A reader makes an optimistic suggestion:
Roughly put, one could say that the country went thru a huge crime crisis when we decided to overhaul the old oppressive criminal system, with its loitering laws, paucity of protections for the indigent, and broad latitude for the police to bust heads and search n seize those whom they pleased, in the name of Racial Justice. Certainly the old order had caused untold injustices and oppressions, and so we determined we were better than that. But the old order also incorporated a deep truth, that blacks and or the poor were much more criminal than whites and or the middle class, and that you really can often tell a bad guy by looking at him. And so the old system worked, as defined by containing crime.
But when we dismantled to old order, and questioned all its premises, and made Miranda rights and experimented with the mindless optimism of giving convicted murderers weekend furloughs, etc etc, we experienced a huge flowering of crime. We eventually crawled part way back, while retaining our moral disdain for the old system, and retaining a demureness about admitting out loud that blacks are more criminal per capita. But we quietly instituted race neutral tough on crime policies that were partly as effective as the old race conscious police tactics, and got over our embarrassment about the resulting prison population disparities. Not all the way back mind you, not even half way, but better than the worst of it, movies no longer predict a Manhattan solely fit for a penal colony.
So now we’ve gone thru a similar overhaul of the old system of credit and capital access, and are now feeling the hangover of a default spree as bad as the crime spree. We had the Civil Rights Crime Wave, now we have the Diversity Depression. Could that mean the solution will be to retain our horror at the old ‘redlining’ while growing resistant to ACORN over time, and shedding our maiden blushes at race neutral lending resulting in the familiar old patterns of home ownership that are the reverse of the familiar again patterns of prison population, though never mentioning their relative credit worthiness out loud?
Or is there a dynamic that will keep there from being a “tough on Lending” Giuliani of the financial world? And will it take us 2 decades like with the civil rights crime wave? And if tomorrow’s finances compare to yesterday’s like today’s crime compares to the 1950’s…are we all just screwed anyway?