REvisiting Tamir Rice’s murder

As we approach the one year anniversary of 12 year old Tamir Rice’s death at the hands of the Cleveland police, there are two ways we must examine this for the need for change.  At a time when 1400 people per year are killed in the United States by agents of government at some level, by a factor of 70 x the worst record for police killings in any first world country, to go with the highest number and rate of incarcerated citizens, there is clearly  a national problem with our systems of enforcement. The first is the purely human,  emotional, or Judeo-Christian, Muslim Buddhist, humanist, Constitutional or Declarational value systems. A 12 year old was killed by the people whose job it is to protect him. If you don’t know that his mother has trouble sleeping at night for the loss of her baby boy, perhaps  you should talk to a mother about how she feels about her children and really understand the term mother from their perspectives.  That this is something that must never be allowed to happen again is something to which you must agree to honestly say you subscribe to any of the prior belief systems.

The second, and the one I will focus on here, because this part seems less obvious, is what an astonishing, and downright frightening collapse of purpose- demonstrating extreme weakness in response operations, security and  problem that occurs here.

A call comes in that there is a person with a gun- which MAY be a toy- the call taker does not disseminate this information to the dispatcher, or to the responding officers.

The officers ordered to a scene where there is potentially a live gun are a pair of ROOKIES. Why rookies would ever be first to a scene, and first to engage- unless there was an immediate public threat- something to first be determined from a distance and approached with a speed determined after the initial observation, is unexplainable.

These rookies drive up to point blank range. As in, before they get out of the vehicle, had they been responding to a genuine psychopath, or someone who was mentally disturbed, they both could have very easily been shot dead without even exiting the vehicle.  He then jumps out of the vehicle with his gun drawn; enough again, to startle someone into shooting, if in fact they had a real gun.

It seems to me that procedure in this situation would be to get an assessment first from a safe, and preferably unobservable position to assess threat level, and relative level of public safety, and relay this information to a more experienced officer, before deciding to close in. Likely, without that immediate threat to public safety, it would almost certainly be best to wait for back up, and go in with overwhelming force, which often can pre-empt attempts at fighting their out of situation- 2 cops can be handled,  6 cannot, so surrender would be more likely.

We later find out that this rookie officer was dismissed from another department as unstable, and he is armed, and put out into dangerous situations, with only another rookie for guidance. Municipal and senior officer liability is assured.

Beyond the fact that a government officer of a part of the United States is now responsible for the death of an American, one of the causus belli for the American Revolution, and firmly contradicting the Constitution, it is a frightening look at how unprepared our officers would be to deal with real threats- sophisticated and highly trained operatives of foreign or malignant domestic entity.  The training for these sorts of interactions are all Constitutional, and thus, ultimately – we must use each case to develop and sharpen templates to avoid this kind of behavior from a couple of aspects. It also means, that at the end of the day; that as a national problem has emerged, it is not simply up to the individual departments to fix, but that a new, methodology for Constitutional enforcement minimums must be established, including provision to ensure that the conflict of interests that are now causing a 99% indictment rate for citizens and a <5% indictment rate for police- even as we see being moved towards  in this case, in the Eric Garner case, are not a factor in achieving justice.

Rebuild America

REBUILDING AMERICA

A Revenue Positive plan to upgrade America

Year 1 (Building envelope and housing focused)

New jobs                                                                 4 Million +

Additional (annual)tax revenue                     100 Billion

GDP growth 1st year                                                      13%

GDP growth 5 year avg                                                   6%

Deficit reduction, 5 year                                  400 Billion

 

Inputs

 

(in B$$)

0      National building code, with penalties, and hold on sale/rental                            based on energy efficiency

 

-25   Training program –

{Fed Budget} Turn out 2 million qualified energy and infrastructure   workers,  priority for recent  fossil fuel employees

 

Land grant colleges

20,000 teachers @65k (includes overhead) @ to teach Energy audit                   HVAC and   insulation, as well as infrastructure repair

 

Stipends for 1 million low income/ hardship grants for 6 months                 @12,500

1 million no tuition scholarships

 

+1000       Green bond issues-

{Public sales}

-100  Infrastructure repair commitment-

{Fed Budget} Most necessary repairs from Army Core of Engineers

 

100 Billion in lend loss insurance (loan guarantees) leveraged at 10 to 1 (year 5 earliest pay out)

 

 

 

Outputs

 

 

1000 Retrofits and upgrades–

10 Million buildings being upgraded, building material sales, labor

gov backed conservation bonds for home efficiency (up to 50% deal size), generation (20%), cosmetic(max  30%)

 

+100 Revenue increase

Assumes a very low Income tax collection of 10% on the trillion spent

 

 

Overall synopsis:

 

A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR THE USA

 

Darrell Prince, Jon Rynn, Ph.D. and Brian D’Agostino, Ph.D.

copyright 2014

 

More than four years after the U.S. economy entered a nominal recovery, unemployment and underemployment in 2014 in much of the country remains at recession levels. During these years, Hurricane Sandy and an epidemic of droughts, floods, and tornados have devastated much of the country, reminding everyone about the rising sea levels and extreme weather events being caused by climate change.  Both of these crises—economic and environmental—have a common solution that is politically and financially feasible.  In this paper, we outline a policy that can achieve this solution.  It offers the single best program for any political leader wanting to deliver on campaign promises of providing economic relief to the middle class and poor, while investing in a sustainable future.

