Be Thankful for Government Inefficiency

Not the Bee reports that after Portland cut its police budget by $16,000,000, the city has seen 19 more murders so far this year than last year. Assuming the same average over the rest of the year, the city should see 114 excess murders this year. That’s about $138,000 for each murder.

$138,000.

Isn’t that a lot of money to speed just to get some random poor and lower-middle-class resident weeded out of a city’s population. And the money was spent. It didn’t disappear from the city’s budget. It was diverted to other politically correct uses.

OTOH, there are times to be thankful for incompetence. As Milton Friedman said,

I say, “thank God for government waste.” If government is doing bad things, it’s only the waste that prevents the harm from being greater.

Yep.

Re-Funding the Police

The Hill reports that the Capitol Police face heat following mob breach.

“What the hell was law enforcement on Capitol Hill thinking by not having secured the Capitol today?” former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asked on CNBC, calling it one of his great disappointments.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), asked Wednesday evening by MSNBC’s Joy Reid if Capitol Police made her feel safe, answered “I did until today.”

Defunding the police was one of the issues Rep. Bush supported during her election campaign last year. Her position on the matter has changed with her point of view. As I noted in a post last July—

While I’m drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I’m seeing comments on various social media suggesting that one of the things that should happen if blue cities #DefundthePolice is the abolition of security details for elected officials. I doubt that would happen. Indeed, I expect those would be among the very last police details to be cut.

Whether at a local or national level, the whole purpose of being in the Inner Party is to exercise power, and that power is exercised via the Outer Party bureaucracy to keep the Proles in line. The Inner Party will always try to have sufficient resources in place to protect itself and enforce its will, so there will always be a place in the Outer Party for those enforcers. Department A4 of the Gestapo was Protective Services. The KGB had its Close Protective Services directorate.

Outer Party resources may be shifted about, and that may reduce policing of certain activities among the Proles, but the Inner Party will always try to deploy sufficient resources to protect its interests.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. I wish I were wrong.

They’re Only Kidding

OK, there are a few crazies among some of the city councils that are acting to defund their police departments, but none of the serious politicians on those bodies actually intend to defund the police functions they view as important. Someone has to enforce the Inner Party’s political will with violence when necessary and with the threat of violence at all times. You can call the city employees who do that “cops” or whatever else you wish, but the function of guarding the Inner Party and enforcing its will will always be one of the key functions of government.

Granted, funding may be reduced for some employees who maintain order among the proles for a while, but as long as there is no disturbance of the Inner Party’s calm or challenge to its rule, that’s merely a tactical detail to be administered by the Outer Party bureaucracy.

After all, if there’s no one around to enforce the law, people might go to the grocery store without wearing masks. Or refuse to pay taxes.

 

Civic Responsibility: A Suggestion

I’ve noted that a great many of our Betters, especially those who live in gated communities, are making statements in support of defunding the police. Now, it’s likely that many cities such as Los Angeles will be suffering severe losses of revenue because of business failures caused by the Wuhan virus shutdown, and those jurisdictions may have to make real cuts in public services, including their police departments.

Our Betters could render a real public service by offering to forgo police services in their neighborhoods. That would permit a smaller, less expensive force to cover the remainder of the jurisdiction. Our Betters could rely on their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves, or they could expand the private security services they already employ, providing jobs for laid-off cops.