It is a long running theme that the United States and Europe have been dissipating their inherited moral capital, and with the asset side of our civilizational balance sheet running dangerously low, we can see the consequences in front of us over the last seven days.
Take New York City Mayor Warren Wilhelm Bill de Blasio, who is, let’s face it, a literal Communist. You could tolerate him so long as New York was prosperous, the crime rate reasonably low (thank you, Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg), and de Blasio’s ability to do much direct damage was limited by the inertia of our political institutions. How nice!—New York City, the home of finance capitalism, has a Communist mayor! He was the ultimate luxury good for the so-called “progressive” virtue-signaling rich. But now that things are serious the costs of Mayor de Blasio’s luxury leftism are obvious. Between the excessive and incompetent coronavirus shutdown and now the riots, New York City has been set back 40 years. Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo can see it.
The response of urban and national liberal leaders to the act of a rogue police officer in Democrat-run Minneapolis is a series of gestures and tangible acts that will punish the poorest residents of their cities for years to come. Take Los Angeles, where Mayor Garcetti proposes cutting the LA Police Dept. budget by $150 million, and “invest” those funds in the black community. The cuts will be targeted partly at anti-gang policing. Of course, what this mean in practice is that city bureaucrats will have more money to spend on “economic development” projects of the well-connected, while drug gangs will have free reign over many LA neighborhoods. And liberals will complain that “capitalism” is failing inner-city residents. (Incidentally, it is worth noting that much of the improvement in black employment and economic growth in central cities over the last 25 correlates closely to the decline in the crime rate. The current riots, and the aftermath of the willfully- suppressed law enforcement to come, will wipe out billions of dollars in minority asset value and economic activity.)
One thing not widely appreciated about LA is that it is a lightly-policed city when measured by the number of officers to geographic area. And what has been the recent history of police-civilian (especially minority) relations? The Wall Street Journal reports today:
Connie Rice, a civil rights lawyer who has been involved with reforms at the Los Angeles Police Department, said the LAPD’s relationship with residents, though not perfect, has substantially improved as the last several chiefs have sought to change a culture in which many officers saw themselves as soldiers and minority communities as war zones.
Shootings by LAPD officers fell to a 30-year low last year, with officers firing on 26 suspects, compared with 115 in 1990. Twelve people were killed by police in 2019, the fourth consecutive year of declines since 21 were killed in 2015.
But such are the mandates of our woke liberal climate that LA’s political class is compelled to take it out on the police anyway. This will not end well for LA or other cities that decide to demonize their police forces.
UPDATE—Prepare to see a lot of headlines like this: