Camden apparently is lost.
Chris Hedges, an author on American values, has given up on it.
No industry exists in Camden except crime and drug consumption.
The people are there, but hope is gone.
Fortunately we don’t need hope. We don’t need positive thinking either, or slogans, or “We Care” buttons.
What’s needed in Camden and many other troubled areas, like Newark and Trenton, are things for people to do.
If there is land, there’s opportunity.
Camden has land, doesn’t it?
Upon land, people can build their own factories, farms and shops for the people in Camden.
What’s needed is protection from predatory corporations who would prefer no competition.
If people are living in Camden, they must be eating; they must be wearing clothes.
If people are doing both, no reason to doubt that, then there is no reason why the people of Camden, Trenton and Newark can not do for themselves what others refuse to do.
What these people could use, instead of arming themselves, is protection from outside entities.
What they need are not enterprise zones which benefit the rich, but enterprise-free zones which benefit the people.
They needs tariffs and walls – and lots of them.
In other words, goodbye Nike shoes.
Say hello to local shoes.
When people can make and sell their own stuff, they can buy stuff and take ownership of the community.
When they have a stake in the community, they take pride in the community and help clean it up.
They are no longer renters waiting for the landlord to show up.
The poverty of Camden can be eliminated in a generation by giving people what they need as surely as they need to breathe – a chance to contribute meaningfully to their community.