The Color of Law

by on September 19, 2017 at 7:25 am in Books, Economics, History, Law | Permalink

Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law is a good history of government discrimination against African-Americans in the housing market. Most notably, the FHA and the VA refused to guarantee mortgage loans or loans to builders unless the neighborhood was segregated. Indeed, the FHA wouldn’t even insure a project if there were too many African Americans living nearby.

In 1940, for example, a Detroit builder was denied FHA insurance for a project that was near an African American neighborhood. He then constructed a half-mile concrete wall, six feed high and a foot thick, separating the two neighborhoods, and the FHA then approved the loan.

Rothstein is no libertarian but to his credit he does acknowledge that one of the few anti-segregation forces in the early twentieth century was the Lochner influenced reasoning of the Supreme Court. In Louisville, Kentucky, wealthy blacks began to buy houses in previously white neighborhoods. In response, the city passed an ordinance making it illegal for blacks to move into majority-white neighborhoods and vice-versa. The NAACP organized a test case. Warley, an African American, agreed to buy a house from Buchanan, if not prevented by law from doing so. Buchanan then argued that the law reduced the value of his house because he could not sell to Warley or other African-Americans. Thus, the ordinance was a taking which violated the 14th Amendment right not to be deprived of property without due process of law.

The State of Kentucky responded with a brief arguing that segregation was divinely ordained and that “negroes carry a blight with them wherever they go.” The racism was sickening but Kentucky also had the great mass of intellectuals behind it because they were asserting the progressive belief that the state’s police powers could and should overrule individual rights, especially property rights. Under Lochner, however, “unreasonable, unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract” violated the 14th Amendment. Rothstein writes:

“In 1917, the Supreme Court overturned the racial zoning ordinance of Louisville, Kentucky, where many neighborhoods included both races before twentieth-century segregation….The Court majority was enamored of the idea that the central purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment was not to protect the rights of freed slaves but a business rule: “freedom of contract.” Relying on this interpretation, the Court had struck down minimum wage and workplace safety laws on the grounds that they interfered with the right of workers and business owners to negotiate individual employment conditions without government interference. Similarly, the Court ruled that racial zoning ordinances interfered with the right of a property owner to sell to whomever he pleased.”

Sure, it’s a grudging acknowledgment, but most people don’t even do that so give Rothstein credit where credit is due.

Governments evolved other measures to promote segregation such as zoning laws and the white-subsidy systems of the FHA and VA. Nevertheless, Buchanan v. Warley was likely an very important decision. Bill Fischel goes so far as to argue that Buchanan v. Warley prevented apartheid in America.

Addendum: On segregation and Lochner, see David Bernstein’s excellent book Rehabilitating Lochner from which I have also drawn.

1 dearieme September 19, 2017 at 7:52 am

What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?

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2 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 7:59 am

It’s interesting how these days we read over and over and over about 1930s redlining, but more recent housing disasters are utterly forgotten. For example, Alyssa Katz’s 2009 book “Our Lot” documented the disastrous push by the Federal Housing Administration from 1968 on to rectify the injustices of the redlining era, which led to catastrophe in many big cities:

“In 1972, in Chicago and in every other city in the nation, almost anyone could get a home mortgage, including borrowers who didn`t earn enough to pay them off, on just about any house, for any reason. … And just like the recent adventure in lending beyond any rational limits, the mortgage disaster of the early 1970s was born from a lofty ideological conviction that enabled the basest of crimes and most foolish of gambles under its cover, insulated from almost any scrutiny until the damage was already done.”

“The FHA was now, in effect, a front in the War on Poverty. … Under the new regime, homebuyers living in Chicago and other inner cities weren`t just eligible for loans. Lenders who signed up to sell FHA-insured mortgages were asked to do everything they could to make sure the buyers got them.”

“Across the country, neighborhood destruction became a booming business, financed by the federal government. In Chicago they called it `panic peddling.` In New York, it was `blockbusting.` … The FHA-insured loans threw gasoline on that smoldering fire. … Indeed, the insurance made it profitable to seek out the most impoverished and unreliable borrowers, since the sooner a borrower defaulted on a loan, the more quickly the lender would get paid back in full by FHA.”

http://www.vdare.com/articles/alyssa-katz-our-lot-a-liberal-perspective-on-how-political-pressure-to-boost-minority-homeo

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3 mulp September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

“In 1972, in Chicago and in every other city in the nation, almost anyone could get a home mortgage, including borrowers who didn`t earn enough to pay them off, on just about any house, for any reason. …”

So, Reagan came to office in 1981 determined to make borrowing money much harder because credit was too tight with too much government involvement in promoting excessive individual debt?

As a young adult in 1972, borrowing money was hard, unless dealing with loan sharks.

You needed income and assets. And income meant five years earning steady money with that certain to continue.

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4 mulp September 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm

And default rates on FHA loans stayed in the 1% to 2% range from 1960 to 1990, and only in the 90s were they constantly above 2%, and rising.

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5 john23 September 20, 2017 at 8:22 pm

“Indeed, the insurance made it profitable to seek out the most impoverished and unreliable borrowers, since the sooner a borrower defaulted on a loan, the more quickly the lender would get paid back in full by FHA.”

What’s profitable about getting paid back shortly after making a loan, either by the borrower or the FHA? The profit in mortgage lending comes from getting paid interest on the loan, not getting the principal back as soon as possible.

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6 Frankfort September 19, 2017 at 8:40 am

… it makes no difference at all to leftist progressives & Hillary. They see the state and its coercive & arbitrary “law” as an eternal fountain of goodness for society (with some minor aberrations that can be overlooked).

The larger point is not racism, but that government generally is a powerful force of oppression that routinely does great harm.

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7 The Other Jim September 19, 2017 at 8:45 am

Very true. Racism is a great evil, and it’s worth remembering that the main perpetrator of it is government.

And as the Dems like to remind us, the solution to government evils is always more government.

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8 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

“What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

One of the most useful questions we can ask ourselves is “if I were born in that other time, as another person, would I recognize the injustice?”

What would I think, raised in a completely different way, if the dinner table lesson was that (some retrospective injustice) is just a natural order. I am not so sure I could overcome it. I am a good son. I keep many of my dinner table beliefs.

The use of that thought experiment is to look around today, to see what just-so stories are being told, not because they are true, but to preserve what might become (some retrospective injustice) of another age.

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9 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

We keep hearing these extraordinarily popular just-so stories from people like Rothstein and Teh-Genius Coates about how the poor net worths of blacks in 2017 are the fault of FDR’s irrational prejudice.

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10 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

Dude. Your one chance for moral redemption is to throw “asdf” and “fried chicken” under the bus, right here, right now.

Tell us that racism still shapes America, and that you stand against it.

Because obviously the bald lie that racism is all in the past (FDR!) will not stand.

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11 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

Dude. Your one chance for moral redemption

You’re really not in a position to be issuing indulgences, your pretentions notwithstanding.

