Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Law & Order in Law Enforcement

 

shutterstock_101527405A few days ago Arthur Herman asked where’s the GOP’s law & order candidate? It’s a good question, worthy of an answer. However, I think a better question is this: how do we restore law & order to the process of law? For liberty to thrive, there must be order and crime must be punished. But the way we go about it says as much about our respect for liberty as does the crime rate.

National respect for those who enforce our laws is waning. From coast to coast we’re in a crisis. As Arthur noted, crime rates are rising after a long period of decline. Yes, we have Democrat governance to thank for the crime as well as the cultural decline which encourages such lawlessness. Cities like Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit reap what they have sown. Elections have consequences indeed. On the right, we advocate for more Republicans to be elected to combat these problems. We trot out Giuliani and the story of New York as our text book example of how Republicans can restore order from lawless chaos. But when the law itself turns lawless, the problems only get worse. I submit that the problem we face now is not just lawlessness from criminals, but lawlessness from law enforcement. To restore an ordered liberty and respect for the police power we must rein in those who have corrupted just ends with illiberal means.

Orange County California should be an example of good governance, but is not. A zeal for successful prosecution has eclipsed any love for liberty and cast a pall over justice there. R. Scott Moxley detailed in a piece for the OC Weekly how “Recent Proof of Prosecutorial Misconduct Mirrors OCDA’s Bad Old Days.” The short version is that prosecutors used:

jailhouse informants to violate constitutional protections for in-custody defendants, hid[] exculpatory evidence and committ[ed] perjury to cover up the tactics.

The abuse became so egregious that the judge removed the entire Orange County prosecutor’s office from a very high profile capital murder, in a case where the accused pled guilty to first degree murder charges. The shenanigans that came to light were in the penalty phase of the case. Cheating to win is not justice. It is lawlessness that stains our nation and degrades our liberty.

We need — as Arthur points out — a candidate to stand for law and order. This candidate must be as serious about restoring these ideals to our justice system as he is about enforcing criminal law.

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  1. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The King Prawn: On the right we advocate for more Republicans to be elected to combat these problems. We trot out Giuliani and the story of New York as our text book example of how Republicans can restore order from lawless chaos.

    When Giuliani and Bratton first took over in NYC, I remember seeing lots of stories on the news about cops getting arrested. Policing the police was a top priority. I hear a lot of people talking about “Broken Windows”, etc., but I do not too many people talking about fighting police corruption, but that was a big part of the overall success in NYC.

    • #1
    • June 4, 2015, at 8:36 AM PDT
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  2. Ontheleftcoast Member

    The OC Weekly’s piece details how the DA both falsified evidence to put people away, and probably in some cases got them executed, for crimes they didn’t commit. Many of them were bad people who had committed other crimes. But they weren’t convicted of the other crimes.

    The OCDA has been doing this for more than thirty years. RICO, anyone?

    There is a qualitative difference between a cop who makes a bad split second decision on the street and prosecutors and investigators who, over decades, conspire to conceal exculpatory evidence.

    Their colleagues who knowingly condoned this conduct or even just rationalize it may be friends of order but they are not supporters of the Law. Neither are people who, in the name of order, carelessly (we hope!) lump them together as “law and order.”

    Tyrant (noun)

    1. (historical, ancient Greece) A usurper; one who gains power and rules extralegally, distinguished from kings elevated by election or succession
    2. (obsolete) Any monarch or governor
    3. A despot; a ruler who governs unjustly, cruelly, or harshly
    4. (by extension) Any person who abuses the power of position or office to treat others unjustly, cruelly, or harshly.

    “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God” is a slogan so beloved of Thomas Jefferson that he used it on his personal seal. Benjamin Franklin wanted it on the Great Seal of the United States.

    Perhaps Thomas Paine is more relevant here: “The duty of a Patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

    • #2
    • June 4, 2015, at 9:15 AM PDT
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  3. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    The sheriff’s department colluded with the prosecutors in this mess. They built and maintained a database on incarcerated informants so they could be used to manufacture the evidence required. The desire to win completely overrode the desire for justice.

    • #3
    • June 4, 2015, at 9:24 AM PDT
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  4. Ontheleftcoast Member

    The King Prawn:The sheriff’s department colluded with the prosecutors in this mess. They built and maintained a database on incarcerated informants so they could be used to manufacture the evidence required. The desire to win completely overrode the desire for justice.

    Mess? How about “criminal conspiracy?”

