Emily Badger is a reporter for Wonkblog covering urban policy. Or at least that is what her byline says about her. I had never heard of her prior to reading an article in the newspaper yesterday that she wrote. In addition to being a reporter for Wonkblog, Emily is also a socialist and a hater of the free market. She also worships the government and believes in theft by majority vote. She is also a race-baiter. How do I know all of this? Because of what she wrote yesterday. Let me tell you all about it.
The title of her piece was "How the rise of gated spaces perpetuates racial tension." As you have probably already guessed, she was motivated to write by what happened in McKinney, Texas the other day. For those of you who are not aware, a private community swimming pool was overrun by a group of teenagers who were primarily black and who were responding to a social media website which declared some rap musicians were giving a free performance at the pool that evening. They believed that all were invited. In reality a group of folks who were members of the local homeowners associated had reserved their pool for a special function that evening. The private pool is in an upper class portion of McKinney that is primarily populated by white folks. When all of the black kids showed up and started jumping over the fence to gain access to the swimming pool the police were called. Cops, being what they are, arrived on site and immediately overreacted to the situation. Rather than calmly explaining to these teenagers that they were trespassing on private property, they began to shove the kids around, smacking them to the ground and one cop even pulled his gun and threatened to shoot some of the unarmed kids as he delivered a profanity laced tirade. That, of course, is business as usual for the paramilitary forces that operate in this militaristic land these days.
Reaction has been predictable. Some folks have praised the cops because the kids were somehow deemed to be a threat to the health and safety of the people in the pool area. Others see nothing but racism and declare this situation to be another Ferguson or Baltimore. Reasonable people like myself see the situation more clearly. We realize that the McKinney situation was nothing more than a bunch of teenagers doing what teenagers often do (being stupid) and the overly aggressive response of the local police force to their act of trespassing is consistent with what cops do these days as well. All of that, however, has nothing to do with the point of today's blog post. Let's get back to Emily's take on the McKinney event.
"Signs, signs, everywhere are signs....do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?" Recognize that hippie anthem from the 1960s? I can't remember who performed it but Emily has embraced the credo evident in that song. Emily is a socialist and she does not believe in private property. As a socialist who does not believe in private property it is impossible for her to conceive of a situation in which someone might commit a tort against another person by trespassing on that person's property. In Emily's world everyone owns everything and there is no such thing as trespassing. The truly evil people in her world are those who make a claim of personal ownership over a piece of property and then follow that up with the outrageous act of fencing off their property so that others might not enter. According to Emily that "perpetuates racial tension," whatever that is.
But don't take my word for it. Let me tell you a bit about what Emily had to say. She wrote, "The incident exposes the unspoken logic of gated resources: They are meant to give residents control over who's in the community that can use communal goods. Private community swimming pools do a good job at this....McKinney has three public swimming pools but none of them are in this part of town....This exact same phenomenon has surfaced in many forms well beyond swimming pools. Americans have ... withdrawn from many of the public spaces and shared resources that were prominent in communities decades ago....There, though, as with so many of these stories lately, much more -- the way we design communities and divide their resources with race and class quietly in mind -- is implicated too." Wow, besides being terribly written and difficult to understand, she makes some pretty audacious economic claims. Let's break it down.
As a socialist Emily simply presupposes that private property is evil. How else can I explain the fact that she simply states that, "...the unspoken logic of gated resources: They are meant to give residents control over who's in the community that can use communal goods." She writes that as if it is a bad thing. And to her, it is. She believes that everyone owns everything, despite the fact that the people who paid for the construction of the swimming pool did so with their own money and the pool was built on their own land. According to Emily those black teenagers had just as much a right to use the private pool as the people who built it, maintain it and pay for all of its expenses. In an amazingly Orwellian twist, their refusal to accept the trespassing black kids onto their property is considered to be an act of racism on their part.
The rich folks who live in the part of McKinney that Emily so despises pay much more in property taxes than the folks who live in the poorer parts of town. As Emily acknowledged, there are three other public pools in McKinney that those black teenagers could have gone to for a party or to swim. Indeed, if it was calculated on a percentage basis it would be discovered that the rich folks who gated off their private pool pay a disproportionate share of the expenses associated with those three public pools. Do they receive any praise for their generosity? Does anyone thank them for their support? Does anyone shake their hand on the street and tell them how grateful they are for their service? Of course not. Socialists never praise anyone. They simply take, take and then demand some more to take.
Emily grieves over the fact that "Americans have withdrawn from many of the public spaces and shared resources that were prominent in communities decades ago." Why does this bother Emily so? There are three other public pools in McKinney, all of which are largely financed by the rich folks who have withdrawn from them. Why does it bother Emily that some of those rich folks covenanted together to build their own pool for their exclusive use? What is so terrible about that? I think we all know the answer to that question. Like a good socialist Emily is shot through with covetousness and envy. When she sees others who have things that she does not have she wants the government to take it away from them and give it to her. She couches her argument in terms of social justice, community solidarity and, of course, racism, but it all comes down to the same thing...she can't stand it when others have things she does not have and she will use the coercive power of the state to punish those who are wealthier than her simply because they are wealthier than her.
The last sentence in the quotation above is classic socialism. She writes, "the way we design communities and divide their resources with race and class quietly in mind...is implicated too." I have a couple of questions for Emily. Who is "we?" You claim that there is some elite group of intellectuals who work for the government who make decisions about how to divide up the pie. You also claim that their decisions about how to divide up the pie are based upon racism. Please tell me who these people are. I really want to know who the "we" are. Where did they come from? When and where do they meet? In addition, Emily, where do these resources you speak about come from? Do they just magically appear? Do they come from the government? Why are you unwilling to admit that you have replaced the private property of other people with the term "resources?" Furthermore, what gives you the right to divide up the private property....umm...I mean "resources" which belong to other people? Why is what you are calling for nothing more than theft? Why are you nothing more than a tyrannical thief? Why should you not be in prison?
I believe many, if not most, of the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika share Emily's viewpoint. We are, after all, a socialist democracy. In a socialist democracy there is no such thing as private property, all there is are anonymous resources that magically appear from thin air. In a socialist democracy the envy filled 51% vote for rulers who make laws that confiscate the property of the higher earning 49% and presto-chango, we have "resources" to divide up among ourselves. That is the essence of democracy and most people, at least 51% of them anyway, love it that way. In Emily's socialistic utopia of McKinney those evil rich people would not be permitted to build a swimming pool for their exclusive use. Those evil rich people would not be allowed to throw a party on their property without first inviting all of the people in the world who make less than them to attend. And when those people show up, guess who will be expected to pay the catering bill?