Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

If not more police/policing, what is the appropriate response to an increase in crime?

Asked by Demosthenes (11613points) 1 month ago

There has been a notable rise in violent crime in San Francisco, including carjackings, muggings, and burglaries. Here in the Bay Area, police have been unpopular especially since the George Floyd protests of last year and some cities have controversially reduced the sizes of their police departments. “Defund/abolish the police” is very popular here. If the response to more crime isn’t more policing, then what is the appropriate response? What should communities do about an increase in crime?

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43 Answers

Kropotkin's avatar

Social and economic equality.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Kropotkin Sounds very long term. Is the short term solution to simply make no change?

ragingloli's avatar

You need to identify the root causes and combat those.
Someone might shoplift at a grocery store because they are poor and can not afford to buy it.
You can address this with government assistance, minimum wage laws, job training, more affordable access to higher education, etc. Hell, someone might be close to bankruptcy because of debilitating medical bills. So you can use universal healthcare as another angle of attack.

Someone might be addicted to drugs, and has to fund his addiction through theft, burglary, carjackings, etc. He will not seek help, because he would end up in jail.
You can address that by decriminalising drugs, and offering free treatment instead.

You know, this discussion reminds me of this:
https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/ls5bpx/a_bulletproof_table_that_will_save_you_during_a/

gorillapaws's avatar

Ask yourself why someone would choose to become a carjacker, an incredibly dangerous and risky profession?

Kropotkin's avatar

@Demosthenes There is no short term solution. So if anyone wants to get serious about lowering crime, they’ll have to start working on reducing inequality ASAP.

My guess is is that no who could address the problem actually cares about the problem, and instead prefer to maintain wealth inequality and class privilege for the few (because it benefits them personally), and then contain and maintain the resulting crime through violent suppression, which is basically what US policing amounts to.

janbb's avatar

It is my understanding from reading about programs in other cities that are reforming the police, that having mental health personnel handle domestic crises and mental illness issues has been productive. A corollary, I imagine, would be that this would free up more police personnel to handle actual crime, providing a win-win for all.

I don’t know what has happened in SF since George Floyd and the reform the police movement but that would be a potentially productive reform in my view.

crazyguy's avatar

@Kropotkin If you truly believe that reduction of inequality is the ultimate solution for crime, I would suggest crime in China which has free heath care, and other goodies constantly rushed by the Left, with that in the US. From Wikipedia: “Women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment into commercial sexual exploitation in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Japan.” Now just ask yourself how a woman who is truly “equal’ can be “lured”?

@janbb Just wait until one of these “mental health personnel” is ambushed and killed.

crazyguy's avatar

That is a great question. The solution is not less police, but better police training. Everything else is nice, but will not solve the problem.

Inequality: Name one Communist country, whose statistics we can trust, that has lower policing.

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli Name one country in which your proposed ideas have actually worked,

Kropotkin's avatar

@crazyguy I’ve no idea what the fuck you’re driveling on about.

hello321's avatar

^ He doesn’t either.

crazyguy's avatar

@Kropotkin Language, please… What I am trying to say is fairly obvious.

The Left will constantly talk about the motives of the criminal being noble, feeding his/her family and/or some other dire necessity which the government should provide for.

So I thought a comparison with China, the ultimate king of equality. was fair.

Kropotkin's avatar

@crazyguy You appear to know absolutely nothing about China.

Kropotkin's avatar

@crazyguy China isn’t the “ultimate king of equality”. It’s a capitalist country with rising inequality. It has higher income inequality that a lot of European countries, for example.

The other argument you made about the “Left will constantly talk about…” was also a straw man of completely nonsense.

kritiper's avatar

More severe punishment.

si3tech's avatar

Restore 2 parent families where parents were role models for their children and modld truth, integrity, reliability and good work ethic.

crazyguy's avatar

@si3tech Are you suggesting eliminating divorce?

YARNLADY's avatar

!00% employment for everyone who wants to work.

crazyguy's avatar

@YARNLADY How do you define “100%”? As you know, the devil is in the details.

YARNLADY's avatar

@crazyguy Full time, livable wage.

crazyguy's avatar

@YARNLADY What is “livable wage”? How much for rent, how much for basic necessities other than rent, how much for health care? It ain’t so simple.

