The lawless band of looters and arsonists who went on a rampage in Ferguson created a disaster that will have far reaching consequences for the city. Ferguson will become another Detroit or Camden. Those cities went through riots and burnings in the 1960’s along with a number of other cities and they never fully recovered from the self-imposed disaster. Ferguson will suffer the same fate.
Whenever people riot and destroy businesses, the owners of those destroyed businesses look to reopen in safer locations. A major reason is that insurance rates rise astronomically. Insurance companies are profit making companies and when they must pay out millions, they raise rates to stay solvent. The loss of property and the high cost of running a business make it too expensive to continue to own and operate a business in a riot torn area. So business owners use their insurance money to relocate to safe areas. Unfortunately, they include essential stores like supermarkets and pharmacies.
The loss of supermarkets and pharmacies creates a financial problem for the families that cannot move out of the area. They must travel further just to pick up vital groceries and medicine. People forget that travel takes money out of people’s pockets. It reduces their incomes making them poorer.
The burned out cities of the 60’s also saw the flight of corporations and people. These flights reduced taxes in those cities. Local urban governments found they had a financial shortfall of money as a result. Eventually Detroit, as an example, went bankrupt.
Another painful lesson from the 60’s riots was that the local police force doesn’t respond as quickly to crimes. Police don’t want to get hurt and they are often depicted as the villains so they don’t see the need to immediately react to a crime. This is what happened in Camden, New Jersey. The crime rate soared until Camden became the “murder capital” of the United States. It got so bad that New Jersey governors had to send in the state police to assist the local police in patrolling the city.
Like Detroit, Camden had important industries like Campbell Soup Company and RCA. Because of the unsafe conditions, these corporations and even small businesses moved out of the city. Following close behind was the middle class. Unemployment shot up especially with the black population. Corruption became a standard with the politicians. Eventually both cities became “black ghettoes” and had the appearance of war-torn ghost towns.
When the fires are extinguished, the smoke clears and the riots stop the city of Ferguson will be a decimated place. Ferguson will spiral down into a shadow of itself. It will become the poster child of what happens when rioters use the excuse of a protest to loot and burn.