Monday, June 24, 2013

Is America Becoming A Nation of Broken Windows? Unemployment, Poverty, Food Stamps, illegal Immigration, Foreign Policy, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, DOJ, etc.

During the summer all scandals will be reruns. That's a programming reminder from the White House...Letterman

In short, the concept of the "Broken Windows" theory suggests that a society that appears to be lawless will breed more lawlessness. One of the best examples of this theory was an experiment done about 40 years ago by a study group at Stanford. They took two vehicles. One was parked in a section of the Bronx, NY (not far from the neighborhood in which I grew up) and another in Palto Alto, CA. Both vehicles were in the same condition. The car left in the Bronx was attacked by vandals in a matter of a few hours. The vehicle in Palto Alto was left untouched for over a week. But the experiment did not end there. When the researchers damaged the car in California themselves (by breaking the windows): shortly thereafter,  it  too was vandalized. The same phenomena can be seen in neglected neighborhoods.

Several decades later, the theory was put into practice in New York City by then Major Giuliani. The city started rolling out zero tolerance for such crimes graffiti, fare evasion, public intoxication, squeegee window washers (these creeps would approach your car at a light and quickly was your windshield and then demand payment. Unfortunately many drivers who refused to give these guys money ended up in altercations with the squeegee guys some violent) and littering. In other words, by targeting smaller crimes; it was theorized more serious offenses would be curtailed. For New York City, it appears that approached was successful since crime fell significantly during that period.

So how does this theory relate to the nation as a whole? I believe we're seeing our government's neglect in repairing "broken windows" resulting in consequences we are all now witnessing.

For example, the Obama administration's failure (as well as Congress) to first target improving the economy within the first two years of this administration resulted in high unemployment, high poverty rates and a record number of people on food stamps.  In addition, about 1 in 2 college graduates have been unable to find meaningful full-time jobs. In other words, I liken the poor economy to broken windows. If those "windows" were repaired earlier instead of focusing on ObamaCare for the first 13 months of the administration, the economy might be in much better shape than it is now.

The same can be said for all the scandals we are currently observing. Instead of opening the "windows" or being more transparent, the Obama administration finds itself trapped within the IRS, DOJ, State Department, Benghazi, Fast and Furious and NSA scandals. In order for these to be repaired, the windows in Washington need to be thrown wide open. But it appears the administration still refuses to do so. 

I also contend the president's recent road trip to Europe was a failure because of his many missteps in foreign policy. Even the foreign press referred to Pres. Obama as "just another lame duck." Our current debate on illegal immigration certainly shows the policy is full of broken windows whose repair has been neglected for decades.

These scandals and total incompetence shown by both the Obama administration and Congress have all be self-inflicted. And until we see these political elites embrace accountability in government, we're going to see more broken windows. And we already know what the outcome will be by just revisiting history.


Since this was posted, the IRS scandal has grown wider and the VA scandal broke