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What Civil Collapse Looks Like

Starting this coming Monday, Philadelphia Police officers will no longer be responding to minor fender benders.

Motorists will have to fend for themselves and call the nearest police district on their own.

Philadelphia Police officials said they respond to nearly 70,000 auto accidents each year, adding about 10,000 do not require a police officer.

“We can save police response time and have officers available for more important, pressing issues,” Lt. Frank Vanore explained.

But you can be damn sure that manning a revenue generating speed trap or shaking down drivers for seatbelt fines are important, pressing issues.

Rome didn’t burn in a day. History isn’t granular, digital transition but decidedly analog. Frogs in slowly warming baths may find the situation familiar.

It starts with Bob across the street losing his job, then your cousin, then you think nothing about collecting beer cans or running a roadside vegetable stand in order to make your credit card payments. Humans naturally and constantly recalibrate their definition of normalcy in order to stay sane in a fluid universe, and the expected level of civil service is one of them.

Polite, efficient and responsive policing is a luxury that can only be afforded by states not drowning in politically motivated entitlement spending. The rest of the world gets by with surly, low paid constables and paper-checkers who exist to serve the needs of the state and not the citizenry, and sooner rather than later, we will find out what that’s like here.

{ 7 } Comments

  1. Kevin Baker | April 30, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Quote of the Day!

  2. Tam | April 30, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Kevin,

    Ayup.

  3. Longshot | April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I think I just got my quote of the day too.

  4. perlhaqr | April 30, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    We’re still a fair way from India, though (not that I’m saying we can’t get there) where they can’t afford to pay the police either, and they all think it’s perfectly reasonable to “supplement” their income by, erm, “direct taxation”.

  5. Unix-Jedi | April 30, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I think the coming belt-tightening will be quite instructive.

    I saw a figure once that tallied how many law enforcement officers we had inspecting animal welfare…

    If those had been counted nationwide as a separate force, they’d outnumber the police in all but 5 countries. (IIRC)

    I remarked at the time that that showed a remarkable surplus of resources.

  6. John Venlet | May 1, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Jumped over to your site from Kevins, after reading his posting of your words as his quote of the day.

    When I read the story of the non-responsive Philly cops, I took a rather different viewpoint. I think this news is a positive development, though I understand why you titled your post as you did.

  7. Robert | May 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Regarding politically motivated entitlement spending, it isn’t a silver bullet. I read today in the British press that Detroit leads the U.S. in urban vegetable gardens – no doubt within sight of the Renaissance Center.

    Yep, subsistence farming in the ‘hood. The worst is yet to come.