Drlee wrote:Ok. So let's look for common ground here.
Good. More of this needs to be happening.
Drlee wrote:I agree that police should not be defunded. Indeed I believe that police need more funds for some things. For example, cheap as it is, community policing. I would be for national certification and increased education and continuing education for police officers.
That would probably be a good thing, I would defer to criminologists for learning more about how to proceed more concretely in this direction.
Drlee wrote:What I would do though, and what many people mean when they speak of defunding, is to off load from our professional police officers the myriad of tasks that they have no business doing. They should not be participating in drug task forces. They should not be funding armored vehicles or large numbers of assault weapons. They should not be in schools unless called for a specific crime. They should not be doing routine fingerprinting. I would even separate the traffic enforcement from commissioned police officer tasks giving that instead to a new traffic enforcement department. My new police force would be leaner, better trained and the officers would live in the communities they police whenever possible. Certainly the leadership should live in the community so every officer knows that their sergeant lives with the people who they have been given to serve. And serve is the word.
No problem with this generally either. My only caveat is that I would keep the weaponry they already have for now, but ideally they should be carrying less and less firepower around on a daily basis as time goes on. I think in some cases it may actually become necessary to keep them available before things really improve in some cities (see more below).
Drlee wrote:And this requires money. Sad to say. People object to "throwing money" at problems. But. We need better teachers in poor neighborhoods. If it takes big bucks to get the good ones then it is money well spent. We need to have far more vocational technical education available. It is all fine and good to encourage a young poor kid to get a degree in English, and it will make them more salable, but teaching them to leave high school a trained electrician or plumber will catapult them into the middle class. We need to control big business and force them (economically) to put stores and jobs in poor neighborhoods. So if Walmart wants to put a new store in Richtown Estates they have to put one in City Center Project as well. Many poor neighborhoods do not even have a grocery store.
I agree, and indeed many poor neighborhoods are not served by any major grocers, forcing them to ride a car to do so. I would say that part of the reason for this is (sadly) the high physical insecurity these neighborhoods face - would you open a grocery store in a neighborhood with high gang activity? You may be a local monopoly, but how long would it take for extortion to happen? It's a process that is not different from the experiences of Italian Americans and the Mafia back in the day.
Drlee wrote:Finally there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a citizen of a country as wealthy as the US to work full time for a wage that will not provide them basic living expenses. Our minimum wage not only disrespects workers, many of whom are doing really difficult tasks, but it transfers responsibility for their basic need, housing, food and medical care onto the taxpayer. So when we are providing food stamps, housing vouchers and public medical care help to someone who works full time at the grocery store, we are subsidizing the employer. Walmart has employees on food stamps and in public housing while the ownership of the company are beyond wealthy. They are unspeakably wealthy. The owner of Amazon is worth over 150 billion dollars and his employees, the ones making him that wealthy, are not getting their fair share of the profits.
I think this is (strangely enough) where we disagree most. Rather than hiking the minimum wage, which risks raised unemployment, I would prefer to see more direct income redistribution. Social policy can be carried out to that effect, but this also requires tax hikes. In the end it falls into the "throw money at problems" label, but it is
entirely possible to do it intelligently so not only poverty and inequality are alleviated but also so at least some of the reasons for them are addressed.
Drlee wrote:Can we agree on this stuff at least?
Broadly speaking, yes. Do you agree with the following?
- Organized crime is a major problem for poor neighborhoods in some large cities. Half or more of all homicides in cities like Chicago or Los Angeles are gang related (understood as "homicide where gang members are either the perpetrator, the victim or both"). It also affects minorities (namely, Blacks and Latinos) the most.
- Although the communities who are affected loathe this reality, much of it is outside their control. If a community activist becomes too problematic for gangs, they can deal with this guy in the same way the Mafia did. It is also not something inherent to them, just as it wasn't inherent to Italian Americans: As poor people get access to more opportunities, many will be able to find stuff that is more profitable to them than gang membership - just as it occurred to Italian Americans as they whitified.
- As such, it stands to reason that a good chunk of the police violence problem in large cities is likely related to gang activity. Either directly (say, cops killing gang members) or indirectly (say, cops killing someone else in a neighborhood with a high rate of gang activity because they have to be in a state of high alert whenever they enter gang territory). So is the need for PDs to be heavily armed in some large cities, since organized crime is capable of getting all sorts of firearms.
- One major reason of why these gangs even exist is because they engage in the illegal drug trade. Softening the War on Drugs would thus harm them by allowing competitors to enter that market, in the same way the end of Prohibition hurt the Mafia by eliminating its monopoly on alcohol distribution. As such, there is room for Federal policy on the matter of drug legalization - cities alone won't be able to solve it.
- If this road was taken, it is reasonable to assume gangs would first try to switch to other sort of activities to make up for the lost revenue. As such, the problem may in fact get worse and not better in the first few years of a drug legalization, and thereby police action will be necessary to deal with this. This is why I am against defunding and disarming the police at this stage.
- Furthermore, police action would not be enough to deal with the predictable switching by gangs to other types of illegal activities. It would also be necessary to offer amnesty and protection to gang members who surrender their weapons to the police. Furthermore, the immediate economic effects on the affected neighborhoods would be significant: One may not like it, but the fact of the matter is that gangs also engage in economic activity in the neighborhoods they operate in, so ending gangs will do major short term economic damage there. It will thus be necessary to also engage in a concurrent economic recovery plan for poor neighborhoods, on top of the longer term anti-poverty and neighborhood development plans you mentioned.
- At last, the rate of police killings is greater in smaller towns and rural areas than in suburban areas or large cities. The reasons for this are not well understood just yet and more research is necessary. Since minorities tend to live in large cities, this is also a White problem for the most part - maybe related to White poverty, or the opioid crisis, or the poor economic performance in these zones during the last few years. Either way, it is a problem that needs to be addressed and is yet another proof that it's not so much about something inherent to "race" and other unscientific trash, but about poverty and other social ills.
1. I still have no idea where you are going with this. But as long as we agree that we should drastically reduce police budgets and instead use that money to address root causes of crime.
It's the other way around. Address the root causes of crime, then
decrease police funding as crime rates go down since it will be unnecessary.
Pants-of-dog wrote:2, Let me know when you have evidence and an argument. Also, do you think systemic racism could be a problem?
I already answered this.