The police officers’ problem and the 1, 2, 3 solution Sunday, Jun 21 2020 

John Kass, of the Chicago Tribune, wrote an article commiserating with the problems police face.

Policing can be a thankless, dangerous, underpaid job, that becomes even more thankless when the rules are unclear, good behavior is not uniformly rewarded, and misbehavior is not uniformly punished. Glendale police deliver Easter bags, traffic safety tips to Mann ...

There is no all-purpose solution to this conundrum, but there may be good partial solutions.

First, some excerpts from Kass’s article, published in the 6/21/2020 Tribune:

Police on Father’s Day: ‘Cops can’t say a thing’, John Kass

As anti-police protests continue amid seething politics in the aftermath of police killings in Minneapolis and Atlanta, as violence in many urban areas continues to spike, almost everyone is having their say.

“Sunday is Father’s Day for me, but my wife is a Chicago police officer. She’s been a cop for almost 20 years.

What I see is the stress on her when she comes home. And the boys ask me, ‘When’s mom coming home?’ They’re worried.

“I know this. If she grabs lunch, people yell (F-you) at her. That’s what it’s like.

“The boys miss their mom. In their mind, she’s a hero. It’s difficult to explain racial injustice to children. But they hear what people say about police. 

“Most Father’s Days, I’d want to go golf and drink beer. But she’s working 12-hour shifts. What do I want for Father’s Day? I want my wife to sleep and be with us and get rid of the stress.”

The next story comes from a veteran female Chicago police officer with 20 years on the job. Her husband is also a Chicago police officer. They have two children. Her father was a cop. Her brother is a cop. Her uncle and aunt are retired cops.

“You wonder how far you’ll go to make an arrest now. People don’t want to lose their jobs and pensions.

“Do we wake up every day wondering who we’re going to kill? No. We want to treat all people with respect and get home safely. The kids text me (when she’s at work), ‘Mom, how are you? Are you safe?’ Do I tell them the truth? No.

“Society hates us now, but we still do our job. This is weird, but with all the political hate in the media, it’s been good for morale. Yeah, really. It’s crazy. But everybody’s checking on each other now.

“We’re a family now, all races, all creeds in the department. And not everybody hates us. Neighbors bring food to the district. You still see some kindness out there. It’s beautiful when you see it. It breaks your heart.”

Then there was this from the wife of a Chicago police sergeant on the West Side. They have two teenage children. They’ve been married 20 years.

“I’d just love for him to be home on Father’s Day, so I could cook him dinner, so he could be with us. That’s what I want. It won’t happen. He’s working.

“When he comes home and falls asleep, he’s so tense that his body twitches for an hour or two. I’m there next to him and see his body twitching and it breaks my heart … To see your husband having nightmares …

“Our kids are afraid. They’re proud of their dad but they see the graffiti, ‘Kill all cops,’ and all that. They see how easy it is for people to hate.

“We’ve been out together as a family, and if he sees someone he’s arrested, we have a code, and I get the kids out of there.

“Think of that, having to disappear with your kids when you’re at a restaurant with your family. It’s the job. He’s good at it. He’s a great leader. I know this. Everybody has something to say, but cops can’t say a thing. It gets to you.”

Finally, I heard from a woman whose husband is a veteran Chicago police officer who patrols in an extremely active district. They have two children.

“This is the worst thing we’ve ever gone through, and we’ve been married 20 years. You will struggle to find anyone who hates guns more than me. For the very first time in our 20 years, he left one at home if I needed it.

“I hated the suggestion, but we went through the routine, what to do if something happens, what room to take the kids.

“Some friends avoid us. We’re not friends anymore. They don’t understand. Even if you’re the worst of the worst, my husband will help you because that’s his job. He doesn’t run.

“You get to run and hide behind your signs and slogans. But where are you when he’s out there with dead bodies, when another child is hit with a gang bullet? We’re all making people into ‘the other’ now.

“But over the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned by the silence of some people. And humbled by people who I didn’t think were a big presence in our lives, saying, ‘I know your husband is a police officer, do you need anything?’

“All police families have breaking hearts, and most people can’t even hear us.”

These are heartbreaking stories, terrible stories, unfair stories.

They are not liberal stories or conservative stories. They are human stories, though lately they are being politicized by both sides of the political spectrum. 

In the old “hippie” days, when then too, the police were vilified, I never will forget a sign that read, “If you don’t like police, then the next time you are in trouble, call a hippie.”

