We cannot cure a disease by curing the symptoms.
The August 15, 2020 issue of Science News Magazine contained an article titled, “There’s little evidence showing which police reforms work, Rapid research is needed to find out what efforts are most effective.”
The article discusses “de-escalation training,” body-worn cameras, early intervention systems, and civilian oversight of the police. The author, Robin Engel, “was unable to identify a single police reform with convincing evidence of behavior change among officers.”
The reason is, police brutality is not the disease. It is the symptom.
Defunding the police will not work. “Reallocating police services to other agencies functions such as mental health calls or monitoring safety in schools” has not worked, will not work, and cannot work. Nor will increased funding for police.
Where police are brutal, it is because they suffer from the three “f’s,” fear, frustration, and fury.
Nothing can cure fear, frustration, and fury because they themselves are not the disease.
They are the symptoms.
Police are human. In big cities, what police experience in a day, emotionally exceeds what most of us experience in a lifetime. That makes them emotional. To ease the emotion we must cure the environment, not cure the police.
The police are caught between dangerous criminals on one side, and an ignorant and uncaring public on the other side. Fear, frustration, and fury.
Street crime is a symptom, not a disease. You could spend billions to flood neighborhoods with police officers, and you will not stop street crime. You could impose harsh sentences for street crimes — “lock ’em up and throw away the key” — and you will not stop street crime.
Bad schools are a symptom. You could spend billions to double teachers’ salaries, and to build new school buildings, and to provide computers to every student, and still you would not cure bad schools. They are only a symptom, not the disease.
Bad housing is not a disease; it is a symptom. You could spend trillions to provide everyone with a nice new house, and that would accomplish nothing. In a few years, the houses would be as bad as ever.
Housing segregation is not a disease; it is a symptom. You could pass strict laws that demand low-income housing in high-income neighborhoods, and you would not cure housing segregation. The rich would move away, the poor could not afford the upkeep, so the neighborhoods would decay.
“Food deserts” (the lack of neighborhood food sources) are not a disease. They are a symptom. It would do no good to build food stores where owners fear robberies and potential customers fear to go outside.
Juvenile delinquency is not a disease; it is a symptom. You could spend billions putting police in every school, and on every street corner; you could track down school absentees, and lecture parents, but you could not cure juvenile delinquency. It is not the disease. It is only a symptom.
I live in a suburb that borders only four miles from Chicago. While Chicago suffers greatly from police brutality, street crime, bad schools, bad housing, housing segregation, and juvenile delinquency, my suburb does not.
Bring in the psychologists; bring in the police; bring in the marchers, the preachers, the well-meaning reformers and politicians. It will do no good. You can’t cure a disease by treating the symptoms.
And what is the disease?
The disease is poverty, or more specifically, the wide Gap between the richer and the poorer.
Poverty is the disease that causes street crime, which in turn causes the fear, frustration, and fury, leading to police brutality.
Poverty is the disease the causes bad housing. Poor people cannot afford to buy or to maintain good housing. And bad housing begets bad housing next door, and down the block, and on to the adjoining blocks, until the entire neighborhood is a hopeless slum.
Juvenile delinquency is caused by bad parenting and by hopelessness about tomorrow and about years from tomorrow. Impoverished parents cannot provide time for guidance, nor money for worldly goods, nor can they provide the hope children need. Left untethered the children learn from older children, and become delinquent, stealing what they cannot buy.
America has spent millions, billions, and trillions trying to cure symptoms while pretending the fundamental disease is the fault of the victims.
The rich, who run America, and who have the power to cure poverty, are not motivated to do so.
They prefer to shake their heads and “Tsk, tsk” at the impoverished.
They prefer to claim poverty is caused by immorality, laziness, and stupidity. They are wrong.
Poverty is — and also is caused by — lack of money. And money is the one thing the U.S. federal government does not lack.
Being Monetarily Sovereign, the U.S government has the unlimited ability to create dollars. It could fund every poverty-fighting program imaginable without levying a single penny in taxes.
It even could fund the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below) while eliminating federal taxes.
Imagine you have a broken leg, and your doctor, rather than resetting your leg, keeps prescribing pain killers, as your leg festers and worsens. That is how we treat the symptoms of poverty.
The rich do not wish to cure poverty, because that would narrow the Gap between them and the poor.
“Rich” is a comparative term so in actual effect, narrowing the Gap makes the rich less rich. So the rich resist it.
Narrowing the Gap is a violation of “Gap Psychology,” the desire to distance oneself from those “below,” and to come closer to those “above” in any social measure.
Though money is said to be the root of all evil, it is the lack of money that is the root of so many evil symptoms.
We should stop scurrying in all directions trying to cure symptoms with treatments that are doomed to fail because they don’t treat the disease.
We should stop blaming the impoverished for “laziness” or “immorality.”
We should stop claiming that all poverty aids are “socialism,” or “paternalism” when they need to be neither.
We should stop false envy of the poor if they get something for not working; the rich do it all the time.
The key to ending police brutality and so many other evils of the world is to narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest. Our federal government has the power to do this at no cost to ourselves. The Ten Steps to Prosperity (below) is a good starting point.
So why not?
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:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- 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:
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.