The endlessly self-inventive Jennifer Lopez is trying out a new role: critic of public choice theory. According to Rush and Molloy, the modern Liz to Ben Affleck's Dick requested free use of on-duty Miami police officers for security during a recent visit. "Lopez's people said since they paid a lot in taxes," says Miami Beach Police spokesman Detective Bobby Hernandez, "we should give them officers."
Put aside for a moment whatever objections you may have to the overexposed chanteuse. Does she have a point? Detective Hernandez' rebuttal to the request seems like no more than an argument from force: "I had to explain that there are a lot of people with money here. They have to hire off-duty officers like everyone else." I presume from the context that J.Lo has a residence and pays taxes in Miami; if I were paying Lopez-sized taxes, I too might feel I was entitled to more than my share of public services. Or rather, I'd think that more than my share was my share. To be humane, we may concede that poor people should not be left without police or fire protection. But why shouldn't the people who pay most of the bills help themselves to a little extra?
(Like Salieri, J.Lo speaks for mediocrities everywhere. Kerry Howley wrote an appreciation back when she was still Jenny From the Block.)