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Ed Driscoll

Every Block for Themselves in Oakland

October 8th, 2013 - 9:55 pm

“Crowdfunded security in Oakland — It is every block for themselves just like Judge Dredd,” the Next Big Future blog notes:

Oakland has an understaffed police department and is the city with the highest robbery rate* in America. In the last few weeks three separate campaigns have been started on Crowdtilt in order to fund four months of private security patrols in three different section of Rockridge. Near $35,000 have been raised so far, and two of the three projects have raised enough funds to ensure they will move forward.

“We shouldn’t have to do this,” says Steven Kirsh, who is running the last of the three Rockridge campaigns, “but we need to do this.” He doesn’t see the Oakland Police Department suddenly getting more resources, so in order to protect his belongings, family and property value, the $82 per household doesn’t seem like much to ask, for 12 hours of patrolling five days a week. For a four month trial it will work out to less than a dollar a day.

Krish is also hoping that the relative cheapness of private security in Rockridge might opens the door to “educate other people if they’re not aware of this sort of model.”

I’m not sure if it “educated” me, but the above story certainly reminded me of another perpetually leftwing-run city that also “unexpectedly” has its own burgeoning private security industry:

And I know I mentioned Richard Fernandez’s take on Detroit earlier today, but it’s worth another link, since we’re talking about the city itself here:

Megan McArdle despite her long career as a pundit never quite “got it” until she looked at the Detroit pension plan. McArdle wondered why the pension trustees were handing out “bonuses” to the recipients when all investment logic demanded that the funds in their care be reinvested. Being a logical and decent person McArdle cast around for an explanation without success.

I literally slapped my forehead while reading some of the explanations that the trustees offered for their behavior. The spokesman for the trustees has the nerve to complain about the actuary’s report that outlines these wild deviations from sanity. Here is how she justified draining the pension fund assets:

She said that the trustees were administering benefits that had been negotiated by the city and its various unions and that they had established an internal account to set aside “excess earnings” that would cover the cost. She said it was appropriate for retirees to benefit from market upturns because they had paid into the pension fund, so their own contributions had generated part of the investment gains.

“People were having a hard time, living hand-to-mouth, and we thought we would give them some extra,” Ms. Bassett said.

It does not seem to have occurred to Ms. Bassett, or the other trustees, that people would have a very hard time when the pension that they were depending on went up in smoke.

Then she got it, like a light coming on in her head. The pension trustees were draining the pension because they were so sure, so absolutely certain that the taxpayers would have to refill the pot they felt safe helping themselves to whatever they wanted. She wrote:

they were thinking the pensions would have to be paid, one way or another. After all, it’s in the Michigan State Constitution. So they could pay out bonuses, please various constituencies, and then force the city or the state to make them whole when it all came tumbling down.

What could go wrong? To everyone’s amazement something completely unprecedented happened: City Hall went broke. “They didn’t reckon with the possibility that the city would simply run out of money, and the state would decline to step in, leaving them with no deep pockets to make up for their mismanagement.” And so the Detroit pension is bust unless they find something they can siphon off to replenish it.

I’m sure Coleman Young thought his vision of Detroit could go on forever. But Detroit and Oakland each build on Marget Thatcher’s famous observation that “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” — the problem with socialistic and poorly run cities is that the money runs out as more and more people leave for safer territories.

See also: Possible return to the Bad Old Days in New York City.

