There is nothing easy about Ferguson, nothing clear and precise. It is a situation not unlike a thousand others here in the these United States…an inattention by society, an ignorance of real world pain and suffering. Not acute pain, not noticeable, not 11 O’clock news pain…but chronic, day in and day out pain. Crumbling infrastructure, massively misaligned police representation, local governments unable to change…and many more small but in the aggregate large problems.

Not just Ferguson.

There are many places in America that are really just prisons without walls, where millions of people are locked up for the crime of being born in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Not for the color of their skin but for the address of where they live. The greatest threat that these “inmates” face is not racism, although that does exist, but poverty and the endless cycles of dependence that they must endure.

Human nature say that no one ever washes a rented car…why would you? Someone else (who owns it) will do that. And governments have long touted home ownership as an ideal and a purpose toward helping people breakout of those open air prisons…but…

…giving something to someone for free is not ownership. Lowering the barrier to entry (re: the housing crisis brought on my disastrous federal policy) for people to “buy:” houses they could never afford is not ownership. Subsidies and Section 8 and block grants (and on and on and on) for people to live places where they do not nor will they ever have an actual stake, is not ownership.

Ownership is the free choice to trade your own time and energy—your labor—for something that you value.

Ownership is not welfare, it’s not food stamps, it’s not any of the thousands of giveaway programs that we as a society have created because we’re too fucking lazy to actually solve the real problems and thus destroy the prisons we call ghettos…that we call Ferguson.

Opportunity, education, the fair application of the law, a government that understands that it is people who succeed, not programs. Liberty and choice unburdened by high-minded ideals about “helping” people that only drive them deeper into dependence.

Hard goddamn problems.

Intellectually solvable, yes, but to do so means we have to admit to the prisons that we ourselves have built and sustain through our inattention…through our policies and our governing. Solvable by people, not political parties, not federal programs, not free stuff.

Real ownership.

Believe. Go. Do.


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