The linked article from the Mises Institute blog contains interesting statistics on police activity in the USA.
Dealing with violent crime constitutes only a small minority of what police deal with on a daily basis. For example, in 2014, out of 11,205,833 arrests made nationwide (in the US), 498,666 arrests were for violent crimes and 1,553,980 arrests were for property crime. That means 82 percent of arrests were made for something other than violent crime or property crime [my emphasis]
I wonder what those numbers are in the UK? Most of us think of "real crime" as involving violence, theft, fraud or at least property damage. On reflection however, perhaps it's not surprising that 82% of police activity in the US relates to other matters. For all the fairy dust it blows in our eyes, the state is just another organisation shaped from the crooked timber of mankind. The people working for it – including police officers – have their own agenda, just like the rest of us. Unlike us however they face no competitive pressures to subordinate it to that of their customers.
Public servants in Britain earn more on average than those of us in the productive sector who pay their wages precisely because those operating the state's monopoly of force are not our moral superiors. Who among us, if we could set our own prices, fees or wages without jeopardising the demand for our services, would not earn more?
The earnings hierarchy of public servants reflects neither their merits nor the demand for their particular "service". Rather it is the product of a mathematical formula that factors in their power and their remoteness from public accountability. Once the importance of this second factor is grasped, it's no longer surprising how many public servants are "paid more than the Prime Minister". She has more power than them, but she's also more accountable. An increase in her pay would dominate tomorrow's news. The pay rises of local authority panjandrums, fake charity chairmen or civil service specialists however will usually pass unnoticed; lost in budget numbers so astronomical as to be incomprehensible to most.
More laws create more job opportunities in the public sector. We humans being no better than we should be, that is undoubtedly a factor both in the rate at which they are created and the rarity of their repeal. I suspect that many of the activities occupying 82% of the time of law enforcement officers in the USA involve – one way or another – maximising both the demand for their services and the resources from which public servants' wages are paid. As the article says
Contrary to un-serious and absurd claims that the police "enforce all laws," police use their discretion all the time as to what laws to enforce and which to not enforce. Those laws that are enforced are often laws that can lead to profit for the police department — such as drug laws which lead to asset forfeiture — or laws that can make for easy arrests — such as loitering and other small time laws — which improve a police officers' arrest record.
"Asset forfeiture" is a euphemism you may not be aware of. It began with laws permitting the confiscation of the proceeds of crime. These days it often involves confiscating assets merely suspected as such. In 2014, the cops stole more than the robbers in the good old liberty-loving, property rights-respecting US of A. I would love to know the corresponding figures in the liberty-despising, all-hail-the-Bitch-Goddess-State United Kingdom.
Reflecting on the current crisis in US identity politics the article concludes
If we want to be serious about scaling back the degree to which police interactions with the public can lead to violent escalations, we must first scale back the number of offenses that can lead to serious fines and imprisonment for members of the public, while shifting the concentration of police efforts to violent crime and property crime. The emphasis must return to crimes that have actual victims and which are reported by citizens looking for stolen property and violent criminals. Not only will this increase the value of policing, but will also improve relations with most of the public while reducing the footprint of the state in the lives of ordinary people.
People often ask how much law there would be in a libertarian state. Given that a libertarian US state would only prohibit the initiation of force or fraud, these statistics suggest it could manage with about 20% of its current criminal laws. Imagine how well they would be enforced if all current police officers diverted their efforts to them! The "War on Drugs" is is the most obvious example of how de-criminalisation would reduce crime, both directly and indirectly (by removing the incentive to commit crime to fund a drugs habit). I suspect it's just one example among thousands however. If we reverted to the model of a "fire service" police that only responded to public calls for assistance, we would also acquire a useful measure of whether a law was necessary. Any "crime" for which the police were never called out could be safely abolished!
We don't call them police forces any more. That's too explicit an acknowledgement of their role as the enforcers of our all-powerful state. Policing, God help us, is now a 'service'.
