on Baltimore and the policies that got us there
Thanks to the Democrats for your lovely combo of crony capitalism and well-intentioned poor policies!
I've written at great length about welfare programs as a (the?) primary contributor to family structure/stability problems among the lower and lower-middle income classes. (Here's my review of Murray's Coming Apart-- a must-read on this. See also: Robert Putnam's recent book.)
My memory is that Baltimore, two decades ago, was the poster-child for out-of-wedlock births and not having fathers in the home. Among African-Americans, the rate has been 70% for quite awhile; among the poor, it's a bit higher; in Baltimore, I think it was 90%. In fact, Baltimore was used in a paper I heard to be an example of the sociological peer pressures of a NORM of single-parent households-- where one would be seen as a freak to have a father involved.
It doesn't help a culture or a local economy when you're busy jacking things up-- i.e,. the business problem. A bunch of other resources here: William McGurn and Walter Williams on it's not about race; Jonah Goldberg (on the culture of poverty); Larry Elder on entitlement and grievance-- and now, the hard part; Nick Gillespie on liberalism and police violence; and of course, this hilarious piece (with colorful language) from Chris Rock where it is, at least in part, very much about race.