Morning Ed: World {2017.12.26.Tu}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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79 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    Wo1: Its probably mainly conscientious objection. The cockpit is generally protected and most people being deported know that trying to to do anything to disrupt the flight will be bad for them to.

    Wo2, Wo3: Jaybird would point out that these are two areas where culture matters but that taking about culture is tough and makes people uncomfortable. This is especially true for Wo3, which takes a while to get to it, but makes an indirect point that the increased sex violence might be because Sweden took in large numbers of refugees from illiberal, patriarchal countries. See also the Hamburg incident at Norway last year. Trying to deal with the cultural issues is something the Swedish government or people do not want to deal with. It goes against their very carefully created social democratic culture.

    Wo4: I’m pretty sure that libertarianism, except in its most extreme form, would see traffic laws as the purview of the government rather than the market because it falls under policing power.

    Wo6: A college professor in Eastern religions told the class that one of his former students had to movie apartments because Feng Shui dedicated it would be better for him to live on the other side of the Charles River in Boston.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      The safety concern would be getting shot down or having your plane taken in the other airport.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

      On a smaller scale… Fort Morgan, CO has acquired a sizeable (relative to the previous population) group of Somalian refugees. Local law enforcement also got a spike in domestic violence complaints. They seem to be getting that under control, mostly through a state-funded outreach and education program, led by a Somali who had lived in Denver for several years previously, which basically just keeps the message, “In America it’s against the law to beat your wife, even if you did have a bad day at work,” in front of them.

      On the scale of the recent immigration population in Sweden, the equivalent program there would be enormous.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Wo4: The point isn’t about free market vs. government, it’s about assuming A leads to B without thinking about all the variables carefully to be certain that A will necessarily lead to B.

      In this case, it is not sufficient to simply improve safety by changing posted speed limits. This is known, and very well documented, and was discussed. But it’s easier and cheaper to simply change posted limits (although apparently not that cheap – how does one spend over $1M to replace signage?).

      Ideally, the problem is that if a private entity made this kind of mistake, government would be able to force the private entity to correct it[1]. Knowing that if it gets it wrong, it will have to spend resources correcting things or doing the job right means the private org has an incentive to be prepared to take action. Getting it wrong has to be budgeted in, or they have to budget to make sure they don’t get it wrong.

      Government rarely has any kind of oversight. Supposedly the voters are the oversight, but that doesn’t always work out as desired in a representative system. The only time the voters can force some kind of oversight is through courts, if the courts are responsive to citizen complaints (which seems to vary depending on what the case being brought is – complaints about environmental issues gets lots of air time in the courts, but complaints about law enforcement get shut down pretty quick).

      [1] Assuming that the private entity has not managed to capture the appropriate level of government so as to avoid responsibility for getting it wrong, which is all too common at all levels of government, and capture isn’t something that voters really have the power to change with an election.Report

      • James K in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


        This is a large part of my libertarianism – its not that government doesn’t do good an important things, but it tends not to do them very well, and it insists on doing things it really shouldn’t. And since there’s little to no feedback for failure, government keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to James K says:

          We, as a species, don’t know how to tell the difference between absolute position and positional position.

          The luxuries of yesterday turn into mass-market goods that turn their marketeers into the .01% that go on to own things that our grandchildren will look at the way we look at 36″ CRT televisions.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to James K says:

          Government does lots of good, important things. Government is also the instrument through which horrific acts are perpetuated, and the actors protected (see: Myanmar as of late).

          It isn’t government that I have a problem with, it’s people (all across politics) putting on blinders with regard to how people within government abuse their power, because they believe that acknowledging it, or acting against it, will harm governments ability to implement their favored policy goals.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            Liberals tell the same parable but about markets.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

              It’s the parable of a tool. Markets, government, hammers, guns… They are all tools, and they are devoid of intent on their own. They have the intent of their wielder, and nothing more.

