Dressing up cops like they're on patrol in Mosul isn't just a bad policing, it's also incredibly expensive.

Michael Jude Deleon Plondaya did some rough calculations, using the gear visible on US cops and checking prices with Security Pro USA's bargain/sale page.


The total he came to, $854, is a lowball estimate, but even so, it's more than enough to outfit 55 front-line health-care workers in top-of-the-range PPE.


Neoclassical economists bang on about "revealed preferences" - say that you shouldn't listen to what people say about their economic choices, but rather what they do.


Disregard the words of lifelong smokers who say they're bitter about their lung cancer and attend instead to all the cigarettes they smoked.

Ignore peoples' stated concerns about Facebook's privacy invasions and pay attention, instead, to the amount of time they spend there.


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As critics of this theory have pointed out, people may do things because they are addicted, or coralled, or coerced.

But I think there's value in applying revealed preferences to a society.

When officials decide to spend 5,500% of the cost of outfitting pandemic workers on outfitting militarized police, they are telling you who they think you are, and what you value.

More importantly, they're telling you who THEY are, and what THEY value.


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