I once lived in a condo about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia in a town called King of Prussia, which was right next to Valley Forge. When I lived there, I lived so close to my job at Vanguard Group of Mutual Fund’s data center that I could not finish a smoke on the way in. While the LOCATION was most excellent – once I moved in, I found I had lived under some oppressive condo rules. As a 47 year old now, I can appreciate some of the rules, to an extent, but when thinking about writing this piece I kept thinking about the old people running the condo unit. I once had a showdown with them over the fact that the wreath on my door was 1 inch too big. Perhaps I’m exaggerating here, but it was 20 years ago and I remember going into a show down with them.

I started here because laws can be silly, antiquated, or perhaps even arbitrary. I’ve not been the best “rule follower” in my life, and was often the pain in the ass that brought up things that the rule makers hadn’t considered. Sometimes, what you find is rule makers need to control others. It’s like some sort of personal defect they have that no one listened to them as adults for some reason, and now they need to write laws to threaten you with fines or jail to make themselves feel better.

A nation of laws

I believe our decline in this country can be reversed with a few election cycles. I don’t believe all hope is lost at this point, but many don’t understand the root of the decay. If you don’t understand the problem, how can you fix something?

The worst today is when people do not even admit there is a problem. This is the newest form of gaslighting I have seen – where you point out a problem, and instead of addressing the problem, they want to call you names. In debating, this is where they cannot answer the merits of the argument, so the tactic is to then flip the problem to the person who is reporting the problem – and cancel them by all means necessary. That is, I can say “we have an illegal immigration problem” and I am called a Xenophobe, as if I am scared of them. No. I have zero problems with LEGAL immigration, and have worked with TONS of amazing immigrants over the years who have naturalized and become citizens. My issue is with the laws that are on the books that are ignored – as part of some political end game.

We have these laws for a reason. IF you want to change the laws, you have recourse. One, vote for someone who wants to change the laws, or two, move. In the case of my evil condo people, I eventually moved when we lost our contract after working there for 4 years, and it all worked out. I sold my condo after owning it for 2 years at a 50% profit. It was an up and coming area, and that was my first lesson on speculation. Sold it in a day, for cash. Amazing. First taste of the market too.

But if you look around at our nation now, everything is in a state of decay due to laws that are on the books, that are not changed, but not enforced in some way, shape, or form.

Izabella Kaminska posted the below this morning, which was the last straw for me to need to post.

In the Tweet video, you can see how Target in San Francisco is using great measures to protect the products on the shelf. Why? Any day you can click on Twitter and see people walking in stores in CA and filling up bags and leaving. They are not prosecuting them???? IF these people are not arrested, and charges are not being filed, what is to stop others from doing the same? There isn’t. Which is why, at this moment, a lot of California is a failed state.

Anyone who lives in this country knows there’s a mass exodus from California at the moment. While the coast line is beautiful and the state is filled with the most beautiful women our species has to offer as movie star hopefuls, the state has broken down in one failed socialist experiment after another.

The picture from above was part of an editorial article about how to protect the homeless from COVID. From someone who lives in the suburbs, I can tell you I will not be within 50 miles of a shit show like what’s in this picture.

Rather than dwell on California’s failing for this whole article, I want to point to how all of this leads to decay.


So I don’t talk about my work here. It’s not secret or anything – but it’s like Separation of Church and State. If you don’t talk about Fight Club, then you can’t get fired for talking about Fight Club. I am an IT site manager who has a focus on protecting systems with cyber – so I was driving from my house to Fort Meade for a cyber summit one day and it routed me through a relatively popular road in downtown Baltimore – and what happens is you see houses like the above. If this were isolated, it would be one thing, but this is for MILES of driving. One after another. People drive back and forth every day from Baltimore to Meade and this is what they see?

Why wouldn’t this stuff be knocked down and turned into parks or something?

Literally every city in the US, big and small has blight.

The above is Detroit. I remember at one point during the housing debacle that houses were being sold for $1. Tons of issues, and back taxes due. But you could literally have bought property for $1 in Detroit a decade ago.

