Monday, February 20, 2017

Prison Planet guy accidentally endorses socialism's approach to crime

This morning, alt-right provocateur Paul Joseph Watson made the hilarious mistake of offering to cover travel and accomodations for any journalist willing to live in Malmö, Sweden. Predictably, since then, he's been deluged by folks who want to take him up on his offer, and the obvious joke has been to point out that this was all bluster and that no one in the universe is actually afraid to go to Sweden.

Here, however, I want to make a different point: Watson is literally proposing to deal with the problem of crime with a program of lavish economic benefits. The entire premise of his gambit is that incentives like relocation and housing subsidies would normally be enough to encourage folks to live in high-crime neighborhoods - but in this case they aren't, because Malmö is that bad. One doesn't even have to dispute the second part of that argument to notice that Watson accidentally conceded a major point in the first!

Consider how this point would apply to the immigration debate in the United States - which is the direct subtext of Watson's trolling. If you want to blame immigrants for the problem of violent crime, then certainly one solution to that problem would be to pursue an aggressive agenda of deportations and border controls, like Trump is doing. But another solution, which Watson has accidentally endorsed, would be to simply pump money into high-crime areas until the residents decide that they're a tolerable place to live. You wouldn't even need to stop at housing subsidies; you could also invest in improved infrastructure, targeted welfare benefits, and even local cultural programs until the area is so nice that people are willing to put up with whatever crime problem may exist. And bear with me: perhaps if you put that much money into the welfare of a given population, that might actually have the effect of lowering the crime rate?

There are all kinds of possibilities here, but it's enough to notice that even the the loudest voices of the alt-right are aware of alternatives to Trump's draconian immigration agenda. And despite all of their bluster, they are absolutely terrified of actually giving the socialist approach a chance; that's why Watson will of course never put his money where his mouth is and pay anyone to move to Malmö. If people who voice such concern about immigration had to put their money where their mouth is, our government would be very different indeed.