    • #4
    • June 4, 2015, at 10:19 AM PDT
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  5. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    Ontheleftcoast:

    The King Prawn:The sheriff’s department colluded with the prosecutors in this mess. They built and maintained a database on incarcerated informants so they could be used to manufacture the evidence required. The desire to win completely overrode the desire for justice.

    Mess? How about “criminal conspiracy?”

    It may (and probably should) come to that. I don’t know enough of the details to pass a certain judgment, but what is known is very, very disturbing. Of course, it’s just one more brick in the load we carry that weighs down our liberty.

    • #5
    • June 4, 2015, at 10:25 AM PDT
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  6. TreeRat Member

    As Glenn Reynolds has noted on many an occaision, as long as prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity for their official actions, they are uncontrollable.

    • #6
    • June 4, 2015, at 12:20 PM PDT
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  7. iWe Coolidge
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KP, an excellent post. Thank you.

    • #7
    • June 5, 2015, at 7:32 AM PDT
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  8. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    iWe:KP, an excellent post. Thank you.

    Yes, very much so.

    On the other hand, one criticism from the law & order types — or surveillance hawks — that deserves acknowledgement is that the better they do their jobs, the more likely people are to gripe. That is, the more police protect us from the genuinely dangerous, the more likely it is that decent citizens will adopt the attitude that cops are only there to harass the law-abiding because those are the interactions we tend to have with them. This can lead to removing policies that are necessary but invisible to the law-abiding.

    • #8
    • June 5, 2015, at 7:48 AM PDT
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  9. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    On the other other hand, good times are also the best time for police, legislators, and law enforcement to make sure to remove laws that needlessly harass citizens, so as to avoid this.

    Moreover, places like NYC might seek to scale back some of their draconian laws once order has been re-established. It bugs me to no end that it’s still (virtually) impossible to legally carry a handgun in a place like NY.

    • #9
    • June 5, 2015, at 7:48 AM PDT
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  10. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    What interactions should we have with law enforcement as law-abiding citizens?

    As for removing unnecessary laws, good luck with that. Government effectiveness is measured by the pound of paper consumed.

    • #10
    • June 5, 2015, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    iWe:KP, an excellent post. Thank you.

    Yes, very much so.
    On the other hand, one criticism from the law & order types — or surveillance hawks — that deserves acknowledgement is that the better they do their jobs, the more likely people are to gripe. That is, the more police protect us from the genuinely dangerous, the more likely it is that decent citizens will adopt the attitude that cops are only there to harass the law-abiding because those are the interactions we tend to have with them.

    Not always.

    When “Officer Friendly” visits kids’ classrooms, he spins them fantasies about how, if someone steals your wallet or your cat gets stuck up a tree, you can trust a police officer to be there for you. Then you grow up and realize that police are essentially indifferent to your reports of your home being burgled (even if what was taken was inexpensive), much less your public-spirited attempts to rescue endangered species from your local water intake.

    If police truly do have things under control, they can make the time to have positive interactions with the law-abiding. Indeed, they still like to tell small children they do. Evidently, they choose not to.

    In the big, bad city where I was burgled, at least the excuse “we have bigger fish to fry” is colorable (though immensely corrosive of trust). In the sleepy, law-abiding town where I was raised (and my mom still lives), there is no excuse.

    • #11
    • June 5, 2015, at 8:19 AM PDT
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  12. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Responsibility works from the top down. If the government tolerates extra legal or illegal activities at the top, it generates less respect for the law further down the chain. Look at Chicago.

    Also, if those at the top exempt themselves from the laws they create, why should the rest of us follow those laws?

    • #12
    • June 5, 2015, at 8:34 AM PDT
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  13. Doug Watt Moderator

    Unfortunately Americans don’t know the difference between servants and masters, then they elect officials that don’t know the difference. The District attorney is an elected official. He or she serves at the pleasure of the voters. The same goes for your mayor, city council members, county commissioners, state reps, state senators, and then your elected federal reps.

    Local elections are about as exciting as watching someone fill pot holes on a street. Guess what, your elected officials don’t find filling potholes any more exciting than you do. That’s why they don’t get filled. American voters for the most part have the attention span of a gnat.

    The big stink about the MIT professor that wrote portions of the health care act stating that the American voter was stupid was misplaced. That statement may have been the only true statement that has come from one of the Obama administration minion’s.

    The only way change is going to come is electing officials to do away with regulations and bad law. Ironic isn’t it. Just remember no man’s life, liberty, or property is safe when the legislature is in session. That applies to your local officials as well. It will be a tough fight because advocacy groups lobby and go to city council meetings and when a mayor sees an audience filled with advocacy groups he/she see votes and campaign contributions.

