Photo of the day

This is a recent animated gif satellite image.  I was confused at first, but then realized since it is the visible image, it is the sun rising over Hurricane Florence:


Lots more cool satellite images here.

One chart to explain the pathologies of American politics?

Okay, this is not perfect.  But you could do a lot worse.  Via Drum:

Alex Tabarrok, Michael Makowsky, and Thomas Stratmann have a new paperout that will, unfortunately surprise no one. The subject is civil asset forfeitures, where police get to keep money they find in (for example) your car even if there’s no evidence that it’s drug related and nobody is convicted of a crime. They just declare the money suspicious, and that’s that.

In some states, police departments get to keep the money they seize. These are the states the authors look at. Then they look at one other variable: whether the local government (city or county) is running a deficit. Guess what they find? More civil asset forfeitures! Are you shocked!

There are no increases in arrests for murder or assault or burglary. Just for crimes where the police get to keep the money. But there’s one more thing. A picture is worth a thousand words, so check this out…

The more black (and Hispanic) an area is, the more likely it is that strapped local governments will turn to civil asset forfeitures to raise revenue. But the more white an area is, the less likely they are to increase the use of civil asset forfeitures.

Ugh.  Entirely unsurprising.  And entirely revealing of the pathologies deep in the heart of America.

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