When I was in Boston a few weeks back, one of the things that jumped out at me is the number of young people walking around with shovels looking for work. The streets were not thick with these kids, but I saw more than few groups of teens, all white, walking around town. On the Monday of the storm, crew of teens shoveled my buddy’s house. They saw us shoveling and offered to do it for $20 a man. We were happy to take them up on it because you have to encourage this stuff and shoveling snow is not much fun for old men.
That’s not something you see in the ghetto. When it snows, the natives stay inside. The fact is, the ghetto is beyond a low trust society and is a high distrust society. If you see a group of young males, you have to assume they are up to no good. Walking with their pants hanging down and one hand on their balls is tough in good weather, so they can’t go out in the snow. Even so, if I’m approached by a group teens offering to shovel, I’d be more inclined to pull my gun than agree to hire them.
Of course, no one shovels snow in the ghetto. Check that. Few shovel out their cars and their sidewalks. Most just wait for someone else. The landlords hire Mexicans to do it. The government has crews to shovel their part of the ghetto, but even they have outsourced to companies using Mexicans. One of the stranger things you see in the ghetto is tropical people happily shoveling snow. Say what you want about Latinos, but they are generally happy people.
One reason why the natives never shovel out their cars is the fact none of them have jobs or any place to be. I’m old enough to remember when they made welfare recipients show up once a week to get their check. Then it was once a month. Then they mailed the check. Now they have EBT and that means they can order takeout on-line. It’s not hard to imagine a time when the local drug dispensary will be delivering to the ghetto. That way the natives can have their weed delivered with a large pizza and some purple drank.
Another oddity when snow falls in the ghetto is that the people who do venture out walk in the middle of the road. The sidewalks are still covered in snow and the plows have made one pass on the roads. That leaves the middle of the street as the path of least resistance. Ghetto natives are not known for their work ethic so if the choice is struggling on the sidewalk or waddling down the middle of a plowed street, they are walking in the street. Driving in the ghetto therefore is more of an adventure than in civilization.
Cops, I suspect, love the snow. There’s an old saying that the rain is the cop’s best friend. Hoodlums stay inside when the weather is bad. White trash tends to have shootouts over the dinner table when cooped up by the weather, but non-whites become more docile. Black crime is almost always over respect, women or drugs. If everyone is stuck inside, it is hard to disrespect someone, mess with his woman or steal his weed. As a result, crime is at its lowest in bad weather.
I suspect that’s why the plows come to the ghetto last. Most people assume the politicians cater to the tax base and that’s probably true, but they also rely on the ghetto vote to beat back middle-class backlash. But, it rarely snows at election time and the locals seldom complain about the lack of plows. It keeps the boys off the streets so it works for everyone.
Steve Sailer likes to refer to Moynihan’s Law of the Canadian Border and there’s some truth to it. It’s an esoteric way of addressing a taboo subject. What you learn about living in a low trust society is just how fragile they are in some respects. New Orleans could not respond at all to Katrina because it was a low-trust society incapable of large scale cooperation. A snow storm in the ghetto is paralyzing because no one in their right mind trusts their neighbor. A ghetto in Canada without aid from the surrounding people would not make it through the first winter. The locals would be eating one another by February.
It’s why you don’t see a lot of complexity in places like sub-Saharan Africa or Mesopotamia. The greater the complexity of a society, the more vulnerable it is to natural disasters. In Europe, with a high percentage of smart people and lots of native cooperation, complexity is a great tool against nature. In low-trust societies with an excess of dimwits, complexity is lethal so we get simpler, big man societies.
Maybe the answer for America is to send our ghettos to Canada.