The question is; whom do our policemen serve? Is it us, the public, or the political class that guarantees their unfunded pensions from the incomes of taxpayers yet unborn? If, as they claim, it's the public, why does it sometimes feel they are serving us in the agricultural sense; as a bull serves a heifer?
Ordinary people don't believe the official crime figures because they don't accord with our experience. For years the Establishment line has been that the figures are accurate but that our fear of crime is the problem. We are neurotic and should be more trusting of our benevolent masters. Yeah right.
PC James Patrick, an analyst with the Metropolitan Police 'service' recently gave evidence to a House of Commons committee that the figures are improperly manipulated by senior officers to make police performance look better. He said
Things were clearly being reported as burglaries and then you would rerun the same report after there had been a human intervention, a management intervention, and these burglaries effectively disappeared in a puff of smoke.
How embarrassing for the political class that has used the rigged numbers to assure us it's doing its job of public protection! It seems our 'neurotic' belief that they were feathering their own nests while not giving a flying expletive about us except as sources of feathers was well-founded.
I have been waiting with interest for the state's response to this revelation. And, the Alistair Campbell approved interval for the story to die down having elapsed, here it comes. The Times reports this morning that PC Patrick has been placed on 'restricted duties' and forbidden to speak to public or media. The whistleblower has received his usual reward.
So that's clear then. Lying to make the state look good is fine. The public has no right to know the truth about the performance of the police service it is forced to fund. The career of any public-spirited person with a sense of duty and honour is unlikely to advance in the Met. In marked contrast to that of an officer who heads a botched operation that blows the head off an innocent man, for example.
Nothing to see here folks. Move along now please or you might just find yourself being served.
Both the law firms where I was a partner had anti-nepotism policies. We couldn't employ our own or each other's relatives. If we married someone from the firm, one of us had to leave. Why? I am sure it was often the case that, as these MPs who have never been in the real world say, that we could have trusted our wives or husbands or sons or daughters "over anyone else". It would always have been true that "...it is far easier to employ someone you know that get someone else in...".
Our legal advice to ourselves was that as predominantly white males, if we recruited our own families we would be liable to be accused of race discrimination, for example. Our business advice to each other was that the inconvenience of being forced to look outside our family circles would be balanced by an increase in mutual trust, an ability to critique each other's teams when necessary for quality control and a generally higher standard of staff to better serve our clients.
So we went to the market and tried to find the best candidates we could regardless of race, colour, creed or sex. Meanwhile, our legislators carry on as if they were unaware of the regime they imposed on British business. They behave like the parodies of cruel Victorian employers they seem to have in mind when they 'regulate' us. And it goes without saying, isolated as they are from the realities of a competitive market place, that they don't give a tinker's curse about quality. If they would even recognise it that is. From what I see of them, when they are not actually being malicious and/or corrupt, they are mostly just bumbling narcissists.
Were they just taking the piss when they passed these laws? Or when they enacted a minimum wage but pay any staff with whom they share no DNA carrots or hire them for nothing as 'interns'? It's hard to believe they are sincere about their laws when they flout them at every opportunity when their own financial interests are at stake. They love to pontificate about celebrities and sportsmen being 'role models' when that will get their ugly mugs on the goggle box, but what about the example they set? Hypocrites to the bone, the lot of them.
I can't say this too often. It's not a bug, it's a feature. Everything funded by force - and that includes Parliament - tends towards corruption. Only those who can't be a successful beast in the jungle of the real world are attracted to the parasitic delights of living on the jungle fauna. And usually only those with serious character defects are attracted to the exercise of power over others, rather than freedom in their own lives.
Chris Huhne demonstrates once again that anyone who wants to join the Westminster Club is not fit to be a member. Note the Huhne-centric view of the Universe here. Note the astonishing sense of self-importance. He committed a crime. He involved his wife. He lied about it consistently. He made his own son hate him with his selfish, dishonest behaviour. He was caught out and mild justice was administered. Yet all of this was not his fault. It was all about him though, in that it was a wicked conspiracy by his political foes to bring him down from the dizzy lows of Lib-Demmery.
