According to this fun article, they are a three-way symbiosis, not two-way. I haven’t chased down the cites. But wouldn’t be surprised.
For a few decades, Americans have enjoyed long-term declines in crime and homicides. Some large cities may see a bump up this year — we won’t know for certain until next year. If there is a “Ferguson effect,” though, it may have more to do with a breakdown in trust between people and police, than with police withdrawing enforcement. One of the things that breaks that trust is when policing is run as a revenue center, in a fashion than indentures the poor. That previous link is from last year, but well worth reading.
Slate discusses the difficulty of sussing out evidence of racial bias in law enforcement. But as that Mother Jones article suggests, those researchers may be looking in the wrong place. It might be the larger problems are systemic, rather than with how police act in the field.
Adam Gopnik fears that Trump is a threat to the constitutional order. I agree Trump sits at the far end of authoritarianism in our political spectrum and would make a terrible president. But he is no Hitler. Hitler had a plan. Hitler wrote a book. Trump couldn’t write a book without a ghost writer. Who now regrets that partnership. As the ghost writer says about Trump, “my 2-year-old grandson has a longer attention span.”
One of the well-known issues faced by those who have done any degree of venturing is that it becomes harder to make good decisions when you are some combination of physically tired, hungry, cold or hot, in pain, and have been coping with a series of events that went off-plan. You reach the point where forcing yourself to think through a problem requires as much effort as doing something physically strenuous. That eventuality is a large part of what drives people planning a week in the woods or at sea to think so hard beforehand about every little matter and eventuality — they are trying to minimize what decisions they have to make when doing so is more difficult.
So I find quite plausible the theory that the poor make poor decisions partly from similar struggle.
Kudos to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, for looking at the exigencies of homelessness partly from the perspective of the homeless. I doubt it will — or should! — keep David Magadini out of jail. But the principle decided seems in the right direction.