    • #13
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:23 AM PDT
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  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The King Prawn: However, I think a better question is this: how do we restore law & order to the process of law?

    Restore? This is how our system works. It is how it always has worked. There is no restore there is only forward to something better. We never had a good system that got corrupt. We had and have a corrupt system that is getting more notice because of the modern technology such at the internet. People that the corrupt system has stepped on and their families now have some chance to get the word out so everyday people can see it.

    The reason that Ferguson, Baltimore and other places riot is because they know this truth. Maybe the incidents that spawned the riots were not corrupt in themselves but overall they understand that the system is corrupt because they live near it and deal with it regularly.

    You’re Either a Cop or Little People

    • #14
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  15. Doug Watt Moderator

    Fake John Galt:

    The King Prawn: However, I think a better question is this: how do we restore law & order to the process of law?

    Restore? This is how our system works. It is how it always has worked. There is no restore there is only forward to something better. We never had a good system that got corrupt. We had and have a corrupt system that is getting more notice because of the modern technology such at the internet. People that the corrupt system has stepped on and their families now have some chance to get the word out so everyday people can see it.

    The reason that Ferguson, Baltimore and other places riot is because they know this truth. Maybe the incidents that spawned the riots were not corrupt in themselves but overall they understand that the system is corrupt because they live near it and deal with it regularly.

    You’re Either a Cop or Little People

    Well one cop in Ferguson lost his job even though he was the innocent party in a false narrative. 160 officers that had nothing to do with Freddie Gray were injured in the Baltimore block party. Sometimes it’s not good to be a cop

    • #15
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:45 AM PDT
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  16. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    Fake John Galt:

    Restore? This is how our system works. It is how it always has worked. There is no restore there is only forward to something better. We never had a good system that got corrupt. We had and have a corrupt system that is getting more notice because of the modern technology such at the internet. People that the corrupt system has stepped on and their families now have some chance to get the word out so everyday people can see it.

    The reason that Ferguson, Baltimore and other places riot is because they know this truth. Maybe the incidents that spawned the riots were not corrupt in themselves but overall they understand that the system is corrupt because they live near it and deal with it regularly.

    You’re Either a Cop or Little People

    As designed our system is pretty fantastic. As experienced it is antithetical to our ideals. I don’t know that it has always been so, but it obviously is now. I honestly don’t know if a system can function adequately in regard to both the guilty and the innocent. If we must choose which one to prioritize which should it be? Ideally we have chosen to treat the innocent justly even if some of the guilty go free. That was inverted in OC.

    • #16
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:45 AM PDT
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  17. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    Doug Watt:

    Well one cop in Ferguson lost his job even though he was the innocent party in a false narrative. 160 officers that nothing to do with Freddie Gray were injured in the Baltimore block party. Sometimes it’s not good to be a cop

    We’ve moved beyond responding to the specific incident or injustice to reacting to inherent injustice in the system. We’ll probably disagree as to whether or not it actually exists.

    One of my foundational political premises is that government is a reflection of the citizenry, not the other way around. If our criminal justice system has become unjust, immoral, and criminal it is simply because have as a people became so first.

    • #17
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:52 AM PDT
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  18. TeeJaw Inactive

    It seems that holding prosecutors to the Rule of Law has been a challenge for sometime. Consider this from an 1897 case in the Colorado Supreme Court:

    Ritchey v. People, 47 P. 384 (Colo. 1897):

     It is to be regretted that the law officers of the state have given much time of late to insistence upon matters that are purely technical, in the attempt to prevent defendants in criminal cases from having their causes reviewed upon the substantial merits; and we commend the following for consideration, as the opinion of one of the ablest authorities upon the administration of the criminal law:

     

    “It is scarcely necessary to add that a prosecuting attorney is a sworn officer of the government, required not merely to execute justice, but to preserve intact all the great sanctions of public law and liberty. No matter how guilty a defendant may, in his opinion, be, he is bound to see that no conviction shall take place except in strict conformity to law. It is the duty, indeed, of all counsel, to repudiate chicanery and appeal to unworthy prejudice in the discharge of their high office; but eminently is this the case with public officers, elected as representing the people at large, and invested with the power which belongs to official rank, to comparative superiority in experience, and to the very presumption here spoken of, that they are independent officers of state.” Wharton Criminal Law, § 3003.

    • #18
    • June 5, 2015, at 9:54 AM PDT
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  19. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Doug Watt:

    Fake John Galt:

    The King Prawn: However, I think a better question is this: how do we restore law & order to the process of law?

