Something odd is going on in McArdleland. For the second day in a row Megan McArdle has posted early in the morning. Her usual habit is (scanty) posting late in the afternoon. Is she looking for a new job? Has she taken up another job that occupies her afternoons? Has she taken up another man who occupies her afternoons? Only time will tell....
Meanwhile back at the ranch nobody can do anything ever, including police oversight. BlackLivesMatter wants more police oversight and McArdle responds with her usual keen insight and deep knowledge base.
This problem has basically proven insoluble.
Thank you, girl Thought Leader!
A punitive oversight board pushes professionals toward a particular decision: to do nothing.
I thought libertarians were extremely concerned about who will watch the Watchmen?
In the vast caverns of McArdle's mind, the police are like teachers; too concerned with protecting their paycheck to do their job properly.
When professional groups decide what's good for the rest of us, it usually turns out that what they think is good for the rest of us is what's best for them.
That cuts the professionalism out of professionals, doesn't it?
But when a proposal comes up that will hurt them in some way, it's very easy for the professionals to see all the reasons against it, and to convince themselves that the world will be better off without it. And when it comes time to discipline a member for some offense, unless it is straightforwardly heinous, they will naturally sympathize with the accused, thinking of all the times they made mistakes that could have landed them in the same place.
McArdle has demonstrated this attitude many times. How can you criticize people for making mistakes when you make mistakes yourself? Anyone can be wrong any time since decision-making is just a crapshoot. It is nothing but an excuse for being wrong all the time due to ideological bias.
But the police are also not like teachers.
People who have never done the job have no way of assessing the trade-offs that professionals make when they try to do something, and they tend to be unforgiving when the professionals make errors, as humans sometimes do when they make decisions.
McArdle believes professionals can and should be assessed, and controlled by cutting their pay . As she said yesterday:
We are paying cops as well. Why don't we just threaten to cut off the checks if they don't change? Problem solved!
Reforming schools is harder than it sounds, but persuading principals and teachers to change what they do looks like a trivial exercise compared with getting millions of people to radically alter the hours they spend each day with their children in the privacy of their own homes. For one thing, we're paying the teachers and can threaten to cut off the checks if they don't change.