Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Media Manipulations and Propaganda Continue Apace

"The Constitution was designed to govern the government, not the people." - Steve Hanke

Oh, no! The the people of Camden, NJ are going to have to live with the services they can afford to pay for!

Before you are overwhelmed with the word "Should", let's think this through.

What will become of poor Camden? Is it Armageddon? Is this The End? Stay tuned, same Bat Station...

The answer is none of the above. Over time, the city of Camden, NJ will depopulate. People will move away, and there will absolutely, positively be excess deaths over births.  Those that remain will, over time, learn to provide for themselves and learn to conduct themselves such that they are not the second highest crime city.

As for the Camden police officers?  They will get other jobs that do not burden citizens with their absurd (relative to their contributions both monetarily and to society) life time benefits, and less people will wind up in prison where they HONE their criminal skills and make contacts that evolve into the gangs now over running the city.  Fewer police will get killed in the line of duty enforcing laws that have not proven to be such good ideas.

As for Fire protection?  A brutal cost/benefit analysis will be forced on every municipality out there.  Without question, it is cheaper to GIVE people a new home than it is to maintain fire protection.  This is not 1890 Chicago; fires do not consume entire cities (well, except Philadelphia).  Oh, and what about saving lives? Darn few "saves" are made by fire personnel at fires... ambulance and First Responder service is not what we are talking about here.  Every blizzard, Metro New York City knows that a certain number of people will be killed in car crashes.  FACT.  Does the region shut down all travel?  Nope. They could, but they don't.  Wannt know why? Because losing 5 or 10 people is an acceptable cost of doing business. Brutal - and Simple, Like, That.

Camden might need to disband, and its people might need to move elsewhere and become like the productive citizens of their adoptive cities.  Or, Camden's citizens can adopt the profile of a city like Fargo, ND, with its low crime, sense of community, and ability to fund their own services and remain.  Why is it that a city living beyond its means, and beyond the pale, is any different than a country?  We all seem to recognize that the U.S. is out of bounds with its budget and wars, yet Camden is somehow a victim?  BALONEY.

This story is going to be repeated over and over again in the coming years. Just fill in the blank for the name of the city.


Anonymous said...

I have a small issue with this basic thesis. Entitlements have so tipped the balance in most states/cities that critical services for which government was established in the first place are being prioritized lower than the handouts.

To me it is preferable to force people to provide for themselves long before we start cutting police services and well before we start cutting fire/ambulance/etc. And I would even go so far as to say education should be prioritized over handouts even though I am not necessarily in favor of state run education (aka propaganda).

Cuts should come fist from welfare, second from medicaid, third from unemployment. After those programs are completely gone should we begin to start cutting police, fire, education, etc.

bureaucrat said...

All of the awful, poor people on welfare, Medicaid, and unemployment cannot even begin to cost as much as the Social Security/Medicare/Defense stock holders cost the Federal government. The upright, special, upper-middle class that get all the entitlement spending in this country takes out FAR, FAR, FAR more than they ever paid in. There is broke-butt welfare and there is white man's, upper middle class WELFARE.

We'll see how long Camden stays in "Libertarian every man for himself" mode before someone, somewhere bails them out, or they contract naturally. Camden also has county and state police to draw from. :)

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dear Anon:

Please login or use a nickname - I don't like to debate straw men... but since your comments are quite reasonable, I will respond.

Please note that I asked readers when contemplating this story/thesis/post to remove the word "Should" from their lexicon...

"Cuts should come fist from welfare, second from medicaid, third from unemployment. After those programs are completely gone should we begin to start cutting police, fire, education, etc."

See the "Should's" in your comments/paragraph? That's the problem with "Should"... its too late for a great MANY should's as far as Camden and the rest of these municipalities... as my late/great father was wont to say: "There's the way it oughta be, and then there's the way it is".

Of course the entitlements should have gone first... had they been removed, the large number of police and fire personnel would have been needed in the first place, ESPECIALLY if certain "crimes" were not crimes.

But I digress...

The city of Camden ONLY EXISTS because of entitlements - no entitlements, no Camden.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Should have read "would NOT have been needed".

Anonymous said...


All of them will be cut, one way or another. It is just a matter of how and when. If it were a choice between your job and cuts to ANY of the giveaway programs you mentioned, which would it be? Are you altruistic with your own livelihood, or just other peoples'?


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Propaganda is interesting. Consider the propagandist's path to the word Entitlements. It began as "relief" that morphed to "welfare" and finally "entitlements." What began as temporary aid in a rough spot became something that everyone is entitled to simply for increasing the entropy of the Universe. And, those "entitlements" are part of "non-discretionary" spending. Really! No discretion is permitted in reducing entitlements, only in increasing them. I'd go after them first.


Coal Guy

PioneerPreppy said...

Very interesting point about the fire department Greg.

I have never thought about it from that direction. I know the nearest local town to me with a full time fire department seems to spend huge amounts on it. I wonder what their true save vs. cost ratio is.

