by J.T. YOUNG
Until the economic cost of an action is understood, you do not truly understand the action itself. So, it is with today’s left. Nowhere has this lack of understanding become clearer than in the left’s actions to defund the police and open America’s borders. And nowhere has the price of ignorance been greater.
In June 2020, Shivanthi Sathanandan, the second vice chairwoman of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party posted on Facebook: “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Say it with me. DISMANTLE. The. Minneapolis. Police. Department…MPD has systematically failed the Black Community, they have failed ALL OF US. It’s time to build a new infrastructure that works for ALL communities. If you are still disagreeing with that BASIC FACT, I’m not sure what to say to you.”
So, enough people agreed with Sathanandan, and the city built a “new infrastructure.” The only problem is that it does not “work for ALL communities,” most notably Sathanandan and her family. Tragically, Sathanandan said she was beaten bloody during a carjacking in her driveway in broad daylight as her children watched.
Carjackings continues to afflict the city; this week DFL 2nd Vice Chairwoman Shivanthi Sathanandan was violently attacked and carjacked in front of her children in the driveway of her MPLS home in broad daylight.
She says she suffered a broken leg, deep… pic.twitter.com/83b2RJuF0D
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) September 7, 2023
On Sept. 8, Sathanandan again posted on Facebook, but this time the message was very different from the one three years earlier. Describing being “violently carjacked” by “four very young men, all carrying guns,” she said: “These men knew what they were doing. I have NO DOUBT they have done this before. Yet they are still on OUR STREETS. Killing mothers…With no hesitation and no remorse…catch these young people who are running wild creating chaos across our city and HOLD THEM IN CUSTODY AND PROSECUTE THEM. PERIOD.”
On the East Coast, 1,500 miles away, though still in a deep-blue area, Woburn, Massachusetts’ Democrat Mayor Scott Galvin was lamenting the surge in migrants that were pouring into his small town of 40,000. “We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools. The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination, and without some changes, this challenge is not going to abate.” Succinctly put, it is unsustainable.
Woburn’s plight is the result of President Joe Biden’s open border policy and Massachusetts’ unique right-to-shelter law. The New York Times said the law “guarantees every family with children a place to stay.” Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey has helpfully decided to address the effect rather than the cause, declaring a state of emergency and calling out the National Guard. This is at least more than the Biden administration has done.
Anyone interested in looking can see that the Biden administration’s “Vacancy” sign hung out on our southern border is disastrous. And in the case of Woburn, when the disaster comes to your door — instead of the door of, say, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida — you have no choice but to look. But even before the crisis came, it was foreseeable. Free goods (in this case a plethora of U.S. taxpayer-funded benefits) will be consumed freely — as Woburn is learning.
Karl Marx’s hollow rhetoric — “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” — has always foundered on harsh economic reality. Recipients’ wants inevitably and quickly become needs, and equally quickly the abilities of providers diminish. Demand for free stuff in short order outstrips the supply. As Galvin observed, the state’s right-to-shelter law was “passed at a different time and was not meant to cover what we’re seeing now,” i.e., it was not meant to be put into practice in any meaningful way.
In the sad case of the Minnesota carjacking, economists had predicted the outcome of defunding the police even as the sanctimonious chants were still ringing out. Crime does pay. Everyone knows it is cheaper to steal others’ work than to do it yourself. Only by raising the cost of crime through enforcement does society make the cost of lawlessness prohibitive. Reduce the cost of crime and you get a greater demand for it.