Joe Rogan’s podcast is unquestionably an excellent source for expert analysis of MMA and other competitions in which people feverishly try to beat each other up. If, however, you get your political analysis from Rogan, well, that’s more of a case of “Buyer beware.” Case in point: Rogan’s assertion that the recent nationwide uptick in crime can be attributed to the widespread defunding of police forces and his specific claim that in his adoptive home city of Austin, Texas defunding the police has been “a disaster.”
In this clip Ana and John reveal that Rogan is both oversimplifying and, frankly, misstating the reality of what’s going on with crime in the country as well as the funding of police departments. John points out that there has, in fact, been a spike in crime across the country, but to automatically blame “defund the police” represents extraordinarily shallow thinking since the possible contributing factors — including the millions of lost jobs during the pandemic, ever-growing income inequality, the tens of millions of guns that were purchased in the past year — are numerous and potentially highly impactful.
Plus, as Ana points out, Rogan’s assertion that police forces have been widely defunded is simply not true. Overall police budgets nationwide have gone down, along with virtually all other public spending, she explains, but police forces have actually taken a smaller hit than other departments and many cities that have seen crime rise have actually INCREASED police budgets. And while Rogan is correct that Austin voted to cut the city’s police budget, those cuts have not yet gone into effect, so the idea that crime in Austin has increased as a result of “defund the police” doesn’t jibe with reality.