12 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 11:27 am

That was one of your worst comments, Art. Both off target (to a Protestant) and counterproductive.

If Steve turns a blind eye, it can only mean he likes the tag-team that follows him.

13 FYI September 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

“Tell us that racism still shapes America, and that you stand against it.”

I am not Steve but let me ask you something: do you see the fallacy of this question? What if I do not agree that “racism still shapes America” but at the same time I am against racism?

This is a purely subjective question that you are trying to disguise as a moral test. Just because something exists (racism) it does not follow that my perception of its impact in society matches yours, and even worse, that my difference in perception makes me a racist.

Do you see this?

14 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

“What if I do not agree that ‘racism still shapes America'”

I presume you have not read further down the page. Because obviously I believe that part to be in plain sight.

15 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Would it be totally crazy to suggest that black people’s problems might not be entirely due to racism, but that racism may still be a factor in some ways?
Do we have to choose between “no impact on society whatsoever”, and “all differences in socioeconomic outcomes are due to racism”?

16 FYI September 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

The fact that you believe in something does not make it so. Again, try to think about this. By calling everyone who does not agree with you “racist” you are creating a false duality here that does not help at all.

17 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I think the proposition that people can say “Negroes carry a blight” in 2017, and other people will say “but that might not affect their welfare, their life path” is absolutely absurd.

Introspection back at ya.

18 FYI September 19, 2017 at 12:38 pm

“but that might not affect their welfare”

That is not what I am saying. For example, I am an immigrant. Does that “affect my welfare”? Of course. But how much? Can I blame all social problems I might encounter on that one factor? Is “immigrant” even an useful category for whatever the problem we are looking at is?

I know I am not going to change your mind but wanted to throw this out there anyway.

19 Jeff R September 19, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Soo….I know the point here is to moralize about how awful racial discrimination is and such, but I’m not sure this is the be-all end-all of any wealth gap. If there is discrimination in the housing market today, which I think there is, shouldn’t this ultimately redound to the benefit of black homebuyers? If homes in black neighborhoods sell at a discount relative to comparable homes in other neighborhoods, if I’m black, how is that anything but a benefit to me? That’d be like if cars at my local Toyota dealership sold at a 10% discount to people named Jeff. In other words, this isn’t the barrier to building net worth that people assume it to be.

20 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

The new conventional wisdom popularized by Genius T. Coates that the reason he got beat up by the other black boys when he was a bookish child is the fault of FDR’s redlining is the kind of idea that is normally too stupid for economists to endorse. (Explain the chain of cause and effect?) But we live in intellectually cowardly times when low-brows like Teh-Genius get showered with awards. This country wasted a vast amount of money a decade ago on President Bush’s idea that the big problem of blacks and Hispanics is that they don’t get enough mortgage dollars. How soon should we do that again?

21 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

This country wasted a vast amount of money a decade ago on President Bush’s idea that the big problem of blacks and Hispanics is that they don’t get enough mortgage dollars. How soon should we do that again?

Again, north of 80% of the outstanding mortgage debt in 2008 derived from lending to prime borrowers. The vast bulk of the negative equity was appended to people who did not need mulligans to qualify for a loan. You saw the same boom-and-bust pattern in commercial real-estate as you did in residential real estate. It’s bad policy to twist the arms of banks into making bad business decisions, but that was only one vector in generating the pathology of the times.

22 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

when low-brows like Teh-Genius

Coates is a tiresome purveyor of topical commentary, not a porn novelist.

23 Cassiodorus September 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm

For those claiming racism doesn’t exist, answer this question: if reincarnation were real, would you want to come back as black?

24 Cassiodorus September 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

I also enjoy the smearing of an award-winning author as a “low-brow” by a phrenologist who doesn’t understand the basics of what he’s talking about (e.g., blaming government lending policies for the subprime crisis even though a) banks not subject to those regulations engaged in even more aggressive subprime lending and b) there was a global increase in subprime lending during the same time period).

25 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

@Cassiodorus,

Not that I’m on the racialist bandwagon, but if I had infinite lifetimes, I might want to come back as black, just for the challenge.
Playing life in the easy setting is for beginners.

26 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm

For those claiming racism doesn’t exist, answer this question: if reincarnation were real, would you want to come back as black?

I seem to recall a story of a sociology professor about 20 years back asking his black students how much someone would have to pay them to accept being turned from black into white. The median answer approached seven figures. People tend to be satisfied with certain salient features of themselves and find the idea of losing them and giving hypothetical consent to losing them somewhat disgusting. If you remove those features, they are not themselves, they’re someone else.

I also enjoy the smearing of an award-winning author as a “low-brow” by a phrenologist who doesn’t understand the basics of what he’s talking about (e.g., blaming government lending policies for the subprime crisis even though a) banks not subject to those regulations engaged in even more aggressive subprime lending and b) there was a global increase in subprime lending during the same time period).

Sailer’s not a phrenologist and speaking dismissively of someone isn’t a smear. As for the awards, they’re an indicator of the status games people play in those circles. Coates himself is not a Renaissance man, he’s not a notably erudite man, his writing is workmanlike and not much more. Neither is he particularly insightful about his own life or the world around him.

27 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Not that I’m on the racialist bandwagon, but if I had infinite lifetimes, I might want to come back as black, just for the challenge.

A critic of one of Coates memoirs offered that he shambles into his young adult years before he recounts an incident of a white person doing him dirt, and the story was a banal dispute with someone exiting an elevator. A great many blacks are very impecunious and it is not pleasant to live that way. The serious challenges come from navigating disorderly neighborhoods, and, no, that’s not something white people do to them. (Though white people neglect to do anything about that).

28 TMC September 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

“Playing life in the easy setting is for beginners.”

You can do this right now Hazel. Just shoot yourself in the foot once a month and see how you do. Pretty good approximation.

29 Hazel Meade September 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

TMC, maybe in my next lifetime, if I wind up as a rich white guy, I’ll try that.

30 Bill Steigerwald September 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Has Steve Sailer read Rothstein’s book, or is he just taking cheap shots at him and Coates?

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31 josh September 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

The most interesting thing that is forgotten or not discussed about this FHA policy and other housing policies of the era is the social engineering aspect which targeted the mostly catholic “ethnic” inhabitants of the cities as much as the migrant African American populations that replaced them. FHA loans a subsidized mortgage insurance were just some of the pull and push (declaring neighborhoods blighted or using imminent domain to build four or six lane highways through targeted communities) factors aimed at breaking up ethnic enclaves and dispersing people to the suburbs where they would become easily controlled white american consumer worker bees.

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32 dearieme September 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

“imminent domain”: a brilliant neologism. Serendipity rules! As in “thank God the US avoided Hellary’s imminent domain”.

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33 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 7:53 am

There’s a growing antiquarianism in which the property values of blacks in 2017 are increasingly attributed to the ever more distant past.

