Blog Comments

  1. PeterL's Avatar
    The Economist has similar concerns.
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    "p.s. I wonder how many of those comfortably housed and fed in mental institutions or town farms were black?"

    The figures probably are available online for what that
    s worth.
  3. Ecurb's Avatar
    I'll grant that I wasn't paying much attention to crime statistics during the Eisenhower administration. Nonetheless, I don't seem to fear "shopping bag ladies" as much as you do. Maybe if I were attacked as regularly as you have been, I would feel differently, but I doubt it.

    I will continue to "think what I like", and what I like to believe is those things that are supported by evidence. As I suspected, you want to return to the 1950s, an era during which (if you lived in certain states) you would not have been forced to suffer the indignity of using public toilets used by "negroes" (as they were then called). Nor would you have gone to public schools with them, lived in neighborhoods with them, or allowed them to vote.

    Do you really think that all those Southern black folks who were poorly educated in segregated schools were well housed? Do you really think crime in black neighborhoods back then was more accurately chronicled than it is today? Do you really think Southern blacks had highly-paid jobs that have since been shipped off to China? Come on now, Peter.

    A quick google search confirms that black unemployment (as well as overall unemployment) is at an all-time low (although comparable statistics have been kept only since 1972). Maybe homelessness, poverty and unemployment among Southern black people interests you as little as homelessness, poverty and unemployment among the Chinese. I'll bet unemployed southern blacks in the 1950s weren't wandering the streets of Amherst, offending your delicate sensibilities. Perhaps it has occurred to you that there are several reasons those horrid "shopping bag ladies" might be less evident, one of which is that the police might roust and arrest them for the terrible crime of being homeless and offending the sensibilities of reputable citizens like you, Peter. The reason the homeless are more visible today than in the past is that they are given more freedom by the police, not that there are more of them.

    p.s. I wonder how many of those comfortably housed and fed in mental institutions or town farms were black?
  4. PeterL's Avatar
    I suppose that someone who gets his news from Fox might have those opinions, but If you had been paying attention during the Eisenhower administration, then you might have noticed that there were no "shopping bag ladies" wandering around; they were housed in lunatic asylums, if they weren't at the local town farm. While neither sirtuation was ideal, the residents of such places were comfortably housed and well fed, and they were not abused, as might happen on the streets now. When MIchel Foucault came out with his book about the abuses of the mentally ill, he had no relevant experience; he was simply expressing his ideological position. "Madness and Civilization" had as much basis in the real world as did his "The Order of Things"; that is none at all. Foucault should have called his books fiction, but no there a greater factual basis in much fiction.

    Apparently, you are unacquainted with how crimes are reported. Not all crimes make it into the statistics. Only crimes that the police feel like pursuing are recorded as such. And there is a similar matter with workforce participation. A few decades ago anyone who was looking for work was counted as part of the workforce, but these days some classes of people who are looking for work are excluded, and that includes anyone over 65, except those who are currently employed=, and there are other groups.

    Think what you like.
  5. Ecurb's Avatar
    Oh for that halcyon American past, when we locked the mentally ill in "hospitals" so that they wouldn't bother honest, hard-working citizens like Peter. Those were the days when (although unemployment rates were higher than they are now) all Americans had good jobs, and those evil Chinese simply starved to death or died in floods, as is proper.

    Of course Peter's ideas run contrary to what the current American administration puts forth

    It's too bad that Peter has suffered from "several" violent attacks in recent years. That hardly contradicts the statistical evidence that crime rates have dropped dramatically in the past several decades. Peter goes on to say, "And maybe after we become accustomed to having the mentally ill in hospitals instead of trying to hold down normal jobs we will notice some of the people who presently go on to commit mass murders and other unacceptable behavior." Or "maybe" not. It seems to me that locking the mentally ill in hospitals might make it LESS likely that we "notice" them, which is precisely what Peter wants. In any event, we already lock up several millions of our citizens. Locking up more of them because they MIGHT commit crimes in the future seems unethical and cowardly.
    Updated 04-15-2019 at 07:26 AM by PeterL (clarity)
  6. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    So sad...