The talking heads at Faux News cannot possibly listen to their own words or they would be aware of the silliness of the things they say. Case in point, Charles Payne speaking on Cavuto On Business Saturday, said that nothing could fix Detroit because 30-40 years of progressive policies have created an atmosphere that causes high crime and drug addiction rates. He also made the claim that 47% of the adults in that city are “functionally illiterate” and inferred that too was due to progressive politics.
Asked about the possibility that the federal government would send money to help with the city’s fiscal woes, Payne asserted that, “Detroit is the ultimate poster child for progressive politics. It’s not even just about the economic meltdown there, it’s about the people meltdown.”
Ben Stein challenged him on the claim saying, “This is not a progressive politics problem, this is a racial problem. This is the collapse of black, urban, underclass America.” He went on to say that it is, “The legacy of racism, legacy of slavery, legacy of drug addiction.”
Of course Stein too is being simplistic in his reasoning, the poverty-stricken underclass has very little to do with the city falling into bankruptcy, they are merely the favorite scapegoat of the extreme right. Got a problem? It’s the poor, they are dragging the whole nation down into the gutter with them, they have no ambition or they would just stop being so poor.
Incredibly, Payne responded that they escaped all of that when they left the south and moved north to Detroit where they could get the same jobs as their white counterparts. He said that they all had vacation homes and put their children through college but then they “bought into” progressive politics which told them that “Corporations are bad, you should steal money from them.” He continued, “The progressive politics behind this are what fuels high drug addiction, high crime rates.”
Stein shot back that the Bloods and the Crips are not killing each other because they embrace progressive politics.
“Black youths are killing each other in part because they embrace progressiveness. Progressive politics says ‘it’s not your fault, it’s the gun’s fault.’”
Stein is, of course, much closer to the truth than Payne is, the Bloods and the Crips are not in the least politically motivated, it is all about power and turf. It is about who gets to sell drugs on the best corners and who is in control of what neighborhood, they really couldn’t care less who is sitting in the mayor’s office, whether he is a left or right-winger means nothing to them.
There are many reasons that Detroit is in the condition it is but progressive policies are the least of them. The city was already in bad shape when Governor Snyder sent his hand-picked man, Kevyn Orr, in to “manage” the problems and see what he could do to save the city. After selling off billions of dollars worth of city assets at pennies on the dollar he declared that bankruptcy was the only viable solution, hardly an unexpected call from a bankruptcy lawyer.
Payne is grasping at straws trying to find a way to blame yet another failure on progressives, in his view the only thing more dangerous to the country than the poor is what he terms the “progressive agenda.” Watch the exchange below courtesy of Media Matters.