Thursday, July 21, 2016
Sometimes it happens that an emotional movement embroils people in an orgy of feeling good about their cause without thinking through the effects of their passions and actions.
So it is with BLM.
Let us grant, albeit charitably by leaving aside personal aggrandizement and/or anarchic aspirations contained in their activists, that the BLM folks really want to reduce the number of black deaths.
Their passions focus anger on Police killings of black people. One can gain the impression that all, or most, killing of black people are caused by racist Police officers with the collusion of a racist government.
But, this narrative ignores completely the astounding fact that most black people are killed by other non-police black people.
Police kill more white people and Hispanic people than they kill black people.
If the BLM were truly interested in reducing violent black deaths, it would focus attention on the black-on-black killings which occur routinely.
Perhaps the BLM could reduce the number of black people killed by other black people by encouraging the witnesses to the killings to tell Police who did the killing. Usually there are no secrets about who are the killers. But, the people who know the guilty parties routinely do not identify them to the Police. Thus the killers are free to kill again.
There may be two reasons that witnesses do not tell Police.
First, witnesses may be frightened of retaliation from the killers if they 'rat' out the killers. This is wrong since most Police have confidential tip lines where even the police do not know the identity of the person leaving the tip. In the event the killers face a trial, the witnesses may be afraid of being identified in open court. This is a real risk for which some government programs offer protections.
Second, there is a culture in some quarters which says that it is a sin to 'rat' on killers. Apparently, these folks would rather live under the rule of gangsters than in an orderly and safe society - for that is the effect of refusing to identify criminals. I have lived in East Oakland and seen in my neighborhood the effects of a society where gangsters run rampant. I have also complained to Police frequently and loudly and have discovered that the gangsters are cowards who will not respond if the Police are involved.
The other major reason that BLM kills black people is that it fosters the impression that Police are random killers without rules; then, if that is true, anything which happens to a person in a Police interaction is the fault of the Police and not the responsibility of the person harmed.
This is so false that it boggles the mind of a rational person; nevertheless, it does provide an explanation for some of the really stupid actions we see on video and read in the newspapers.
Police operate with strict Rules of Force guidelines. If they violate those guidelines they can be sued personally or disciplined otherwise. That exists already without the input of BLM.
We ask Police to protect us from violent persons. That is their job and we do not want to change it.
Perhaps a better way to protect black people from harm by Police in violent situations is to teach black children what are the rules of force used by Police.
The predictable reaction from BLM is that the Police routinely violate those rules and that the rules do not protect black people.
Both are nonsense. Any Police who violates the rules will be disciplined as is proper. The rules are there to protect everybody. If the rules were unfair to black people, then black people would be killed more frequently than white or Hispanic people, but they are not.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Japan's economy is in trouble. Most of the trouble arises from Japanese consumers spending too little.
Some economists are recommending that the country abandon a Keynesian policy of stimulus and low interest rates that has failed to remedy the situation and, instead, contract the economy with higher interest rates thereby precipitating a recession and, perhaps, a resulting worker productivity increase. See Martin Hutchinson copyrighted article linked below.
This is wrong.
Although the economy historically has shown low levels of income inequality, Japan's current Gini Coeffcient is close to the USA. This level of Gini is a sign of consumer weakness with associated lack of Aggregate Demand.
A better solution for Japan is to increase incomes for middle class families. Only then are they likely to spend more.
See my book on economic policies for the United States for an explanation at this link:
Here is the link to Mr. Hutchinson's article:
Martin Hutchinson, World Banking Analyst at GEOMACRO 'Japan Is a Bankruptcy Waiting to Happen'
July 18, 2016