It would seem like some economists could subject this popular notion to quantitative analysis. The Fair Housing Act outlawing discrimination is now 49 years old. I would suggest that a half century is enough time to correct mispricing of real estate values due to discrimination, but the conventional wisdom does not seem to agree.

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34 asdf September 19, 2017 at 8:37 am

It’s like the new Detroit movie. The 1967 riots where 50 years ago…and the protagonists in the film won. They took control of the city, elected mayors and police chiefs from their own group based on the reforms they wanted. It’s their city now.

Detroit then went from paragon of the American Dream and the middle class blacks to ruin porn.

Too bad the rest Detroit learned that “negroes carry a blight with them wherever they go.”

Let’s call this what it is. Talented tenth blacks wanted to get the hell away from the other 90% of their own race. They wanted to move to nice white neighborhoods to be around people with their own IQ and behavior patterns. Price has recreated segregation but allowed the talented tenth to escape. Cost is housing unaffordability for middle class.

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35 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

Such an ironic call and response. Steve says “a half century is enough time” and asdf answers with “negroes carry a blight.”

But that is often the case at MR. Sneaky racists trying to say prejudice is all in the past, and dumb racists blowing their cover.

Deeply sad.

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36 Fried Chicken September 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

There’s quite a difference between state policy and an individual’s crimethink noticing of Black behavior. “Negroes carry a blight” seems a pretty accurate statement given the last 50 years of history, with Detroit a prime example.

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37 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 9:50 am

“Negroes carry a blight” seems a pretty accurate statement given the last 50 years of history, with Detroit a prime example.

About 1/3 of the black population lives nestled unobtrusively in and among the rest of the population. A great many of the remainder live in troublesome neighborhoods for a variety of considerations, but are not troublesome people themselves (and, in fact are set upon by troublesome people). Understanding this is not that challenging.

38 asdf September 19, 2017 at 10:58 am

Art Deco,

Bottom line you don’t want your block getting busted by blacks, or to have your city become majority black. The people who resist these things are good and decent people. The people foisting it upon them are scoundrels.

39 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 11:12 am

Bottom line you don’t want y

I can tell you what I want, thank you very much.

What I actually want is vigorous law enforcement. New York City managed to reduce its homicide rate by 82% over a 20 year period. The reduction in lesser offenses was not as pronounced but still large. New York City’s experience suggests that a slum homicide rate of 13 per 100,000 (or just a shade higher than the metropolitan mean of 1980) is an achievable goal. It is something we should be working toward.

An aspect of vigorous law enforcement would be the construction of day detention centers for child incorrigibles, so inner city school administrators could remand their trouble-makers. Ideally, over 90% of the population would be enrolled in private schools funded by vouchers or in private schools funded by tuition or homeschooled (having cashed out their voucher for a fraction of its redemption value to exercise the tuition or homeschool option). In the slums, you’d have schools run by community associations, by AME Churches, by Convention Baptist Churches, and by Holiness Churches who would have plenary discretion over their admissions and could leave the neighborhood trouble-makers to the Sheriff.

As for the quality of the built environment in slums, this can be partially addressed by having supplementary sanitation patrols (which would have as one of their function sandblasting graffiti), by setting priorities with building and fire codes which allow more housing options for the impecunious, and by suspending property tax collection in slum districts and making up the revenue with a small municipal income tax.

Blacks and whites have somewhat different manners; The manifestation of this varies depending on circumstances. Even when hoodlums are contained, you may still get a large quantum of segregation due to modest preferences over who people would prefer to have as neighbors, something which is in turn influenced by petty frictions.

40 Floccina September 19, 2017 at 11:23 am

Art Deco makes some good points.

41 asdf September 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm

NYC is a global city with wall street. Its swimming in money and can buy off lots of problems. Not all cities can do that, we can’t all be globe leading banking centers.

You’ll note too that as a result of all this money, blacks have been getting pushed out by the high rent. The % of blacks in NYC has gone down since the height of the crime wave in 1990. With the lowest class being pushed out first. This is the pattern we see in all the cities that have improved (SF, Boston, etc). They have some world class industry that generates a lot of funds, the high rents push out the lower classes, and the black % declines. This isn’t rocket science. It’s a demographic purge via high rent. It’s also not a solution for Baltimore, Cincinatti, or Chicago.

The question is to ask where these troublesome blacks end up. When St Louis cleared them out of downtown, they ended up in places like Ferguson, MO. A lot of this just seems like a game of hot potato, who ends up with the problem demographic. They don’t just disappear. They become someone else’s problem. Progs are excited to purge their downtown urban playgrounds and dump it on some family in the suburbs.

Your reforms would be nice, but we know they aren’t getting implemented. Not least of which because black people would vote against them. No majority black city government is ever going to implement those reforms.

42 The Anti-Gnostic September 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

All right, here’s what we got so far:

* vigorous law enforcement
* construction of day detention centers for child incorrigibles
* schools run by community associations, by AME Churches, by Convention Baptist Churches, and by Holiness Churches who would have plenary discretion over their admissions
* leave the neighborhood trouble-makers to the Sheriff
* supplementary sanitation patrols
* sandblasting graffiti

Who pays for all this crap? Who wants to live in this top-to-bottom schoolmarm/boot camp state? I’m pretty sure most blacks don’t, and whites would break land-speed records moving away. I don’t see Asian tiger-cubs or laid-back latinos doing particularly well there either.

43 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

NYC is a global city with wall street. Its swimming in money and can buy off lots of problems. Not all cities can do that, we can’t all be globe leading banking centers.

East Orange, NJ was a fairly impecunious little corner of Essex County, NJ. It still managed to cut it’s homicide rate in half.

You’ll note too that as a result of all this money, blacks have been getting pushed out by the high rent. The % of blacks in NYC has gone down since the height of the crime wave in 1990. With the lowest class being pushed out first.

Before you recycle Mr. Sailer’s hypotheses, check the numbers. The black population of New York City in 2000 was 2.05 million. In 2010, it was 2.22 million. In 2016, it was 2.22 million. In 1990, it was 2.23 million. These piddling changes are not going to induce an 82% decline in the homicide rate. Nor can you identify a locus outside NYC in that 19 county area which has had a peculiar spike in homicide rates in the last 15 years.

This is the pattern we see in all the cities that have improved (SF, Boston, etc).

Again, this ‘pattern’ does not exist, certainly not in New York and New Jersey.

The question is to ask where these troublesome blacks end up. When St Louis cleared them out of downtown, they ended up in places like Ferguson, MO.

The homicide rate in St. Louis has for 15 years bounced around a set point of 39 per 100,000. That in Ferguson, Mo. has bounced around a set point of 5 per 100,000. St. Louis has a population more than 15x that of Ferguson. A bad year in Ferguson means there are 2 murders instead of 1 recorded. I don’t think you’re going to find much social decompression in greater St. Louis from exports of troublesome people to Ferguson and like suburbs. In an ordinary year, St. Louis City will have 150 homicides. In an ordinary year, St. Louis County will have 20-odd. You could double the homicide rate in St. Louis County through hypothetical exports of hoodlums and the effect on St. Louis City would be a 15% decline. The numbers cannot sustain your thesis.

