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by Peter Moskos

April 26, 2011

We need higher taxes...

...to pay for police.

Newark laid off police and murders are up 71 percent this year. That's penny wise and pound foolish. The Newark Star-Ledger reports.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't just leave it to taxes, taxes are already high in NJ. Spending cuts must be made and its going to hit the public sector hard... Just as it has in Baltimore City where taxes are high as well.

David said...

You cannot tax yourself to prosperity.

Policing is one of the basic and essential functions of government especially at the state and local level.

Non governmental functions and spending are what need to be cut.

Lastly, maybe New Jersey (and Maryland) need to revise their laws on allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns.

PCM said...

Actually, you can. You can tax your way to greater income equality and investment in infrastructure (social and concrete). And infrastructure and income equality has historically been associated with prosperity.

I would say you can't cut your way to prosperity. Of course that isn't true. The richest will be very property. It's the rest of us I worry about.

There are some who call me... Tim said...

What is the actual correlation between police employment and murders? What other factors were involved?

- Could the lousy economy have forces some to steal/murder for money? What portion of the 71% increase was due to that?

- Could the lousy economy cause heightened tensions in households, leading to more domestic abuse and murders?

- Could part of that increase simply be a statistical anomaly?

That is not to say there is no relation between the number of police on the beat vs. the number of murders. I believe there is a strong negative correlation (more police ==> less murders), but to imply the decrease in police was THE cause of the 71% increase is somewhat deceptive.

Of course, given other possible factors in the increase in murders coupled, one could make an argument that not only should Newark not be laying off police, but they should be hiring MORE to offset those other factors...

PCM said...

There has got to be a correlation between police and crime (including murder) but many people smarter than me have spent a lot of time trying and failing to find that correlation (mostly this work was done in the 1970s).

All your other questions are good ones to ask. Very good questions.

To hazard a guess, I would say some cities can take a police cut and see no increase in crime. Others, cities more at a tipping point, can get walloped. Certain what police do is more important than the number of police. But if you don't have the numbers, it's hard to do much at all.

DC Handgun Info said...

Regular New Jerseyites could benefit from adoption of Vermont's Constitutional Carry (no permit) system, then police themselves to a large extent. Or to paraphrase IMAO.us blogger Frank J., Are New Jerseyites so "crazy and dangerous" that they cannot be allowed to carry concealed like U.S. citizens in most other states?

PCM said...

Some of them are.