Defunding the police

Yes, this is probably trouble for my "controversial content" clause, but the attack ads have made YouTube unwatchable, so here’s some hard facts.

Do you like ambulance service? Yes? Then you like defunding the police.

Let’s take an honest look at this and explore what defunding the police actually means.

A paddy wagon for everything

Yes, police used to double as ambulance service. That or the local funeral home, which, I mean, would have certainly have been efficient for the quality of care if not really encouraging for the patient. No, I am not making that up. Just ask your nearest Baby Boomer. That’s how recent this all is. The thing was they really didn’t much like it and didn’t put a lot of effort into it. And there was also very much racial disparity in how much effort they were putting into it. Seeing a problem with survival rates in general, and black people especially, a white doctor and a group of black people decided they could do better, got some emergency medical training going, pooled some money, bought a couple vehicles, and basically set up a lemonade stand, only instead of "LEMONADE 5¢" their sign was "CALL US TO NOT DIE!"

And wouldn’t you know it, it worked. People called, got lifesaving medical treatment, and didn’t die. People quickly started calling them instead of the police. Good reviews tend to get around pretty well when you’re alive to give them. People took notice. Including politicians. Seeing the success rate, they got a patron in the mayor of Pittsburgh, who took money away from the police who weren’t doing a good job, gave it to the ambulance folks, and said, "I’ll take ten!" And they did exactly that. Naturally the police did not like this, and neither did a lot of other whites. They did everything they could to get him out of office and once they succeeded, their hand-picked replacement kneecapped, then abolished the program and gave the police the money back, but just because the police got the money back didn’t mean they started doing a good job.

But while they orchestrated the death of the program, they were unable to kill the idea. Turns out people really like not dying. WHO KNEW? They had created the national model we take for granted today.

Nowadays we see ambulance service as a main pillar of emergency services it would be unimaginable to go without. But it all came from taking a job the police weren’t good at and giving it to someone who was, along with appropriate money to make it happen.

That’s defunding the police.

When the only tool you have is a hammer…

Police are very good at being police. They obviously weren’t very good at being ambulances. There are a lot of things the police are tasked with that they aren’t good at that aren’t strictly policing. There’s no reason police need to do wellness checks on someone who might be having a mental illness breakdown. Police aren’t psychiatrists; they’re police. Maybe that job should go to a dedicated mental health service and then, if actual policing is needed, the police can be called in to do what they’re actually good at. Because too many wellness checks end up with people dead, which is about as unwell as you can possibly be.

Police also aren’t really all that good at conflict resolution. They could be (Japan’s police count that as one of their major duties and have booths all over for people to do it at), but American police just aren’t. Maybe there should be a specialized conflict resolution service to handle anything that isn’t an armed stand-off.

Where should the money come from? The police. If you give the duties to someone else, you should also give that someone else the money being used to pay for it.

That’s defunding the police.

When people talk about defunding the police, what they mean is that the police are being asked to do things they’re not trained for and that some money would be better spent on people who are actually trained to do those things.

Doesn’t that just make sense? If someone is good at a job, shouldn’t you hire them to do it? If someone is bad at a job, shouldn’t you find someone who’s better at it?

All your food is very flat

If you were at McDonald’s and there was only one person and that person took too long to count the money and the fries were always burnt, but the burgers were the best you’d ever had, wouldn’t you want that one person to focus on the burgers and have someone else handle the money and fries? If that one person were making triple the normal amount for doing everything, wouldn’t it be fair to split it up so the cashier and fry cook got the fair share, assuming the same amount of work got done regardless? That original person would have been getting paid to let the fries burn while they counted money and they still would have been taking their time to make those good burgers. If all they’re doing is making burgers, and they’re doing it at the same rate, wouldn’t it be fair for the new cashier and fry cook to get the pay for those positions and doing it well?

"Well the one person won’t like losing ⅔ of their pay!" you might say. And no, they wouldn’t. But if that money is going to the best fry cook you’ve ever had and the best cashier you’ve ever had, what does that mean to you? Because to you, you’re paying the same amount of money and you’re getting the best burgers, best fries, and best cashier, when before you were paying that money and getting the best burgers, terrible fries, and an awful cashier. Of course that one person isn’t going to like losing out on the money, but you are the customer and they were paid to be doing a bad job. You’re paying the same amount regardless; don’t you want everything to be good? How long would you keep going to that McDonald’s if it was always terrible and they never fixed it no matter how much you complained through the office door to the sound of silence and cat videos? The fries are supposed to be the best part! Could you honestly go to McDonald’s knowing that they were 100% going to ruin the best fries on the planet every single time?! Even if you could, a lot of people would be angry about it and if they saw no hope of it being fixed, they’d probably want it to be shut down. Maybe they’d boycott it so it was forced to close and they’d set up a Burger King instead.