All of these cities, for the most part, are and have been under Democrat control for 60+ years. I’m not going to bash dems here – I voted Dem for 20 years, and I can tell you from being part of the collective hive mind – the ideas behind the policies are to help people. I get it. I really do. But after 60 years, and literally every city having problems like this, isn’t it time to consider the policies themselves are the problem?

Blight in cities like this is a massive problem. When you start to see this – it’s the concept of “broken window syndrome” which I learned first when I started as a criminal justice student – before I switched to computers. The theory goes, if broken windows pop up and no one fixes them, it invites more broken windows.

The big picture here is perhaps you have youth that are bored, or don’t have parental guidance – and throw a rock at an abandoned house or factory. The window is broken. No cops. No security guards. No repercussions. Next thing you know, this becomes a past time for some of the neighborhood kids. It is normalized behavior.

In some way, this is the genesis of the wreath problems I dealt with at the condos. They wanted a form of uniformity, because without it, you would have rogue rebels like myself having wreaths that are too big and ruining the neighborhood. While this is an extreme example – the idea is a community voted on rules and this is how they choose to live. This is why, in this country, you have a Constitution, Federal laws, state laws, county laws, and local town/city laws. Why? Because in our country, different types of people moved here with different cultural norms. This is why Federal law is rather difficult to apply to all – and why the Constitution with Article 1 section 10 and the 10th amendment. The first item limited states from entering into treaties with countries – so it limited states’ power, but the 10th amendment then granted states the rights to make laws with anything the Constitution or Federal government did not address. This is why marriage has been a state issue – because no law at the federal level dealt with this, as marriage was a more community-driven law.

In the above, blight is really a symptom of companies moving out of the area and hard economic times. In this country, when I was little, my dad worked in a steel mill as a welder. He first worked at Bethlehem Steel, then later Birdsboro Steel, the town in which I lived. Pennsylvania is (or rather was) well known for their steel mills. In the 1980s, Reagan created policies then which had Japanese Steel favored for a lot of things over US Steel, which led to our factories being closed for decades – before being repurposed. So, I saw it first hand. Eventually, the building was re-purposed but it required a LOT of capital to come in and renovate.

Meaning – the solution to a lot of the blight is that private money needs to come in and find a purpose for it. OR – the town/city should demolish these things. Perhaps try and recycle some of the materials.

But I want you to now put on your hat as a private investor. A property came up for sale, and I want you to know what you are thinking.


The first thing that comes to my mind is that there’s a homeless problem, or perhaps a crime problem. Is this not outlawed? If it is outlawed, why are the laws not being enforced? If the laws are being enforced, why are they not being prosecuted and removed from the streets?

No private money will ever find its way to this street corner. Why? Because it shows anyone that crime is rampant and criminals are not being held accountable. If you open a store here, no customers will come to this area, as they would fear being harassed by homeless, mugged, or worse.

If I look at this street corner, from the perspective as a future investor in that city, I’m telling people I cannot invest here, ever, as long as this is the case. This drives down all property values in the area, by a lot. Any decent citizen who owns/rents there is out, and cheap rents pop up and attract the lowest net worth individuals in our society – perhaps those previously incarcerated, drug addicts, halfway houses. Suddenly, the area is overrun with poverty, which leads to more thefts and violent crimes.

Now, police are essentially told not to enforce a lot of laws. Prosecutors are now not prosecuting.

The net effect is that while they are attempting to be compassionate to a group of citizens down on their luck, they are actually destroying the entire fabric of their society, one block at a time.

In my personal case, I bought a property in 2007 at the height of the housing bubble. My plan was to live there for 2-3 years, as this was supposed to be an up and coming area that now had a lot of hot bars and a new baseball stadium opening. The thinking was that police were being instructed to “push the crime south” deeper into the city. This allows for really good sections of a city at times, while somewhat containing the worst crime to certain areas. I bought, and well, I got stuck there for 7 years as the housing market got crushed. The bars had closed, as police could not contain crime – and patrons were being mugged to and from the parking lots. Shots would ring out literally every night. Drive bys literally happened on my street corner a few times. One was at 2PM where a young man was chased on foot and gunned down in broad daylight. This was supposed to be shit just in the movies, right? No. I had to get out, at all costs. Local shops to me that were up and coming all closed. Bars closed. I used to walk the neighborhood a lot at night, and even go running. That….was not even in the cards anymore, and felt stupid for ever doing it.