Dan said...

There is a very good chance that the violent crime rate will spike in Camden; primarily the hoodlums being killed off when the police don’t show up to take them into custody, and thus protect them from the angry mob. After that it would probably settle down provided the yuppies don’t freak and vote in someone whom will reverse the process. Even a total lack of police does not mean anarchy, at least not for long. There will be order, probably much better order than there is now. The current criminal justice system is already broken and there isn’t much more downside left in some areas.

However it will not be without problems because there is no reasoning with a lynch mob and occasionally the innocent will face their furry as well. Now is probably a very bad time to be a known troublemaker in Camden.

Dan said...

The fire departments are mandated by the insurance industry, and insurance is mandated by mortgage bankers. Insurance rates are going to go up and a whole new tranche of debtors are going over the precipice. At least that is what I got out of the fire dept closings.

BTW Gregg, Philadelphia was urban renewal; the lesson there was don’t shoot at or try to mug the fire dept. lol.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I never sai the transition would be perfectly smooth... only that it would work itself out. Will it be any worse than it is now? I doubt it.

The fix is in.

westexas said...

Mish has a long post on the continuing crisis in local and state government budgets, focusing initially on the Vallejo, California municipal bankruptcy (cities can, with some restrictions, file bankruptcy; states have to default on their obligations):

And here in Texas, the budget battle--which will determine who loses the least versus who loses the most (no winners in sight)--has started:


AUSTIN — Outraged groups — from doctors and health executives to teachers, the elderly, advocates for abused children and even some Republicans — ripped the proposed House budget Wednesday, saying it would send the state backward.

Critics heaped scorn on the House GOP leaders’ all-cuts approach to the state’s giant budget hole, particularly for reductions in education that would eliminate pre-kindergarten programs, shutter four community colleges and close university opportunities for tens of thousands needing financial aid. Any advancement in curtailing high school dropout rates, improving college graduation statistics and preparing Texans for future jobs would be, at best, placed on hold, budget leaders conceded.

westexas said...

Note that the GOP is currently in full control of the state government in Texas, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens as the reality of the scale of these budget cutbacks begins to sink in with voters.

On the federal level, given the scale of the deficits, it would seem that the government has two primary options: (1) The Texas plan, i.e., huge budget cuts; (2) We continue to borrow and spend, with the Federal Reserve continuing to gradually take over as the buyer as last resort of US debt, as foreign creditors fade away.

Regarding Bureaucrat, it seems to me that the SS Ever Expanding Government Model has hit an iceberg called Peak Oil/Peak Exports. I suspect that if Bur were on the Titanic, he would be on the stern shouting, "This ship can't sink," as the cold water closed in around him.

westexas said...

Technically, there are three options, if we include the Illinois Plan, which involves huge tax increases. It will be very interesting to see how much additional revenue that Illinois actually raises. I doubt that they will be successful in materially increasing their revenue.

bureaucrat said...

WesternTexas, old buddy :),

One thing that Mish (and his people like NJ governor Christie)stubbornly refuses to consider is tax increases on the very wealthy, who benefitted hugely from the Bush tax cuts of the last 10 years. The top 10% are now collecting 50% of national income, up from 25% in the 1950s-60s. Severe budget cuts aren't even necessary as of yet.

Regarding peak oil and exports ... the EIA data is clear: there is no shortage of oil or oil products as of yet, and there hasn't been a shortage since the Exxon Valdez in 1989. The oil keeps coming. Not sure from where, but the supply graphs are all still above the 5-year historical range. The price rise in crude oil on the commodity exchanges are almost all speculation (investing with borrowed money).

Let's call a spade a spade. :)

Anonymous said...

A comment I read on another site about this seemed kind of interesting. And that is that New jersey has very strict gun control laws, limiting any sort of self policing/vigilante justice that might have otherwise emerged.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, plenty of guns moving all up and down the east coast. If you are in Jersey, I think you could hit the gun show circuit and get anything you want.
Don't worry, your 2nd amendment rights are still ok.
Rational Liberal

Anonymous said...

If only that were true Rational:

westexas said...

Re: Oil shortages

One thing that economists do have right is that there is generally no such thing as a shortage; there is simply a price that people won't, or can't, pay.

Because of flat to declining global crude oil production since 2005, and because of declining global net oil exports, combined with Chindia's exploding demand, annual US oil prices have exceeded the 2005 level of $57 for five straight years, with annual prices rising for four of the five years.

Another Titanic analogy I have used is the first 15 minutes of the sinking versus the last 15 minutes. In the first 15 minutes, only a handful of the people on the ship knew that it would sink; in the last 15 minutes the reality of the situation was apparent to everyone.

In regard to Peak Oil/Peak Exports, we are in the first 15 minutes, but that does not mean that our old way of life is not in the process of sinking below the waves. For anyone in government, dependent on the status quo, you can continue to hold on to the railing, or start looking for a lifeboat.