Economics

Your Stimulus Dollars at Work: Buying Ankle Bracelets For Stay-at-Home Criminals and Hiring Lawyers to Work on Blight Cases

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The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a Queen City council request for $1.3 million in stimulus money for purposes that don't pass the laugh and/or smell test (the laugh-until-it-stops-smelling test?):

Leslie Ghiz and Greg Harris just announced they'll unveil their plan Monday to spend $1.3 [million] in federal Byrne law enforcement grants.

They want to spend $461,000 to lease 75 ankle-bracelet monitors equipped with GPS and $315,000 to hire two city lawyers to work on blight cases. They want the police department to re-prioritize how it'll spend the rest.

Les and Greg, here's some free advice: Keep this perfect plan veiled. Exactly how such spending is supposed to rev the economy up is beyond me. If it's stimulation they're after, why not just buy some Tasers and shock the lawyers? Or better yet, the city council. Incidentally, in southwestern Ohio, home to some of the most egregious eminent domain abuses (remember the Norwood case!), blight is almost always a code word for eminent domain. More here.

This is certainly not the worst of the stimulus-dollar requests (my vote for that honor goes to the legislators demanding more money so they can hire someone to keep track of all the money they're getting), but I suspect it is incredibly typical. And incredibly pathetic.

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  1. The blight lawyers I understand being pissed about, but what’s wrong with the ankle bracelets?

    Criminal justice system spending is one of the only types of spending libertarians acknowledge the state has the right to engage in. That would immediately make this spending line item more palatable than literally every other stimulus package spending item I can imagine.

  2. Nick, ALL SPENDING “revs up” the economy. The economy is, by definition, buying and spending. While one could argue that there are better things to spend $1.3 million on (perhaps $1.3 million in tax cuts, so we can all buy more cheap Chinese crap?), if you can’t see that buying these monitors creates employment all along their supply chain, and that hiring lawyers obviously employs lawyers, you are blinded by your partisanship.

  3. Half a million for ankle bracelets? I have a 10 foot length of chain I will sell them for 10 bucks.

    I believe the contention is with the concept that this money was specifically set forth to “stimulate the economy.” Ankle bracelets and two lawyers doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot in that area. The criminals should be let go and we can hire a few cops to chase and catch them. Now there’s some stimulus.

  4. Nick, ALL SPENDING “revs up” the economy.

    In that case hookers and coke for all imo. Lets rev the ever loving crap out this bitch. At least the money will be going to free market minded people, even if they don’t recognize their participation.

  5. that hiring lawyers obviously employs lawyers

    Chad, I think the issue here is that the lawyers are being hired to destroy other people’s property and economic activity.

    If you hire two lawyers, and they destroy 20 small businesses because they’re “ugly”, did you stimulate the economy?

  6. I thought the probate had to pay for the ankle bracelet?

  7. “Lez Ghiz” would be an awesome porn name (for certain specialty titles, at least).

  8. We fully support this plan. It will protect or create tens or even dozens of jobs. That’s good for America.

  9. Chad, (“Chad Ghiz” would be an awesome porn name, too. Primarily, for gay titles.)

    If you can’t see how sucking money out of the credit market or the paychecks of Americans and filtering it through the government bureaucracy to buy law enforcement resources or hire lawyers to litigate the seizure of more property isn’t an enormous drain on the economy, then you are the one blinded by your partisanship.

  10. Rimfax,

    Let the HOPE and CHANGE wash over you. Cover you. Like a warm blanket.

  11. Oh, and whats up with the reason.wiki account over there? Last I read, LoneWacko challenged you or something?

  12. Naga,

    In case you missed it… you have to help.

  13. SugarFree!!!!!!!!!!

    You just [insert your name here]ed the link!!! I feel robbed!

  14. Works for me. (It’s supposed to go to a Reason thread.)

  15. https://www.reason.com/blog/show/133309.html

    In case you are still having problems.

  16. Really? Why? I didn’t get the gist of why you linked to that article. I just assumed the link was supposed to something else.

  17. Instead of ankle bracelets, the city should hire regular people to follow the parolees around. For $461,000, they could purchase 46,000 hours of labor at $10/hour. That would supply about 25 people with full-time jobs for an entire year.

  18. Read all the comments. We’ve started a collaborative novel. And you’re being conscripted.

  19. OOoooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That. I’m not sure I’m creative enough but I’ll give it a try.

  20. Blight IS about stimulus, you just don’t understand: the lawyers will go around looking for residential property in areas that could be handed over to a commercial developer for a big bribe I mean stimulus to the local government.

    These lawyers then make the resident an offer they can’t refuse, if they do refuse the lawyers make sure the property is declared a blight and condemned. Then the city uses eminent domain to give the property to a commercial developer with political connections, and everyone is happy, except anyone that cares about freedom and property rights. But those are just those kooky libertarians.

    So yes it’s stimulus all right, stimulus for some at least. And it’s a lot easier with lots of federal dollars to pay those lawyers with.

  21. Naga,

    I vaguely recall LoneWacko challenging me, but my life got in the way and I dropped lots of stuff. Worrying about disappointing LoneWacko got dropped rather easily.

  22. Rimfax,

    No doubt a smart decision.

  23. Okay, maybe I don’t understand the costs involved. A GPS tracking unit runs about 600 bucks, and handcuffs run about 40 for leg irons. What makes an ankle braclet worth $6K on a lease basis? The monitoring services?

  24. Somebody already sells fakes as trendy accessories… Don’t believe me? Give it a look http://www.sinthing.com

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