You Are a Problem to Be Policed

It's easy to see the events in Dallas through a racial prism.  It is harder to see them as the consequences of a political system which relies on keeping people in dependency, in which black Americans are the furthest advanced and therefore the most afflicted. As Mark Blyth, a professor of political economy at Brown University, put it, the problem is global.  In Europe the Romanians, Spaniards and the Greeks are given the part African Americans must play. Blyth points out that after one creates a class of dependents, the next and inevitable step is to control them.

For the past 25 years, particularly the center left has told the bottom 60% of the income distribution the following story: Globalization is good for you. It's awesome. It's really great. We're going to sign these trade agreements. Don't worry there will be compensation. You'll be fine. You'll all end up as computer programmers. It'll be fantastic, right?

And by the way we don't really care because we're all going to move to the middle because that's where the voters are and they're the people with money or the ones that we really care about. ... And you basically take the bottom 30% of the income distribution and you say we don't care what happens to you. You're now something to be policed. You're now something to have your behaviors changed. We're going to nudge you to better parts ...

It's a very paternalistic, it's a very patronizing relationship. This is no longer the warm embrace of social democracy, arm-in-arm in solidarity. They're there to be policed and excluded in their housing estates so that you feel safe in your neighborhoods, so that you can have your private schools; they have their public schools ...

As I like to say to my American hedge fund friends the Hamptons is not a defensible position ... Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you.

The police are the flip side of big government programs.  There is a perverted symmetry about the Blue Model -- and a fatal weakness. A political system which encourages crime then controls guns, opens the borders to spend billions watching the multitudes admitted; a regime which destroys jobs then increases the welfare payments to the displaced is eventually going to run out of room evading the horns of its own dilemma.

In the end the fulfillment of a promise and its opposite are less real than Blyth's observation: "you're going to be a problem to be policed." You're going to be policed because there's no other way out of the dilemma. It's not just a black problem, but the problem of seating ten people in five chairs when the music stops. As soon as the news flashed of 11 cops shot in Dallas, it was evident that a hefty percentage of the casualties were bound to be Hispanic. Someone is always going to come up short in the zero-sum redistribution game.