Your reforms would be nice,.

Do you ever get tired of attitudinizing?

44 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Who pays for all this crap? Who wants to live in this top-to-bottom schoolmarm/boot camp state? I’m pretty sure most blacks don’t, and whites would break land-speed records moving away. I don’t see Asian tiger-cubs or laid-back latinos doing particularly well there either.

Per capita police and local jail expenditure similar to New York City’s could be had with a 5% no-exceptions sales tax. Exurban, small town, and rural jurisdictions would not require that level of expenditure. Mean expenditure over whole metropolitan centers would be lower because the problem neighborhoods constitute a smaller share of the whole than they do of core cities like NYC. A 4% no exceptions sales tax might do the trick to finance a metropolitan police force. As we speak, local police expenditure in this country amounts to around 2% of retail sales, but I’d have to do some checking there.

When I had to know these things, New York spent about 4.4% of its domestic product on the public schools. Given current charges for New York State’s prisons and assuming lower variable costs from fewer guard shifts, it’s a reasonable guess that about 6.5% of the student population could be placed in day detention at the cost of a no-exceptions sales tax of about ~1.3%, which would amount to about 15% or so of current allocations for primary and secondary schooling.

Who wants to live in this top-to-bottom schoolmarm/boot camp state?

The young are already required to attend school. I’m suggesting we put the worst of them in a different disciplinary regime. New York City is not a boot camp. Your inclination to play rhetorical games is a vice.

45 asdf September 19, 2017 at 3:14 pm

I’ll take your word on crime trends in East Orange, NJ, pop 64,000. I note that the crime rate is still three times the average in NJ.

NYC population has exploded, so absolute numbers are worthless. Blacks are down as a % of pop. Also, the worst blacks are gone in disproportionate numbers.

Blacks in NYC are also pretty small compared to lots of great migration cities. They only make up 26.6% of NYC. Only 16% of NY State. In Manhattan that goes down to 17.4%. The numbers are much higher in other cities.

Ferguson, in addition to being the site of vicious riots, had a murder rate five times the national average. It’s gone from majority white to majority black in no time. Any other stats I’m sure you can get by googling Ferguson and Steve Sailer.

46 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

NYC population has exploded,

Its population has increased by 16% over a period of 26 years. The national mean is 27%. Nebraska’s population has increased by 20%. .

47 asdf September 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Examples of heavily black cities in the North.

Detroit: 84.3%
Baltimore: 65.1%
Wilmington: 58.0%
Cleveland: 53.3%
Newark: 52.2%
Cincinnati: 45.0%
Phili: 43.4%
Chicago: 32.9%

You could basically rank how broken the city is by black %.

48 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Ferguson, in addition to being the site of vicious riots, had a murder rate five times the national average. It’s gone from majority white to majority black in no time. Any other stats I’m sure you can get by googling Ferguson and Steve Sailer.

The homicide rate bounces around a lot in a municipality Ferguson’s size. The median of the last 15 years has been 4.8 per 100,000. In the last half-dozen years, the median has been 9.5 per 100,000. It’s had a black majority since about 1998. The change in the composition of the population occurred over a generation, not ‘no time’.

You really need to ask yourself why you keep getting bland bits of factual data wrong.

49 asdf September 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm

http://time.com/3138176/ferguson-demographic-change/

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/440481/ferguson-effect-increases-homicides-ferguson-and-elsewhere

Ferguson went from majority white to majority black in a generation. Along the way income went down, poverty went up, and crime went up. This is undeniable across several social statistics. If you lived in Ferguson a generation ago this has been a terrible transformation. It’s only gotten worse.

These are basic facts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_New_York_City

Blacks have declined at a % of NYC since 1990, and declined most in critical areas like Manhattan since 1970. If Manhattan were a city it would be considered to have one of the lowest % blacks of major cities.

Other winner cities also have a lower % of blacks. Boston has few blacks and has been falling since 1990. San Fransisco is 6% and falling since 1970.

Poor cities have lots of black and lots of problems. Rich cities have few blacks and are pricing more out every day.

50 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Blacks have declined at a % of NYC since 1990,

From about 28% to about 26%. That’s not going to induce an 82% decline in the murder rate.

51 asdf September 20, 2017 at 10:19 am

It helps. The decline is much greater in the important parts of the city like Manhattan. It’s also true that the worst blacks can afford the rent the least.

Most importantly, at these lower % levels NYC is able to have white run government, as opposed to black run government in the heavily black cities. The better human capital also means a more functional economy.

52 Art Deco September 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm

It helps. The decline is much greater in the important parts of the city like Manhattan. It’s also true that the worst blacks can afford the rent the least.

About 20% of New York City’s population lives in Manhattan. Index crime rates in Manhattan ca. 1985 exceeded the city-wide mean by about 40%. You’d have to bring down Manhattan crime rates 30% just to reach the baseline of the outer boroughs.

53 Agra Brum September 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

And he responds by doubling down on the racism to boot.

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54 asdf September 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm

The truth is racist

55 Cassiodorus September 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Steve writes for white supremacist websites, so I don’t think he’s all that sneaky.

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56 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm

He writes for Unz and VDARE. VDARE’s raison d’etre is to promote immigration restriction. They host white supremicists (Nicholas Stix), but that’s not the general editorial line. Unz is a collecting pool of cranks of all sorts, with anti-semites rather more prominent than white supremacists.

57 Floccina September 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

Two thirds of African Americans are middle class or rich. African Americans as a group are doing pretty good, better than many Europeans. They have contributed greatly to the USA, particularly in sports and entertainment.

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58 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Personal income per capita among blacks is about 70% of national means, near the national mean of 1985, and better off than Mediterranean Europe. They’re not on any historical or comparative scale poor, just less affluent than whites. (In terms of compensation levels, the 50th percentile of the general workforce sits at the 73d percentile of the black work force). There are quality of life issues not captured in those numbers and also discontent which arises from differences in the recognition people receive. The problem in this country for people in the stratum below the 30th percentile is less deprivation of commodities and more a deficit of security in its various manifestations.

I think if you unpack it, you’ll discover very few blacks have much in the way of assets or run something of institutional importance. Not many ‘rich’ or ‘influential’. You do have a class of salaried employees and small business, but that’s roughly 12% of the total (v. 30% in the general population). The vast bulk of the black population consists of wage-earners of varying degrees of prosperity. About 35% to 40% of the total have satisfactory skilled or semi-skilled work, a similar share have rather desultory low-skill work, and about 15% are lumpenproletarian.