The Green New Deal we discuss involves a unique partnership between the public and private sectors and features a bold program of investment in energy efficiency.  The main form of this investment would be refurbishing single family homes, for state of the art energy efficiency and energy generation.  Such housing stock is currently the most energy inefficient of all housing, and thus “low hanging fruit” for any effort to reduce private energy costs and the nation’s carbon footprint while simultaneously creating millions of new jobs.

What currently prevents such investment from occurring on a large scale?  According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (2013), financial institutions have ample funds to loan for such purposes and the economies that can be realized from such investment are indisputable.  “By far the greatest obstacle identified by [lenders],” they write, “is a lack of customers actively seeking financing for energy efficiency investments.” This sounds like lack of a good old-fashioned, Madison Avenue demand generation marketing and advertising campaign, as well as a “tin men” style of door to door sales.  The remainder of this paper discusses a public policy innovation that can greatly increase consumer demand for energy efficiency investment and open a vast flow of private capital, earmarked for such improvements to homeowners, creating millions of productive jobs and revitalizing American manufacturing.

The Green New Deal we envision involves two parts: 1. A national energy efficiency building code standard, set in place for seven years hence, and 2. the issuing of a $100 billion in high yield (4%) US backed bonds that would absorb private capital and make it available for a fixed total publicly administered lend loss fund.  Making a conservative estimate of twice the current fail rate of such deals of 5%, a 10% coverage means such a program covers a trillion dollars in investment deals of this type.  Assuming the US is able to capture 10% of this revenue back as taxes, interest rates on the bonds are easily covered by $100 billion in extra tax reciepts.   Moreover, the number of buildings (100 million) in the US, means that conversion market will need 6+ trillion before all is said and done, which will have a 10-12 year payback on energy savings—a lot of financing, on simple deals.

With this much money flowing that way; large scale demand generation, and product companies will develop quickly to take advantage of such a large emerging market; and big capital will move from plodding antagonist bent on protecting existing cash flows on fossil fuels to enthusiasts seeking to move into low-risk high volume plays, that will also yield several high risk, high reward new technology plays.

Rather than traditional bond markets; the bonds themselves would be targeted towards traditional commerical banks, with these bonds being eligible as “reserve capital”, thus ensuring buy-in from large institutions, though a disproportionate number would be earmarked for smaller banks. The bond sale would serve as “buzz” for the deals themselves. It’s also a huge PR boost to banks, headlines that read ”Wall Street saves the World,” is a little different than their current pariah status for most Americans.

The private financing would make ultralow interest home improvement loans intended to retrofit housing for energy efficiency, energy generation and remodeling.  The program should be designed to require a bare minimum of paperwork from homeowners and no net increase in monthly costs.  Once the improvements are made, the loan can be repaid entirely out of the savings resulting from lower costs for fuel and electricity.

This funding system uses public policy to create incentives for private lending by increasing consumer demand for investments in energy efficiency.  The citizens earn interest on bonds, the lenders get larger, more stable reserves from customers, as well as high volume of low risk deals, the homeowners undertake the investment and realize long term cost savings as well as measurable status upgrades to their homes, and the US  reaps the positive externalities of large scale job creation and a greatly reduced carbon footprint.

The job creation would occur through a multiplier effect—homeowners would employ contractors and their workers, who would purchase materials from local businesses, which in turn will need to be manufactured, spurring job growth in manufacturing as discussed by Rynn (2010).  The program embodies the principle of “subsidiarity,” namely the use of government in a way that empowers, rather than pre-empts, action in the private sector (D’Agostino 2012).

 

 

REFERENCES

 

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. 2013. Engaging Small to Mid-Sized Lenders, Executive Summary.

 

D’Agostino, Brian. 2012.  The Middle Class Fights Back: How Progressive Movements Can Restore Democracy in America. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger).

 

Rynn, Jon. 2010. Manufacturing Green Prosperity: the Power to Rebuild the American Middle Class. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger).

Poll1

cropped-connection-shutterstock_114650080.jpg[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”forms/d/1EC0XWakqM4pZhC5Z4bDdKc7o2DEaHGZRaTmqGHcWK2k/viewform” query=”embedded=true” width=”760″ height=”500″ /]