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Police Part 1: Goal Change

October 28, 2010 1 comment

 

Competitive Jerk describes most officers well.

 

As I mentioned in the intro: Police Part 0: How It Works the traditional goal of police is to respond to crimes, investigate what happened and then go catch the bad guy; thus, instilling a fear of the law in any would-be offenders into choosing not to offend lest they be caught and prosecuted.

However, things have changed. No longer are they expected to investigate crimes that happened – they are now expected to stop crimes as they are happening. Just stop and think about that for a minute. In order to do that, not only does the cop need to know that a crime is about to happen, but he also needs to know where and have time to get there before it occurs, or else be able to travel through time and space so that he can arrive at the perfect moment to save the victim.

This is, of course, impossible – and that makes it the most beautiful pay dirt any cop could hope for. They can always be “just too late” and then blame the fact that there aren’t enough police and they need to hire more officers. The Union is always quick to jump up and demand more officers, better training, more equipment, etc. (sound familiar?), by lobbying politicians and law makers (aka huge campaign donations); as if that’s going to magically fix the issue.

To aid in this endeavor, politicians have obliged the Police Unions by passing “moral and outrage” based laws like DUI laws, smoking bans, drug use and possession laws, and ever more stringent traffic laws that have been proven to not curb bad driving. I will explore these more in the next section, but the end result of all of these is that they punish “Maybe”, and that helps bump up cop “successfully investigated crimes” scores. It is through laws like these that the police try to show you year after year that you really need them without going after real and dangerous criminals.

Now, if you ask any police agency if they assign quotas to their officers, they will adamantly tell you ‘no’. But I challenge anyone reading this to pay attention to the last few weeks of any given fiscal quarter of the year (end of March, June, September, December) if you notice an increase in the number of police you see when you drive around. This is because each department DOES have a quota. If they don’t meet at least the same number of “crimes” as this time last year, then it might look like the crisis is averted and fewer cops are needed. The Unions will never stand for that, and so I believe they issue unofficial quotas to the departments.

Conclusion:

The end result is that police departments no longer are focused on protecting the populace through investigation and apprehension of serious criminals, but rather they are focused on handing out as many citations as they can in order to ensure their continued funding. Unfortunately for the general populace – the easiest people to cite are normally law abiding citizens.

They used to watch over the people; now they’re just watching the people – Ministry

Categories: Politics, The USA

Police Part 0: How It Works

October 27, 2010 2 comments

Oink for me

Here’s a subject close to my heart. I have a special dislike of police. I have met many, but only two that I would consider decent human beings. Therefore, I am going to create a six part series detailing some of the cold hard facts about Police. I will use Arizona for statistics since I live there, but these tenants hold true for the whole country.

How Police are supposed to work:

Police are the arm and fist of the law. They are the ones that actually attempt to enforce the laws of the land. Laws, all by themselves, are designed to intimidate would-be offenders into not offending. Of course, if nobody ever gets caught then the laws can not intimidate. That’s where police come in – they are there to catch people that have offended so that they can receive their punishment.

Notice I say “have offended” – that is the intent of police. The Canadian Royal Mounted Police are the most honest about it. They say “The Mounties always get their man,” which indicates that if you commit a crime you will be caught. In a just society, the police do not arrive in the nick of time to save someone from a horrible fate. They always arrive AFTER it has happened, investigate it, figure out who did it, and then they catch the bad guy.

How Policing really works:

That’s how it is supposed to work, but it doesn’t most of the time. The police are not very interested in solving major crimes. They certainly have plenty to solve! Check this out. It’s just for Phoenix and just for this year. Clearly, crime is not being deterred.

The thing is that those crimes are really hard to solve and even if they do, the people that they will be going after are violent and likely to shoot back, and why go after them when it is much easier to go after a speeder or someone that might be ever so slightly intoxicated, or might have been intoxicated recently, or ANYTHING where they aren’t going after malicious people that are likely to pull the trigger on a cop.

The Bottom Line:

Police can’t protect you. The only person that can stop a crime from happening to you is you.

In the next five sections, I will describe how the goals of police have changed since their inception, how they focus on punishing people that are likely to commit a crime rather than people that are or have committed one, how compensation lends itself to the bahavior of police and police unions, the concept of mercenaries and how that applies to police, and then I’ll try to wrap it all up with a review.

Stay tuned!

Categories: Politics, The USA

Affirmative Action

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s a bill coming up in Arizona that would do away with Affirmative Action if it is passed. The very predictable reaction from the socialists has been “You racist! You chauvinist! You want to make it so that only white men can get a job!”

Oh really? Well let’s look at what Affirmative Action does:

1. It segregates and defines the population into two main groups and one of those groups into various sub-groups: White Males and Not White Males (women, pregnant women, non-white races, gays, disabled, old, etc).