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59 Ray Lopez September 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

Yeah well you’re wrong as usual. In the Potosi silver mines in Bolivia, sociologists find that kids are hampered compared to non-Potosi kids even though slavery was ended nearly 500 years ago. I’ve speculated this might be due to lead poisoning (silver and lead are often found together, and not just in the movies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plata_O_Plomo) but in any event the heavy hand of history, as F. Braudel writes, still makes itself felt. In short, fifty years is too early to tell whether American slavery is still leaving its mark.

What next from you Sailer? Forty acres and a mule?

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60 Harun September 19, 2017 at 11:14 am

So what about slaves from Roman times or serfs or indentured servitude?

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61 Dude September 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

What about the Slavs?

Seems like they would have a history of slavery to overcome. When did they overcome?

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62 The Anti-Gnostic September 19, 2017 at 12:43 pm

the heavy hand of history, as F. Braudel writes, still makes itself felt

Cry me a river. The 20th century was hard on a lot of different people: Jews, Arab Christians, Vietnamese, Koreans, Iranians.

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63 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:24 am

There’s still a lot of other things going on the degrade the equity value of homes in African American neighborhoods, such as the re-zoning of black neighborhoods for industrial uses, the designation of black neighborhoods as blighted in order to take them via eminent domain and redevelop them, the placement of landfills and other environmental hazards that degrade land values near African American communities, etc.

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64 A Truth Seeker September 19, 2017 at 8:09 am

It is sad to see America can not overcome its legacy of systematic racism.

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65 The Anti-Gnostic September 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

You think it’s bad now, wait until the Asians and Hispanics start running things.

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66 A Truth Seeker September 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

It is sad to see how Americans are deeply divided. Brazilians Whites (and Catholics) are expected to become a minority soon and no one is desperate. “We are all equal! /In the future, united/We will know how to take up/Our august banner that, pure,
glows triumphant from the altar of the fatherland!”, we grew up singing. Meanwhile, in America, Whites are against Blacks, Muslims are against Jews, Hispanics are against Asians, the Right and the Laft are against Catholics and so far and so on. It is the war of all against all!

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67 Dick the Butcher September 19, 2017 at 8:10 am

Sounds like the definition of “redlining.”

The FHA is a New Deal creation. Borderline-. or non-credit-worthy (1977 – let’s call it “low-to-moderate-income” – BRILLIANT!) developers and home buyers could rely on FHA-insurance to obtain credit. What does this say about a program that was intended to assist them?

Big government can be bad government. Segregation is/was flagrant in the population. Big government didn’t promote it, the state aided and abetted segregation.

!940: Democrats controlled all branches of the Federal government. Democrats have run Detroit for the past 50 years. Make Detroit Great Again.

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68 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 9:44 am

The FHA was a successful and innovative agency. Problems began to arise ca. 1967 when it’s institutional mission was extended to housing the poor (as opposed to housing the stable and mildly prosperous wage-earning element). A summary of the sequence of events can be found in one of the chapters of Francis Rourke’s Bureaucratic Power in National Politics

FHA and other New Deal agencies had some successes, but now its time for them to move off the stage. Ditto HUD and local housing authorities. There’s not much purpose to federal intervention in housing markets anymore and not much purpose to state intervention other than to provide a legal scaffolding for local building, fire, and land use codes and for the rubrics of real estate transactions.

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69 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 8:14 am

Well, we’ve had 49 years of official anti-redlining for the market to rectify the mistaken assumptions behind redlining. And yet, it seems like real estate prices in 2017 validate FDR’s assumptions in 1937.

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70 josh September 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

Assumption Schmassumption, if blacks could get FHA loans it would be harder to use them to drive the ethnics out of the cities and harder to entice them into the suburbs. I doubt the New Deal social engineers assumed that the cities where they were building housing projects to house the black war workers were going to be ruined.

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71 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

It has this look squirrel quality to it. People like Genius T. Coates and people like the political class of Baltimore cannot bear to acknowledge black America’s authentic signature problems nor the public policy measures which might be justly applied to ameliorate them. It’s a great pity, because some problems can be repaired with the use of certain conventional policy tools.

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72 Benny Lava September 19, 2017 at 8:20 am

I always wonder why these books and papers on housing discrimination begin in the 30s with the FHA instead of earlier with neighborhood covenants?

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73 The Anti-Gnostic September 19, 2017 at 9:56 am

Because everybody has to tiptoe around the fact that as an organic, market phenomenon, people will pay more for white neighbors.

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74 Agra Brum September 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Because if you talked about the freedom of contract to discriminate with covenants running with the land, then you can’t use it to promote Lochner as a force for good.

So it is ignored in the post.

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75 rayward September 19, 2017 at 8:31 am

Ironic that the style of the case is Buchanan v. Warley. If one is to believe Ms. MacLean, Professor Buchanan (not the same Buchanan), then at UVA, collaborated with the school’s president for the creation and funding of a think tank devoted to states’ rights and segregation. I’m not one for conspiracies, but it’s not reassuring that the dominant intellectual movement on the right today (dominant in the sense of the number of acolytes in public service) relies on subterfuge (or lies) to promote the movement.

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76 Dick the Butcher September 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

Yeah! We got to get them rat bastards that disagree with the left’s race-based vision of where people should live.

Deploy antifa.

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77 Borjigid September 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

MacLean’s book does an extraordinarily poor job of providing evidence for its assertions.

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78 John Thacker September 19, 2017 at 10:42 am

I’m not one for conspiracies

You’re repeating some already debunked lies, subterfuge, and conspiracies from a tendentious book. One is absolutely not to believe Ms. MacLean. It’s as difficult to take you seriously as it is to take seriously someone who gets their news from Limbaugh and Hannity.

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79 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

Are you talking about the alt-right or libertarians?
Last time I checked a lot of libertarians really, really, hated the alt right. And vice versa.
They are not our friends and you’re doing yourself a disservice by conflating us with them. You can’t really understand what’s going on politically if you insist on assuming that everyone arbitrarily designated “right wing” agrees with each other. It might be emotionally satisfying, but it’s not going to get you closer to the truth, or to making progress on actual policies.

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80 Enrique September 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

Excellent post. This historical example is another reason why common law property rights are the most important of human rights.

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81 Bill September 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

Do you think we’ve changed or just become more subtle.

School vouchers for private schools that admit primarily white students.

Movement toward subsidizing with state funds religious groups which have only one race as members.

Presidential commissions designed to make it more difficult for the poor or minorities to vote.

We’re subtle, but not in effect.

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82 Fried Chicken September 19, 2017 at 9:49 am

Illegal aliens do tend to be poor and minority.

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83 Urso September 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

Is it your contention that government funds are allocated disproportionately to white people? What city do you live in?

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84 Bill September 19, 2017 at 11:17 am

Urso,

My point is that the form of government action that discriminates doesn’t have to hit you in the face, like racial or religious restrictive covenants, to be effective.

Step back and think for a minute about effect.