If you want to fix these neighborhoods, you need to open up the jails.

Prison overcrowding

When I was in college, I learned we were the most incarcerated population per capita in the world. However, you could have made the argument that short of a few cities, we were probably one of the safest countries in the world. We still are, to a big degree, but as I mentioned above, there’s a LOT of problems that are getting much worse because even if people were to enforce laws, there’s nowhere to put them.

As part of criminal justice – you could choose one of 3 paths – police, prison guard, or probation/parole. I wanted to be a cop, then join the FBI. My wife went into probation/parole. While I realized I loved laws, but didn’t like people who broke the law, I chose to get out after about 2 years of schooling. But you learned even then the stupid high costs of incarceration. For example, if someone shoplifts $300 of merchandise – the cost to put that person in jail might cost the taxpayers $135,000 a year to put them in jail. This is the cost of facilities as well as paying hundreds of guards decent wages.

You now have a dilemma. Do I have the money to put people in jail, or should I maybe see that it was their first crime and put them on probation? This also has a significant cost, as you might have thousands of people in each county on probation.

You now take into effect drugs as well. As anyone who has ever had pot will tell you, it’s “safe”. Every year in college, someone died from drinking too much. No one has ever heard of a person overdosing from pot. At issue, in my college days – I was a big drinker but didn’t partake in drugs. But those who did pot were always around shady people who did other stuff. No one gave a shit if people did pot – but we all had a rule about “staying away from the white stuff”. In society, people would prosecute those for pot, and fill up our jails for a drug that doesn’t hurt you.

Today, it is absolutely stupid silly that pot is in the same federal drug category as cocaine. In this case, this drug absolutely needs to be legalized and regulated the same way you legalized booze and smokes. But the problem is, when there’s an element of this that has criminal gangs dealing with this drug – you have violence and gangs. If you legalize POT (only) – you can keep a ton of people safe and let people smoke all they want.

Ask your local politician why this is still a federal crime? I think even many staunch Republicans can look at this and be like, “yeah, it’s stupid”. The problem is – pot – when sold with the underground – leads to illegal drug trades and with this, crime. But if pot is sold next to a six pack of Coors and requires an ID to be 18, why the fuck do you care? If you don’t like it, don’t do it. I can make the argument booze is far worse for society and leads to thousands of deaths each year. Not to then think about those killing people with drunk driving.

I bring this up because it makes sense to change laws when they are stupid. But I can see why cocaine is a schedule 1 drug. And, while the war on drugs was an abject failure, it seems they just stopped. And with this, you are left with this in the cities…

Criminals are either not prosecuted, or it is too cost prohibitive to prosecute/incarcerate, so they are let go. And – get this – anyone with a criminal record then is more or less destitute the rest of their lives. I feel that there needs to be some sort of amnesty for certain crimes, with a time period associated. I believe people can change. An 18 year old that makes a dumb decision and does 6 months in jail should not then be sentenced to a life of being destitute.

What crimes should have amnesty? Pretty much anything drug related – over a period of time. Non-violent offenses are big in my book. Even some violent crimes could have been overcharges. When I was in college, you’d have fraternity guys getting in fights at parties. No one brought guns. Maybe you take some shots and give some back. This “violence” was an accepted part of our culture – but when you look back on it, OMG what the hell? When you graduate college, you have something to lose now, and with this, you don’t get in stupid fights. But if you are 19 and get into a fight with someone in the city and cops are around – I expect this guy to go to jail for 6 months? Have this on his permanent record? No.