    Restore? This is how our system works. It is how it always has worked. There is no restore there is only forward to something better. We never had a good system that got corrupt. We had and have a corrupt system that is getting more notice because of the modern technology such at the internet. People that the corrupt system has stepped on and their families now have some chance to get the word out so everyday people can see it.

    The reason that Ferguson, Baltimore and other places riot is because they know this truth. Maybe the incidents that spawned the riots were not corrupt in themselves but overall they understand that the system is corrupt because they live near it and deal with it regularly.

    You’re Either a Cop or Little People

    Well one cop in Ferguson lost his job even though he was the innocent party in a false narrative. 160 officers that had nothing to do with Freddie Gray were injured in the Baltimore block party. Sometimes it’s not good to be a cop

    given

    • #19
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:05 AM PDT
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  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The King Prawn:

    Fake John Galt:

    Restore? This is how our system works. It is how it always has worked. There is no restore there is only forward to something better. We never had a good system that got corrupt. We had and have a corrupt system that is getting more notice because of the modern technology such at the internet. People that the corrupt system has stepped on and their families now have some chance to get the word out so everyday people can see it.

    The reason that Ferguson, Baltimore and other places riot is because they know this truth. Maybe the incidents that spawned the riots were not corrupt in themselves but overall they understand that the system is corrupt because they live near it and deal with it regularly.

    You’re Either a Cop or Little People

    As designed our system is pretty fantastic. As experienced it is antithetical to our ideals. I don’t know that it has always been so, but it obviously is now. I honestly don’t know if a system can function adequately in regard to both the guilty and the innocent. If we must choose which one to prioritize which should it be? Ideally we have chosen to treat the innocent justly even if some of the guilty go free. That was inverted in OC.

    Not fantastic. Just much better than many alternatives.

    • #20
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:06 AM PDT
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  21. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    Fake John Galt:

    The King Prawn:

    As designed our system is pretty fantastic. As experienced it is antithetical to our ideals. I don’t know that it has always been so, but it obviously is now. I honestly don’t know if a system can function adequately in regard to both the guilty and the innocent. If we must choose which one to prioritize which should it be? Ideally we have chosen to treat the innocent justly even if some of the guilty go free. That was inverted in OC.

    Not fantastic. Just much better than many alternatives.

    By comparison to others at the time (specifically the one we rebelled against), I think the design was at least inspired.

    • #21
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:08 AM PDT
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  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The King Prawn:

    Doug Watt:

    Well one cop in Ferguson lost his job even though he was the innocent party in a false narrative. 160 officers that nothing to do with Freddie Gray were injured in the Baltimore block party. Sometimes it’s not good to be a cop

    We’ve moved beyond responding to the specific incident or injustice to reacting to inherent injustice in the system. We’ll probably disagree as to whether or not it actually exists.

    One of my foundational political premises is that government is a reflection of the citizenry, not the other way around. If our criminal justice system has become unjust, immoral, and criminal it is simply because have as a people became so first.

    Disagree. I think those that are unjust, immoral, and criminal and get off on the power of government go in and create the system. Eventually the good people of the citizenry get fed up with it and start lopping off heads to correct the problem.

    The best way to think of government as an organized crime syndicate that has taken up the mantle of legitimacy.

    • #22
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:12 AM PDT
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  23. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The King Prawn:

    Fake John Galt:

    The King Prawn:

    As designed our system is pretty fantastic. As experienced it is antithetical to our ideals. I don’t know that it has always been so, but it obviously is now. I honestly don’t know if a system can function adequately in regard to both the guilty and the innocent. If we must choose which one to prioritize which should it be? Ideally we have chosen to treat the innocent justly even if some of the guilty go free. That was inverted in OC.

    Not fantastic. Just much better than many alternatives.

    By comparison to others at the time (specifically the one we rebelled against), I think the design was at least inspired.

    I have no problem with its inspiration, or its dream or its principle, just its reality. It is corrupt. Sometimes that works for you sometimes it does not.

    • #23
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:14 AM PDT
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  24. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    Fake John Galt:

    The King Prawn:

    Doug Watt:

    Well one cop in Ferguson lost his job even though he was the innocent party in a false narrative. 160 officers that nothing to do with Freddie Gray were injured in the Baltimore block party. Sometimes it’s not good to be a cop

    We’ve moved beyond responding to the specific incident or injustice to reacting to inherent injustice in the system. We’ll probably disagree as to whether or not it actually exists.