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85 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:38 am

Look if racial segregation happens because black parents choose to put their kids in majority black schools, I’m not sure how that’s a problem. It’s not like ONLY white people get the vouchers.

I’m sure your argument is that white people somehow have the marginal amount of extra resources necessary to get into the private schools, but black people don’t, but that’s an assumption based on no evidence. If there’s some sort of tuition cliff right before black people can afford to use the vouchers, then you can adjust the voucher subsidy based on income or increase it so that everyone can afford a private school. There’s all sorts of thing you can do to make sure there’s not some magic line that prevents black people from taking advantage of the vouchers.

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86 Bill September 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

“Indiana’s voucher program provides a case study for how voucher programs may benefit one group of students over another. Recently, NPR reported that Indiana’s statewide voucher program increasingly benefits white, suburban, middle-class families more than the low-income students in underperforming schools whom the program was originally intended to serve.65 Today, around 60 percent of voucher recipients come from white families, an increase of 14 percent since the program’s inception in 2013. The percentage of black students receiving vouchers has dropped to 12 percent, down from 24 percent in 2013. Furthermore, NPR’s investigative report notes that more than 50 percent of the students enrolled in the voucher program have never attended a public school.66
While there is no indication of racial motivation among the Indiana lawmakers who created the voucher program, the effects are clear: Indiana’s voucher program increasingly benefits higher-income white students, many of whom are already in private schools, and diverts funding from all other students who remain in the public school system.”

Here is a history of voucher programs and segregation: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/reports/2017/07/12/435629/racist-origins-private-school-vouchers/

87 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Today, around 60 percent of voucher recipients come from white families, an increase of 14 percent since the program’s inception in 2013. The percentage of black students receiving vouchers has dropped to 12 percent, down from 24 percent in 2013.

84% of Indana’s population is white and 9% is is black. So the program dropped from massively disproportionately benefitting blacks, to only somewhat disproportionately benefitting blacks.

Argument fail.

88 Bill September 19, 2017 at 9:37 pm

Hazel, You are smarter than this, or you assume the reader isn’t. when you say 64% of a states population is white, you are only referring to a state…not metro areas where the mix occurs. You know better.

89 Hazel Meade September 20, 2017 at 11:34 am

Bill, Indiana’s voucher program applies to the whole state, not only to metro areas. One would EXPECT that a statewide voucher program would match the statewide demographic mix, not only the mix in metro areas.

90 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:33 am

School vouchers for private schools that admit primarily white students.

Last time I checked it was illegal for private schools to discriminate in favor of white students.
I’m still confused as to how vouchers are supposed to promote segregation, when vouchers are handed out regardless of race and anti-discrimination laws remain in place.

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91 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Vouchers assist parents in making choices, which is a no-no as far as the school apparat is concerned.

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92 Cassiodorus September 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm

No, it’s illegal to overtly discriminate. You can just label minority students as “problem children” and exclude to your heart’s content.

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93 Harun September 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Vouchers that are liked by black parents in DC. Oh and local school based on property hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory.

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94 charlie September 19, 2017 at 9:19 am

If the 1917 decision prevented apartheid, the logic of the case — that private contract rules — seems perfectly inline with the next step which was deeds that contained restricted who the owner could sell too. Primacy of contract.

The later decision which outlawed that seems far more equitable, and there is a reason why Lochner is not loved.

I wonder about the income limited rules that we are using now to restrict deeds and whether a future court will uphold them.

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95 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 9:38 am

Restrictive covenants have not been enforceable in a court of law for nearly 70 years. IIRC, they were common in American cities from about 1910 to 1948. As for ‘redlining’, the typical owner-occupied dwelling has changed hands 2 or 3 times since 1977.

A survey undertaken by the Census Bureau in 2005 indicated that only 5% of the black heads-of-households had lived in their current dwelling (as renters or owners) for more than 35 years.

Unless public agencies were imposing constraints which induced banks to forego business they might have otherwise contracted, I’m not seeing what the complaint is about ‘redlining’. It’s a reasonable wager that loan officers and underwriters are the most reliable judge of whether or not an extension of credit is prudent and presumptively profitable for the bank. Banks do not benefit from leaving money on the table.

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96 Bill September 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

Minimum lot sizes in suburbs; restrictions on public housing in suburbs.

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97 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 9:56 am

Why would you put public housing anywhere? If you’re concerned about the purchasing power available to impecunious people, enact a wage subsidy or negative income tax. There isn’t much point in subsidizing the purchase of mundane and frequently-replenished commodities whose consumption is sensitive to consideration of taste and amenity. (The same observation applies to federal ‘nutrition programs’ like SNAP and federal subsidies to gas and electric bills. As for the extant public housing, put it on the auction bloc or give it the Pruitt-Igoe treatment. Local governments have enough to preoccupy them without foolishly taking on the role of landlord.

As for ‘minimum lot sizes’, a great many suburban land use policies and builders’ rules of thumb make for unattractive and depressing neighborhoods. I’m not seeing how that’s an injury to blacks qua blacks.

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98 Bill September 19, 2017 at 10:18 am

OK, how about low income rental.

It strikes me as funny that this site frequently complains of zoning restrictions in San Francisco but doesn’t look inward at zoning restrictions in suburbs which block rental development or greater density.

Maybe its the school system;

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99 albatross September 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

Why do people object to having a low-income housing built in their neighborhood?

You can claim it’s racism, but I’ll point out that *all* the people in the nice neighborhood seem to object, not just the whites. *Nobody* likes getting stuff stolen out of their car or yard, or having their kid’s school go downhill, regardless of their race.

100 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 10:54 am

Why are you asking me? I’ve lived in exurban zones, inner-city zones, small towns, and service villages. My experience with suburban living consisted of an area chock-a-block with apartment blocks, townhouses, and condos where the black population has been about 20% of the total.

You’ve got cheap apartments in the city and you’ve got trailer parks in the exurbs and countryside. It’s not ideal and public policy could improve. People get anxious about neighborhood composition because of ineffectual law enforcement and school discipline. The responsible parties are Ed school graduates, lawyers, politicians supervising the police, and sometimes the police themselves. Deal with those problems and you’ll have slums with a higher quality of life and you’ll have more racial diffusion.

101 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 10:20 am

In theory public housing has a real ROI, in 50-100 years of collected rents.

Of course developing attractive projects with long term return has proven difficult. Possibly it could be done better, with smaller projects more distributed.

Or if we are really that rich a nation we can just subsidize the rents.

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102 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 10:55 am

There’s no point in subsidizing rents.

103 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 11:40 am

“a wage subsidy or negative income tax” == “subsidize the rents”

104 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

No, it does not. Wage subsidies will be deployed across the array of things someone might purchase per their consumer preferences. Section 8 vouchers are deployed in housing markets only.

105 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 10:36 am

Right, there is a lot of turnover in real estate.

