The Dollar Vigilante
by Jeff Berwick
Showing that even the police are incredibly brainwashed by TV programming that always shows them as needed heroes the New York police may have made a career-threatening mistake by effectively going on strike this month.
The 34,500 uniformed members of the NYPD, which Mayor Bloomberg once called the world’s seventh largest army, had two of their members shot this month and in protest they decided to stop harassing people for awhile.
According to the New York Post, in the week after the shootings, citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587 compared to the same week in 2013. Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300. Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241. Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
In other words, tens of thousands of victimless crimes were actually treated the way they should be… not as crimes at all.
If this was done in protest to garner public support it has massively backfired as at least, according to the numbers above, 27,790 people weren’t harassed, kidnapped (arrested), extorted (fined) and had their week ruined last week for absolutely nothing.
There is plenty of precedent of how police have stopped enforcing victimless crimes and it having improved the lives of people in the community.
The most obvious one was in Acapulco, Mexico, where I am writing from, where I wrote this summer how the municipal and transit police went on strike and how much it improved the city. It improved it so much that still to this day there are no municipal and transit police as the people demanded that they did not want them back. (That article, “What Happens When All The Police In A Town Are Removed” was our most popular article of all-time with 19,000 likes and hundreds of thousands of shares). [Editor’s Note: If you’d like to see how well it works come on down to Anarchapulco this February 27th to March 1st where many of the world’s brightest free market thinkers will be congregating]
Other examples include a German town that removed all traffic lights and codes and resulted in much less traffic accidents (they virtually stopped) and a much better flow of traffic.
This makes complete sense. By trying to enforce the movements of millions of people down to intricate detail and having men with guns watching them to see if they break any of the countless rules (that now includes going either 1 km/h over or under the speed limit in New Zealand) it results in road rage, chaos, accidents and stifled traffic flow. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has even led to a decrease in murders by more than 50%!
The simplest example of why this is would be to take a busy town square where thousands of people manage to walk through it all day without colliding into each other on a regular basis. If you were to take that town square and put up all sorts of rules for where people could walk, limits on how fast or slow they could walk and signs and stop lights it would reduce the square to a mess of people all walking unnaturally, the traffic flow would nearly come to a halt and nearly everyone would be angry and irritated. Then, if you add to it, people with guns walking around accosting people who don’t follow every rule perfectly and you have what we have today in most of the Western world. A horrific mess.
As for New York, one has to wonder how much longer the police will stop harassing people and how much longer it will be before people begin to question why they should even have them at all. Or, at the very least, why not reduce them by 90% and have the remaining 10% only investigate real, serious crimes with actual victims?
And once it gets to that point then perhaps people will realize that these sort of security and investigation operations can be done by the private market and get rid of centrally planned (communist-style) policing once and for all.
In Detroit there is a private security firm that has operated for the last decade with amazing results. In all their security operations not one person has ever gotten physically hurt including their client, the aggressor or the security firm employees.
Sadly the US has gone the route of heavy, communist-style central planning of many services including policing/security and the results are plain to see today all across the US.
With the NYPD stopping most of their operations in the last few weeks hopefully it will be enough to open many people’s eyes that this system itself is bad for society and they will search out free market solutions. Already the market has created countless solutions that negate the need for most police (and other) services, like the Peacekeeper App.
If people begin to realize this the only problem will be figuring out how to assimilate hundreds of thousands of mostly psychopathic police back into society. They will be the largest source of violence and crime once their government paid welfare checks stop cashing. But without their costumes and badges granting them virtual immunity from consequences of their own actions many of them will just recede into society and be “that guy” who beats people up at the bar sometimes or beats his wife (police beat their wives at double the national rate).
Bizarrely, many “conservatives” in the US can see how horrible central planning of things like welfare and minimum wage laws are but can’t quite see how central planning of security is just as bad for the same reasons.
Here’s to hoping that 2015 sees most of the New York Police Department unemployed and countless free market private enterprises come in that will show people, like Uber did, the difference between government controlled monopolies and free market solutions.
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences including his own, Anarchapulco, as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.