1x, 11x, 1250x

The President of the Philippines demonstrates how small-scale, but intense action can lead to significant results.

Duterte’s centerpiece anticrime drive, focused on an ambitious campaign promise to end the widespread drugs problem in six months, has left more than 400 drug suspects dead, many of them either in firefights with police or under suspect circumstances. More than 4,400 have been arrested, police said.

The unprecedented killings have scared more than half a million drug users and dealers who gave themselves up to police, officials said. An overwhelmed Duterte has said he was considering to set aside some areas in military camps nationwide to build rehabilitation centers for those who surrender.

We’ve already seen significant self-deportations take place in the USA response to fairly modest crackdowns on illegal employment. While people have questioned how 60 million immigrants could ever be deported, it should be obvious that tens of millions would self-deport with alacrity were the federal government to announce it was targeting them for arrest and would no longer respect their human rights.

If we assume that arrests are equivalent to deportations, that means 500,000 deportations would probably suffice, although it is unclear if the deportations alone would provide the sufficient motivation. One tends to suspect the drug users and dealers were more impressed by the anti-drug death squads.

Don’t forget, this math works two ways. I tend to suspect that the anti-gun forces in the USA are counting on a similar equation.