Chicago cops for rent?


**Posted by Phineas

And that’s not a metaphor for police corruption; these are uniformed police officers “financially sponsored” by individual citizens or groups. In other words, rented:

A philanthropist or business could sponsor a police beat and put more off-duty cops on the streets under a plan being put forth by a downtown Chicago lawmaker on the City Council.

Alderman Brendan Reilly originally pitched the idea last October but is pushing it again following weekend incidents of teen mob activity on the Magnificent Mile, an upscale area of the city.

Under his plan, off-duty officers would work minimum six-hour shifts and make $30 an hour. The money would be paid by businesses, civic groups and churches at a time when city finances are stretched thin. The officers would be in full uniform and under the command of police supervisors.

“This is a way to make use of well-trained police officers who are moonlighting doing other things, bringing them back on the street to do what they do best, which is great police work,” Reilly said.

To say this is a bad idea would be to insult bad ideas. Moe Lane provides one answer to “what could go wrong?”

Those would be rented cops, and the difference will become clear the moment that somebody very important from one of those “businesses, civic groups and churches” happens to commit a trivial, surely-not-worth-mentioning, purely technical violation of the law.

Look at it another way: Order in a society such as ours depends on the law being applied equally — blindfolded Justice holding the scales, and such. And that includes the police serving all the public, because, in large part, all the public pays for the police. While we all know there are imperfections and exceptions, the acceptance that this is generally so is important to social order.

Alderman Reilly’s proposal, regardless of his protests otherwise, would break that perception. I don’t care how much anyone might say “they’re still Chicago police and they still enforce the law,” the fact is that their pay will come from individuals, not the public. As Alexander Hamilton said:

In the main it will be found that a power over a man’s support (salary) is a power over his will.

In other words, “You work for me.”

You can imagine what wonders this could work on a society based on the rule of law and its equal application.

That a loony idea such as this can even be floated is indicative of how far down the drain liberal, Blue-model governance has taken a once-great city like Chicago. (Detroit, on the other hand, is at the end of that drain…) The city’s finances are so strapped by out of control pension costs and greedy unions, as well as businesses fleeing high-tax Illinois, that they are having trouble paying for basic services such as police.

Is the next step RoboCop?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

AP: Economy “recovering”, but unemployed giving up on the job market in droves


The whole article paints a distinctly dismal picture of what the job market looks like right now, but the Associated Press still manages to twist the state of unemployment affairs and the jobs situation as a “recovery”, an “improving economy” (bolded emphasis added by me):

WASHINGTON –  After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up.

She’d already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, working with the disabled. But she couldn’t land anything else, either — not even a job interview at a telephone call center.

Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she’ll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St. Louis.

“I’m not proud of it,” says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. “The only way I’m able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on.”

Baebler’s frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they’ve given up on the job market.

Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks.

It isn’t supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market.

Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force — what’s called the participation rate — fell to 63.3 percent last month. It’s the lowest such figure since May 1979.

The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February.

People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That’s why the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March.

Unfortunately, there are many more like Baebler who have been searching longer, whose unemployment ran out from not being able to find anything they can make a decent living off of.  And many who have found something in the meantime have found that their wages have decreased sharply from the last time they worked, because skilled workers and unskilled workers alike are so desperate for work in some cases they’ll take anything – sometimes two and three jobs – in order to try and make ends meet.  Others can’t afford to take those low-paying jobs for various reasons, and it’s just getting worse.

How AP can spin this economy as “improving”, and the fact that the percentage of unemployment went down .1 percent in an article that talks about how so many have dropped out of the job market is beyond me, but then again, we are talking about a news outlet who, along with many others the last several years of the Obama administration, have consistently reported on bad monthly economic news as “unexpected”, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

In any event, not to be a Debbie Downer on this beautiful Sunday, but there you go.  In spite of what the mainstream media – and this administration and all the liars in it – want you to believe otherwise, we are really in a wreckovery – not a “recovery” – and with the full impact of the mammoth legislation of ObamaCare starting to take effect nationwide, expect more of the same in the months to come as employers continue to desperately try to make profits and keep people employed while wrestling with the realities of what their bottom line can and cannot handle financially as a result of this administration’s extreme anti-business bias.

It is what it is – I hope I end up being wrong about what I believe the future holds for the job market, job seekers, and employers, but I fear I am not.  Time will tell.