Today, I suppose it could read, “If you don’t like police, then the next time you are in trouble, call a protestor,” but things aren’t quite that simple these days.

Unquestionably, blacks, Latinos, and perhaps to a lesser degree, women and gays, are more often brutalized by police than are white men, and especially rich white men.

This reflects three, mutually-reinforcing truths: 

  1. Blacks and Latinos, on a per capita basis, are more likely to commit street crimes, the type of crimes most associated with police brutality.
  2. Blacks and Latinos, on a per capita basis are more likely to experience bigotry and poverty,  which are important causes of #1.
  3. Both sides, blacks/Latinos and police, view the other as being untrustworthy and insufficiently punished for misdeeds.

In short, the police expect problems and pushback from blacks and Latinos, while blacks and Latinos expect problems and pushback from the police.

And these expectations translate into mutual hatred and contempt, which underlie brutality.

Finally, the police see the same blacks and Latinos being arrested, released, and re-arrested, time and again causing an endless, Sisyphean exercise of frustration for police.

Similarly, blacks and Latinos experience not only daily rejection in all areas, but additionally having their “protectors,” the police do the daily equivalence of “broken taillight stops,” followed by various stronger forms of hassle.

Clearly, there are deep-seated, underlying problems that can be solved only by those who have the power to solve problems: The police, the public, and the government.

I. The Police

The police solution is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Stop murdering and brutalizing people because of hatred and bigotry.
  2. Stop lying about what happened.
  3. Stop the union pressure not to prosecute criminal cops.

The nature of policing is the “I’ve got your back” culture. Mutual protection is the basis for any dangerous job. 

The problem occurs when “I’ve got your back” goes beyond mutual protection against criminals, and extends to the protection of criminal cops against the public and the law.

This is a matter for training, and training requires consistency and repetition.

Trainers, including respected cops, repeatedly must teach the differences between criminals and the public at large.

Repeatedly, police must be taught that reporting bad cops is, in fact, a form of “I’ve got your back,” because reporting and punishing bad cops protects good cops. 

Unfortunately, the good cops, who protect other good cops by reporting the misbehavior of bad cops, are called “squealers,” “finks,” “rats,” “stoolies, “snitches,” and “traitors.”

But think of the civilian world.

If you discovered your brother or best friend was building bombs so he could blow up a local synagogue, or he told you he was going to take his AK-47 to shoot up the neighborhood school, would you be a “squealer,” “fink,” “rat,” etc. for reporting him to the authorities?

You may have your brother’s or best friend’s back, but you would recognize the limits. This is the kind of  “I’ve got your back” differentiation the police must be trained to make.

Training won’t be easy, of course. A psychological problem never is easy. But it can be done. The Army’s West Point practices a version that generally works — not perfectly (what is?) — but it does work.

West Pointers understand it is patriotic and mutually beneficial to help weed out the “bad apples,” because that weeding makes the crop better.

In that regard, the police unions should be disbanded, as their primary weapon is the strike, which is unthinkable in our society, and sadly, the police unions have made it their mission to protect bad cops from punishment — which actually punishes good cops.

II. The Public

As a moral person, when you see someone unfairly abused, you have a visceral repugnance for the abuser. And this includes your feeling for bad cops, not only for abusing but for any criminality. 

We all expect, or at least wish, these underpaid, danger-facing servants to be morally pure. And when a few disappoint us, we may fail to see the great things the vast majority do.

In concert with the above-mentioned police training, the public must be trained to appreciate and empathize with cops and the great, heroic things they do for us. 

It can be as simple as an ongoing public relations program to emphasize to good works of the average cop, or it can be a neighborhood outreach, to humanize each cop as not a distant figure, but rather as a loved and respected member of our society — something akin to an “Adopt A Cop” program, but perhaps more secular.

But it only can work if #I is successfully in progress.

III. The government

The police are heroes. Based on daily danger and immediate accomplishment, they arguably are greater heroes even than our military.

Yet, they are not nearly compensated for what they do, not only with money, but also with even the respect that soldiers receive. 

Rather than “defunding” the police (the current “solution” being advocated by some), which arguably would be counter-productive, police funding should be increased as one step in attracting the best and the brightest.

The federal government should and could provide additional funding to every police department for the explicit purpose of upgrades to personnel hiring and personnel training (not for the purpose of anti-public, military weapon purchases).

When any business wants to attract better people, it offers higher pay and better perks. Why would police departments be different?

