African-American professor.
And one last bit more (the punchline if you will):
So how much taxpayer money have Davis and his partners gleaned over the years for their government housing projects? Sit down before you read the answer. According to the Sun Times (November 11, 2007):
"Davis and his partners - including sons Jared and Cullen - have gotten more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to build and rehabilitate more than 1,500 apartments and homes, primarily for the poor. His deals include a massive redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority's Stateway Gardens, across the Dan Ryan Expy from Sox Park. It is a lucrative business. Davis and his partners have made at least $4 million in development fees over the last decade."
And, Davis has generously shared his winnings.
"He has donated more than $400,000 to dozens of political campaign funds. His top beneficiaries include Daley, [Illinois Gov.] Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama, who worked for several years as an attorney in Davis' law firm." (Sun Times, Nov. 11, 2007)
And the quality of construction -- from Doug Ross' blog:
The Illustrated Results of Obama's "Community Organizing"
If I didn't know better, I'd think this was Beirut in the nineteen seventies. But, in reality, it's the current state of the housing for which Barack Obama claims responsibility as a "community organizer." It turns out the developers enriched by his government-funded subsidies did a heck of a lot better than the folks who once lived here.
A bit more:
About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered...
Go and read the article to see the pictures -- it is amazing that anyone would live here. I could go on all night -- the number of examples of corruption and power politics are that numerous. There are people who will consider what I say to be racist but here is what I see... A bunch of politically well-connected businessmen are engaged in the act of Resource Extraction using the urban slums as the ground on which to grow their resources. Through the political machinery of the cities and states, they are guaranteed minimal hassles when they erect substandard housing and provide substandard infrastructure (schools, grocery stores, health care, etc...). These people (businessmen and politicians alike) have no desire to see the poor elevate themselves, they have no desire to see the poor educate themselves as this would break the cycle that is so profitable for them. Another group, the community organizers act as the go-betweens and the Judas Goats for the poor. The community organizers set people up with risky business ventures, they get them housing that they cannot afford, they steer them to follow churches and "community leaders" that do not lead, they just teach them how to shake down the government and the big businesses for a little lagniappe every so often. This group also has an academic counterpart that lives in a world detached from reality and whose job is to inculcate the minds of the youth. Any class with the name "studies" in it is sheer politicization and propaganda. The final group is the poor themselves. They are not allowed to have any motivation for self improvement. They are economically confined to their ghetto, denied an effective education, denied effective leadership. Their only job is to suck off the government teat and to vote pro-union and Democratic even though those are the very people keeping them imprisoned. This rant formed over the course of a few hours today. There is a lot that is not expressed as clearly as I would like but I wanted to get it out there. This is what I see when I read the news... Posted by DaveH at October 1, 2009 7:29 PM