Zero Hedge: It is widely known that in the past 6 months there has been a loud debate about helicopter money, i.e., giving out ordinary people (bypassing the banks) money directly printed by the Fed. What is less known is that when it comes to the most despicable underbelly of American society, cash to the tune of $1000 per month is already being "helicoptered" to some of the most brazen criminals living in the US today with one simple condition: "don't kill people."
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Take the case of Lonnie Holmes, 21, who lives in Richmond, a working-class suburb north of San Francisco and whose four his cousins had died in shootings. He was a passenger in a car involved in a drive-by shooting, police said. And he was arrested for carrying a loaded gun. When Holmes was released from prison last year, officials in this city offered something unusual to try to keep him alive: money. They began paying Holmes as much as $1,000 a month not to commit another gun crime.
This is not just appeasement: it's sheer idiocy pure and simple, and it's only just starting.
According to the WaPo, "cities across the country, beginning with the District of Columbia, are moving to copy Richmond’s controversial approach because early indications show it has helped reduce homicide rates."
If readers are shocked by this "modest payment" it is for a good reason: the program requires governments to reject some basic tenets of law enforcement even as it challenges notions of appropriate ways to spend tax dollars. (more)