Last week we saw rioting and heated protests take over the streets of Baltimore, creating a media spectacle and ravaging this recently revitalized blue collar American city. The worst part, however, is that taxpayers helped to fund that calamity.
Let me be clear from the get-go: I am NOT talking about the peaceful protests or law-abiding activists working to improve our justice system. I am also not currently concerned with the so-called reasons for the riots, because the justice system is already taking action on that, and that’s a story for a different day. Investigators and the courts will ultimately determine what caused the death of Freddie Grey and, if necessary, punish any and all guilty parties accordingly – the way that civilized societies are supposed to handle these situations
Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray, April 27, 2015. (Image source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
I am focused on the criminals who used this as an excuse to break the law and how we as taxpayers helped them do it. As we saw in Ferguson, Missouri and now in Baltimore, some people think that any perceived injustice entitles them to rob, loot, and destroy both public and private property. The lootings and property damage took over the headlines, pushing the peaceful protestors out of the spotlight and making them look bad by being grouped in with these criminals.
Let’s be honest here, the looters and rioters don’t care about Freddie Grey. All they care about is finding an excuse to break things and steal. Furthermore, many of these are people who are living off of the government’s dollar through welfare, unemployment, and/or food stamps. I’m not implying that every one of the rioters are on welfare, but think about what employer in their right mind would allow an employee to take off work to go loot and riot in the city streets. Even if they did, these people should soon find themselves unemployed and incarcerated. Educated people who are passionate about actually making a difference wouldn’t be caught dead rioting and destroying property.
When you consider that facet of things, what happened in Baltimore is disgusting. These people were attacking and destroying property belonging to the same government that gives them handouts each month, not to mention the multitude of small businesses that have been burglarized and destroyed. These business owners come from all races and walks of life and have sacrificed much of their time, energy and money to keep their shops alive.
Don’t forget that these are the same business owners whose tax dollars have gone toward the Baltimore revitalization project. These are people whose money is going to help make their city a better place. Those looting and rioting are not only receiving government handouts, but they are destroying the very city that other residents are trying so hard to rebuild. With 24 percent of Baltimore’s population living below the poverty line, destroying businesses that help stimulate the economy is the last thing these rioters should be doing.
However, with our welfare-pushing government, it’s not surprising that these people don’t care about destroying their city and its businesses. After all, they can just live off of the government’s “help” and continue to loot and riot whenever they see an opportunity.
Until the government stops trying to help these people by giving them free money and starts actually helping them by making them get jobs, this will continue to happen. As taxpayers, we cannot stop these people from getting our money unless we start pushing our government to stop giving it to them.
Chris Markowski has carried the titles of author, investment banker, equity analyst, muckraker, all around trouble-maker, and most importantly consumer advocate. He is the personality behind Watchdog on Wall Street and founder of Markowski Investments.