20A036 Cops in a Free Society by Jim Davies, 9/8/2020
There won't be any, so this could be a very short Blog.
Perhaps that needs explaining. Cops - police, or as they are more recently and quite accurately called, "Law Enforcement Officers" or LEOs - will vanish because the coming zero government society will have no laws to be enforced, since no government will exist to write any. Those ~680,000 jobs will disappear and their holders, released to find productive work. About $1oo billion a year will be saved.
Further, as explained by Kent McManigal quoting Robert Higgs, "There are no good cops."
So, good riddance to them. One of the strange things about 202o has been the call, several times in several places starting with Minneapolis, to "de-fund" police, and sometimes local governments have actually slashed budgets for them; some Chiefs and others have resigned as a result.
Good that at least the idea is being seriously examined. It springs from the year's continuing rash of killings by LEOs of unarmed victims like George Floyd, and protests have been loudest when their skins were black. Riots have often followed as in Kenosha, WI, inspired by BLM; and the rioters have committed more mayhem than the cops.
When interviewed in calmer contexts, though, inner-city Blacks express a dual attitude; they resent the casual way cops appear to target black men, but still want cops to "protect" their neighborhoods from bad guys. There's the problem; cops are feared and hated, yet are still thought necessary. Even though I see no evidence of racial bias, that is more pronounced among Whites; there, they are thought necessary and are not much despised.
Now, government will vanish only after everyone has learned its real nature and that of freedom, meaning that all will understand and accept the key axiom of self-ownership; hence that nobody has any right to damage anyone else's person or property. Therefore, when the ZGS takes effect, the krime rate will plummet. The number of "bad guys" needing attention will fall off a cliff.
A further, relevant and vital change is that nobody will have any powers not also possessed by everyone else. That's true today also, of course, but government uniformly and falsely acts as if some do; particularly those equipped with a fancy costume and a magic badge. That fairy tale will expire. Accordingly, anyone in the protection business will interfere with a suspect's freedom only with the utmost care, lest he turn around and sue them for violating his rights.
"Protection businesses" will probably arise because not everyone will wish to rely solely on his or her own defensive abilities and weapons; some will choose to hire help. But the notion that an employee of the Kenosha Defense Co for example can shoot a man in the back seven times because he walks away, and expect to get away with it, will not be accorded the time of day. Such companies will have no more powers of action than you or me. The reason is simple: they will be employed under contract by such as you or me, and therefore can be delegated only such authority as you or I possess.
How big, in the coming ZGS, will that industry be? - not very. First, as noted, the rate of krime will be much lower; five or ten times lower, I'd say. Then, absent laws, the need for apprehension and court action will not arise unless actual harm is alleged by some victim; no "victimless crimes," which today account for half of all prison places, will exist. So now we're down perhaps to 5% of the bloated size of today's LEO activity.
Finally the practice of self-defense will be far more common than now because no laws will hinder it; and the fact that "bad guys" know their targets may be armed will itself make krime less attractive. So such protection-for-hire industry may well exist, but is likely to amount to less than 5% of today's $100 billion size.
That may look surprising, but recall: police, as known today, did not exist until 1838, in Boston. We'd not even be here, if they were permanently needed.
One word of caution: this must not be taken as an endorsement of the current "de-funding" calls; because those are not nearly radical enough, they fail to get to the root of the matter. They don't demand that police departments be abolished altogether, just reduced in size. The taxes that pay for them are not to be zapped and the money returned to owners, they are just to be re-allocated to projects the protesters prefer. They don't accompany calls to cancel all laws that make it hard to buy guns for self-defense, and they don't demand abolition of licensure laws for bodyguard companies. They merely adjust government or sprinkle it with perfume. Not nearly good enough.