2. It assigns a value to one of those groups that is greater than the other by coercing employers into hiring from one group and limiting hiring in another group. Essentially, an employer may or may not hire a White Male based on his human capital (education, experience, etc), but if too many White Males are currently working and a Non White Male should apply – the Non White Male must be hired regardless how fit the person is for the job. This explicitly defines White Males as being more desirable to hire because a firm is limited on how many they can have before they have to hire a Non White Male. Furthermore, if a firm is going to hire a White Male, the firm will concentrate heavily on his human capital since they aren’t allowed to have very many; but when hiring a Non White Male, they are more interested in hiring the most affirmative candidate they can instead of the most skilled (e.g. a disabled black woman who is also Jewish: this is an Affirmative Action Triple Play – easily worth six or more White Male hires).

3. De-values Non White Male human capital. Since it is now less important how good of a worker the Non White Male is and more important how Affirmative Actionable the person is: the whole concept of meritocracy goes out the window for this person. The firm will choose to pay the person just enough to keep the person from leaving instead of what the person is worth. This could be good or bad for the person. Using the example above – if she’s always late, can’t read and has no people skills, then she is being paid too much and they can’t get rid of her. If she is on-time, highly skilled and effective at her work, then she is being paid too little AND she suffers the problem that she will most likely not be promoted or transferred because doing so would require the firm to replace her with another affirmative action hire that may not be as good as her.

4. If she doesn’t like #3 and decides to leave – other firms only need so many Non White Males and so create a surplus of Non White Males and a shortage of White Males. Now she’s not competing for jobs based on her skills and experience, but rather on how affirmative actionable she is. The more pitiful and strange she is, the more likely she is to get the job. This is an incentive for her to be a horrible worker with as many problems as she can get – not something that would appeal to an effective worker who rightly takes pride in her abilities.

Socialists say: But if firms are allowed to hire nothing but White Males, that’s all they’ll hire!

This is not very likely. Our society is more tolerable now than it ever has been. But just to address the issue, let’s suppose that a firm does that. The moment the firm’s customers come into contact with the firm, they will be faced with this discrimination. This is pretty weird in today’s society. At the least the customers would most likely be a bit put off and at the extreme they would refuse to do business. It would be easy for consumers to get together and boycott the firm. Even if the firm changed its ways – it would still carry that stigma.

Ultimately, it is usually in a firm’s best interest to appeal to as many customers as it can – not to cater to just one group. If the firm chooses to do that, then it runs the risk of drawing negative attention and stigma.

Categories: Arizona, Politics

Honor: By any means necessary

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s the one thing that makes you do the right thing when nobody is looking? What is the one thing that lets you judge other people, and gives you the courage to be judged? What is the single most important thing that builds trust within your relationships?

Your honor.

This is a tricky one to determine. It’s different for each person. It can’t be defined in a list of qualities. Even if you could, the degree of its presence would vary from one person to another. Not only that, but it’s a pain in the ass and even an honorable person will screw up and betray his/her honor once in a while.

Throughout history, religion has been the driving force behind honor. Take the Romans for example: Numa Pompilius (715-673 B.C.) brought to Rome a strong religion. It was so strong that for centuries a Roman might finagle his way out of any deal, but if you got him to swear an oath on his honor – he would keep it no matter what. People died for their oaths because they felt that if they broke them, then in the afterlife they would be extremely fucked forever. To this day, many people take a code of honor from various religions.

Some people don’t believe in any religion and so think that absconds them from needing to have honor. This is not true, and the reason is this: other people do have honor for whatever reason. This means that there is an expectation in all of society (as it turns out every group of people on the planet feel this way) that a level of honor be maintained. Even if you take a group of people who don’t speak the same language, have vastly different religious views, and look very different from each other and put them in a close social setting for a while – they will develop an honor system.

In ancient times to test a person to find if he/she had honor, some sort of conflict would have to happen. This could be done peacefully through debate or some sort of mercantile exchange (like a bet on some unknown outcome, where the loser paid and the winner was gracious); and another way was through combat. The combat one is not as easy to do today in a Western society because we’re all a bunch of pussies that are afraid of a fist fight, but we can still do the others.

So let’s say you have proven your honor to your peers. Let’s consider some outcomes:

  1. Perk: You can now judge other people. If you find someone lacking, you can call them an asshole, and if they want to beg to differ you can have a debate. If you are wrong, and you have honor, you will apologize and then stick up for that person’s honor as you now owe them a favor. Duty: You must put your honor on the line for the whole world to see constantly so that the whole world can see that you have it. If you do not, then you lose your credibility. Danger: If you put your honor on the line and fail to deliver, you lose at least some honor, so you should be thinking all the time about how to be honorable.
  2. Perk: You can now be controversial in your viewpoints. If you say something you believe to be true that is not politically correct and someone takes issue, you have a right to be shown how you have wronged anyone. Duty: You must interest yourself in controversial subjects, educate yourself on them, and form an opinion based on what you find. Danger: If you choose to be controversial for no other reason than you want to hurt people, you will lose your honor, so you should be researching all the time on why you have the stance you do and be willing to change your stance if the facts change.
  3. Perk: Your word is your bond and you are afforded the benefit of the doubt in all matters public and private. Duty: You must keep your word, and any kindness you do for someone must be repeated for others at every opportunity. Danger: You might misspeak or you might outright lie to save time, money or something else. In order to avoid this, you must strive to make sure that people know when you are doing something out of the ordinary and also when you are doing something ordinary. In this way, you can not be held accountable for things that are not normal for you and lies become unnecessary.