              Like all tools, there’s a certain amount of risk involved in their employ. We use government to try and craft safer markets, or safer hammers, or safer guns. What I find lacking is the will, or even the desire, on the part of our major political parties, to find a way to craft a safer government. Bits and pieces, here and there, according to their priors, but no overarching recognition that the entirety of the edifice is as dangerous as a gun.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                We don’t appreciate how much heavy lifting is done by “culture”.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, I do appreciate it. I want to supplant it. I want there to be a “culture of safety” with regard to government, same as I want there to be a “culture of safety” with regard to guns, or driving, or anything with a healthy amount of risk involved.

                And a “culture of safety” is not the removal of all risk, it’s best practices to eliminate the low hanging, and maybe the middle hanging, risk factors.

                Instead we have culture A wanting to move it’s ball down the field while stopping culture B from moving it’s ball, and vice versa, and ‘safety’ be damned (We are fighting for X, we can’t be bothered with safety! Are soldiers in a battle concerned with the safety of their weapons?![1]).

                [1] Yeah, about that, if the “culture of safety” has been implemented properly, they aren’t concerned with safety, it’s just reflex to not do things that are unsafe, except by conscious intent.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                @oscar-gordon This is an interesting comment. I think it is also a thing that Canada has – though not without failures – that I grew up taking for granted and being shocked whenever it was violated (random eg, the wholesale firing of an environmental panel that didn’t make “the right call” about a major infrastructure, to be replaced with a panel that surprise surprise, did make the right call) …. but overall, as a young person growing up in Canada, this is what we had. Harper was elected because the Liberal party was too corrupt; Trudeau was elected in a landslide because people were fed up with Harper’s government’s disregard for basic procedure and the Liberals finally offered a *credible* moderate / center-left opposition that seemed like it would respect basic procedure for the most part, etc.

                It even explains why conservative Alberta, in the face of the madness that was the Wildrose Party, would a) elect the NDP into power and b) then be really irritated that the NDP went about enacting the socialist policies they campaigned on, wholesale … because they weren’t elected for those policies, they were elected as a corrective… and people expected them to take that into account.


              • Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                I want there to be a “culture of safety” with regard to government…

                I’m not sure what this would mean in practice. Different cultures have different ideas on what is safety, and even on what is a “good” use of the government at all.

                There is basic disagreement on what should be done. That includes tax rates, education, and even how the various cultures interact.

                There’s a ton of silly examples (teaching the Earth is 6k years old) which are less silly if it’s your culture and your kid involved, but there’s also non-trivial basic disagreements; How much integration is acceptable and who pays the cost for that (i.e. my duty as parent is to do the best for my kids, that includes limiting their exposure to disruptive resource-sucking kids in classrooms).

                It is expected that different cultures have conflicts, and when the gov is very strong those conflicts are reflected in the government. And the USA handles multiculturalism and assimilation really well. I’m not familiar with Sweden but I doubt it’s used to needing to do it.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter says:

                In practice, I don’t know. I think that is somewhat the goal of serious libertarian thinkers, to figure out what a culture of safety with regard to government looks like, while still allowing government to do what it needs to.

                At it’s core though, it would be along the lines of the 4 Rules for guns, all of which take their cue from the fact that a gun is a tool, and as such it cares not about the virtue of the wielder, nor the villainy of the target. That is what makes guns so dangerous, so much is dependent upon who is pulling the trigger.

                So with government, the core would be to look at a law or policy and think, “how much is the intended outcome dependent upon the people implementing the policy ‘doing the right thing’?” Take Asset Forfeiture, for example. The intended outcome is to strip know criminals of their ill gotten gains and prevent them from using them to further their activity of fund their defense. But the law/policy is so poorly written that it turns police into Highwaymen robbing innocent travelers.

                A ‘culture of safety’ about government would have spotted the flaw before the ink had dried on the first draft and demanded checks to prevent the outcome from being dependent upon the honor of the officer/department.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

                But… but… Multiculturalism!

