Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Hierarchy of Needs.

Most of us have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow notes the human being has various needs and goes onto to group those needs into various categories. Maslow then moves on and theorizes a hierarchy of needs and needs at a higher level are of no interest to people who have yet to fulfill the lower level needs. Now, please note there is some dispute over the hierarchy of needs theory, but in a general way it makes sense. A person running for a foxhole to shelter himself from an incoming aretillery barrage is not thinking about the implication's of the latest developments in string theory.

Why talk about Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Two reasons, both are surges of a sort. One is the surge going on in Iraq and the other is the surge happening in Milwaukee:
The trend among conservatives such as yourself is to see crime in very simple, black and white terms: bad guys, good guys - and punishment. At the pinpoint of law enforcement and the judicial system, it’s just this way. But it’s a tip of a large iceberg involving a whole host of other social and economic factors. In short, you can keep putting more and more cops on the street, keep incarcerating more and more of these guys, but we will never reduce the numbers of people willing live their lives outside the law until we improve some of these other things, too.

It’s not good enough for me to put more and more people behind bars. I want that - but I also want to make law-abiding lifestyles more available and attractive to people with little opportunity and even less good examples.

I’m sure a half a dozen people here see such thinking as weak, liberal mush, but I really don’t give a [–censored–]. When I see young men being put in prison I can’t help but think that, but for a few lucky breaks, that might easily be me.
Source: Boots & Sabres Comment by Scott Feldstein

No Scott

I do not see you as a weak, liberal mush I see you with a simple black and white caricature of conservative thought and I also suspect you do not have a strong grasp of the need for security. I wonder if Scott has ever been in a position to have genuine worries of being victimized? Of course, most of us have but for the people in Milwaukee's inner cities this is a day in and day out worry.

Physical Security First

Makes sense, doesn't it, even if you do not buy Maslow's theory? In my opening above the guy dodging shells is thinking of only one thing – surviving the next couple of minutes. However, Scott's comment does not take into account people's need for physical security, nor does it give credit to others.

An anti-crime initiative that put Milwaukee police on patrol in some of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods this summer received credit on Monday for a nearly 22% drop in non-fatal shootings as well as a decrease in overall homicides during 2007.

So far, the Neighborhood Safety Initiative is working, police and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said during a news conference outside the District 3 police station near N. 49th St. and W. Lisbon Ave.
Source: JS Online – Non-fatal shootings in city down 22% (Mayor, police tout stepped-up patrols)

What is wrong with the above? Now, Scott would have us believe locking up violent offenders is not part of the solution. More midnight basketball and the chaos goes away, but then we would have chaotic midnight basketball. Locking up or eliminating those who commit violence is a necessary but insufficient part of the puzzle. Like in Iraq.

Reports are coming from Iraq that the local populace in areas being surged into are full of tales and real tips leading to the arrest of AQ operatives, the locations of booby-trapped houses, and road side bombs. However, when a patrol would come wondering through, no such information was forthcoming. Why not? Some of the reason surely is the fact people have not yet had enough of AQI, but a fair amount of it was probably not snitchin'. Other stories I have read have it many local approached by the MNF in Iraq would get a visit from AQI. However, now the MNF & real Iraqi soldiers are in place, AQI is much less able to intimidate the local populace. People no longer fear for their safety.

Moving Up the Triangle

Once physical security, aka, law and order is established then what Scott hopes for can happen. Education, economic development, and other such programs. As I said in response to Scott's comment people are not going to set up businesses where customers, employees, vendors, etc are afraid for their safety. Without the safety forget jobs, forget opportunity.

More Yet

Once physical security is established then the government must let things happen on their own. Of course, in the area being quibbled about there will be federal, state & local monies pouring in to help establish a functional economy, but that aid should not be need for long. Even hot rod race cars need jump starting.