Trouble in paradise:
Many members of the New York Police Department are furious at Mayor Bill de Blasio and, by extension, the city that elected him. They have expressed this anger with a solidarity tantrum, repeatedly turning their backs to show their collective contempt. But now they seem to have taken their bitterness to a new and dangerous level — by walking off the job.
The New York Post on Tuesday reported, and city officials confirmed, that officers are essentially abandoning enforcement of low-level offenses. According to data The Post cited for the week starting Dec. 22 — two days after two officers were shot and killed on a Brooklyn street — traffic citations had fallen by 94 percent over the same period last year, summonses for offenses like public drinking and urination were down 94 percent, parking violations were down 92 percent, and drug arrests by the Organized Crime Control Bureau were down 84 percent.
The police are holding a winning class-based hand. They have basically stopped playing their role as tax-collectors-by-other-means aimed at the bottom 50% of society. Since most police come from the bottom 50%, they are actually clued in as to what will be popular with this group – in stark contrast with Bourgeoise Liberals who are basically clueless about the cultural proclivities of anyone who didn’t go to at least a middling level university. Along with this they are also refusing to enforce lifestyle-enhancement types of laws to make the wealthy feel like they live in urban wonderlands. One other function of the police was to harass blacks out of their neighborhoods to make them ripe for hipster colonization. This is more of a long-term program so we will have to see whether this is part of the strategy.
NYPD is on a 70% strike but still receiving 100% of their salaries. This will also split the class warrior vs. culture warrior portions of the Republican world. Do they attack the lazy union thugs? Do they celebrate the tax holiday? Or do they attack the shift of the tax burden from the poor to the rich? Could this catch on outside of NYC?
But it will be delicious to see the irony of do-gooder Bourgeois liberals demanding that the police get back to their jobs of collecting taxes from the poor so the wealthy can keep a little more in their pocket.
The downside for the police union is that once they stop functioning as tax-collectors-by-other-means there will not be such a great need for their huge numbers. The class-warrior Republicans always win in the end and ultimately the police will be privatized and charter school-ized. But this was always going to happen anyway. As wealth continues to concentrate in the US, there will be an ever-increasing demand for security for the wealthy and so the police, even if they do get laid off from public secotr jobs, will find lower-paid private sector work. The wealthy will be able to maximize their security spending towards their own needs and will give up both tax collecting and policing for the bottom 50% and just let them fend for themselves.