Cities from coast-to-coast are facing unprecedented
budget deficits that have left government officials with no choice but to strip
police forces to a bare minimum. We now regularly hear about new ‘records’ being broken in the resulting crime
waves that follow.
Law enforcement officials in Chicago, for example,
have said that their city has deteriorated into a domestic
war zone with gang
violence leaving scores of people dead on a regular basis. Murder, rape, robbery and assault have skyrocketed in bankrupt Stockton, California,
suggesting that local governments are quickly losing control.
In New Jersey, the city of Camden may soon be
granted the dubious distinction of being the poorest and most violent city in
On a walkway 20 feet away, a middle-aged man lies dead, shot in the throat and head, sprawled on his
back beside a battered 10-speed bicycle. His face is masked in blood that
gleams bright red in the crime scene photographer’s flash.
Johnson watches tight-lipped as investigators comb
the grass for shell casings. “Kids play out here. Average people live
here,” he says. “I’m shaking. It’s getting too close.”
Gunfire rings out often in the neighborhood, he
says, a regular reminder of the crime wave that has this city of 77,000 on
pace to double its homicides in just three years,
and has already shattered a nearly 20-year record for killings.
With 59 homicides so far this year, the murder
rate is on par with levels seen in Haiti in the chaotic aftermath of the 2010
“A bullet has no name. If somebody shoots and
I’m walking, I could be hit,” Johnson says. “People are
afraid right now. You can see it in their faces.”
The crime surge coincides with new census data
identifying Camden, long battered by vanishing industry, as the most
impoverished city in the U.S., with 42 percent of residents under the poverty
line, and an average family income of $21,191. If trends persist, Camden may
soon hold the grim title of both the country’s poorest and most
Source: Huff Post
As local, state and federal officials in the United
States realize the reality of our fiscal and economic situations, they will
be forced to make serious cuts in areas that have become essential to the
American way of life.
Personal safety, food security, health care and
critical public services will inevitably be sacrificed as across-the-board
austerity measures become the norm, not the exception.
Impoverishment will lead to desperation and anger,
which in turn leads to “nothing left to lose” attitudes and a
rise in violence and criminal activity.
The system is broke. The mathematics are simple. There is not enough money to go around. What
we are seeing in Chicago, Detroit, Stockton and Camden is going to spread.