                All cultures are equal, and thus should produce people who do what I want them to, act how I want them to, and think the way I do!Report

  2. Burt Likko says:

    Wo6: The Western skeptic in me wonders why a flying dragon wouldn’t prefer to fly over rather than through a building. But I suppose thinking like that is how you get bad feng shui. Clearly, I need to learn how to think like a dragon.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I smell a make money scheme in the air.Report

    • Road Scholar in reply to Burt Likko says:

      They’re sorta big and heavy, so they have problems getting a lot of height.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Burt Likko says:

      You don’t want the dragons to create desire paths through your vertical urban landscape.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Feng shui is one of those things that sounds absurd when the reasons for doing it are given…and yet the resulting outcomes usually end up being better than not doing it.

      Figuring out the ‘flow’ of a room and how it works results in a much better space than just randomly piling things where they best fit, and putting very small decorations can result in large changes as to how people perceive the room. And while houses don’t need to be oriented to a specific compass direction, but orienting them _in general_ results in people actually thinking about how the house works and is thought about by inhabitants.

      Likewise, breaking up giant towers with something is better than flat featureless rectangles. I’m not sure ‘cutting holes in them’ is the most efficient way to that vs having balconys or staggered shapes or whatever, like we tend to do in the US, but, hey, it’s still better than ‘completely rectangular building’.

      It’s sorta like yoga in that way, although yoga in the US has, at this point, been mostly cleaned of all the mystical baggage, although it still has a lot of weird ideas in that are not true about ‘energy’…but, meanwhile, doing it still confers a lot of health benefits, regardless of what is justifying it.Report

  3. Chip Daniels says:


    Lübeck serves as an example of how dominant cities may become unattractive and decline when they end up serving the interests of a privileged few…In contrast, Hamburg serves as a tale of how cities can reinvent themselves by changing with the times and by investing in pro-market institutions that make them attractive centers for trade…

    Even disregarding the pro-market stuff, I want very badly for this to be true.

    But I sense a just-so story in the overall implication that generalized prosperity and good outcomes are the result of some axiomatic principles which have no cost or sacrifice necessary.

    Obviously this was written as an advisory tonic for today, which when applied, illustrates its problems.

    How could America avoid the fate of Lubeck and blunt the power of its “privileged few” so as to invest in “pro-market institutions that make them attractive centers for trade“?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I always feel like that conversation quickly devolves into a dialectic. Which is why it never gets us anywhere.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        It devolves that way because it starts out that way:
        “So the naughty civilization collapsed into ruin, while the virtuous one prospered.”
        It could be the Victorians explaining that sexual decadence was the ruin of Rome for all that it mattered.

        Except in this instance, the entrenched elite of naughty Lubeck appears to embody our modern privileged class, while virtuous Hamburg embodies our global trade policies.

        So the question the article raises implicitly, but never addresses, is how come when we followed the advice of the article and opened our doors to global trade, we ended up like Lubeck instead of Hamburg?Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Perhaps because the problem was less about opening the door to global trade and more that protecting entrenched interests has serious negative 1st, 2nd, and maybe 3rd order effects?

          Or perhaps there were other things going on that doomed Lubeck, such as starting two wars with the Dutch. Or something else entirely that is never mentioned in the article.

          But yeah, the article does set the dialectic up rather nicely.Report

  4. Road Scholar says:

    Wo4: Yes and no. It had the desired effect in some areas and backfired in others. There’s actually extant research on the psychology of these things that they apparently either ignored our didn’t consult.

    So a libertarian would — rightly! — point to this as an example of unintended consequences. Which is all well and good until it’s deployed as a killer argument against the very concept of government.Report

  5. Wo4 – It should be obvious to anyone with a brain that looking for signs announcing sudden sneaky changes in the speed limit is less safe than looking at the road. See, for instance, New Orleans.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    Wo6- In addition to dragons, it’s nice to have a path for airflow between the mountains to the sea in a tropical environment.Report

  7. Kolohe says:


    The cities of Hamburg and Lübeck in the north of Germany are just 65 kilometers (40 miles) apart. Yet, given the shape of the Jutland peninsula, Hamburg lies on the Atlantic coast, while Lübeck lies on the Baltic.

