In his weekly address to the nation, Barack Obama explained his radical new citizen relocation program (euphemistically called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”) by declaring “in this country, of all countries (presumably including Kenya and Indonesia), a person’s zip code shouldn’t decide their destiny.”
Actually, we had no idea that a person’s zip code had that kind of power – or why such an important tool of success and empowerment would be entrusted to an organization as poorly run as the post office.
But Barry may have a point. After all, his own political destiny was going nowhere until, with a little wink-wink nudge-nudge financial help from convicted felon Tony Rezko, he moved into the same prestigious zip code as political activist and occasional terrorist Bill Ayres.
According to the president, “we’re using data on housing and neighborhood conditions to help cities identify the areas that need the most help.” And because he uses “help” twice in the same sentence, it sure sounds helpful. What he doesn’t mention is that once his administration has identified neighborhoods that “need help,” a punishing range of federal funds will be withheld from state coffers until racial and economic quotas – oops, goals – have been met.
Of course, all of this has been tried repeatedly since the passage of the Fair Housing Act half a century ago, and it has always failed. Adults transplanted from poorer communities don’t end up getting better jobs, and their kids don’t end up performing better in their new schools. Because in this country, of all countries, destinies are decided not only by where you are, but by how you managed to get there.
A lesson the World’s Smartest Man might do well to think about when he’s finally forced into a non-Washington zip code.