Wandering Eye: Martin O'Malley's true crime legacy, the Preakness field takes shape, and more

The New York Times Upshot blog goes Long Shadow this morning with an analysis of how much money a person loses by spending just one year of their childhood in a low-income area. The story is keyed to the online reader's area, so locals will see a version that is focused on Baltimore and surrounding counties. "Every year a poor child spends in Howard County adds about $110 to his or her annual household income at age 26, compared with a childhood spent in the average American county. Over the course of a full childhood, which is up to age 20 for the purposes of this analysis, the difference adds up to about $2,200, or 8 percent, more in average income as a young adult." Harford County? Minus $490. Baltimore County? Minus $1,150. The city loses you $4,510 per year in salary, according to the analysis. In "The Long Shadow," Hopkins researchers found something similar, but noted that African-Americans in poor neighborhoods did much worse than even similarly poor whites. This article follows a new study by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard. The researchers look at income mobility for the Equality of Opportunity Project. They're at the point where they suggest that growing up in certain counties causes stunted or enhanced income as an adult. The policy implications are obvious, and already begining, as poor people are resettled in rich areas. The implications for growing Baltimore—which ranked 100th out of 100 in the study for nurturing economic opportunity—are dire. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


Those looking for a nuanced and knowledgeable analysis of the Freddie Gray incident ought to read David Simon in this Marshall Project interview. More than straight-up racism (or its rhetorical trump-card sister, "institutional racism"), more than cops being savages with no sense of the law or the constitution, what you have here is an incentive system that rewards casual brutality and many more arrests than needed, Simon says: "If you want to pay overtime pay for having police fill the jails with loitering arrests or simple drug possession or failure to yield, if you want to spend your municipal treasure rewarding that, well the cop who's going to court 7 or 8 days a month — and court is always overtime pay — you're going to damn near double your salary every month." This is Martin O'Malley's true crime legacy. Even though the mass arrest days are nearly a decade gone, the guys who played that game best got promoted. They teach the new guys. This is one point among many Simon makes. It's a devestating and cogent critique, and if it doesn't ring absolutely true then you don't live in Baltimore—or you're a politician. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


The Kentucky Derby was last Saturday, which means horse owners and trainers are now setting their sights on Pimlico and the Preakness Stakes on May 16. The Derby was a spectacular race, with favorite American Pharoah edging Firing Line and Dortmund to capture the Run for the Roses. Here's the good news for Baltimore racing fans: All three of the top finishers have said they're going to travel to Baltimore, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. According to The Sun, the last time that happened was 2009. Casual fans and even many in the industry will hope American Pharoah can stride to victory in the middle jewel and go on to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. But the sport of kings could also benefit from these three battling it out once again and forming a hotly contested rivalry. (Brandon Weigel)

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