Think of sports teams in this regard. If you wanted to improve your local baseball team would your mantra be, “Defund the Cubs”?

The single, most important street-crime-fighting step the government (federal and local) can make is to reduce poverty.

The greatest problem facing police is street crime, and the greatest producer of street crime is poverty. Reduce poverty and you reduce street crime, which would make policing less dangerous, and less emotionally damaging for police.

I live in an upscale Chicago suburb, population, 25,000.  We haven’t had a murder in many years, seldom even an assault. I am quite confident that our police go home with fewer neuroses and derangements than do Chicago cops.

If there had been any cases of police brutality in my community, the media sure haven’t reported them — and if they occurred, they would be big news.

The key word is “upscale.” Upscale communities have less street crime than do downscale communities. Period. It is not a coincidence. It is cause and effect.

The federal government has the power dramatically to reduce poverty, and thus reduce street crime and police crime, by the application of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

The mere reduction of poverty would translate into less street crime, which would lead to less police crime, which in turn, would lead to a greater appreciation of the police by the public.

They all go together. 

In summary, police crime and street crime can greatly be reduced, and the police become far more effective, if the police, the public, and the federal/local governments will work on a few, easily understood procedures.

And it all can be done, at no cost to anyone.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity: 1. Eliminate FICA 2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone 3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax 4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone 5. Salary for attending school 6. Eliminate federal taxes on business 7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income. 9. Federal ownership of all banks 10.Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest. MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Trump says police need to be tougher Tuesday, Aug 23 2016 

Donald Trump says, police need to ‘get tougher.’

June 29, 2015

Trump’s appearance before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and a speech at the City Club of Chicago came the same day NBC announced it was cutting ties with Trump, star of the long-running reality television program “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The network cited his remarks from his presidential kickoff speech earlier this month that Latino immigration brings drugs, crime and rapists to the United States.

Trump stood by those comments during the editorial board visit, adding, “I have many friends in Mexico. I have great relationships in Mexico.”

Similarly, he has “many friends” in the black community, “many friends” in the gay community, “many friends” among the poor, “many friends among immigrants, and “many friends” among all those women who do not meet Trump’s standards for beauty.

The man is loaded with “friends,” which is why so many Republicans have disowned him.

But much of his remarks to the Tribune focused on crime in Chicago, which he said is damaging the city’s reputation.

Crime in Chicago is out of control and I will tell you, outside of Chicago, it’s a huge negative and a huge talking point, a huge negative for Chicago,” he said.

You’ve got to stop it. You’re not going to stop it by being nice. You’re going to stop it by being one tough son of a bitch,” Trump said.

Trump acknowledged there have been cases of police brutality but said he believed police today are not as tough as when he was growing up in the mid-1960s.

You need tough cookies. These are tough kids. These are not babies. These are tough, tough kids. If they saw you walking down the street, they wouldn’t give a damn about you,” he said. “You can’t be so gentle with these people.

We’re not sure who “these people are” (Actually, we are sure. They are black people.)

But, that was then (2015). This is now, and Trump still is Trump:

O’Reilly Interrupts Trump’s ‘Tough’ Talk to Remind Him Cops Can’t Just Beat People Up
by Lindsey Ellefson | 8:59 pm, August 22nd, 2016

Trump told a story about an unnamed Chicago police officer who is a “rough, tough guy” and who wants to “use tough police tactics” to get the city back on track.

O’Reilly interrupted him with this: You need a warrant to arrest people. You can’t beat them up! You have to have a warrant to arrest them!

Trump didn’t acknowledge what O’Reilly said about the necessity of warrants and instead brushed him off, saying, “All I know is this: I went to a top police officer in Chicago who is not the police chief and he — I could see by the way he was dealing with his people, he was a rough, tough guy, they respected him greatly.”

He went on to say that police should be allowed to “counter attack” anyone attacking them.

Apparently ,the Los Angeles police agree with Trump. They know how to get tough with “these people.”

Video of police being tougher

This is a graphic video of L.A. police beating a handcuffed man unconscious, standing on his ankles, kicking his head, and elbowing and kneeing his back for more than three minutes as he lay face down in the street, then dragging him off.

By the way, he was innocent. Mistaken identity. Oh, well. Stuff happens.

But of course, stuff always happens when the police are given free reign and are told to “get tough.”

Now, take a peek at the “punishment”: Plea deal with prosecutors

Tough enought for you, Mr. Trump?

=Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

 

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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