America periodically goes through big public-private pushes for more mortgages for minorities, most recently George W. Bush’s Increasing Minority Homeownership drive to add 5.5 million minority homeowners by cut down payment and documentation requirements, which helped set off the Housing Bubble and Bust. That did a lot of damage to black neighborhoods, although it wasn’t a big deal in terms of money defaulted because housing prices were already so low in black neighborhoods. (The default costs by Hispanics were much greater because Hispanics, outside of TX, tend to live in expensive states like CA, AZ, NV, and FL.)

But we’ve been through these cycles enough times to test whether black neighborhoods’ home values are still being irrationally depressed by ancient FDR prejudices. The answer: nope, the reasons black neighborhoods have cheap houses are contemporary, such as crime and loud noises.

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106 Ray Lopez September 19, 2017 at 10:24 am

AlexT comes late to the pro-Lochner party, citing the Bernstein book, which I’ve not yet read. I have read revisionist texts like the pro-Lochner book by Howard Gillman, “The Constitution Besieged: The Rise and Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence” (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993). These type books are good, but they speak of a simpler time. For example, to bring back Lochner (1905) today, you would have to agree to let a bunch of un-elected judges set things like minimum wage laws and so on. Keep in mind that Lochner was NOT “let the free market reign”. This is a common misunderstanding. Rather, it was a bunch of judges generally allowing laissez-faire, but not always. Often you did allow “police powers” even in the Lochner era, for example, in Holden v. Hardy (1898), the Supreme Court upheld a Utah law setting an eight-hour work day for miners. See more at Wikipedia about Lochner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lochner_v._New_York

Bottom line: the American people won’t stand for Lochner today. They want legislatures, not judges, to decide the state’s police powers. That’s perhaps sad but true.

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107 albatross September 19, 2017 at 10:33 am

The legislature routinely punts contentious issues to the courts, and the public puts up with it. And Congress has incredibly low approval ratings in polls. I’m not quite convinced you’re right about this. (Though it makes zero sense to have judges set minimum wages or determine lengths of workdays on their own authority.)

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108 Urso September 19, 2017 at 10:36 am

This edition of the Rehabilitating Lochner book is much classier looking than the original, which had, on its cover, a truly awful cartoon of two Supreme Court justices in the boxing ring. Insanely, the dissenting judge is shown knocking out the majority judge, even though the majority judge’s opinion has set the course of US Constitutional law for nearly a century hence.

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109 Beez September 20, 2017 at 8:09 am

The cover shows Peckham, the majority Justice, knocking out Holmes, who wrote a lone dissent. So, no.

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110 John Thacker September 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

You also would, horrors of horrors, have to legalize marijuana along with a bunch of other drugs.

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111 ken ku September 19, 2017 at 10:27 am

The comments section of MR is really going downhill. Calls of racism are not meaningful comments. Nor in many ways is mine.

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112 albatross September 19, 2017 at 10:31 am

Maybe one useful lesson here is that it’s not such a great idea to give the government power to do massive social engineering, because they’ll often do lousy things like this that later cause more problems than they solve, or that have big unforseen side-effects. And I wonder what race relations would have looked like, say, in 1960, if none of the discriminatory federal and state programs had ever existed.

One possibility is that we would have ended up heavily segregated anyway, because that’s what people wanted and markets provide what the customers want. (Strong evidence for this is that we’re currently very residentially segregated by race, even though overt discrimination is illegal and has been for decades.)

Another possibility is that without government to encourage/enforce racial residential segregation, it would have fallen apart on its own over time. There’s a pretty strong economic incentive to give blacks jobs when their wages are lower than those of whites, or to sell your house to a black guy when they’re offering more than any whites. Without some kind of legal mechanism to prevent those transactions, I wonder how well segregation would have held up.

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113 TMC September 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

+1

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114 Urso September 19, 2017 at 10:31 am

The modern state makes strong efforts to combat housing segregation, yet de facto segregation remains. Segregation is the result of factors far deeper than government policy, and blaming the government for it is facile.

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115 John Thacker September 19, 2017 at 10:44 am

One thing that I’m never sure about with these books is whether the author grasps the nettle and addresses the point of whether it would have been better to have no FHA or VA at all rather than such a racist one, or whether they would have reluctantly supported it, even with redlining, as half a loaf.

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116 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 10:58 am

The FHA primed an innovation in housing finance which proved salutary, the 20% down 30-year mortgage. Prior to the Depression, you had 5 year mortgages which concluded with a balloon payment (which were typically extended). Most mortgage origination was undertaken by insurance companies.

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117 John Thacker September 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

If you’d included the word “fixed” in there I would have to dispute that the intervention was salutary. Most countries get along without our weird 30 year fixed rate mortgage guarantees, which is another way that the FHA was a particularly bad solution to problems.

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118 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 11:14 am

Most countries get along

Well, you can always go move there.

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119 Anonymous September 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I think Planet Money did a piece arguing that all countries with wide home ownership had a government mortgage subsidy/policy, it was only a question of what kind.

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120 mpowell September 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Why should I care if most people get fixed rate mortgages? I can get an ARM if I want.

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121 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:01 am

Whoa, Alex, everyone knows that all that libertarian Lochnerian stuff is a secret plot to reimpose racial segregation, over the “majority will” of anti-segregationists. This can’t possibly be right.

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122 John Thacker September 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

There was a disturbing recent NBER paper showing that segregated zoning may have substituted for lynching.

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123 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

How many lynchings did you have in Chicago between 1882 and 1933?

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124 Urso September 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm

remember it’s a *marginal* revolution – small steps toward a better world. Given the options of redlining and lynching, redlining is a step up!

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125 Floccina September 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

Off topic but tangential:
Whenever I read about African American and discrimination in real-estate there is an underlining assumption that this made African American’s worse off, but I could see it spun the opposite way had African Americans ended up richer than whites. In fact I have seen some people argue that Jews do well these days because they were banned from owning land.

People will say that African American are hurt by whites moving out of an area after the first African Americans move in, but wouldn’t that mean that latter African Americans moving into an area get bargain prices?

Also people like to believe that assess to debt is good but to some people it can be lead to destruction. Religions warn against debt for a good reason.

I am not trying to be mean African American make great USAers but If you misdiagnose the problem it makes it harder to achieve a solution.

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126 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

It’s not as if putting your money into your house is the only store of value and as if a house is the only asset which might potentially appreciate.

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127 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:41 am

To be sure, gentrification should have been good for African Americans. I haven’t seen any statistics saying it hasn’t been, though. Maybe it has.

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128 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

While I’m on the subject, in my area, the black neighborhoods contain some surprising nice real estate. I mean huge old victorian homes, mansions really, that would likely be worth anywhere from $500K to $1 million dollars if properly renovated. So you’re probably right that some blacks benefitted from white flight. They got the objective value of living in a huge house , even if it WAS in a run-down neighborhood.

