In the small rural town where I grew up, we had a town cop. Did you? He wasn’t quite as laid back as Andy Griffith, but he was part of the community. I remember a gang of us, including the town cop, rode our horses one glorious summer afternoon up through Lyman’s Orchards.
The peaches were ripe-you could smell peach on the breeze- and there was a certain peach with white flesh that tasted like heaven. Now, it was unofficially OK to pick a peach and eat it, we all knew that. Then again, It was unofficially not OK to bring a bushel basket and steal fruit.
But what is the rule when you are riding with the town cop? He solved this for us by picking a white-fleshed peach and shouting, “Try one of these, they are fantastic.” Oh, yes, they were.
But what has happened to cops? Why do they have tanks and dress like the terminator? Why have the police become so militarized? Are there any humans under those shield, vests, goggles and helmets? Why do they wear black, the color of death and intimidation?
The powers-that-be are not total fools. They have studied the history of popular uprisings. When people are squeezed enough, they rise up and confiscate the stuff the uber-rich have accumulated. They are usually crushed, but sometimes they succeed and just take the stuff and boot out-OR KILL!- the oligarchs.
This is the specter that haunts the uber-rich as income inequality increases. Even they know people won’t tolerate income inequality increasing to the point where, say– five people own the whole world.
How much can we take before they come for us? They have experimented in Greece and other nations-how much can we take before they come for us? And since we do not have a definite answer, let’s be prepared to crush them if they do come.
And so the police are militarized. Crime has not gotten worse to justify this. Income inequality has gotten worse, much, much worse. It’s not foreign terrorists they are worried about, that’s a ruse. They are worried about us!
There is a more sane solution, of course: Reduce the income inequality. Bring the jobs back, pay a living wage and tax Wall St. transactions, for starters. But I can find few times in history when oligarchs voluntarily reined in their own greed, even though it was ultimately in their self-interest to do so.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.-Fredrick Douglas