    That difference is important, methinks.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe says:

      And the graph showing Hamburg surpassing Lubeck around the year 1542 suggests the poor judgment in not locating the city on the other side of the peninsula.Report

  8. Kolohe says:

    Wo9 – Bush Sr making a promise he couldn’t keep is very on-brand for him.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Kolohe says:

      Heh, I like it, but wait… Sr. kept his promise, no?

      In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the organization, amid much debate within the organization and Russian opposition. Another expansion came with the accession of seven Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. These nations were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague summit, and joined NATO shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. Albania and Croatia joined on 1 April 2009, prior to the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit. The most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017.

      1999: +3 : BClinton/Albright
      2004: +7 : W/Powell
      2009: +3 : Obama/HClinton (W/Rice)
      2017: +1 : Trump/Tillerson (Obama/Kerry)

      Basically every team but Sr. expanded NATOReport

      • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Somehow I suspect that if Bush Senior had said “NATO won’t expand an inch eastward for as long as I’m President” the Soviets would have viewed that pledge very differently.

        It sure looks like a massive pooch screwing that NATO was expanded east at all, or maybe the massive pooch screwing was that they didn’t invite Russia into NATO when they did the first expansion.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

          Yes, that is my recollection during the events (Foreign Policy grad student)… I remember thinking that we were fortunate to have HW and his CIA/Foreign Policy experience at the helm during the slow collapse of the Soviets. The strong consensus was that NATO assurances were the prudent and pragmatic best move; it is relevant that the expansions don’t take place until a decade later… really during the Yeltsin debacle(s) where we started to see opportunity at the expense of Russia rather than opportunity with Russia. When we look back at the events from 88-92 I’m still astounded at how it all turned out.

          As for opportunities missed, its very hard to say, I recall a lot of experts talking about possible ways to get a grip on the New Russia… but I also recall that getting that grip proved elusive – for lots of good reasons. Bush Sr. was the last administration where Foreign Policy “Realists” still had seats at the table (they shared the table with Neo-Cons, but still had influence). I’m pretty sure that the paths taken would have been different if Bush Sr. had won reelection in 1992. Whether “better” I couldn’t really say. But Clinton ushered in the Neo-Con counter part… Liberal Interventionists… and that’s the story we got, maybe the one we deserve.

          Here’s a pretty good primer on a Realist counterfactual since Bush Sr. (also helps to define at a very high level the Neo-Con/Liberal Interventionist/Realist splits – especially useful since the Realists are all but gone from FP institutions).Report

        • InMD in reply to North says:

          I believe the common view is that Russia acquiesced to a re-unified Germany with the former DDR being absorbed into NATO provided that was the end of it. Of course that was never an official agreement. Its still far from clear to me that expansion has been a win. We’ve opened the door for Russia to fracture the alliance by formenting chaos in places like the Baltic states that we probably can’t defend, some of which have sizeable Russian ethnic minorities. From a certain perspective we’ve substantially weakened our strategic advantage for a moral victory.Report

          • North in reply to InMD says:

            Oh yeah I agree, I struggle to figure out why on earth it was considered a good idea in ’99 to expand Nato. Russia was no threat what so ever back then- what on earth was the rationalization? Hell, what was the moral victory for that matter?Report

            • InMD in reply to North says:

              The moral victory is that by bringing former Eastern Bloc countries into NATO we’ve shown that we do in fact live our values about sticking up for freedom and liberal democracy. In this view of the world NATO is more than a military alliance, its a club of democracies that act with moral legitimacy. There’s also a real counter-argument to the realist view that goes something like this:

              ‘Russia may be down and out now but they won’t be disjointed and inward looking forever. If we don’t expand NATO east a day will come when Russia is able to re-assert itself in its historical European sphere of influence in a way that undermines the democratic order necessary for peace. Bringing these countries into NATO is a show of strength and a deterrent to Russian meddling that could result in another war in which we will be (once again) forced to intervene.’

