My great grand aunt Fanny lived in Ferguson, Missouri. “All the white people there were crazy,” insists her niece. That is her memory from visiting Fanny in the late 60s and early 70s. Fanny’s sister, Ola Pearl, my great grandmother, lived in Decatur, Illinois where she dug goldfish ponds three to four foot deep and coated them in concrete. I used to swim among the goldfish while Ola Pearl pulled carrots out of the garden.
My great grandfather Andrew was a violinist. Perhaps the little musical talent I possess came from this man, Ola Pearl’s husband. He supported the entire extended family during the Great Depression by playing in the symphony for the people who had the financial wherewithal to keep living well as the rest of the country starved. When he died and my grandmother was cleaning out his home, she found a coffee can under the stairs with over 20 grand cash. He never trusted the bankers. The goldfish ponds had been dry for a decade, and I have not been back to Decatur since.
I now sit in a town across the great and muddy Mississippi from Ferguson, celebrating all that my family has accomplished, whilst watching my biscuits float in sausage gravy grease. Despite the splendor surrounding me, I don’t feel safely removed from the tragedy there, and neither should anyone else.
That government, not mere private prejudice, was responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once conventional informed opinion. A federal appeals court declared 40 years ago that “segregated housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area was … in large measure the result of deliberate racial discrimination in the housing market by the real estate industry and by agencies of the federal, state, and local governments.” Similar observations accurately describe every other large metropolitan area. This history, however, has now largely been forgotten.¹
In 40 years times the informed opinion that government was responsible for deliberate discrimination has been replaced by the informed opinion that government is the solution to the deliberate discrimination by government. Leaders of other large metropolitan areas such as Mayor de Blasio were unavailable to comment. At the time of this writing, De Blasio was comically busy trying to don two hats – one hat for his leadership of the government agencies that practiced deliberate racial discrimination, and the other one as fixer for the same policies he was elected to continue.
What in the fuck, you may ask, does this have to do with me?
Enter Janet Yellen.
Yellen is faced with the same task as the leaders of the large metropolises: wield governmental authority to fix problems caused by government. The St. Louis fed, located 12 miles from Ferguson, published research in 2010 which highlights this conflict:
Some argue that targeted lending also threatens the Fed’s political independence, which is crucial to pursuing a stable monetary policy.²
From the same St. Louis fed research:
Fed officials acknowledge the problems of too-big-to-fail policies, but contend that without another means of resolving the failures of firms that pose systemic risk, policymakers had little choice but to protect creditors from taking losses to avoid catastrophic consequences for the financial system and economy.²
Five years ago it was informed opinion that the Fed was responsible for To Big to Fail. Two weeks ago we had Jamie Dimon and Citibank lobbying Congress to repeal Section 716 of Dodd-Frank. Considering that the Wall Street banks and financial interests have contributed “an average of about $2.3 million…to elect or influence each of the 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives,” it should be no surprise the Section 716 was repealed.
Government regulators at the local, state, and federal levels failed to halt, indeed they endorsed, discriminatory practices of the real estate and financial sectors that played significant roles in the segregation of housing in St. Louis and nationwide.¹
The results of this practice, where government makes problems and then makes worse problems trying to fix the original problems, has been demonstrated on a small scale in Missouri. The Fed is doing the same thing, except the repercussions will be felt on a much larger scale. If Ferguson was a firecracker, the failure of Federal Reserve policies will be nuclear.
Welcome to Ferguson, Missouri.
¹ The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies at the Roots of Its Troubles
Merry Christmas you filthy animals!
you still don’t know how to post an url.
I’ll fix it for you good Dr.
Vintage Shedder. Clear, concise and on target.
Thanks heater! Good to see you around here again.
Merry Xmas Wood!
The apocalypse will be fun.
I am excited to weld sheeted metal onto a honda accord. I will then forage for gasoline amidst the ruins of society.
Embrace the suck.
Ammo is cheap again. My boys are learning to like squirrel. Life is good preparing for the apocalypse!
Nice to hear from you again!