Meaning, I need people to be able to make amends and get a clean record so when they apply for jobs a few years later, this stuff is not held against them. Why? Because the more of these people that are caught in the system, you are then replicating more and more people who can’t get a job, which multiplies your poverty. This also puts great strains on your social systems as fathers can’t afford kids. The mothers need help from the state. And then you have children growing up in a system they are trapped in.

Pareto charts

In business, one of the first things you learn is a “Pareto Chart”. To me, this is a tool not taught in any criminal justice classes. Today, it is a lot of “hug a thug” as it is called, and many people who do really bad things are then dissected as victims to a bad upbringing. My solution to just about every problem I’ve had in IT over the last 28 years is the Pareto Chart. I’m going to show you one I did in perhaps 2000 when I worked at Vanguard.

A Pareto chart looks at all problems in a system, and essentially says, “20% of the causes are 80% of the problem”. In the abovem you can see that my hardware team in 2001 or so was spending a LOT of time on a few makes/models of hardware. I had created a ticket system in Access that went parallel to our Tivoli Service Desk. Why? Because a lot of times the COTS (commercial off the shelf) software doesn’t give you what you actually need to solve problems. In this case, I had asked our Compaq guys to put in tickets in our database to track the actual time they were spending troubleshooting items and replacing hardware.

We supported 17,000 machines for Vanguard here, and you can see that of ALL problems we had, the most time was spent on just a few items. 23% of all of our issues took up a massive amount of our time. So each month, I would review this and ensure that we would have a LOT of documentation and break/fix knowledge related to the top problems in the environment. Additionally, these items helped our logistics people store more parts/equipment onsite. With this tool, it then drove down troubleshooting time and sped up how quickly we could replace parts. By using this chart every month, it kept constantly updating our teams with the best knowledge and supplying hardware locally for the most prevalent issues.

You can then take this way of thinking to just about any problem you have in society.

If you look at crimes, consider…

  1. Where is most of your crime?
  2. What is the root cause of most of your crime?
  3. Do certain people create a disproportionate amount of crime?

Consider Bob who may commit crimes every day of some sort. Throwing rocks and breaking windows. Spray painting buildings. Mugging people. Selling cocaine. Harassing others. Carrying an illegal gun. Shooting people. Breaking in houses and stealing things. Selling stolen property. People around Bob see that he never gets caught for anything, and if he does get caught, it’s for something petty and they let him out the next day. Bob has done a few short stints, and because of this, no one will hire Bob. Because there are no consequences for Bob, the ecosystem sees this as “normalized behavior”. However, in the grand scope of all crime – the Bobs of the world commit a very large number of them.

So what do you do?

  1. Find the Bobs of the world and get them in prison for a long, long, long time.
  2. Prevent future Bobs so first time offenders on probation can get items erased from their record after a period of time.
  3. Change laws to legalize certain things, like pot
  4. Demolish blight in your cities
  5. Build cheap shelter to house homeless people away from places of commerce (see below)
  6. Limit time that people can use govt assistance.
  7. Drug test to have govt assistance
  8. Put drug dealers away for harsh federal sentences. Don’t go after the next guy up. If you are caught dealing cocaine on video, you go away for 20 years. This is meant to then provide a cost to deal. If dealers are swept up, many more may not want to do 20 years. This is how you stop future blight.
  9. Enforce laws on the books.


This, is a major, major, major problem in this country. While you can point to people down on their luck, you can also then reasonably assume many of these have mental illness, drug problems, alcohol problems, and need structure or assistance to get back on their feet. I believe that vagrancy is a rot to our cities, but I do not believe these people need jail. I believe that this problem can be solved by sentencing them to a camp, of sorts.

Assume for a minute that you knock down old factories in a part of the city where no one really lives.

In these areas, you can build thousand of pods like this.

These communities would be fenced in – similar to a prison. However, the fencing is meant to keep bad stuff out. It is also meant to protect homeless.

This, today, is what you think of with homelessness.

You could have something like this built

“Tiny house cities”. You could build these units for perhaps $5,000 a pop. There could be two sections to these cities…

  1. A more secure area that is a jail, of sorts.
  2. A less secure area which is not a sentence, but a place to live for people down on their luck.

