Obama in his weekend radio address announced he is going to use the money and power of the federal government to move poor people out of their ghettos and into wealthier neighborhoods, which will magically improve the lives of everyone.
He was keying off a recent Supreme Court ruling that said one need not prove someone intentionally discriminated in housing but merely that there are disparate-impacts.
“In some cities, kids living just blocks apart lead incredibly different lives,” Obama said. “They go to different schools, play in different parks, shop in different stores, and walk down different streets. And often, the quality of those schools and the safety of those parks and streets are far from equal – which means those kids aren’t getting an equal shot in life.”
The New York Times editorialists immediately cheered the move, writing, “The fact that it has taken nearly 50 years since the law’s (Fair Housing Act) passage for these common-sense changes to materialize is all the more distressing, given that federally sanctioned housing discrimination has played a central role in racial ghettoization.”
But the same editorial pages back in September carried an op-ed piece pointing out that past programs, such as Section 8 vouchers, which paid the rent for poor people in higher-income neighborhoods, had little if any effect. Studies have found that “changing neighborhoods alone may not be sufficient to improve labor market or schooling outcomes for very disadvantaged families” and the voucher program had “no consistent detectable impacts on adult economic self-sufficiency or children’s educational achievement outcomes, even for children who were too young to have enrolled in school at baseline.”
Investor’s Business Daily points out in an editorial that the 15-year experiment of moving poor families out of government housing projects and into higher-income and less segregated neighborhoods — called “Moving to Opportunity Initiative” — did not work. “But adults for the most part did not get better jobs or get off welfare. In fact, more went on food stamps. And their children did not do better in their new schools …” IBD noted. “Of course, even when reality mugs leftists, they never scrap their social theories. They just double down.”
HUD’s own study stated, “Families in the experimental group did not experience better employment or income outcomes than the other families. The children in the Section 8 and experimental groups did not have better educational achievements than those in the control group and were not significantly less likely to engage in most forms of risky or criminal behavior.”
That study actually found that that male youths in the experiment eventually had higher arrest rates: “In the first few years after random assignment, male youth in the experimental group had fewer violent crime arrests and behavior problems than those in the control group. However by three to four years after randomization males in the experimental group were arrested more often than those in the control group, primarily for property crimes, and were also more likely to engage in a variety of other delinquent and risky behaviors.”
So they moved the property crimes from one locale to another.
It is rather like all the studies that show pre-school education programs have no lasting impact, but the do-gooder liberals just keep doubling down with more spending on early childhood programs and all-day kindergarten because in their hearts they just know it will eventually work despite all the evidence to the contrary. Does that make them deniers?
“These actions won’t make every community perfect,” Obama said of his executive action. “That’s something we all have to strive for in our own lives. But they will help make our communities stronger and more vibrant. And they’ll help keep this a country where kids from every background can grow up knowing that no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, you can write your own story.”
Whether it is fact or fiction is neither here nor there.
How long has it been since LBJ declared the war on poverty? How long before someone tries something that actually works instead of doubling down on the same failed social engineering programs over and over?