              As stated above I don’t agree with this argument but its not totally without merit, and I can see how people might be convinced by it 15-20 years ago. People making the decisions were looking at NATO membership as somewhat ancillary to EU expansion.Report

            • Kolohe in reply to North says:

              InMD has the honorable take, the cynical take is NATO was desperately grasping at relevance in the 90s, and expansion was one way to give everyone something to do. Plus, it complemented the pan-European unity project that the rest of institutional Europe was working on.Report

            • North in reply to North says:

              Gotcha. Good points, both of you.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Wo3: But open discussion of this subject is thwarted by taboos.

    This seems to be a recipe for a discussion attracting the people least interested in preserving taboos.

    Can we confirm that by reading the comments?

    (Reads comments)
    (Thinks “reading the comments was a mistake”)

    Yeah. We can confirm that by reading the comments.

    I’m gaming this out in my head about what happens next over the next few years… and I don’t see any scenarios that don’t involve taboos being thwarted.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Whose Taboo, Which Culture?Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Jaybird says:

      To the contrary, I found the comments to be constructive (until they started to veer into stupidity). Here is what I learned:

      1. Swedes don’t find the so-called paradox of feminism contributing to rape a serious one. I think the American translation might be this is a SlateTake?

      2. Sweden’s political class seeks to impose a taboo against talking about refugee crime by prohibiting the release of any studies on it and newspaper reporting of it. Still EverybodyKnows.

      3. The French-American grad student linked to a German report that included charts showing asylum seekers commit 15.2 times as many rapes and 42.7 times as many gang rapes as German nationals. He suggests this might be an unreporting since many of the victims are likely immigrants who have a taboo against talking about such crimes.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to PD Shaw says:

        …asylum seekers commit 15.2 times as many rapes and 42.7 times as many gang rapes…

        Ouch. I think Sweden took asylum seekers to roughly 5% of the country. If the higher number is more accurate and applies across the board to other crime rates, then they might be looking at a true tripling of crime. No wonder the police are slammed.Report

  10. Chip Daniels says:

    Wo3 and W04 are an interesting contrast.

    Especially when viewed against the behavior, and response to #metoo, Trump and Roy Moore.

    How the violation of women is treated very much depends on race and class and power and privilege.

    Shocking, I know.Report

  11. Dark Matter says:


  12. DavidTC says:

    With regard to both Wo2 and Wo3, I think at some point we need to, hypothetical, in some parallel universe, perhaps, maybe, conclude, and I know this will sound crazy, but perhaps we should conclude that ‘Poorly funded governments after make stupid choices’

    And then, hypothetically, we could consider funding them like 1% more to investigate rapes and change dumbass speed limits and see if that helps.

    I now disavow this entire comment and I repeat that I am only playing devil’s advocate, and it is of course completely absurd to suggest any solution to ‘bad government choices’ besides libertarianism.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

      I want you to consider something very, very ugly for a single moment:

      What if the problem in Sweden is not a lack of funding, but a conflict between taboos?

      I didn’t see the problem in Wo3 where it talked about a lack of funding. I did see where it talked about not wanting to violate taboos.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

        So what if it is the same problem in Alabama?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Then we’d get to see whether we have the stomach to discuss such a thing.

          Luckily, we have the “lack of funding” excuse to fall back on for a while first. Make the discussion more palatable.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Wait, which problem in Alabama? There are so many to choose from…Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            *Puts on my Very Serious Person cap.*
            *Knits my brows, purses my lips, and strokes my chin thoughtfully.*
            *reflects on how difficult that is to do, all at once.*

            Well, you see, we have to confront the sobering reality that there is a rising tide of illiberal sentiment in America, a subculture which is fundamentally at odds with Western culture, and grows ever more radicalized.

