The implosion of America’s inner cities is creating the real “shitholes,” and should be on everyone’s radar – not Haiti. In Baltimore, Maryland, decades of deindustrialization and 50-years of democratically controlled leadership has turned the city into a failed liberal experiment, with a homicide rate on par with Venezuela, a country that is suffering from an economic collapse.
In 2017, Baltimore’s population crashed to a 100-year low, as Baltimorans have finally discovered that the gentrification narrative by Kevin Plank, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland Medical Center could be a distant pipedream. The fact is, the millennial generation is quickly leaving as violent crime has turned Baltimore into America’s most dangerous city.
Breaking down the racial wealth divide in Baltimore, the figures are truly shocking. When it comes to education, health, and wealth inequalities, Baltimore has the most extensive gaps in the United States. African Americans make up a majority of the total population coming in at 63 percent of 614,000.
But according to JPM, one-third of African American households have a net worth of zero. To make matters worse, the unemployment rate for African Americans is three times the rate of white workers, despite the garbage propaganda from the Trump administration declaring record low unemployment figures for African Americans.
Why do we need to know the structural backdrop of Baltimore? Well, because, it would better help us understand why the vacancy rate of one Baltimore neighborhood is the highest in the United States.
According to 24/7 Wall St., the report analyzed the 30 highest vacancy rates in U.S. Zipcodes from the housing market data company called Attom Data Solutions. Those 30 communities are situated in 20 inner cities across the United States.
24/7 Wall St finds similarities between all high vacancy rate locations:
Many have not participated in the nation’s economic recovery — areas that continue to experience the economic malaise of the Great Recession. They are characterized by shrinking populations, jobs loss, low home values, and underwater mortgages.
The report names Zipcode 21223, a West Baltimore community as the highest vacancy rate in the United States coming in at 17.3%. Interesting enough, this is the same area where the American drama series ‘The Wire’ was filmed.
Like most neighborhoods with high vacancy rates, the area has suffered from population loss and declining property values over the last several years. The population of ZIP 21223 fell from 25,270 in 2012 to 25,127 in 2016, a 0.6% decline. Over the same period, the median home value in the zip code fell from $86,500 to $69,500, one of the largest drops in real estate value of any neighborhood.
China Pressuring Wall Street To Stop Trump On Trade War
If anyone still doubted President Trump’s determination to slap tariffs on all – or even more than all – Chinese goods flowing into the US, they probably don’t anymore. So far this week, the president has taken to twitter to trash his own Treasury Secretary’s efforts to restart talks with the Chinese, before Trump publicly declared on Friday that he intends to move ahead with plans to slap 25% tariffs on another $200 billion worth of goods.
Given the president’s unflinching resolve in pursuing his trade agenda, it’s understandable why a shrewd businessmen would go to great lengths to avoid getting in the middle of what looks to be a protracted geopolitical dogfight.
But unfortunately for top Wall Street firms, many of which harbor ambitions of expanding their business in China, that may no longer be an option. Because while the Trump administration has largely left them alone, the Chinese are now trying to use whatever leverage they can (i.e. preferential access to the world’s second-largest economy) to push America’s top bankers to intervene on Beijing’s behalf.
Reuters reported Friday that top Chinese officials have hastily organized an investment conference in Beijing and requested the presence of several top Wall Street firms. The conference will be chaired by former PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and ex-Goldman Sachs President John Thornton, and feature an appearance by Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan. Dubbed “the firefighter” by the Chinese people, Quishan, in addition to being the most powerful of China’s vice presidents, is also one of the senior Communist officials involved in managing the trade dispute.
While market liberalization is certainly a priority for the Chinese, it’s difficult to imagine that these top officials are planning to attend this conference – especially with so much else going on – just to brainstorm ideas about how China can proceed with opening up its financial sector.
The subtext here is obvious: China wants to figure out who in the US financial services community can help them get through to Trump and help stop this conflict before losses in China’s currency and stock market spiral out of control. And if the carrot of access doesn’t work, China has already proven adept at leveraging the stick.
America vs China: $200 Billion in New Tariffs Coming Soon?
In the latest installment of the story that just won’t go away, the WSJ reported on Saturday that – as Bloomberg reported first yesterday – the Trump administration plans to announce new tariffs on up to $200 billion in Chinese goods as soon as Monday and otherwise “within days”, in a move that will likely render moot the high-level, U.S.-China talks set for later this month, will prompt an immediate retaliation from China, and may lead to a sharply lower futures open on Sunday night.
The silver lining in the imminent announcement is that while previously Trump had said he would proceed with a 25% tariff level, the WSJ reports that the US will start with tariffs of “around 10%.” The level was lowered “following extensive public hearings and the submission of written comments where importers and others complained of the possible impact of the duties” as well as to try to reduce the bite on American consumers ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season, these people said.
But the people familiar said that the tariff level could be raised back to 25% if Mr. Trump concludes that Beijing doesn’t soon show signs that it is acceding to U.S. demands to change its economic policies.
Furthermore, WSJ sources said that while details were still being completed over the weekend, the tariff level could change, or that Trump could change his mind entirely. As of Saturday, an announcement was planned for Monday or Tuesday.
California Has Highest Rate of Poverty in the Nation at 19%
Despite efforts by state legislators at creating a socialist utopia, California still has the highest poverty rate in the nation at 19%, despite a 1.4% decrease from last year according to the Census Bureau
Poverty and income figures released Wednesday reveal that over 7 million Californians are struggling to get by in the second most expensive state to live in, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s 2017 Annual Cost of Living Index.
And while California has a “vigorous economy and a number of safety net programs to aid needy residents,” according to the Sacramento Bee, one out of every five residents is suffering economic hardship – which is fueled in large part by sky-high housing costs, according to Caroline Danielson, policy director at the Public Policy Institute of California.
“We do have a housing crisis in many parts of the state and our poverty rate is highest in Los Angeles County,” she said, adding that cost of living and poverty is often highest in the state’s coastal counties. “When you factor that in we struggle.”
Silicon Valley residents in particular are leaving in droves – more so than any other part of the state. Nearby San Mateo County which is home to Facebook came in Second, while Los Angeles County came in third.
“They’re looking for affordability and not finding it in Santa Clara County,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com.