* Considering that Oakland’s government is led by the mayor who coddled and appeased Occupy Wall Street in 2011 and promoted an “Introduction to Lockpicking” adult community education course earlier this year (no, really), no one should be surprised that their private property is unsafe there.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled from multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Oakland being Oakland, I suspect the end result of this, if the trial period is successful will be for the city's activist to claim this somehow discriminates against the poor and to force the city's pols to ban private security patrols unless they agree to also patrol the lower-income areas -- at no cost to the people in those areas (i.e. -- They see that people will pay $82 per household, so why not take the $82 to pay for something in the neighborhoods where their voters are?).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Facts suck but reality is reality - every city run by Unions and Blacks is doomed to fail. one black preacher in LA or south somewhere recanted when he said if all whites left the US the blacks would destroy it in less than 5 years, after Katrina he restated it would take 6 months. The list is long of cities that will die and go away
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
And exactly why should I be concerned that Oakland, a city of 400,000 with a Republican voter registration that can be counted in the hundreds, goes to the dogs? It gives me peace of mind to know that all of those rotten liberal voters in snotty places like Oakland's Rockridge District, who vote for ballot propositions that drain my meager income, and who support affirmative action and illegal immigration, are now trapped in their $900,000 homes and can't enjoy their "green" neighborhoods. I can smile again. God is good, very, very good.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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my friend's mother makes $79 hourly on the computer. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her check was $15237 just working on the computer for a few hours. try this out.......WWW.Rush64.COM
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rockridge? Where's Sheriff Bart?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's for this and MANY more why my wife and I when returning to the states didn't move to the Bay Area let alone California when offered a job in Oakland.

This private security has sadly been the norm there for years.

The same can be said with F/T police officers policing CA's Jr. High, H.S. statewide due to Latino and lesser extent Black gangs.

Many of the Asian sections, neighborhoods of CA have private security as well because of the aforementioned gangs.

Viva la progressivism, right my Illiberal friends?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oakland being Oakland, I suspect the end result of this, if the trial period is successful will be for the city's activist to claim this somehow discriminates against the poor and to force the city's pols to ban private security patrols unless they agree to also patrol the lower-income areas -- at no cost to the people in those areas (i.e. -- They see that people will pay $82 per household, so why not take the $82 to pay for something in the neighborhoods where their voters are?).
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
And exactly why should I be concerned that Oakland, a city of 400,000 with a Republican voter registration that can be counted in the hundreds, goes to the dogs? It gives me peace of mind to know that all of those rotten liberal voters in snotty places like Oakland's Rockridge District, who vote for ballot propositions that drain my meager income, and who support affirmative action and illegal immigration, are now trapped in their $900,000 homes and can't enjoy their "green" neighborhoods. I can smile again. God is good, very, very good.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well at the least, Oakland, Detroit, and New York in the 1970s-80s certainly serve as case management studies of what *not* to do when running a city.

Though as Jay Nordlinger once wrote, “If people are voting a certain way — maybe it’s because they want to. Maybe they know full well what they’re doing. Sometimes you have to take no — such as ‘no to Republicanism’ — for an answer."

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/07/25/good-and-hard/
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Big city voters have a large population of people who live there in the first place because they gravitate towards government services. So their default voting position is towards the pols who offer the most free stuff.

The question is how far will enough of those same people allow the city to slip into decline before they hold their noses and vote the Democrats out of power? New York's saving grace, not just in 1993 but three other times in the past century, is that the voters have been willing to punish Democrats when they foul up the city enough; in contrast, Detroit and Oakland (with Chicago not far behind) will continue to vote Democratic no matter what happens to the city. The indoctrination is so strong, bankruptcy and a higher risk of murder is preferable than even thinking about trying out a Republican mayor for four years.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are not punishing the Dems, they are just taking a break. They know the Republicans will turn things around and get them back on their feet. As soon as things get going and a bit of a positive balance is built up they will vote in another Democratic administration and the whole mess will start over again.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not the indoctrination. NY managed to recover, because while it has a huge minority population, that minority is overwhelmingly not black. The cities which fail will always be heavily black. They will always vote Democratic, no matter how bad things get for them.

Without the black vote, many Dems do not get elected. Without those reps, the Dems are out of power, and we do not have our current mess.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Facts suck but reality is reality - every city run by Unions and Blacks is doomed to fail. one black preacher in LA or south somewhere recanted when he said if all whites left the US the blacks would destroy it in less than 5 years, after Katrina he restated it would take 6 months. The list is long of cities that will die and go away
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Atlanta and Birmingham are on a pace to become Detroit and Oakland.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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