Meaning, in the former, someone is asked to move from a city corner. They refuse. They are arrested for vagrancy and “sentenced” to three months in tiny house “jail”. In this city, they have access to a community rehab, counseling, mental health, showers, food, and are routinely provided drug tests. The idea here is to determine, if in three months, this person can be rehab themselves to a point where they can migrate back into society. A person can CHOOSE to stay there longer, as there could be career counseling centers there and even low level types of jobs that they can work – like even cleaning the camp, serving food, etc. These people can also start to get a bank account funded from this work and begin to come back into society.

At the time they leave this “jail”, their record for vagrancy and all minor/moral crimes are removed from their record.

They can now move – if they want to – to a less secure tiny house city next to it. In this tiny house city, there are fences/walls, but in this scenario, these people can come and go from the tiny house city. To live there, you need to have weekly drug tests that are clean. IF you fail these tests, you are sentenced to the tiny house city where you cannot leave.

In this scenario:

  1. You have had your drug/alcohol problems triaged in the tiny house city “jail” and are at risk for relapse, but you are clean.
  2. You are recently homeless due to financial situations and need a place to go. The walls/fences are to secure you from guns/violence from the outside city.
  3. You can do a job – and uber/buses take you with a shuttle service to and from major hubs so you can get to work/medical appointments.
  4. You have access to career counselors, probation officers, public defenders, food, gardens, and low level jobs to build your bank account up to get back on your feet.
  5. Provide basic medical care at a clinical level and access to understand types of insurance options, contraceptives, condoms, etc.
  6. No one is permitted firearms in this city.
  7. Alcohol/drugs are not permitted in this city. However, a person in THIS city should be able to use the shuttle/bus to go to bars.
  8. Ideally, people stay for 1 year. 6 month extensions are granted on a case by case basis.
  9. Provide basic day care so residents can go to work and rebuild their finances. Many do not comprehend how a single mother at 19 can afford to live and provide for her child. Tiny house cities with some of these social amenities can help someone rebuild their life.
  10. Trade school access available and free to teach certain skills like carpentry, welding, plumbing, electrical. Community college is free for all residents of the city.
  11. Relocation plans are built for people who may want to make a fresh start in another city with much cheaper housing that needs workers with the skills they have
  12. Section 8 housing may be a destination out of these tiny house cities to continue to live in acceptable housing.

Goals of the above…

  1. Get Bobs off the street. Prevent future Bobs
  2. Eliminate blight
  3. Reduce prison population by cutting off new customer
  4. Invest in places to house at risk populations. This can eliminate blight/crime in downtown areas and this investment is paid for eventually by investments coming back to the inner cities and tax revenues from this business as well as higher property taxes from property values that increased.
  5. Provide a non-criminal solution to a homeless problem
  6. Provide “amnesty” for many types of crimes over a period of time where the person has demonstrated they are no longer a danger to society
  7. Provide an ability for homeless to rebuild their finances and provide them a safe place to live
  8. Provide basic shelter/food/water to residents who have food security issues
  9. Provide a viable cost alternative to incarceration.
  10. Re-build the tax bases of the city
  11. Provide an ability to take some of the most at risk people off of the streets and provide them a place that is safe to live.


This is a lot of “pie in the sky”. But I can tell you this. The rot and decay of cities is only getting much worse, more quickly than ever before. We are seeing major companies pulling out of cities in California – and whatever residents are still there are now faced with either leaving or watching the rot get much worse.

