When Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor of the Dumpster fire that New York City had become after years of Democratic rule, one of his first steps was to adopt the “broken window rule.” This was a theory that if you ignored small things, like letting people throw a rock through a window and never fixing it, then respect for the law and police would keep eroding and criminals would only get bolder. And they had. For instance, by that time, New Yorkers had simply given up on being able to have radios in their cars and were putting signs in the windows (“No radio in car”) as a helpless plea to crooks not to break in, since they knew the cops wouldn’t bother with “petty crime” like stealing someone’s car radio. In effect, the crooks were running the city.
Rudy reinstilled respect for all laws, big and small, and gradually wrought a miracle turnaround which Mike Bloomberg maintained and Bill DeBlasio is now rapidly undoing. This is why I’ll never understand why voters in big cities like New York elect liberal Democrat leaders: they’ve lived through the results; how can they not know better? It’s like getting pulled out of the pool just before you drowned, then running straight back to the diving board.
On the opposite side of the nation, California has instituted DeBlasio-style “governance” statewide. One of their brilliant ideas was Proposition 47, or the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (all leftist laws have happy-talk names to cover up the fact that they always do the exact opposite of what they’re called.) This raised the threshold for felony theft from $450 worth of loot to $950, reducing the punishment for theft and making it less likely that police would bother to pursue thieves, knowing they’d just face a misdemeanor charge. It passed in 2014. Can you guess the results?
I’m sure you could guess that the “progressive” solution made the problem far worse, but they all do that. Specifically, this “reform” has resulted in an increase in theft of up to 25% statewide, with annual losses due to theft doubling in some areas. Shoplifters are striking stores in groups, rushing in, filling their arms with merchandise and running off in different directions. Police are powerless to stop it because even if they bothered to catch them, they’d walk free with a slap on the wrist.
The California Police Chiefs Association and many residents and business owners are backing an initiative called “Keep California Safe” (you can tell it’s a conservative proposition because it actually does what the name says) to roll back Prop 47. It’s too bad they can’t pass a referendum to make criminal mismanagement of a state a felony, so that they could clear out Sacramento and get a new government. But please note, Californians: as long as you’re going to the polls to pass “Keep California Safe,” there is another way to get rid of the people who’ve stolen the California Dream.