The latest transactional information streaming from Camden New Jersey affirms the statements that I have been making since the founding of this blog:
A city is a formerly UNINCORPORATED plot of land; who's visionary leaders made inventory of the resources that were around them; they saw that their strategic interests could be amplified if they petitioned the state for a city charter, allowing them to form a municipal government with the power to collect local taxes to fund the local provision of services in support of a higher standard of living per the amplified focus upon the specific plot of land.
The key resources that all cities must possess (or import) are:
- Human Resources
- Natural/Land Resources
- Financial Resources
- Productive/Industrial Resources
Add to this the favor that skilled governmental management, social institutions, religious & cultural institutions , geographic, climatic, environmental, and elements related to transportation and communications a given city's prosperity is defined.
In my assessment the belief that political power and organized labor fusion would lead to "people power" is the force that is rarely talked about in a critical nature but which was important in setting forth the current conditions. It is rather ironic that these cities and the people within it had access to a better set of public infrastructure resources and evidence of local growth during the time when their institutional adversaries were present and said to be economically exploiting them.
"Employment" was derived from this "exploitation". The primary "exploitation" was that people who came down to the old 'Campbell Soup factor' by the Delaware River added their labor skills for the benefit of the corporation. Those who were involved in organized labor got 'employment' from fighting against their "exploiters". They were able to extract nominal increases in benefit as they expanded the slice of the pie taken home by the worker taken away from the rest of the pie that the corporate owners kept in the balance of the pie.
From this struggle came the fusion between labor and the political class. The organized labor movement saw that the critical component to their success at the workplace against their "adversaries" who were underpaying, polluting, injuring, and injecting marketing inducements into their minds was to have a strong countervailing POLITICAL establishment that could strongly regulate the corporate class which also used TAXATION as a means of extracting financial resources to the benefit of the community that the LABOR CONTRACT was not able to grasp from the pie. (Note: Please tell me where I have molested the motivations and strategy executed by the forces of labor and politics in these places)
When I say that the narrative which says that "corporate greed motivated them to depart from the community and go to the South, Mexico and China as a means of retaining their corporate profits by finding a new body of workers to EXPLOIT as wage slaves" fails to tell the entire truth - the present conditions of cities like Camden, Flint, Gary and East St Louis should be held up as key reference points about the unintended consequences to this set of assumptions.
Today the people who are ensnared in the borders of these cities don't often find themselves inside of a container that provides the positive synergies that the charter of the city had promised them. Instead the container of dysfunction too often proves to be a barrier which concentrates the forces that serve to attack them.
I am convinced, however, that as the people suffer the machine that took over the city and has retain their power will never be "put on trial", forced to justify the results of their macro action. While it is true that they remain the "favored ideology" and they voice the INTENTION to help the masses of the poor - few people will dare to make note that while their primary economic adversary was present - they were griping about their work conditions. Now they have grievances about their core viability.
Camden was WON OVER with "favorable people" put into place over the key institutions of the city but the people ultimately LOST.
The Failure To Focus Upon "Organic Competency Development" Through The Institutions That Were Won Over And Now Have 'Favorable People' Within Them
In the Black community there is a large bloc of individuals who stand in defense of the present establishment. When asked to defend the results that have been delivered their main justification is to demand that their adversary HIMSELF define a better alternative. As I listen into this type of debating style I have reached a point of noting the irony that the same consciousness which accepted the leadership that brought them to where they now reside in the "Mission Accomplished Cities" is the same consciousness which demands of ME that I convince them of a different way that is better. Sadly they don't see the conditions that they grieve over as solemn evidence that they need to yield that which is comfortable to their present state of rationalization to a new set of thinking which might provide different results. It is the incumbents who profit most from their entrenchment.
As an upcoming post about the conflict in Nigeria wills show in common - they choose to allow leadership which had them keenly focused on their enemies yet have failed to usher in a platform of "organic competency development" via the institutions that they now control is the real problem. In fact the same force of obfuscation that keep the people united in their focus against their enemies is the same force which will insure that the establishment power will escape due scrutiny for the results that have been tendered.
With Camden as a functionally insolvent shell of itself the masses of people within who seek to have a higher standard of living will, ironically turn to the state and federal governments and demand that they receive their due "social justice" entitlements. Please recall that the city charter gave the local entity the franchise to collect taxes in order to provide the services that the county and/or state had been providing. The city and its power base is allowed to retain its ceremonial functions of local executive and legislative power but the wherewithal for the city's continued existence comes from external sources.
The federal government entitlement spending which extends the principles that "no human being in America should live below a certain minimum standard guaranteed to all" allows the residents of the city to exist as a token body while functionally abstracted from the needs for organic productivity within the city borders.
From these "entitlement RIGHTS" comes "DEMANDS" for more. As the political operatives cleave upon this message - those individual and machine forces who should have been tossed out of office for presiding over the collapse are rechristened as the voice of "social justice", fighting for the best interests of the people, against a selfish government at a larger scale which maintain imbalance. They were never be prompted by the local forces to make note of what was squandered via their local franchise. This would mean that these same voices would invite criticism upon themselves.
Criticism is like a hot potato, best held by an outside adversary who will receive the burns.