The Real Policing Scandal Spontaneous Taxation…

With all the excitement of  New Years Day you might have missed an observation from Glenn Reynolds who spoke aloud the dirty little secret about urban policing that the police “slowdown” has revealed.

 The real scandal isn’t that NYC is being denied law enforcement now, it’s that much of that “law enforcement” is really just a system designed to squeeze money out of the citizenry.  (emphasis mine)

The piece he links mentions the drop  in various offenses so let’s think about this for a second.  It’s a given we don’t want people double parking (which blocks the public ways)  or overstaying meters (so that people can come and go)  We don’t want public urination (unsanitary) nor people in public drunkenness or wasted (dangerous to the public and themselves)  or violating the rules of the road (safety) but it’s interesting to see that this has become less about enforcing laws than money.  Glenn again.

All of these, except maybe the drug arrests — and probably including those too — are basically revenue offenses. By not arresting here, the cops are starving the City for revenue. The Knoxville Police do the same thing when they’re crosswise with the City; they stop writing tickets.

And the Daily Beast has more along those lines:

Abraham, a yellow cab driver and student, feels that blacks are targeted unfairly by the police. And what’s more, the police are injudicious in their choice of which crimes to pay attention to. “Sometimes you’ll see two police officers on the corner here, and a block away you’ll hear a gunshot, and they’re not really doing anything,” he said. “There’s a lot of drug dealing around, there’s a lot of guns around, and all of that is just increasing, and a lot of them are focusing on traffic violations, which don’t really have an impact on crime.”

If someone of the anti-police left wanted to expand their base, they’d be arguing that all of this amounts to a TAX on individuals and ask:  “Do you support arbitrary Taxation?” and I say “arbitrary” because the slowdown illustrates that these fines can be waived and ignored at will.

But I guarantee you these brave protesters will not.  Why?  The answer tomorrow morning in a post called:  …and the Inevitable Endgame (link won’t be active till Saturday morning)


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