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July 17, 2013

Get in Line

Dear Marchers:

Back in the 1950’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not published an item that said that if all Chinese citizens would march in a single-file line past a fixed point, the line would never end, since the population would reproduce itself faster than it could march. The same could be said of disgraced DC councilmembers. The Michael Brown affair has a long way to go before it is settled, and already we have been given our next scandal. On Friday Ben Nuckols of the Associated Press reported that Councilmember Marion Barry admitted accepting gifts of four thousand dollars from F&L Construction and two thousand eight hundred dollars from Forney Enterprises, Inc., even though the council’s code of conduct prohibits a councilmember from accepting a gift of more than twenty dollars from an entity that does business with the city, The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued an order on July 11 that censured Barry and fined him thirteen thousand six hundred dollars for these violations of the code of conduct, Barry was confronted by Fox News host Eric Bolling, and told that, "You were fined today for some things that, frankly, I would say you probably should be thrown off the city council for," That isn’t going to happen, but Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has appointed a five-member special committee of the council who will consider over the summer whether the council will take any independent steps to reprimand Barry.


Here’s another article, adapted from a book, that tells the next generation to adapt to lower their expectations, that they will probably not be able to afford more than a room in a flophouse and a bicycle, and that that’s what they should aspire to, Earlier generations were "dumb" to clean up slums and to bring higher living standards to the young and poor, says the author, Alan Durning, in Slate. It’s "smart" to teach the young how to do with less instead.

Just as the Chinese are raising their expectations, as Chinese families are pooling their resources to buy newly built apartments with more and larger rooms, just as the Chinese middle class is discarding its bicycles to buy automobiles, American urban planners are telling the next generation of Americans that their lives are not only not going to be materially better than their parents, but that they’re going to be significantly worse, and that they should be happy with that.

Gary Imhoff


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