Saw an op-ed in the Indy Star that started out asking what Romney would say to a police group about explaining why we don’t need more police on the beat.
Juxtaposed with an article elsewhere pointing out that violent crime is at a 40 year low after a significant reduction for the last however many years and that even none violent crime is decreasing. And this during a recession!
An argument can be made that this is because there are more police and more prison cells than ever before. Or it could be because police patrolling practices with focus on trouble spots and keeping feet on the street are inherently more effective than the blanket patrol car and large precinct office staff model that preceded it.
However given that most police forces are unreconstructed and there are vast opportunities for more effective use of the people on hand, the need for more police is to me; at least unclear and possibly even preposterous. As WRMead at ViaMeadia might say this is just more Blue model thinking, pressing for more Blue model growth.
Given that historically locking thugs up just opened niche for other predators to move in, it’s more likely that video games are absorbing a lot of youth time that used to be spent getting into trouble. And its harder to make crime pay these days unless you have to be savvy, connected and have the gear to do it right or you get no payday. And with the prevalence of violence in the criminal strata, it seems to me that the number of fools willing to take up the life has to be somewhat limited.
The biggest concern that I have is that a permanent criminal culture could develop, one that is all but self-sustaining, like the preceding and overlapping welfare culture. This culture is so isolated from the larger american society that its members do not see themselves as having an interest in or path into the society at large because its alien and in some senses very cold and unfeeling. In the criminal culture life may be ugly and short but it may also be very much focused on immediate gratification and the id of the young men who are its principal actors.