Officer Alex ponders crime statistics and the stock market
Perception is a funny thing.
Like a good Progressive liberal agenda, it is nearly impervious to normally deadly weapons like “the truth” and “reality.” It deftly bobs and weaves its way around them like opposing poles on two magnets, an invisible but tangible push occurring when their distances decrease, the resistance to stay apart increasing proportionately with the pressure to make them meet.
It’s like that psychologically as well of course, and that’s what makes it both interesting and foolish to try to alter. There are two such issues of perception that weigh on my mind today though they’re not the notoriously sexy (and okay, mundane) fare you’ve grown accustomed to here, but I’ve had a slow week and that’s the way it goes.
One is the stock market. (Yup…you read that correctly.) The stock market has slowed to a crawl and threatens to slowly choke something fairly important to me, or at least important enough to make my own slow crawl through blood glass and a 48 pack of psychological trauma in order to reach the cheese at the center of my Municipal Maze: my pension.
Quarter after quarter we’re being told who the greatest President in the history of Presidents is because everything is fine again after The Great Recession. “Perception.”
Never mind the humor in the President taking and being given credit for such (it was done with gasoline prices, too, until it was pointed out they were $1.90 or so the month he was sworn in, lower than it is now but a credit to neither POTUS).
We’re keeping interest intentionally low and still loaning inappropriate amounts of money to people with no better means of paying it back now than they could in 2007 before the market took a shot in the liver, and traditional investments that relied on paltry bond returns of seven plus percent are now returning zero to one percent, once again threatening “reform” to a pension that has already been excised into assisted living. Things are not great financially because nothing was fixed…except “perception”.
Which leads to the other point: Crime.
Violent crime is lower at this time of the year than it was at this time last year in my beloved City, yet if I said that to anyone that lives in its metropolitan foot print, they’d laugh (or scowl).
Imagine the frustration of finding creative ways to attack the things driving crime and being successful, only to be met with disbelief. It’s kind of analogous to policing as a profession as a whole—being tasked with doing the impossible, and to measure our success based on crimes that do not occur as a result—but here we are.
People in outlying Ooltewah and Apison are threatening to “leave this town it’s gotten so bad” despite not living in Chattanooga, and being cheered on by people who have already left places like Harrison and Middle Valley, also not in the city in question, and also not affected by the crimes making the news because no one uninvolved with crime is buying or selling narcotics in one of three spots in this town and being ‘retaliated against’ for transgressions against the other gangs that really are involved and affected by these crimes.
(Unless of course you’re a cousin of a political wannabe who’s cousin decides you were shot with a pistol by a wandering band of “Roadwarrior” style marauders in the core of the city and reports it as such…before finding out it was something actually involving a BB gun, a rebel flag, and a “person of color” that was delayed by nearly an hour to be reported second-hand from another city. What a wonderful case in point…)
Wait, where were we now?
Ah. “Perception.” The most frustrating part? At the end of the day it’s almost impossible to argue that perception is indeed reality. And while proof is not a part of this equation (if not the whole point), how appropriate…that this quote is most often attributed to Lee Atwater: a politician.
Back to the mill, people. (But not before checking the S&P 500; things were bad before Britain voted to leave the European Union. Ah! “Perception.”)
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.
Photo illustration by SuriyaPhoto