Please apply palm to face and repeat after me: 'Only vain, wicked people want a job taking others' money by force to spend on buying votes'
Once again politicians are floating the idea of more state funding for their conspiracies parties. There is a reason political parties are losing members. They do no appeal to ordinary voters, but only to fanatics and obsessives. As long as they have alternative sources of funding, they will never look to build their memberships because, in a true mass party, the majority would oppose those now in control.
I am rarely in favour of banning anything but I believe no political party should be allowed to receive money from non-members. Anyone giving to a political party, whether they are a corporation, trade union or individual, will expect some return. That is corruption and should always be a crime. As for the current state funding - running to millions for the established parties - it is also intrinsically corrupt. It excludes other parties and anyway the people in power should not be abusing their position to vote themselves taxpayers' money.
The only income available to political parties should be from membership dues, constituency fund-raising events and sales of publications and memorabilia. Would they survive if such a system were adopted? Yes, but only by turning their backs on corruption and extortion and building mass memberships again.Why does that prospect sicken them so?
I do not agree with the basic idea behind the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Compensation is a private, civil matter. The only crossover should be that the guilty verdict in the criminal court is accepted by the civil judge, so that he can move straight to deciding the amount of damages. There will also be cases where civil claimants can succeed despite the defendant's acquittal in a criminal court, because of the lower burden of proof.
It's simply immoral that money should be taken by force from honest citizens to compensate victims of crimes in which they played no part. Millions of wrongs do not make one wrong right;That the system should compensate the family of a terrorist killed by other terrorists merely illustrates the stupidity of it all.
Tell a statist that the government spends too much of GDP; that the state should be scaled down and taxes reduced and the response is highly predictable. He will start talking about doctors and nurses, teachers and policemen. Within minutes, unless we are battle-hardened by many years of political debate, he will have established an apparent moral ascendency. Onlookers will wonder how we could be so cruel.
But that's not just, or even mainly, how tax money gets spent. For example, I was horrified to learn from Chris Snowden's linked report for the Institute of Economic Affairs that an estimated €1 billion of the EU's budget is handed over to "sock puppet" charities, NGOs and other fake "civil society" actors in order to promote the political objectives of the EU Commission.
Most of these "civil society" organisations would not exist at all if it were not for EU funding. So far from being genuine expressions of voluntary, non-governmental and non-corporate opinion, they are mere political creatures. It is astro-turfing on a massive scale. The table below (from Chris's report) takes the list of the EU Civil Society Contact Group's members from its own site and shows both the income each receives from the European taxpayer and the percentage of its funding that represents.
Nota bene that much of the remaining funding for supposedly independent "civil society" groups is received from taxpayers at the national level! For example
Women in Europe for a Common Future received an EC grant of €1,219,213 in 2011, with a further €135,247 coming from national governments. This statutory funding made up 93 per cent of its total income while private donations contributed €2,441 (0.2 per cent) and member contributions just €825 (0.06 per cent).
In what universe can even the most dewy-eyed believer in the essential goodness of the state justify such a monstrous lie? If an organisation raises just 0.06% of its funding from its membership dues, it is not independent. If it gets 93% of its money from the state, it is the state's creature. This is taking money by force from the masses to tell them what to think - most notably about money being taken from them by force!
This is not about being pro- or anti-EU. It is not even on this occasion about being pro- or anti-state. Democracy is supposed to be about the people agreeing what they want done by state bodies and appointing public servants to get on with it. The servants are not supposed to steal their masters' money in order to promote their own objectives. That they do so is corruption, pure and simple.
Come on, statist readers. Justify this gangsterism if you can. And spare us the "doctors and nurses" bullshit for once.
The video is a little ropey but please persist and view the whole thing. As ever, Dr Anthony Daniels (aka Theodore Dalrymple) is both interesting and darkly amusing.