YARNLADY's avatar

@crazyguy It really is simple. All it takes is a little understanding of basic economics.

crazyguy's avatar

@YARNLADY If it is simple, please come up with a figure.

YARNLADY's avatar

@crazyguy Do your own homework.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks. So are you in favor of mandating that the minimum wage shall be $16.54 per hour nationwide, regardless of the supply and demand situation in local markets?

gorillapaws's avatar

No, I think $15/hour is a reasonable compromise.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws The exact number is less important than the fact that you choose to ignore the local supply and demand dynamic.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy I think that the necessity of compromise is more important than weighing the absolute living wage floor for every zip code. In some areas $15/hour may be slightly above the strict mathematical floor for existing, and it may be less than strictly necessary in other areas. On the whole though, it is a reasonable approximation for the country, and will save taxpayers a fortune in paying for assistance programs for full-time, hardworking Americans.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws How do you force the two brothers from Honduras (see link below) to hold out for minimum wage?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/01/americas/migration-us-rises-pandemic-biden-trump-latam-intl/index.html

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy Why are Carlos and Wilfredo leaving their crying mother behind in Honduras and making the incredibly perilous trek to the US? Could it be that the US created the situation? If they’re willing to suffer that just for a chance at the American dream, I have every confidence that they will positively contribute to the strength of the American economy.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks for reading the link before posting your comment.

The article which is on CNN makes no mention of US involvement in their situation. The article you linked talks about decades of exploitation by the US starting in the late 1890s. The nature of capitalism is such that a private business can and will exploit poorer nations. Honduras was not the only country thus exploited. However, because they have land access to the US, do we owe them for past actions by our forefathers?

Can Biden, for anybody else for that matter, improve living conditions in Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador to the point that nobody there sees any advantage in migrating to the US? I can show you millions of people in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who would love to positively contribute to the strength of the American economy. Should we let them all in?

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy ”...because they have land access to the US, do we owe them for past actions by our forefathers?”

Maybe. I think the broader point is that the actions taken by the US can have longstanding externalized economic costs down the road. Fighting the spread of socialism in South America to the benefit of US companies (and the politicians they donate to) by exploiting their resources creates costs on the American public in the form of increased competition in the unskilled labor market, by refugees desperate to flee the dictatorial regimes we helped install for example. To some degree we reap what we sow. It’s important to make the connections between the cause and effect clear—something neither party seems to want to bring to light.

“Can Biden, for anybody else for that matter, improve living conditions in Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador to the point that nobody there sees any advantage in migrating to the US?”

I think so. If we pursue policies that aid our neighbors instead of exploiting them, then nations rich in natural resources should improve. Remember that there’s a significant threshold to wanting to uproot everything you have, abandon your country of birth and all of the people you know to take a very long and risky journey to pursue a risky life as an undocumented worker abroad with few rights. If you thought you could have a 5% better lifestyle in another country, would you take that risk? It would have to be a pretty significant delta in living conditions. So raising up the very worst conditions should yield a large return on investment in terms of slowing immigration.

I don’t support open boarders.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws Why do you think people from relatively prosperous countries like China and India would still like to gain a foothold in the US?

Also, “increased competition in the unskilled labor market” is created only if we let in the unskilled labor.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy We’re drifting pretty far off-topic here, but there are a variety of reasons. One could be crime, another could be the lack of opportunity to improve their standard of living beyond their parents for a variety of structural reasons in their home countries. It could be political or religious persecution.

@crazyguy “Also, ‘increased competition in the unskilled labor market’ is created only if we let in the unskilled labor.”

They’re going to get in whether we let them in or not. The vast majority of undocumented workers in the US are here from visa overstays. Unless you like wasting money trying to lock down immigration, it would be far cheaper to support their home economies, stop supplying their dictators with weapons and otherwise cease meddling in their internal politics.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You say: “The vast majority of undocumented workers in the US are here from visa overstays.” If you consider 62% – 38% a vast majority, I guess you are correct. However, 38% is not insignificant. And it may be easier to address than the visa overstays. I personally think we can easily address visa overstays, but that would require some sort of GPS device implanted into a person. And that may expose the government to a lot of unintended consequences.