These are not all of the perks, duties and dangers of being an honorable person – just some that came to my mind as I was writing this; however, I have saved the best for last:

People who conduct themselves with honor are able to resolve differences peacefully and satisfactorily. They lead safer lives than dishonorable people, who must always be looking over their shoulder for people they have wronged and who are looking to get even. They are less gullible because they are always seeking out the truth of things and must therefore amass knowledge on a wide range of subjects. Despite this, an honorable person must understand that nothing is ever certain, fair, or easy. They must always be looking for the dishonorable person that is looking to take advantage. An honorable person must vigorously and constantly work towards finding honor.

Numa Pompilius (715-673 B.C.)

Categories: Uncategorized

Inflation is a Tax on Savings

October 17, 2010 1 comment

It’s true! How is it possible? Here’s how:

You put your money in a bank savings account. I have one that pays a whopping 0.1% for interest.

The government runs the printing presses and generates some Fiat Money so that they have more money to pay down their debt. This money doesn’t really have any value, and all it does is divide up something of value more finely. Basically, by having more paper bills out there it becomes easier to get more of them. Because they are easier to get, it takes more to get something of value. It’s hard to grasp, so I made a picture!

Before and After - Looks more expensive, but it's just inflation...

Ok, so where’s the tax? Well, here’s the thing. My bank gives me 0.1% interest. The Current Inflation Rate is 1.10%. That means I am actually losing 1.0% on my savings – because of the government.

The government is causing me to lose money when I save it. It’s not a real tax, but it really does decrease the amount of money I get to keep.

What’s worse is WHY they are doing it. They’re doing it to pay for the socialist programs that nobody wants, and to try to pay down some of the deficit that Obama has given us. So, they devalued our country by bankrupting it, and now they are devaluing our savings by creating inflation.

Categories: Politics

Housing Meltdown Clarified

October 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I keep seeing the Democrats blaming Bush and then the Republicans blaming Obama. The truth is, there is enough blame to go around… and it starts with Clinton.

Clinton signs into law the incentives for banks to loan money for houses to people they know full well will never be able to pay it back. They can do this by packaging the loans with good loans and then they pay a ratings agency (like Moody’s) to rate the loan package. Shockingly, the ratings agencies rate them quite well as they were paid to do.

Next, Bush’s administration lowers the interest rate to create further incentive for banks to lend money to people that can’t pay it back. It is in his era that it becomes apparent that these packages, or “derivatives” are hot potatoes that will explode in debt when they become due. To cover their losses today, banks make more of these things to sell – even though they know that these will pose a problem tomorrow. In this manner, the bubble grows and pops.

Finally, Obama comes in and blames Bush for what Clinton started and proceeds to keep interest rates low and instructs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to keep buying bad debt with Taxpayer funds in an effort to keep house prices as high as possible so that banks can maybe make some money on them. This, in turn, puts all players in the market in a state of paralysis. They don’t know what will be changed tomorrow, so they hang on to their cash today. Obama accuses them of being “fat cats” and blames them for his horrendous policy not working.

Video Time!

 

My favorite part in all this is that socialists use this meltdown as an example of how the free market and capitalism has failed; when in actuality, it was never something that was created by the free market or capitalism.

Categories: Obama, Politics

Firing Soros would be the best Tax Cut

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

I read through the 58 page proposition put out by Soros’s group. It is a failure. Basically, on each page, it reiterates that budget deficits can be cut by:

  1. Less spending
  2. More taxes
  3. Increasing government efficiency

They also characterize tax cuts as spending. So, in the spirit of cutting “spending”, they will cut tax cuts. The other thing they suggest, that is bullshit, is increasing government efficiency. Without competition, no enterprise becomes more efficient. Since the federal government has no competition, how do they propose to make it more efficient? More regulation. They don’t bother to mention the current regulators are useless and that adding more would be equally useless and also more costly.

That leaves increasing taxes. Doing this will cause the other two to fail harder than they already are. Here’s how:

If taxes increase, then businesses will have to raise their prices to cover (margins are already at all-time lows). This will drive potential buyers away. That means fewer sales, so businesses will have to lay off more people, ship jobs overseas or shut down entire segments of their business. This means higher unemployment and more need for welfare – which we already can’t afford and won’t be able to afford more of later. It also means expanding an inefficient system, which breeds more inefficiency. That means what little money the government does have will disappear into the black hole of bureaucracy.

Because there will be less to pull taxes from, fewer tax dollars will be collected – exacerbating the above paragraph, but by their definition this will “cut spending” by shrinking the pool of places to pull tax revenue from (remember that any money they do not collect they consider to be “spending”).

The government will be forced to print off more fiat money and borrow from foreign lenders. Our credit rating will drop and foreign lenders will stop lending. Our currency will tank. Any savings anybody had in a bank account will be worthless. Any economy tied to ours will suffer our pains as well – and that’s the whole of the developed world.

In short, following Soros’s recommendation is economic suicide.

Categories: Politics