If you permit petty vices and crimes to flourish, greater ones will usually follow. If you refuse to police quality-of-life infractions like public drug use or aggressive panhandling, the quality of life will decline. If you increase the incentives for bad behavior, and reduce the ones for good, you will inevitably achieve catastrophic results.
This is not social science. It’s common sense. It’s the basis on which the United States was able to make its streets far safer from around 1995 to 2015, when crime rates kept going down — above all to the benefit of the very minority communities that progressives claim to champion.
The Democratic Party has since thrown that legacy away. Joe Biden disavowed his 1994 crime bill. Last year’s protests often devolved into naked criminality, to which many progressives, including those in the news media, closed their eyes, notoriously including those “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” in Kenosha, Wis. Opportunities for thoughtful police and justice-system reform were squandered in the rush to defame, defund, diminish or abolish.