Free Markets, Free People
Earlier today, New York Times columnist Nick Kristoff opined on Twitter about cuts in government services. It’s not every day that you see such stupidity displayed so confidently…except from the Left:
Imagine John Boehner home in OH, seeing an escaped tiger–and getting a msg that help is unavailable due to govt cutbacks.
Well, I don’t know about John Boehner. But I do know that if I received such a message, it’d be because I was trying to call up a government flunky to haul a tiger carcass away. And if I did get such a message, my very next call would be to a good taxidermist.
It’s an interesting glimpse into the worldview though. The unspoken assumption is that, without government tiger hunters, we’re all doomed to be mauled by wild beasts. Presumably, this is because we are all tiny, little children, utterly incapable of solving our problems without the intervention of our benevolent government overlords. It’s a worldview that operates on the assumption that the government is the only adult in the room.
Note especially the all-or-nothing mindset: Either we pay for massive government services, or we’re completely unprotected. There are no other conceivable options in Mr. Kristoff’s worldview. It’s as if the very concepts of self-help or mutual aid are inconceivable to him.
And I don’t get the feeling that Mr. Kristoff regards this as a bad thing. It’s just the way it is. We have to keep ponying up money to the government to provide services, or society will collapse. Apparently, we’re just too stupid to be trusted to take care of ourselves.
It’s always interesting how the same people who are so keen on "democracy" tend to believe that the electorate is too stupid to care for themselves, but wise enough to vote on policies that directly affect their lives.
One of those things cannot be true.
Of course, spending much of his time in Manhattan, perhaps Mr. Kristoff is merely speaking from personal experience. After, they have created a city in which it is practically impossible for a law-abiding citizen to defend himself, so calling NYPD is about the only option when trouble arises. And I’m sure NYPD responds as quickly as they can, though, sadly, it probably won’t be before your wife gets a good raping. I’m certain they’ll investigate the hell out of it, though. After the fact.
You see, once you cede the power to defend yourself to others, you’re always a potential victim. This, however, is something about which Mr. Kristoff seems blissfully unaware.
What a sad, artificially constrained view of life.
Here is a police video. It’s a warrant service on a chap who was believed to have an excessive amount of marijuana in his home.
Alas, the house wasn’t chock full of the sweet hemp of happiness. Fortunately, however, the family owned a couple of dogs, so the raid wasn’t a total loss.
Megan McArdle says it very well:
This is our nation’s drug enforcement in a nutshell. We started out by banning the things. And people kept taking them. So we made the punishments more draconian. But people kept selling them. So we pushed the markets deep into black market territory, and got the predictable violence . . . and then we upped our game, turning drug squads into quasi-paramilitary raiders. Somewhere along the way, we got so focused on enforcing the law that we lost sight of the purpose of the law, which is to make life in America better.
I don’t know how anyone can watch that video, and think to themselves, “Yes, this is definitely worth it to rid the world of the scourge of excess pizza consumption and dopey, giggly conversations about cartoons.”
And, frankly, I wouldn’t care if the guy had a room full of China White stacked up to the ceiling like he was Authualpa stockpiling gold for Pizarro. Absent a compelling physical threat from the “dealer”, there’s simply no reason for the police to launch this style of paramilitary raid on a home, especially with children present. Yet, this has become practically the standard method of warrant service. It’ll probably come as a shock to you, but I can remember a time when nightime raids on private homes were considered the hallmark of police states.
Now, it’s just called “policing”.
And if the 7 year-old kid in the video had been clipped by a stray round or richochet, I’m sure the officers involved would regret it, personally. But, they would undoubtedly say, “I was just doing my job,” a phrase that runs a close second only to “I was only following orders” in the Banality of Evil Hall of Fame.
And the idea that their choice of these tactics will eventually make such an outcome inevitable would probably never even occur to them at all.
Police pick up a 15 year old girl. 15 year old girl gets lippy and calls them “fat pigs”. Police put 15 year old girl in holding cell and tell her to take off her “basketball shoes”. 15 year old girl slips off left one and kicks it toward the officer and it strikes him in the shin.
Watch how “professionally” the officer handles the situation:
Yeah, I know – nobody likes lippy 15 year olds who petulantly kick basketball shoes at them, but then nobody likes policemen who act like this dolt either.