Sunday, October 19, 2014

How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty – Part 2

In Why we need to fix St. Louis County, Radley Balko, the libertarian writer for The Washington Post, describes some of the underlying causes for the conflict between Ferguson's police force and St. Louis County's black population.

(Image Source). US News and World Report
He writes:

"When a local government’s very existence depends on its citizens breaking the law — when fines from ordinance violations are written into city budgets for the upcoming year as a primary or even the main expected source of revenue — the relationship between the government and the governed is not one of public officials serving their constituents, but of preying off of them. When the primary mission of a police department isn’t to protect citizens but to extract money from them, and when the cops themselves don’t look like, live near or have much in common with the people from whom they’re extracting that money, you get cops who start to see the people they’re supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights, but as potential sources of revenue, as lawbreakers to be caught."

Read complete article here
(You can read Part 1 here.)