Thanks 5.0! If Fly let’s me, I’m going to blog some more…
pretty weak post, it seems as though the talent level here has increased since your departure
barnsworth, I’ll honor this joyous season by being nice to you. Cheers!
Oh, who gives a fuck?
Wood – through the magic of the internet, I’d like to send you this ‘Ferguson’ holiday wreath, and wish you & yours a Merry Christmas! http://sweetvioletbride.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Cotton-Wedding-Bouquets-5.jpg
Mrs. Woodshedder said, “How Beautiful!” She thinks you might be a woman. Having seen real life pictures of you, I have reassured her.
Welcome back Woodshedder, it has been a long time, great to see you posting again. Will you be staying back on IBC for long?
I plan to post again…
So, this is news to you?
Good read, and good to see you Wood.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Love ya brotha. Merry Christmas to the Cajun fam.
Good to see you again Woody
Great to hear from Woody!! Old times!
Sierra! This dude had the most outstanding fat pitch lobs to hit out of the park! Miss you man!
Cops are bad-ass. They don’t lose fights. I have friends (white guys) who were beaten by cops. 4 cops came to my house one time to arrest a roommate on some minor charge. He was 6-4 275, played a little college football. While in college he took police classes. So he asked them why there were 4 cops? They said they saw he was 6-4 275 so they took 4 cops in case there was a fight. Both Eric Garner and Michael Brown were big guys. Cops don’t want to fight big guys straight up. That said, many cops are racist too as a personal attitude.
The hands up, don’t shoot is a positive thing. That’s what you should do with a cop. Don’t fight, be polite, don’t be a threat in any way. Hopefully the cop will let you go. Every encounter with a cop, for me, my goal was to be cut loose. Pride will get you handcuffs and a ride to the police station if nothing else.
Yep – be polite, suck the blue c*ck, and hope the pig doesn’t decide to shoot you or your dog when you’re done swallowing.
Nice plan, Bud.
Left to their own …ungoverned devices, people naturally segregate themselves as they seek the alike …the familiar. For proof, visit any university cafeteria.
Natural segregation is quite different from gov’t segregation.
Dumbasses who fight with cops……you know it ain’t gonna turn out good.
Merry Christmas Wood.
I still have the recipe you sent with the Etsy scarf and I still use it for the pulled pork.
Hope all is going well.
We still use the recipe…The scarf business is unbelievable. Seriously. Hard to believe American manufacturing can’t stage a comeback here.
Well put, Shed! Great to read you here again, Sir.
Good to hear from you Mr. Shedder. Have a great Christmas.
Looking forward to a piece from you about bacon versus sausage gravy for your biscuits & gravy in the near future.
Nice to read you again.
Give my best to your family. Merry Christmas.
Outfuckstanding Private Pyle!!
*void were prohibited by Goverment Stooges and the sensitive, whining class
That Government is responsible for the problem and the solution (and hence, the next bigger problem)…is so spot on.
Miss all of you! I don’t think I can’t craft a whole post out of my recent life, so suffice it to say that my wife is working my ass off as we try to put a few Chinese fuckers out of work.
::crawls out from under rock::
Happy holidays Wood (and fam)…glad to hear the garment business is booming. Crazy what effective marketing, good customer service, and building trust can do for a business, eh? Hope you and yours have a good 2015
-Brother from Another Mother
Wood, great piece. Good to see you back. I’d speak for all and say you have been missed. Merry Christmas.
Biotech / $IBB being taken to the Woodshedder today
seasonal greetings young man 😉
Woodshedder, wow, welcome my old friend. Glad to hear you are alive and kicking.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Good to see you Wood
Im’ glad your are back because I purchased a scarf from your wife several years ago and have been wondering if she is still making them. If so would you post her website?
Another Right Wing diatribe for IBC. Such an amazing story– how big government is supposedly responsible for all problems– even foisting racism on an unwilling population in Missouri. And yet somehow, in a democracy, these voters who are as pure as the driven snow, keep electing this big government, that is the incarnation of evil.
Well, now that we have both Houses of Congress controlled by the supposed party of small government, I’m sure the government will now become as pure as the driven snow too. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen though.