Today, the police union in its totally is in a "state of malaise", just as the country was during the Carter administration. Doubt has morphed into a loss of confidence. A sense of despair has replaced that confidence. The risk takers have joined the "play-it-safe" crowd. Once aggressive police associations have become docile pacifist. I must admit that some of the starch is gone from my strut. Day-after-day of playing "prevent defense" and damage control has left me with apathy.
But, last week I think I saw the first Robin of spring, in the most unlikely of places - Phoenix, Arizona. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association has long been known as a finesse organization that maintained a low profile and has been very successful doing that, but not now. PLEA has stripped away the pessimism and has challenged the gloom and doom gospel being dispensed nationwide. PLEA is the first police association in the nation to dispense of the "There's A Tear In My Beer" mentality. I found myself behind the curve, unfamiliar territory for me. Last week reminded me of one the students rescued from Granada in 1983 who kissed the ground when he landed in America. The then powerful peacenik movement died right then and there on the tarmac.
What are real facts about the economy? The national economy is growing very well. The documented, historical record shows that this recovery has advanced at about the same pace as the three previous recoveries. The recovery began in August of 2009 and will probably last another seven to eight years. As for unemployment? What we are witnessing is the largest shake out of unskilled and no skill workers in the last 80 years - 100 men with 100 shovels replaced with one man with one bulldozer. Those 100 shovel jobs are not coming back. Unless the skills of those 100 workers are increased, they will remain unemployed until they fall out of the labor pool.
Cities like Phoenix are again seeing revenue growth - good revenue growth. Pick yourself up from the gutter. Throw away that recession elixir that you have been drinking. Shave and take a shower. Put on a new shirt and suit. Shine your shoes. It is showtime baby!