Americans are worried about the rising murder rate. Thankfully, progressives have good, common-sense ideas to address it.
by Jordan Weissmann
July 8, 2021
… According to the Washington Post–ABC poll, 75 percent Americans believe that “increasing funding for economic opportunities in poor areas” would reduce violence, compared with 55 percent who say the same about increasing police funding. This seems like an excellent opportunity to give voters what they want—especially since there is strong empirical evidence that many of the supposedly touchy-feely anti-crime ideas that progressives advocate like youth jobs and urban infrastructure improvements can actually have an immediate impact on crime rates.
What exactly would the bill look like? Unfortunately, regulatory gun control measures are probably out, because the Senate is still cursed with the filibuster. But in keeping with Biden’s “why not both?“ approach, Democrats could put together a spending bill, passable on a party-line vote as part of a budget reconciliation package, that combines nonpolice violence-reductions methods that progressives love—John Jay’s College of Criminal Justice produced a long list of approaches last year—with some more traditional law enforcement spending favored by moderates who want nothing more than to show they aren’t interested in defunding the police.