Open thread June 9, 2015 Dan Crawford | June 9, 2015 3:49 pm Tags: open thread Comments (5) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Take the Biggest Bite Out of Street Crime: Police Union Busting
HEADLINE: Chicago’s Stop-And-Frisk Rate Four Times New York At Its Worst, ACLU Says
HEADLINE: 12 Killed, 43 Wounded In [Chicago] Memorial Day Weekend Shootings
Maybe Chicago should switch off from New York’s now former macro intrusion on the poor to New York’s continuing micro intrusion (to the far horizon) on everyone; so-called broken windows policing:
A woman puts her dog leash down for a moment to pick up poop – a plainclothesman pops out of the shadows to ticket her;
A man leaves his car door open while gassing up, allowing his radio to be heard by others – a ticket;
Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk (ooh; pedestrians are killed by bicycles in the street – particularly crosswalks – do the cops tell 15-year-old boys to go bike in traffic?);
Riding a bicycle the wrong way down a one-way street (oooh; best way to avoid being doored – been doored; broken wrist – broken hip if you get one is 25% fatal; DVT becomes PE);
Walking between subway cars – will never get hit by a bicycle;
”Manspreading” — the latest: spreading knees too wide in subway seat; not touching anyone.
If somebody breaks a window and nobody repairs it that may invite others to break more windows – an out-of-control atmosphere supposedly may develop.
I was there when Times Square was transformed from the Great White Way into Robert De Niro’s Hell. It all began with the US Supreme Court protecting pornography under the First Amendment (which of course it had to do) which for whatever reason resulted in an explosion of naughty shops throughout the area, followed by an influx of massage parlors and the lowest of supply and demand of the oldest profession.
This coincided with a heroin explosion that nobody who was not there to witness it can imagine. Methadone quelled the panic in needle park – dopies now have a way to avoid getting sick that didn’t include crawling up your fire escape.
During the 1990s 75% of robberies and burglaries, etc., nationwide went away. Everything from lower lead in the atmosphere to legalized abortion has been credited for the drop. My first pick is the nationwide emergence of massive drug dealing street gangs. Now a boy going wayward (and many who were not) has a criminal franchise right on his own block (often to join whether he wants to or not) which will put him to work immediately for sub-minimum wage (Five-O!) and offer the promise of promotion to guns and more macho mayhem later. No need to snatch purses or climb in your window for your costume jewelry.
In Chicago, 100,000 out of (my guesstimate) 200,000 gang age, minority males are in street gangs: dealing drugs, shooting each other (along with an amazing amount of innocent bystanders) and doing hard time (where some catch up on robbery and burglary).
As long what starts in the Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Chicago stays in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, the city government seems content to leave the police department sitting on the lids on the garbage cans. Conventional wisdom has it there is not a lot even progressive local officials can do about the national economic maladies underlying the permanent underclass. There’s not much police can do – macro or micro – beyond cleaning up messes afterwards (think Taxi Driver).
I came of age in an America where the federal minimum wage kept up with inflation – and — economic growth. In 1956, Senate majority leader Lyndon Johnson guided passage of an $8.75 minimum wage in today’s dollars (which a Republican president duly signed). In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson oversaw a $10.75 minimum wage – reflecting 23% average income growth in between. Union density in that era was in the neighborhood of 35%.
Today, a $600 a week minimum wage coupled with an $800 normal expectation for everyday positions like supermarket employee would disappear the Crips and Bloods faster than they appeared. I read Wilson’s When Work Disappears at the same time as Venkatesh’s American Project. Project went on longer than Work and the housing projects only descended into gang infested hell as the minimum wage descended to nearly half its 1968 purchasing power – double the average income later.
Chicago has scheduled a minimum wage hike to $13 for 2019 – make that $12 with inflation (2% a year – 8 cents X 13 = 1.04) – a dollar more than LBJ’s peak, half a century — and — double average income later. The poor will still be poor but be better off.
Missing union density? As easy as saying “lost employee price setting mechanism” – a restraint of trade wrought via ruthless economic pressure under the shadow of union organizing legislation that has gone practicably toothless in old age. Simple enough resolution: new dentures — make union busting a felony in as many states as possible to begin – which will also make it subject to federal RICO prosecution (33 states have RICO laws).
To take the biggest possible bite out of inner city crime: prosecute union busting.
I agree with you, but you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Why not take some of your time to study why not. I won’t offer any suggestions because i don’t know, and every time i suggest people try to look at something another way they throw their used bananas at me.
