Going Bananas As The Fiscal Year Ends
I can imagine Inigo Montoya sipping his rum. He contemplates, then chuckles. He pulls a bit on his mustache as President Obama’s teleprompter bromides blare out of his television. “He uses this phrase banana republic.” Inigo muses. “I do not think he knows what it means.”
You can use the term in a number of ways. As catchy bits of jargon get run through the political mill until shopworn, it’s perhaps quite accurate of Montoya to question whether anyone knows what banana republic means. I tend to think their clothes are overrated. My wife, on the other hand, always appreciates a $100 gift card. All jesting aside, when the American author O. Henry invented Archuria, he had a very specific type of dystopia in mind.
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Reforming The Republic V: Fixing The American City
I would argue Baltimore is not a statistical outlier, but rather a predictable precursor – a canary in the coalmine if you will that indicates what American cities will increasingly degenerate towards going forward if our nation does not significantly reform how we handle them. Cities in Post-Modern Amerika suffer from an interlocking directory of failure modes which retard their economic and social development. This scares many productive and worthwhile people out of setting foot on one of their streets unless necessity brooks no other course of action. A typical American City will usually be worse than the surrounding countryside in crime, illegitimacy, educational outcomes, and economic opportunity. This is precisely opposite of how it was originally intended to work.
So just what does America do about murder as lifestyle in Baltimorgue, bankruptcy in Detroit, or the perception at least of deliberate Apartheid in new Haven, CT? Here’s what I think should be a reasonable to-do list.
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