Before professors everywhere seize upon the Baltimore riots as a “teachable moment,” we’d like to offer a few simple pieces of recent history to cogitate over.
Expect your local professor to echo the president’s claim that Baltimoreans and some out-of-towners rioted because the federal government has not dumped enough money into Charm City. As it happens, on May 4, 2015, Elizabeth Harrigan reported in the Washington Free Beacon, “The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Barack Obama’s stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.” Harrigan and her peers at the WFB crunched the Obama Administration’s own numbers as they appeared on Recovery.gov.
On May 5, 2015, Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore pointed out, “Last week’s pitiful 0.2 percent economic growth for the first quarter of this year means the Obama slow-growth machine trudges onward. It’s the slowest recovery in half a century. The Summer of Recovery that Joe Biden promised in 2009 still hasn’t arrived, six years later.
“This is a national crisis, not any less significant than the burning of Baltimore last week. Actually, the two may be tied together. Economist Arthur Laffer shows that racial rioting in big cities is negatively associated with the economic growth rate. In the late 1960s and 1970s, cities became war zones, but the rioting almost entirely disappeared in the high-flying 1980s and 1990s, when incomes were rising, and job growth surged.
“Under Obama’s slow-growth economy, urban unrest is bubbling over.”
Finally, although Baltimore has spent the third-highest amount per student in education at an average of $15,287, only 16% of the city’s eighth graders score at or above reading level and 13% at or above grade level in math.