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129 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Black neighborhoods include some of the most intrinsically valuable places in urban America, such as north of Central Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Washington DC, Los Angeles in between LAX and DTLA, the south side of Chicago, and so forth.

One big reason we keep hearing about how awful the Tragic Dirt is in these places is because a lot of white people want black people to get out so they can move in and gentrify this valuable real estate.

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130 Floccina September 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Yes that is the way it was in my home town. Due to whites fearing blacks, black neighborhoods contained some high quality housing that could be had for low prices. Being feared is not always bad.

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131 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

References to ‘gentrification’ are mostly a set of rhetorical thrusts. Neighborhoods rise and decline in their prosperity and amenity and prestige. There may be some obscure wonk in an urban planning faculty who has a practical idea, but with scant doubt 98% of the people who use the term ‘gentrification’ as a rebuke have only ill-developed arguments as to why particular neighborhoods should remain frozen in amber socially (much less any idea of how to get from here to there to make them so).

What we should be doing is taking steps to contain the suckitude of slum neighborhoods, wherever they emerge. Salutary things can be accomplished. The point is not to make Morissania or Bed-Stuy handsome neighborhoods, but to make them passably livable-not-great-but-you-can-work-with-it neighborhood. And, if the slums migrate elsewhere, to contain the damage to that elsewhere.

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132 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

I’m pro-gentrification, but really I agree, you can’t predict or control it. Gentrification is, at least in part, a result of declining racism among whites, which is a good thing.
What usually happens is that starving artists (usually whites), move into a non-white slum area and convert it into studios, and then young, white, middle-class hipsters follow, and then the upper-middle-class childless professionals follow them. You can’t really control where the starving artists want to set up shop though. There are plenty of places that try to attract artists, but the rent is just too high to get them to move in. It only works in places that are really legitimate shitholes, where the local government doesn’t bother to enforce codes, so the artists can live in their studio spaces and so forth. Places like the art collective that burned down in oakland last year – where a couple of dozen people were living in a building that was clearly not up to residential code.

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133 Steve Sailer September 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Oakland is obviously condemned by its hostile climate and lack of scenery to be an eternal hellhole …

A cynic might almost guess that Oakland’s history of black radicalism from the Black Panthers onward has something to do with scaring off white gentrifiers.

134 asdf September 19, 2017 at 3:28 pm

So its a sign of a decline in white racism that only the poorest and most desperate young whites with no children to worry about will live around black people because they have no other choice?

135 Hazel Meade September 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Oakland is definitely being gentrified, they’re definitely not being scared off.
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/02/09/how-many-are-being-displaced-by-gentrification-in-oakland/

The movement of hipsters in starts before whatever ethnic mix lived there before gets pushed out, so is’t not really the MOST desperate young whites. Maybe the hipsters like there to be a few white people around first, but the threshold for when a neighborhood becomes tolerable enough to live in seems to have shifted in a more racially diverse direction.

136 Art Deco September 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

So its a sign of a decline in white racism that only the poorest and most desperate young whites with no children to worry about will live around black people because they have no other choice?

A dentist of my acquaintance bought a house in Irondequoit, NY in 1966. He said the 2d time a brick came flying through one of his windows with a threatening note attached, he decided he’d rather live elsewhere. It’s a sign of ‘the decline of white racism’ that there are 700 black households in that town who are not getting bricks thrown through their window, without regard to whether or not they have a license to practice dentistry.

137 TMC September 19, 2017 at 6:38 pm

“without regard to whether or not they have a license to practice dentistry.”

Up to then I was thinking anti-dentite.

138 Agra Brum September 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm

It depends on where the other families went to. With lots of de facto segregation, whites would have the investment and management incomes, and if they left and left the city entirely for a new lilly white suburb city with large lots and built in higher prices, and pulled their tax revenue from the original City, and relocated their businesses outside of the city…then it would be bad.

That’s what happened to Detroit. Many people pulled out of the City entirely to move to new suburbs; the factories built in the early 1900s were no longer efficient and new factories were built in greenfields outside of the city limits (and the old factories abandoned), and there was a downward spiral of money leaving the city, services falling, and more prosperous people leaving the city due to the decline in services.

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139 Bill September 19, 2017 at 11:28 am

Subtlety let’s you get away with murder.

If you look back at police enforcement during the 70’s in Chicago and other urban areas, police were in effect used to enforce neighborhood racial segregation–police would stop black people, asking what they were doing in the white neighborhood, or what are you doing here. You are out of place; I’m watching or harassing you, now get going.

I speak from experience here. My wife’s foster brother is black, and was in the Navy, stationed at various times in San Diego. He lived in a suburb in rental housing. I can’t tell you how many times I received telephone calls at night from my wife’s foster brother telling me he had just been pulled over and questioned by the police for driving in his own neighborhood, or other parts of San Diego.

I don’t think police pull people over today because they do not fit in the neighborhood, but ask yourself: from your own experience were police, under the power of state law, ever asked to police the separation of neighborhoods or did they do that in effect.

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140 Thomas Sewell September 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Why do you think it is the Democratic Party members running Chicago in the 70s were so anti-black/racist in their control of the police force?

Genuinely curious what your thoughts on the matter are.

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141 Bill September 19, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Police unions; you forget there was a contest between black and white mayor candidates. Ever heard of the word Daley.

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142 jorod September 19, 2017 at 11:43 pm

HUD programs and policies reinforced segregation. Banks, real estate brokers and Title companies made billions in 1960s and ’70s. Your comment is nonsense.

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143 Careless September 19, 2017 at 11:50 pm

let’s you get away with murder.

No thanks, I’ll pass.

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144 Careless September 19, 2017 at 11:52 pm

I don’t think police pull people over today because they do not fit in the neighborhood

Really? While I suspect that’s happening here, looking at the people pulled over, I’m pretty damned sure it’s happened to me twice for driving while white in a bad black neighborhood late at night (the officers never suggested I had done anything wrong, just asked me what I was doing there).

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145 Nicholas Brock Weininger September 19, 2017 at 11:52 am

Interesting alt-constitutional-law history thought experiment: what if Lochner’s logic had continued to be relied upon, and as a result, cases like Belle Terre vs Boraas had gone the other way? Arguably exclusionary zoning rules have been one of the central ways in which approximate residential segregation has been maintained post-1968, so subjecting such rules to stricter property rights scrutiny could have produced less segregated suburbs. Thurgood Marshall’s dissent in Belle Terre is surely one of the more unexpected gems of libertarian legal thought.

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146 jorod September 19, 2017 at 11:40 pm

They made up for it in the 1960s and ’70s with the HUD Urban Renewal scam and the subprime scam of recent years.

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147 Ed September 20, 2017 at 8:55 am

It’s just hard for me to see how the FHA is the bad guy here. They insure loans today without any regard to race and neighborhoods are still largely segregated, black homeownership rates are little changed from the 40s and much of what they were guarding against pre-68, came to pass post-’68.

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