    One of my foundational political premises is that government is a reflection of the citizenry, not the other way around. If our criminal justice system has become unjust, immoral, and criminal it is simply because have as a people became so first.

    Disagree. I think those that are unjust, immoral, and criminal and get off on the power of government go in and create the system. Eventually the good people of the citizenry get fed up with it and start lopping off heads to correct the problem.

    The best way to think of government as an organized crime syndicate that has taken up the mantle of legitimacy.

    But they are in large part elected. Are you suggesting that a moral and just citizenry is just duped into electing the immoral and unjust? I simply believe that if we are victims in this it is because we are also the victimizers.

    • #24
    • June 5, 2015, at 10:23 AM PDT
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  25. Stad Coolidge

    The King Prawn: National respect for those who enforce our laws is waning.

    I believe this lack of respect is primarily in cities controlled top to bottom by Democrats. I live in a small, conservative Republican town, and respect and admiration for our local law enforcement is high.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if police officers in Democrat-controlled city after Democrat-controlled city simply turn in their badges and move elsewhere . . .

    • #25
    • June 5, 2015, at 12:46 PM PDT
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  26. The Reticulator Member

    The King Prawn:One of my foundational political premises is that government is a reflection of the citizenry, not the other way around. If our criminal justice system has become unjust, immoral, and criminal it is simply because have as a people became so first.

    Why wouldn’t it be both ways around?

    • #26
    • June 5, 2015, at 1:01 PM PDT
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  27. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member

    The Reticulator:

    The King Prawn:One of my foundational political premises is that government is a reflection of the citizenry, not the other way around. If our criminal justice system has become unjust, immoral, and criminal it is simply because have as a people became so first.

    Why wouldn’t it be both ways around?

    Perhaps it is. In that case we have a very dangerous negative feedback loop going on. The problem I have with the idea is I’ve never seen evidence of government improving the citizenry. I challenged Paul Rahe to provide an example once, and the best he could come up with was some (very, very few) public high schools.

    • #27
    • June 5, 2015, at 1:05 PM PDT
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  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The King Prawn:

    Fake John Galt:

    .

    Disagree. I think those that are unjust, immoral, and criminal and get off on the power of government go in and create the system. Eventually the good people of the citizenry get fed up with it and start lopping off heads to correct the problem.

    The best way to think of government as an organized crime syndicate that has taken up the mantle of legitimacy.

    But they are in large part elected. Are you suggesting that a moral and just citizenry is just duped into electing the immoral and unjust? I simply believe that if we are victims in this it is because we are also the victimizers.

    A. for the large part government workers are not elected. The elected positions account for only a very small number of government positions. I am not sure why everybody wants to ignore the bureaucrats.

    B. Most areas are controlled by one party or the other. In my area Democrats rule in most cases the Republicans do not even try to run somebody to get in office. I am a registered Democrat because if I was a registered Republican I would not even need to bother with the primaries. The guys running in the primaries are sort of like different mob crew running for the right of ownership of that part of the organized crime syndicate called government.

    • #28
    • June 5, 2015, at 3:06 PM PDT
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  29. I Walton Member

    Policing and the judicial systems unlike most local, state and Federal government are essential public goods but like all governments lack automatic feedback and built in accountability, as the price system provide the private sector. For instance, markets work best with less static and friction when there are no government regulations, politically imposed systems and interference, rent seeking political manipulation and distortions. Imagine then government only has tools that in markets are the burden, the cost, the distortion. So public scrutiny, a vigorous press, political pressure, is essential and yet these are subject to manipulation and exploitation for the same lack of systemic accountability and feedback as the thing in question. These non market organizations work best when there is a core of professionals, trained, disciplined, self managed and enjoying esprit de corps. But, like all government, they have little monopolies and with time will exploit it, stagnate and become corrupt. There is no magic solution, so when some Mayor or police chief gets it right we have to celebrate loudly and when they get it profoundly wrong as in Baltimore we have to complain loudly. The other thing we can do, is try to get rid of the public goods that we don’t need, that do more harm than good, (most) including the things cops shouldn’t have to do, like policing cigarette contraband and … but the war on drugs is another longer story. 

    • #29
    • June 6, 2015, at 6:52 AM PDT
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  30. Son of Spengler Contributor

    John Penfold:

    Over longer time horizons, there is another mechanism. There is competition across jurisdictions, as people can vote with their feet by moving from a more corrupt municipality to a less-corrupt municipality.

    • #30
    • June 6, 2015, at 6:45 PM PDT
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