Last week, you received a letter postmarked Royal California. You scratched your head at first, but got a vision of a bright future for America, led to sandy shores and tropical islands by a wise King. The letter went into depth about how the American monarch reclaimed warzones on America’s borders and in her near abroad, but barely mentioned the King’s efforts at pacifying the warzones at home. Your physics-defying epistolarian sent you another letter through the Time Matrix this week.
Yearly welfare spending by the U.S. federal government reaches $949 billion. Despite all kinds of too-clever-by-half schemes, requirements, and justifications attached to the welfare money, the government has not managed to circumvent the economic law: “you get what you incentivize.”
Welfare recipients tend to remain on welfare, and while idling on the dole, tend to commit crimes, ruin their own health with drugs or junk food (and foot the bill to the taxpayer), have children out of wedlock (who then need more welfare), and otherwise ruin things for the rest of us.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, these welfare recipients tend to congregate in certain urban areas and turn them into dangerous no-go zones, or completely undesirable locales.
So, how do we fix the welfare problem? Again, the current crop of experts, bureaucrats, pundits, public thinkers, journalists, activists, professors, and politicians are on the case – but, despite their heroic efforts and a nearly $1 trillion budget, they just can’t make any headway. Perhaps we need more money, they wonder. A sarcastic shrug is not even a millionth of the contempt deserved by our public thinkers on CNN and NPR. Listen! Here is how you fix the welfare and ghetto problem:
To begin with, it is obvious to everyone that there are certain areas all over the homeland that cannot be safely traversed without a military convoy. It is also obvious to everyone which neighborhoods these are, and where their borders lie. There are hundreds of thousands of expensively trained and armed U.S. servicemen in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and a myriad of other random places across the globe they have no good business being. Bring them back, shut down the overseas bases, and put them in every ghetto in the mainland United States.
Convert abandoned buildings that serve as crack dens and havens for prostitutes into military installations. Station U.S. servicemembers on the streets of their own cities instead of the streets of Baghdad and Kabul. It’ll be much cheaper to supply an army that hasn’t left home than an army half a world away tucked away in mountains crawling with hostile desert people who blow up supply trucks for fun. The soldiers, being naturally steeped in the culture of the United States, will find it easier to practice effective counterterrorism, urban warfare, human intelligence, etc. at home than in Iraq or Afghanistan, where they are cocooned in a thick language barrier and an impenetrable cultural barrier.
Contrary to platitudes, violence most definitely is the answer. With enough heavily armed soldiers patrolling the ghettos, pacification will be a piece of cake. If for some reason there aren’t enough active servicemembers to man every sketchy streetcorner, call up the reserves and the National Guard. If lacking still, call up the national militia. Every third American owns a firearm. There are tens of thousands of Americans who can privately equip themselves to be volunteer citizen deputies at the service of the local military pacification unit. Lots of these volunteers will be positively ecstatic to assist in the reclamation of their country from violent barbarism. Some of them might arm and armor themselves even more luxuriously than the soldiers!
A groundswell of disposessed, bored, unemployed, and college-aged young men sign up for the quick-deployment irregular divisions set up by the army to reinforce the occupation effort. And remember that we already cut federal spending on the military by half by moving our troops and supply lines back home.
Now, with the ghettos sufficiently occupied by experienced soldiers, fresh recruits, reservists and armed volunteers, we can begin to phase out the yearly welfare transfers with minimal unrest and casualties. Nobody will riot with lethal law enforcement on every corner. The peacekeepers have been given legal permission to use deadly force (no questions asked) against non-compliant persons long ago. After a handful of foolhardy deaths, the ghetto-dwellers get the message.
Needless to say, this is a journalist-free zone — sedition is a capital offense.
There is no common-sense way of telling how long the transition from welfare dependency should take. The rule is that the quicker it is, the more violent it will be. For the interests of speedy restoration, we decide to take a decade’s time. Each year, we cut the welfare budget by 1/10. Whatever mild unrest is awakened is quickly and decisively quelled. The welfare-dependent population, feeling the noose squeeze around its neck, suddenly begins to discover new ways to make a living without resorting to the dole.
Some of the problematic population is killed while resisting the rule of law, a fair number are imprisoned for breaking the law, many file exit permits and move far, far away from the urban ghettos with a suddenly developed taste for small-town or rural life. Without the crypto-communists legislating “UBI” and “minimum wages,” manual labor becomes a viable trade in demand again. The military relocation office ensures that no former ghetto-dwellers congregate in any locality.
The local economy of the ghettos – strange as it may seem – is not inhibited by the ubiquitous presence of security forces, but invigorated. For the first time in a century (if ever), honest traders, peddlers, small businessmen, entertainers, and other assorted figures can make a pauper’s simple living without fear of crime. The streets become safe communal areas. A generation of children grows up with fond memories of street play, street vendors and the ever-present turtle-men with boomsticks who make life possible in the former ghetto.
Investors and entrepreneurs from the rest of the country file permits to move into the occupied ghettos. Low property values used to be the result of never-ending crime and destitution, but with crime fully eliminated, the invisible hand of the market fills empty real estate with happy tenants and new landlords. These outsiders bring money and business with them into the ghetto, employing the locals without tax impositions or burdensome regulations. Taxes are entirely eliminated from the occupied areas in order to accelerate the normalization process as much as possible. The only laws in the occupied ghetto are against sedition, murder, theft, rape and property destruction, and they are swiftly and mercilessly punished.
No armed lawman needs a J.D. from Yale to identify these crimes and mete out the appropriate penalty.
3650 days after beginning the occupation and pacification of the urban wastelands, welfare spending has been reduced to $0, the nation is at least $1 trillion richer every year, and all no-go zones have been reclaimed and put under the sovereignty of the King. Domestic military readiness is relaxed and reduced but unusually well-armed and trigger-happy patrols will continue to remain in the former ghetto areas for sixty years according to the King’s latest decree — another two generations, to ensure that the peaceful habits learned by force remain well-supported. After nearly three generations of life in security and consistent swift execution of the abnormally violent and barbaric, the area will be naturally pacific enough to confidently end the military-police presence. Until then no wishful thinking may interrupt the civilizing mission.
Almost a century after the occupation of the ghettoes, the entire country is prosperous and secure. No resident worries about “sketchy neighborhoods” or “being out too late” anymore. Every nook and cranny under the sovereign’s nominal authority is within the rapid jurisdiction of a lawman’s gun barrel. With peace, security, order and liberty well established, the King may consider the domestic military presence no longer necessary, and begin to contemplate a foreign expedition to enrich the nation… but you already know about that, don’t you?