I will just note that while I understand the “theory” of excess policing (arresting kinds for littering) I am afraid that policemen are no smarter than the rest of us descended primates and you start getting the insanities that you describe…. it’s what happens when you tell a cop, or a businessman or a father that you have to stop “indiscipline” early before it gets out of hand… and everyone litters and mugs their neighbors (which, oddly enough, is also true, though i think in many if not all cases the “littering” is an expression of anger at the insane “discipline” the kids have been subjected to at home and in school.)
no doubt having hope (good jobs) is at least “an” answer if not the whole answer.
and yes, i was arrested for riding my bike the wrong way, or on the sidewalk, when i was a kid. seems the wise state legislators had decided a bicycle was a “vehicle” and subject to the same rules of law, if not of physics (and information: i felt a lot better seeing what was coming than having it come up behind me fifty miles an hour faster than i could ride, and i did not bomb down the sidewalk without regard for the safety of pedestrians… but not of that counted in the mind of a cop told to “enforce the law”.
all this personal stuff is not because i am so desperate to tell you my story, but maybe just to let Bev know I am not quite as simple minded a law and order guy, not to say religious fundamentalist, scotch-irish, southern dog killer, old white male republican… as she supposes.
not that it will affect her modus operandi. but we try what we can.
try to see if you can discover why unions are busted, or not effective, and where the jobs have gone, and whether it is possible to find jobs for everyone in today’s economy. even for people with ph.d.’s.
Maybe someone out there can answer a simple question for me. I seem to recall that at some not too distant time in the past, some time between Nixon’s visit to China with Kissinger and Rumsfeld in tow and the sudden realization that in the U.S. that there were factories all over China making American brand merchandise, there had been news reports about the U.S. government, through either the IMF or the Export/Import Bank, was busy providing the financial support needed to build all of those factories. Those news reports and the reported activities probably took place in the ’80s. Now I can find no reference to such reports. I can remember references to Nike and other American corporations taking advantage of some kind of program that encouraged those corporations to export their manufacturing so that they could then import back the products that they once made here. Does anyone else recall such reports inn the media? Or, can anyone find a reference to such reports?
“where the jobs have gone, and whether it is possible to find jobs for everyone in today’s economy”
This is how I answered a similar email question today (and as usual go my lazy cut-and-paste route).
My starting point is what I could get paid for an “everyday job”, presuming (which I do) that I could get one (71 years old, retired).
I got email from Glassdoor today and was re-shocked at how little everyone is making. Most retail employees are lucky to bust $10 an hour — it’s one big Walmart out there. I was looking particularly at AutoZone and O’Reilly Auto Parts where I figured more heavy duty males likely be found — who usually manage to get paid more. Same deal. Whole Foods which is supposed to be so good runs $11-!2 an hour for cashier, etc.
Going by my eight-grade math, minimum wage calculations there’s plenty of money out there in principal if an “economic dictator” wanted to shuffle it around without really hurting anybody.
A $15 minimum wage would shift 3.5% of GDP (I don’t know if that would be 3.5% of income share): $8,000 average wage X 70 million (140 mil workforce — $15 the 45 percentile wage includes 5% getting full $16,000) = $560 billion out of $16 trillion economy. (Figures are a few years old but easy to remember — percentages end up the same — EITC shift 1/3 of one percent; big help when almost half earning less than what min wage probably should be..)
Around 1973 (last year of even/Steven share) the top 1% got 8% of income share — now 23% and growing (now getting 95% of growth). In raw numbers the money is there. Just ask Jimmy Hoffa how to get it. 🙂
Another everyday job gone South: taxi driving, my 28 year job in NY, Chi, SF. In Chicago, long story:
One 30 increase in the meter between 1981 and 1997 — at which 1990 midpoint the city started adding:
subways to both airports;
unlimited limo plates;
free trolleys between all the hot spots downtown;
AND 40% more cabs.
So my starting point naturally is to get people paid enough for the jobs they are doing now. Everybody cannot be an X-Ray tech.
i don’t think that’s exactly the question I asked, but it would do for a start.
Only, the only way I can think to get that is to get at least some fairly high number of fairly high paying jobs that an ordinary person can get without years of training…. unless that training is employer supplied on the job while the person is earning a reasonable if somewhat lower wage.
The only way that could happen would be Federal jobs. Even the state’s are not paying good wages anymore (their good wages used to be in big part “good benefits.” Now they have decided that “they don’t have the money” though they manage to pay the Universtity president 800k.
Unions would help, but the unions were broken by outsourcing, which I am told was originally caused by the need for companies to go abroad because of the strong dollar (and not labor costs)… etc.
Which is why I suggested you research the whole question as objectively as you can while waiting for the country to come around to your way of thinking.
I’m not having much luck with my own special project. Not even here.