He reports that, under a threat of violence (50% of doctors have been assaulted in the last 12 months) most general practitioners in Britain are routinely filling out fraudulent certificates enabling fit individuals to go "on the sick" where benefits are 60% higher than for unemployment and there is no need to pretend to seek work. More than 2.5 million people have such certificates and he claims that "the great majority of them are fraudulent or at least untruthful." More than a million people have them for "depression and anxiety" alone. He comments wrily that it is an achievement of the British welfare state that it has "created more invalids than the First World War".
Another achievement of the British welfare state is an enormous growth in heroin use. In the 1950s, when heroin addicts were registered with the Home Office, there were known to be about 60 in the whole country. It is now thought that there are about 300,000. He describes an official ideology that heroin addiction is a sickness beyond the addicts' control, which renders them unable to work and drives them to crime. An ideology he says is "completely and obviously wrong."
Every user chose freely to take heroin the first time and most use it intermittently for up to a year before beginning to take it regularly. Most users live in a sub-culture in which the consequences of taking heroin are far better known, as he puts it, than "the dates of the Second World War".
He says it's untrue that medical or other support is necessary to give up heroin. He jokingly calls Mao Zedong "the greatest drug therapist in history" because he told China's heroin addicts that if they didn't give it up he would shoot them. 20 million duly did. Without recommending such a radical approach, he points out that this clearly proves a "conceptual difference between, say, rheumatoid arthritis and drug addiction." Mao's approach, after all, would not have "cured" the former.
For so long as users don't give up heroin he says that's no reason for them not to work. Research shows that in the fifties most American addicts worked normally and indeed most of our own users now lead very active working lives - except that their "work" is burglary.
The growth in heroin use is therefore driven, he seems to suggest, by the needs of the "bureaucracy of care" serving the addicts. Its members need a passive population that takes no personal responsibility in order to secure their jobs. He believes that "at some level" these public employees know full well that they are playing games. In his words;
I would say the addiction services need the addicts more than the addicts need the services.
That's a more shocking critique of welfarism from an insider that I would ever have dared to offer from the outside. To suggest that an army of "carers" has, in effect, steadily built heroin use from 60 to 300,000 to give themselves jobs seems so wicked as to be scarcely believable. But then who would have thought the learned members of our medical profession could be recruited to knowing, if not willing, participation in frauds worth billions of pounds?
For all that its servants justify their jobs by droning on about the supposed immorality and greed of their bogeymen in business, only the state, ladies and gentlemen, can corrupt on such a massive scale.
Where do the men and women responsible for the institutional child abuse that is state "care" for children get their arrogance? Even leaving aside the extreme examples of the North Wales childrens homes or those in Islington under Margaret Hodge, people who, confronted with allegations of abuse, call in the police to find - not the abuser - but the whistleblower are not my first choice to look after vulnerable, unfortunate kids.
We do not need state employees selecting foster parents or other carers for their political views. Still less do we need them (as has been alleged in the comments here) threatening employees that if they so much as mention grooming by Asian men they will be dismissed for racism. The abuse of 'kuffar' girls by Pakistani gangs in the North-West went undetected for so long precisely because of such leftist wickedness by state employees.
And before I am accused of racism, let me remark that it took the appointment of a Muslim head of the local Crown Prosecution Service to overturn the previous decisions not to prosecute. Most Muslims in the area are just as shocked as you or me by what happened. They are no more to blame for those crimes than they are for the episodic nonsense (no doubt soon to be revived) of Christmas celebrations being banned as potentially offensive. Those at fault in such cases - from the vile to the trivial - are the politically-correct Left, most of whom are white and middle class.
With such people as the odious Joyce Thacker in charge of social services across the country, I have no doubt that the Rotheram case is quite usual. Few such stories make the papers (usually to be scorned as Mail-reader bigotry) but does anyone doubt that behind the scenes all children in care are subject to indoctrination; probably not all as subtle as rejecting foster parents who vote for the wrong party? God knows my own experiences in a state school in the Labour North did not expose me to any ideas beyond the leftist spectrum. There was the same smug assumption of moral superiority as can be detected in Rotheram council.
Let charity live again in Britain. Give meaning back to the word "care". Close all social services because, as bodies funded by force, they are intrinsically immoral.