When people hear that I used to work for my local police department, they usually want to complain. “The cops don’t do enough!” is the usual refrain.
My position is that they do as well as they can. Budget constraints also constrain the ability of the police, and the department has to compete with other government agencies for a slice of the taxpayer provided pie. Although everyone interested in the subject should remain wary of excesses and corruption, the vast majority of police forces here in the United States do a pretty good job with what they have. But that isn’t what most people say.
There is never enough cash to provide the equipment the public demands, provide the training the public demands, provide the size of the force the public demands, or provide the services the public demands. People looking at police work from the outside can see that there is a lot more cop work that can be done if there was unlimited money, so how come they can’t get it now without their taxes going up?
I was reminded of the neverending litany of woe while reading this news article. It appears that giant billboards have been erected over the facade of many famous landmarks in Venice, Italy. This has elicited outrage from prominent figures in the art world, who have complained that blocking the view of such historical treasures in order to sell soft drinks and sports watches is an act of “stupidity and incompetence”.
The mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, says that selling the advertising space is the only way to pay for desperately needed renovations since tax revenues have been falling. He also says that his critics should get bent.
“The only way to get around the problem would be to have a magic wand and repair all the buildings in Venice without having to cover them up. These days public money is tight. I would be very happy to accept donations, if they’re willing to give them.”
Mr. Orsoni is a Leftist, but a practical one. How rare!