            A violent warrior culture leading to numerous attacks on Western civilian targets, underage child brides, misogyny, radical preachers crying out for a holy war against modernity, combined with a toxic stew of drug abuse and illiteracy…

            While it is painful, we may have to take action that seems harsh, but in order to defend the ramparts of Western Civilization, it may be necessary to give a fair hearing to the voices which call for a large scale roundup and mass internment or even expulsion of Evangelical Christians.

            And you will notice how detached and objective I am, describing things in a passive voice, more in sorrow than anger.Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              As a libertarian, I have to strongly caution against such actions as it would clearly violate established protected rights.

              As an apathetic militant agnostic, I’m looking at the map and trying to figure out the best place to locate the FEMA camps for the lot of them.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                As a moderator, while I don’t object to y’all’s clearly satirical-albeit-honest very nuanced statements so far on this sub-thread, I feel the need to point out that generally once we start talking about putting people into camps, Poe’s law does kick in and it leads to unintended harms to people we never intended to offend.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou says:

                Methinks we need a ‘Tongue firmly in cheek’ tag.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Maribou says:

                Perhaps if we don’t have the stomach for this sort of discussion, it shouldn’t be brought up at all.

                But that makes it into a taboo that shouldn’t be discussed.

                Ironic, no?Report

              • Maribou in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                @chip-daniels I don’t think “let’s not even joke about putting people in camps, or rather, we can make the odd joke, but once we do that, we should possibly all take a deep breath and back off before heading out in a somewhat different direction” is an unreasonable taboo to have.

                I think there are a lot of reasonable taboos that keep people from going off the rails in civilized discussions, and that would be among them.

                I’m not seeing a lot of irony there, but then I tend to be fairly straightforward, personally.Report

      • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        An ugly question? No it’s an obvious question and one that people who work with refugees and displaced people deal with regularly. In fact if people who work with those folks aren’t asking the question of how the differing values of the US and the new immigrants than they are screwing up. Talking about the different values/taboos/etc of minority groups and the rest of the people is pretty standard in social service work.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

        I didn’t see the problem in Wo3 where it talked about a lack of funding.


        “We have so many similar cases,” a spokeswoman of the local police told the Swedish public television channel SVT on September 12, “and there are so few of us, that we simply don’t have the time.” She continued: “We have rape victims three years old,” and even their cases await investigation. Torgny Söderberg, head of the investigation section at the Stockholm police, confirmed the problem on SVT, acknowledging that homicides and attempted homicides draw resources away from rape investigations. “It’s hard to explain why rape cases are piling up awaiting investigation, but the other crimes are even more serious. We are forced to choose between two evils.”

        The police are really really obviously saying they do not have the resources to deal with all crimes, or, in other words, they are underfunded.

        The article also postulates that this increase in crime is due to immigrants, and claims _that_ discussion is hindered by taboos, but I am _very_ cautious of an article that seems to be trying to make that point, but not only presents almost no information to back that up, and in fact presents a lot of information they are asserting backs it up but leave out important data that would allow us to check that conclusion. For example:

        Meanwhile, police are busy dealing with rising gang crime. That the police lack sufficient resources to protect women and are prioritising other types of crime has been the subject of harsh recent criticism by feminists in Sweden. According to official government statistics, shootings have increased, especially in so called areas of “social exclusion” – i.e. immigrant areas marked by high unemployment, welfare dependency, and crime. In these areas, reported shootings as a proportion of population are five times higher than in the rest of Sweden.

        A 2014 report by economist Tino Sanandaji shows that the number of areas of social exclusion grew from three in 1990, to more than 180 in 2012. Using a different measure, the Swedish police has identified 61 so-called ”vulnerable areas,” where crimes are significantly affecting the communities. In June, Sweden’s chief-of-police, Dan Eliasson, appealed to both local communities and government authorities to assist the police in dealing with these vulnerable areas. “Help us, help us!” he famously exclaimed at a press conference.