It’s the same way with the police. Of course they don’t want to lose out on the money they’re being paid to do all the things they’re tasked with, but people have been complaining about the quality and it hasn’t changed anything. The police are burning the fries. It makes sense to give those duties to someone who’s going to be better at doing the same job for the same money. And if the police aren’t going to be doing that job anymore, why should they be paid for it? That money should be paid to the people who are doing the job. The fact they’re going to be doing it better means you as the taxpayer will be getting your money’s worth. To the people who have to deal most with all the inadequacies of the system, abolishing the police and replacing it with something else seems like the only solution because their complaints aren’t being heard and they don’t see any way of fixing the system.

"What if I only ever wanted a burger?" you might ask. "What if I, a superhuman being, can resist the temptation of the shining glory of McDonald’s fries?"

Well, you still have to pay for it, and as we’ve established, that amazing burger is still attached to that terrible cashier. They’re already letting the fries burn while they count, miscount, and have to re-count your money and waste your time giving you incorrect change. What makes you think that isn’t also making them serve people more slowly? How long are you actually waiting in line without realizing it?

That’s right; not only are they burning the fries; you’re also secretly waiting longer for it. Counting the money poorly is making them take time the fries obviously can’t afford and they’re not skimping on the burgers, which means that when they take your order, they’re going back to make that burger and that means someone else isn’t getting a burger until yours is done. You can’t even guarantee they’re making the best burger they can if they’re in a rush to do everything. What if they’re in the middle of a burger and the fries outright start on fire? That’s a whole mess that’s going to distract from that burger. Even if not, that whole line of people yelling at them to hurry it up is going to be stressful and they might be rushing it. If their burger is that good when they’re in a rush, how much better will it be when they can take their time? And worst of all, what happens if you’re in line and they have to close for the night? Not every McDonald’s is open 24 hours. Mine isn’t. A McDonald’s with only one worker is definitely not going to be open 24/7. You might have to go home and wait for tomorrow to even get your burger.

Now, what if that someone else really, really needs that burger and can’t wait for it? What if it’s a total emergency burger? Like a Make a Wish burger? Will that Make a Wish kid get their burger in time?

What if the Make a Wish kid wanted to taste those heavenly fries one last time? They’ll never even have the chance. Even if it gets to them on time, those fries will be burned. Would you blame the kid if they changed their wish for that McDonald’s to be closed? Would you blame them if they changed their wish for it to be closed if they never got any of it at all?

Are you starting to see why it’s important for three different people to be doing the burgers, fries, and money counting? The burger genius is going to give that Make a Wish kid the best burger they’ve ever had, unobstructed by the need to do everything else. It will be the burger to end all burgers that looks better than than the picture. Having a fry genius means they get those unparalleled fries. And having Einstein at the register means it’s going to get there in time. Splitting up the duties means everything gets done faster and better. If everything is working in a way that makes everyone happy, nobody wants to get rid of it.

And hey, if the burger genius makes more burgers? Then they deserve a raise. If you let them focus on burgers and they do it well and they end up being more productive, then of course you reward them for it. Will it be triple what they were making for everything just for the burger part of the job? Well no, but then they were only really taking their time to do the burger part of the job right in the first place, so they probably should have been making half or less of what they were for shoddy cashiering and burning the fries anyway. They were letting things fall by the wayside; they shouldn’t have been getting paid "good work" wages for it.

Now if they make triple the amount of burgers? Then sure, they should be paid for triple, which puts them right back where they started on the one part of the job they wanted to do anyway! And if they’re making triple the burgers, and the other two are making triple the fries and cashing out three times as many people, then everyone wins!

"What if I only wanted a soda?"

The cashier does the sodas, or at least gets the cups if you live somewhere they haven’t used COVID to eliminate the self-serve soda fountains and therefore free refills. Gosh, have you been to a McDonald’s? A soda might be a soda, but you still don’t get to escape a bad cashier. And you STILL have to pay for it. 🙄

The future left-wingers want

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to divert tasks and money from the police in equal amounts. These tasks are going to be done anyway; they may as well be done well. If the police really like doing wellness checks, maybe they can transfer. Nothing is stopping them; it’s a free country. I couldn’t see myself doing SWAT, but I could manage meter duty. Heck, why are police officers doing meter duty? Shouldn’t that be a whole department on its own? I know Zootopia relies on that, but even Zootopia makes a point that Judy taking the time to do heroics is a dereliction of duty because there’s a separation of duties. If a cop isn’t supposed to abandon their post checking parking meters to help people, are they even really a cop? These are the basic questions that are behind whether the police really need to be doing these jobs or not.

People aren’t asking for the downfall of society; they’re just asking for people to do things better and the best way of doing that is to split up the tasks. The police are simply being tasked with too much to be doing it well. The police are making excellent burgers, but they’re having trouble cashing you out and they’re burning the fries. Letting them do what they do best means better quality of services AND more of them just because everyone can be that much more dedicated to what they’re doing.

You’re paying the same for it all either way. Shouldn’t you be getting better bang for your buck?