If you really think that we can stop illegal immigration by increasing living standards in the source countries, all I can say is that you have not done the detailed numbers. And remember we get the bottom of the barrel, the hardest people to help in a meaningful, sustainable way.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You say: “They’re going to get in whether we let them in or not. ” Therefore let us put out the welcome mat!

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy “that would require some sort of GPS device implanted into a person.” You want to “chip” all visitors (business, tourists, students, ambassadors, foreign heads of state etc.) like dogs? I literally have no words.

“And remember we get the bottom of the barrel, the hardest people to help in a meaningful, sustainable way.”

I actually disagree with this. I think the worse off people are, the cheaper it is to create dramatic improvements in their standard of living.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws I personally know many individuals and families who, by my standards, live extremely well; yet, they would immigrate to the US in a heartbeat if they had the opportunity.

In order to put my statement in perspective, let me offer some context. In third world countries, the better off individuals and families have lots of servants. 4–6 is not uncommon. So the good life is considered:

1. A decent place to live. Real estate prices are completely unaffordable by US standards. However, most people have access to the family home.

2. A car and driver. Roads are terrible and traffic is murder, though.

3. Enough money to go to the movies and dinners out once in a while.

4. Servants for laundry, cooking, cleaning, dish washing and other chores that most of us here do ourselves.

Before you begin to think that sounds like paradise, let me remind you that the infrastructure is horrible. I mentioned roads and traffic. There are also:

1. Poor mail service.
2. Poor broadband.
3. Cable TV signals are ripped off by local entrepreneurs and distributed to neighborhoods at a minimal cost. Because the cable companies can make no real profits, the quality of TV channels is poor.
4. Power outages.
5. Running water outages.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You said: You want to “chip” all visitors (business, tourists, students, ambassadors, foreign heads of state etc.) like dogs? I literally have no words.

Let me remind you that you mentioned visa overstays. In response, I pointed out that we are tackling the easier problem of illegal border crossings, which make up 38% of illegal immigrants in the US. However, since you have a problem with how we are doing that, I mentioned, in passing, that “I personally think we can easily address visa overstays, but that would require some sort of GPS device implanted into a person.” I went on to point out the difficulties of doing that: “And that may expose the government to a lot of unintended consequences.”

So, since I have the perception that you are a fair person, I think you will see the unfairness of your accusation.

You state: I think the worse off people are, the cheaper it is to create dramatic improvements in their standard of living. Then please explain why we have not been able to raise the living standards of black people in the US. The average wealth of white people has been as high as ten times that of black people. It has never dropped below 6. Under Obama, it went up from a little over 7 to a little over 8. See
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/02/27/examining-the-black-white-wealth-gap/

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy ”...I pointed out that we are tackling the easier problem of illegal border crossings, which make up 38% of illegal immigrants in the US…”

“The Wall” is a profoundly stupid and titanically expensive approach to addressing a minority percentage of undocumented immigration. Which itself is not nearly as problematic to the nation as is being portrayed. It doesn’t address the cause of the problem which is poor conditions in their home countries (often brought about by US intervention and corporate exploitation).

“Then please explain why we have not been able to raise the living standards of black people in the US.”

Because both parties have pursued trickle-down economic policies for decades (including Obama) instead of making investments in the bottom 90% of Americans. For example, one of the reasons for the wealth gap between white and black Americans is that:

“On average, poor nonwhite school districts receive 19 percent, or about $2,600, less per student than affluent white school districts.” (source).

If we extrapolate that across the 13 years of a student’s K-12 that’s $33,800 less per child in a non-white district being invested in their education. It’s obviously more complicated than just spending more money, but it kind of highlights the point.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws You say, and I realize I am paraphrasing slightly, that undocumented immigration is not nearly as problematic to the nation as is being portrayed. You then blame the US for poor conditions in their home countries, deliberately choosing to ignore the massive corruption, hurricanes and the pandemic. So it is our fault that we are better off than the rest of the world. Give me a break.

Your reason for us being unable to raise the living standards of black people in the US is laughable. You accuse the Great Black Hope, Obama, of practicing trickle-down economic policies. Man, you might just be laughed off this platform.

I shall gladly accept your third point; education funding in this country does need to be changed.

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