Smart Ideas: Improve Policing by Making It More Female

A worker lifts materials as construction continues on the new roadway deck of the Bayonne Bridge in Bayonne, N.J. on Nov. 15.
AP Photo/Mel Evans
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March 1, 2017, 8 p.m.

Look for more waste than stimulus from Trump's infrastructure plan

Ver­o­nique de Rugy, writ­ing for Reas­on

Amid Pres­id­ent Trump’s call for a $1 tril­lion in­fra­struc­ture bon­anza, we would do well to re­mem­ber that gov­ern­ment “sys­tem­at­ic­ally over­es­tim­ates the be­ne­fits and un­der­es­tim­ates the price of in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.” Any job growth or eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus from in­fra­struc­ture is pre­dic­ated on “shovel-ready” jobs that can be star­ted as soon as funds are made avail­able. But as Pres­id­ent Obama “dis­covered in 2009 when he tried to spend $47 bil­lion from the Amer­ic­an Re­cov­ery and Re­in­vest­ment Act on in­fra­struc­ture, there aren’t that many shovel-ready pro­jects ly­ing around. And since job seekers rarely have the skills needed to start build­ing a bridge or high­way right away, em­ploy­ers are forced to poach work­ers from their ex­ist­ing jobs.” Rather, we should look to fund such pro­jects through user fees. “That change kills two birds with one stone: It lessens the need for massive fed­er­al ex­pendit­ures, and it gives the private sec­tor an in­cent­ive to spend money on cru­cial but not ex­actly sexy main­ten­ance tasks.”

Trump's address boxed in Republicans

S.V. Date, writ­ing for The Huff­ing­ton Post

Paul Ry­an called Don­ald Trump’s Tues­day night ad­dress to a joint ses­sion of Con­gress “a home run.” However, Ry­an and many of his fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans “may come to re­think that en­thu­si­asm in the com­ing weeks and months … be­cause Trump in many ways boxed in his Cap­it­ol Hill party mates.” When it comes to health care, Trump’s plan in­tro­duced “an im­possible com­bin­a­tion” of more choice, lower costs, and bet­ter health care. “Every prob­lem can be solved,” Trump said. He “should not be sur­prised if the real­ity of mak­ing that hap­pen is a good deal harder than read­ing words off of his tele­prompt­er.”

Democrats need to stop marginalizing themselves

Former Sen. Judd Gregg, writ­ing for The Hill

An at­tack be­ing lobbed at Pres­id­ent Trump is that he “is mar­gin­al­iz­ing him­self by pur­su­ing ini­ti­at­ive after ini­ti­at­ive aimed at the low­est com­mon de­nom­in­at­or among his sup­port­ers.” However, Demo­crats are do­ing the same thing, and likely won’t be gran­ted the pleth­ora of second chances that the of­fice of the pres­id­ency will earn Trump. “People want the party out of power to of­fer up ra­tion­al, use­ful ideas that pass the com­mon-sense test,” and un­for­tu­nately “the Demo­crat­ic Party is well on the way to mar­gin­al­iz­ing it­self as an ef­fect­ive op­pos­i­tion party.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

More women in law enforcement would reduce brutality

Neha Thir­ani Bagri, writ­ing for Quartz

Ex­cess­ive force by po­lice of­ficers, in some cases en­tire po­lice forces, has been a ma­jor story over the past five years. One solu­tion: hire more wo­men po­lice of­ficers. “Mul­tiple stud­ies have shown that fe­male po­lice of­ficers are less likely to re­sort to ex­cess­ive force.” While men of­ten feel the job is to en­force the law, more “fe­male of­ficers see poli­cing as a very im­pact­ful way of help­ing a com­munity solve its prob­lems,” ac­cord­ing to Kath­er­ine Spillar, cofounder of the Na­tion­al Cen­ter for Wo­men & Poli­cing. Po­lice re­cruit­ment needs to re­frame the job de­scrip­tion, go­ing away from pro­mot­ing phys­ic­al force and in­stead en­for­cing cer­tain skill sets, such as com­mu­nic­a­tion and ne­go­ti­ation. An in­crease in wo­men and a de­crease in force could re­store strong com­munity-po­lice re­la­tions, much needed in Amer­ica today.

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