Just when you thought we’d hit peak derp, along comes the Mayor of Stockton, (of course) California. Excerpt:
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs says that for way too long, his city has been known for headlines about bankruptcy, violent crime and the housing collapse.
In the future, he wants it to be known as a place willing to test bold solutions.
Bold, and a little controversial.
Tubbs, a Stockton native and Stanford graduate who is all of 27 years old, wants to give at least $500 a month to a select group of residents. They’ll be able to spend it as they wish, for 18 months, in a pilot program to test the impact of what’s called guaranteed basic income.
Derp? Sure. We’ve seen this derp before. But here’s where Tubbs hits peak derp:
If the very sound of that knocked you half off your chair, this next initiative might finish the job.
Stockton is about to award stipends of up to $1,000 a month to residents deemed most likely to shoot somebody. This program is called Advance Peace, and it’s modeled after a crime reduction program in the Bay Area city of Richmond.
The idea is that a small number of people are responsible for a large percentage of violence, and offering them an alternative path — with counseling and case management over an 18-month period, along with a stipend if they stay the course — can be a good investment all around.
“Let me be clear, Advance Peace is not a get out of jail free card,” Tubbs wrote in explaining the program on Stockton’s public safety website. “Participating in this program doesn’t erase the past, but it does help these young men learn how to make better choices for their own and our community’s collective future.”
There’s a difference between a vision and a hallucination, and time will tell with Tubbs. But I like the young man’s mix of rebelliousness, impatience and willingness to take risks.
There is a difference between a vision and a hallucination. Mayor Tubbs’ vision is the latter. And his hallucination will founder on one rock, namely: How is he going to pay for all this?
California is, at present, essentially a Latin American economy, with a few enormously rich residents, a massive poverty-stricken population, and a moribund middle class. Stockton has almost none of the first, a whole lot of the second and a few – maybe – of the third.
There’s just no blood to get out of that stone.
Of course, being an economic illiterate and quite possibly delusional is no bar to elected office, especially in California. And the sad part is that his proposals will probably gain support in Stockton. The siren song of Free Shit tends to have that effect.