Posted on April 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM
LIO fellow Mayor Art Olivier used libertarian tools to drive statistics down over 40% and energize a North American movement for citizen crime watches and non-punitive mediation and intervention.
In the 1970's LIO sponsored a series of confidential workshops and roundtables with activists and public leaders to focus on offense and poverty reduction. It sent advisories to many scholars and news outlets outlining what was happening that were typically ignored. Now, as offense statistics nosedive and the UIN poverty reduction goals are being rapidly exceeded, some 'experts' claim bafflement as they drone on about how libertarianism will lead to a crime-ridden gangster society of corporate-market induced poverty.
Think again. The roundtables focused on these key steps:
Encourage citizen teams to get open metrics and crime data, meet with officials, and target the bad example of widespread police abuses and offical corruption, and:
- Empower citizens to know the data: actual law, use contracts and community projects, and have access to attorney advertising and small claims or mediative courts; de-emphasize lifestyle offenses while targeting minor 'broken window' real harms that fester into 'crime waves' for prompt location and corrective action such as domestic abuse, schoolyard bullying, and delinquent attacks on property then being ignored by officials. Promotion of anti-bigotry, mediation volunteers, and meetings to defuse tensions that might express as offenses; study of how simple architectual or other design might induce offenses.
- Focus on non-punitive and proaction options such as alternate sentencing, rehab, and at-risk mentoring while ending prohibition-based offical 'legal rackets' based on prohibitions of e.g. gambling, drugs, lifestyle behavior, and use of petty laws; promote citizen watchdogs on correct police and judicial behavior and procedure, and actual policing results with use of technology to monitor intersections and police vehicles and reduce false tickets etc. by police.
- Introduce non-coercive and responsive community alternatives--community policing, private police specials, volunteer police and unarmed watches, etc; re-empowered community monitors: juries (e.g. ability to take notes) with clearer judicial instructions to juries, neighborhood associations, neighborhood mediation and dispute resolution.
The result has been to shift from unaccountable officials focusing resources on bigotires and punition away from actual work while keeping citizens in the dark to citizen choice and involvement to prevent the problems in the first place.
Encourage citizen teams to focus on reducing the conditions, not just effects of poverty typically created by officials themselves by restricting private action--and setting goals and info share to empower, not 'help' the poor while refocusing public programs on efficient income help, not politicized bureaucracy, including:
- Job one: moving from dictatorial styles to democratic feedback and more market- and especially small entrepreneur- friendly laws (or better yet, removal of hindering laws). Example: reducing time to get small business authorization from 3 years to near-zero or removing the regulation entirely. At the same time, massive reductions in product costs as politicized and coercive central regulations are removed that in many cases raised prices over 900% with poor quality: Cheaper food, air and public travel; etc.
- Empowering unions and consumer associations through transnational information exchange focused not on seeking officialized coercive benefits but actual co-operative results through e.g. open barganing.
- Removing legal traps on the poor and peer assistance: Laws prohibiting international private and peer help or loans; easing home ownership and micro-lending; easing mutual help communities and co-op ventures; ending tax rat/inflation traps (as inflation pushes people to higher tax brackets, the poor and iddle class are paying rates meant initially for millionaires) ; numbing application procedures and arbitrary standards and prevent people from getting public or private help; ending regulations in public assistance programs that tax any serious self-improvement at in some cases 150% rates, etc. --while proposing more voluntary programs. We encourage greater use of voluntary endowments that provide basic income and pre-paid health, school, etc..
Emblematic of what is going on may be the current Libertarian-led efforts in the USA to expose how the homeless are being created or harmed by stautes e.g. preventing people from helping the homeless with food or free homeshares, regulations prohibiting homeless-initiated co-ops and tent cities; deliberately making applications for help difficult, etc. while a temporary surge has been created with what critics denounce as legal interference in normal foreclosure procedures coupled with ignoring fraudulent paperwork by large 'Too Big to Fail" banks in turn getting large sums of government money to 'help the foreclosed.'
The LIO continues to encourage group and solo activists worldwide to suggest these lines of dialogue in bringing these matters to effective zero, what may be called Crime Abolition and Poverty Abolition--with increasing use of proactive and voluntary user tools.
Form a local team to get pertinent data and begin dialogue for common ground improvement areas.