NBC Black: A Town With No Banks

I’m confident that I am only blogger on the internet who is simultaneously interested in the likes of Bilbo, Vardaman, Pettus, Rankin, Davis and L.C.Q. Lamar II and Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign.

I have this weird perspective on politics because I am a historicist. I’m used to writing about politics and current events in the afternoon and brushing up on my other interests in history, economics and other subjects in the early morning and in the evening. I spend so much of my time exploring other centuries out of curiosity that it gives me some unique insights into the present.

NBC Black:

“ITTA BENA, Miss. — Shawn Robinson, 50, has a view from his front stoop that he often finds more interesting than what’s on TV. From the doorway of his building on the edge of Itta Bena’s town square, Robinson can see people come and go from this struggling Mississippi Delta town’s only no-fee or low-fee ATM.

Robinson has seen women stand in front of it and start to cry. On a few occasions he’s heard church folks use blue language or seen people smack the brick wall around the ATM. (The machine itself is too precious to ding.) The most frequent reaction: variations on a sigh.

In Itta Bena, population 1,828 and likely declining, the four other ATMs sit inside gas stations and charge $5.25 to $7.50 per transaction. So, the demand for the most basic financial services at an affordable rate is such that on one or sometimes two days a week, Hope’s ATM runs out of money. …

What Robinson is watching isn’t simply the most active spot at the center of a small, struggling town. Robinson has an unavoidable view of an economic problem so fundamental that even those experiencing its effects may not recognize its cause. He is standing in one of the 6,008 places where the nation’s banks have closed branches from 2008 to 2016.

Itta Bena is a banking desert, a place where traditional banks have completely disappeared. …”

Itta Bena, MS is 81.34% black.

It is one of these many towns in the Mississippi Delta which have been abandoned over the past 50 years. If you want to see what I am talking about, drive down U.S. 61 from Memphis to Vicksburg. It is a history lesson in American capitalism and the fallout of the Civil Rights Movement.

The cause of the crushing poverty in Itta Bena isn’t simply racial though. While it is true that the Whites began abandoning the Mississippi Delta as a result of the Brown decision and the Voting Rights Act, they have also abandoned the former mining communities in lily White Appalachia. The black exodus from the Mississippi Delta and the White exodus from Appalachia were both caused by technological change in extractive industries (coal mining in Central Appalachia, cotton sharecropping and tenant farming in the Mississippi Delta) that distributed wealth upward to a tiny elite.

According to the doctrine of free-market capitalism, the entrepreneur is supposed to respond to technological change that destroys millions of jobs and create new industries and new jobs that create more value, but the truth is that this simply didn’t happen in the Mississippi Delta and Central Appalachia. It didn’t happen where I live either in the Alabama Black Belt. As technological change accelerates, it is happening now in other large swathes of the country too. There is no solution for these people under the current economic paradigm except to get out and move.

As I thought about the issue, I began to see three forces interacting here: the first is technological change and automation (the “disruption” caused by the mechanical cotton picker in the Delta), the second is cognitive stratification of the workforce (there are fewer jobs for all working class people due to technological change and the current system is vacuuming up the smartest people in these areas who could create jobs) and the third is that neoclassical economics is nonsense because it is based on an abstract model when in reality the “individual” is born into a geographic region (Alabama Black Belt, Mississippi Delta, Central Appalachia) that has an economy that is embedded in time.

If you are born into a place like Greenwood, MS in the Delta, then you will be raised in a world that is beyond your control. This entire area was f***ed by a series of rash and unwise decisions that were made long before you were born. In reality, you will not have the same opportunities in life that people who are born elsewhere in the country do. It honestly isn’t your fault either. The abstract economic model and the assumptions of the liberalism that everyone is living under … are false.

It is not true that “all men are created equal.” We do not come into the world with a blank slate whether it is in our minds or in the places in which we are born. If you are born into the Mississippi Delta with a 75 IQ in the year 2019, you will be a cognitive and geographic disadvantage. You will be at a historical disadvantage too because the Mississippi Delta is the product of its history. It is not a blank slate, but the product of all the previous decisions made across its entire history. Slavery was destroyed, the economy collapsed in 1865 and everyone was told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

Government intervention is needed in places like the Mississippi Delta. The dirty truth is that places like the Delta are multiplying too which is why we have this raging suicide and opioid epidemic now in White America. We’ve ignored the Delta for decades, but it is the future of most of the country outside of a few wealthy enclaves that the tech sector is creating. Once we realize what is going on, I am optimistic that we can discard the current collapsing paradigm and create a new one that works for everyone.

I live in a place like the Delta so I am sympathetic to what is going on there. The free market actually isn’t working for black people. It increasingly doesn’t work for us either.

Note: When everyone is inferior to AI in the future, we should be able to tell the truth about race and laugh about it. I would create an ethnostate for blacks in the Delta and an ethnostate for Whites in the Hill Country. Everyone would live off the slave labor of robots.

About Hunter Wallace 9137 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

9 Comments

  1. The only reason I have been able to stay where I am is because I own my home and have cheap property taxes due to living in a distressed county. Most people are not that lucky. They have no choice but to uproot.

    The rust belt are the latest to get a taste of the fruits of free market capitalism. The process is speeding up for the rest of the nation as capitalism is coming close to reaching it’s final conclusion of a few predatory families holding all wealth.

    • The cool thing about the internet is that it allows lots of people to work online which means you can work anywhere with an internet connection. I would rather live here.

      • These people only join credit unions when they move to Detroit? Are they too damn dumb to organize a credit union?

  2. It’s terrible that there aren’t grocery stores in the town, and that the people there are going through such misery. I’m not surprised “white flight” was mentioned as a cause. But I’m not laughing at them. The closing of grocery stores and other basic services are happening in small towns all over snow white areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin, too. Without a base of assured profitability, businesses will naturally leave.

    This problem is already in cities, too. There are all the essential services available within a bus ride from the nastier neighborhoods, but within the blighted areas businesses are fleeing. As more and more jobs get automated or moved away, though, many people won’t be able to leave. They’ll need money coming in from somewhere, or the problems will only get worse. Our safety nets need a major overhaul.

  3. The Mississippi Delta is a very poor region. Been there several times. Yea it’s pretty bad. Same goes for small White rural areas. Yea you can see the whole “change” thing the rich love….keeping people poor. Agenda 21 is something of a weapon against We The People. Now the Robot thing will put even more people out of work. Many other cities and regions will look like the Delta and places like eastern Kentucky. A huge future increase in Unemployment. Trump Boy didn’t get it done for poor people. He just made the rich more rich…he expanded the gap between the Rich and Working Poor. Deo Vindice !

  4. I like Yang better than anybody else but his $1000 in YangBux is at best a stop-gap measure. Under any form of welfare, the low time preference, low impulse control feral Negroes – and to be honest, whites – will outbreed those of us who aspire to something higher.

    See Ed Dutton’s YouTube talks. Since infant mortality collapsed circa 1850, the human genome has steadily deteriorated.

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