        Now, as this comes _immediately_ after the discussion of immigrant crime, in an article about how multiculturalism is ruining everything for women, it seems like they want us to conclude these gangs have something to do with immigrants…but in really, what they have actually said is that ‘shooting and gang activities are highest in poor areas, which also happen to be where immigrants are’.

        No shit, Sherlock. Poor areas have more street crime than other areas. Good job determining that?

        Now: Are the gangs comprised of immigrants? Are they comprised of poor Native Swedes? Are there competing gangs? Where is the actual information here?

        To summarize: It is entirely possible that immigrants do have some large part of the increase in rape, and it is also possible there is some sort of taboo in Sweden against discussing that or releasing records on that. I don’t know, and this article is pretty crappy at making that point.

        But the police there are also, clearly, very underfunded, which is allowing people (Whoever they are) to get away with the aforementioned rape.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          The police are really really obviously saying they do not have the resources to deal with all crimes, or, in other words, they are underfunded.

          While I can appreciate that they’re saying that they don’t have the man hours, that’s not the same thing as saying that they’re underfunded.

          I mean, if we’re using what is said by direct sources and only what is said by direct sources as our lodestone.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            While I can appreciate that they’re saying that they don’t have the man hours, that’s not the same thing as saying that they’re underfunded.

            …where do _you_ think man-hours come from?

            I was assuming that, as in America, money was used to pay employees to put in man-hours. Thus the solution to ‘lack of man-hours’ was ‘spend money on hiring more employees, and/or paying existing employees to work more’.

            But it is possible I am wrong and Sweden generates police man-hours via geothermal energy or something.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

              While a lack of funding would be sufficient to prevent new people from being hired, there are other things that could be equally responsible.

              A lack of political will, for example, would be another.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to DavidTC says:

          The piece also mentions that in 2005, Sweden changed the legal definition of rape to one of the widest legal definitions in the world. Most of the conduct is difficult to investigate or prove, so most of those cases are ultimately dropped. Ignoring all other issues, expanding criminal law’s role in policing sex necessarily required more resources.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC says:

      Or you could, with regard to stuff like road signs, tell government to listen to the experts who specifically warned them that only changing signage will not get them the results they are looking for.

      Talking about funding is all well and good when government is obviously doing the best they can with limited funding, but it’s something else when they aren’t even trying to do what the experts are telling them to do. All the money in the world can’t fix incompetence.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Talking about funding is all well and good when government is obviously doing the best they can with limited funding, but it’s something else when they aren’t even trying to do what the experts are telling them to do. All the money in the world can’t fix incompetence.

        I rather suspect it’s not incompetence, it’s reverse NIMBY-ism.

        The push for lower speed limits in residential areas often happened because a small, very vocal subset of that area make very loud noises in favor of it, the other people in the area don’t notice what is going on, and no one cares.

        Like NIMBY-ism, it’s bad policy directed by extremely loud people who care a lot about the issue but are often very low information. (It’s just ‘reverse’ because it’s something they want, instead of something they don’t want.)

        But normally the local government refuses to deal with it at all. And, at least in the US, often has specifically handed all responsibility for traffic decisions off to some ‘objective body’ so they _don’t_ have to deal with random idiots petitioning them all the time for changes in speed limits and adding or removing stop signs and all that nonsense.

        Here, the morons in the government actually followed through, even after the objective body said ‘Hey, this isn’t working, like we said it wouldn’t.’.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC says:

          All true, but elected representatives are supposed to be willing and able to deal with such idiots, or at least smart enough to establish an objective body so they don’t have to.

          The very fact that they just changed signage despite expert warnings that it would not be enough (and spent over $1M to do it) strongly suggests incompetence.Report