I believe the “Tiny house city” concept can be relatively affordable to build compared to a prison, but with this – you can remove a lot of blight. I believe that going after Bobs using the Pareto Chart should be the top priority of all law enforcement in this country. I believe that you need to enforce laws on the books, and change laws that are stupid. I believe police need full funding – but you need to reduce the crime they are being asked to solve. Meaning – getting the worst people off of the streets gets prisons filled with those who deserve to be there, but you can also remove a lot of non-violent criminals and put them in places that segregate them from the rest of your city. I believe that people can be rehabilitated, but there is no structure or plans to do that today. Private rehabs cost thousands, and tax payers are sick of the drug problems we have. To avoid a bad cop planting evidence, drug buy stings on video will then place ALL dealers of schedule 1 drugs in prison for 20+ years. You want to make it hard to sell illegal drugs. Obviously, someone hooked on drugs needs a different means of addressing than the person selling the drugs. People also need viable alternatives to living/making a living than selling drugs, and tiny house cities that have access to a lot of things can solve a lot of these issues. Additionally, I am a second amendment advocate, but also believe if you are caught, on video, with illegal guns, in a car, you are to serve a sentence of 20 years. While I do not like the idea of illegal guns in a home, I get it for self defense purposes in bad areas. However, once that gun leaves your house and gets to your car or in public, you now have a 20 year sentence you are looking at.

None of this will “solve” crime, but it will be a first step in changing policy that has not worked for 60 years.

A pareto chart can start to at least address the problem.

Think about people today who are in the business of prisons, or police, or rehabs. Repeat business is good for business. I believe those at the top should be handsomely rewarded for eliminating/reducing problems. Meaning, if your prisons are empty, after 40 years of being filled to capacity, I believe that those running the show need to be recognized. Police that have had special tactics – DAs with specific strategies. City planners with “tiny house jails” and “tiny house cities” share their plans. EACH YEAR – there are $1m rewards to 10 individuals who have solved their city problems, awarded at the federal level. Their plans are studied, peer reviewed, and then implemented in different cities around the country with federal/state grants/loans to town/cities. The loans should be low interest and paid back with increased tax revenues from areas that have been rehabbed and more tax revenues gained.

After spending 2 years learning about criminal justice, I realized I didn’t have the stomach to be around people who beat their wives, took heroin, or put their babies in a microwave. However, my idealism about how to improve the systems never changed. While I am not “hug a thug”, I also believe that the system is broken, and is doing nothing to change the path we are on. Those who work hard to make a difference are under-funded, under-recognized – and stuck doing a thankless job for 40 years. I believe that a merit-based system with good ideas, rewards, grants – and solving all of these issues with Pareto charts can lead to a significant reversal of our cities over the next 30-50 years.

But it starts in recognizing this is a problem.

It starts in recognizing that someone busted on drugs or prostitution at 19 should not have a record at 20.

It starts by recognizing sending people into the system with no form of amnesty then essentially sentences them to a life of poverty and limited job prospects.

It starts by recognizing the worst of the bad apples are on the street, making more bad apples every day. Nothing today is set up to get the Bobs off the street and prevent more Bobs.

It starts by recognizing that the homeless literally have no place to go – and any place you “push” them to is destroying any and all business/rents in that area.

It starts by recognizing that planned communities with shelter need to be designed to take down blight and rebuild there with places you can “push” this to.

It starts by recognizing that those who are part of these communities need co-located services to get them income, provide them rehab services, basic medical services, access to hot meals, and access to proper hygiene and safety – all at a significantly less cost than if you were to incarcerate them.

It starts by recognizing the most violent crimes are a symptom of normalizing violent behavior – and the only way to break that is by finding the worst of the worst and getting them off the streets, for good.

It starts by recognizing that gun violence on the streets needs to be addressed, 100% by putting those away for 20 years who have illegal guns on the streets.

It starts by recognizing that dealers of schedule 1 drugs need to be ex-communicated from our society to such a point that no one ever wants to deal drugs again. Finding ways that these people can be productive members of society without dealing drugs is a massive issue that needs to be solved, in tandem.

If you do not have laws in a society that are enforced, you run into the rot we have today. If you have no plan to address the ROOT of the crime of your society, you are lost in countless financial efforts to address the symptoms without ever solving the problem. These people who run these programs never want the money to end. It’s the same with pharm companies – they treat the symptoms of the disease, but society doesn’t want to eat a salad instead of eating cake – and then we get diabetes pills rather than telling people to avoid sugar.

We need to address the root causes. Get your Pareto charts out and have fun.