I see that some people have become a bit upset with how the police are conducting themselves recently. They declare that the police need to be reminded that “they work for us, not the other way around.” This statement expresses an utterly naive and untutored idea.
The police don’t work for us, if by “us” we mean you, me, and at least 95 percent of the rest of the population. On the contrary: we work for them, literally; we work to earn money and acquire wealth that they take forcibly from us for their own support, either by taxation or by outright confiscation (civil forfeiture). The cops don’t work for us; they never worked for us. They work now, as they have always worked, for the government, which is to say, for the small part of the population that has any nonnegligible control over the government at any level — federal, state, or local. Certainly no more than 5 percent of the population has any such control. More likely the percentage is 1 percent or less of the population.