law enforcement for profit

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sun May 21 2000 - 15:35:49 MDT

> Spike Jones wrote:
> >
> > Suicide rate is higher in societies with greater surveillance and repression,
> > but what about societies with greater surveillance and *less* repression?
> Michael S. Lorrey wrote: no such animal.

So lets evolve one.

Everyone on all sides of the transparency debate will agree: if we
fail to compensate downward the authority of government as
surveillance becomes easier and cheaper, then we are all...
[what is the technical term I am serching for here? Oh yes:]

One angle I thought of that would make today different from
previous u. surv. societies: in the past, the surveillors were humans
hired to do a job. They became overzealous in their
prosecution because that was their perceived job. Kinda like
traffic cops having an unspoken quota of speeding tickets they
must write. Or they were just the kind of people who liked to
kick asses for no good reason. So they did.

As cameras multiply, we need fewer enforcers, consequently
the few would use their limited resources in solving those crimes
that which really pull in the profit: robbery, rape, murder, etc.
We may begin to see the government more as a business than
as the traditional big brother figure.

With big business we have the collective option of just saying
no, or just saying less. And we MUST exercise that option.

Please allow me to develop this a little further. What if we
gradually turned law enforcement over to private industry?
Let us start with that area of law that every one of us violates
routinely, traffic law. {Except of course the short list of non-
drivers here, Damien Broderick, John Grigg, Eliezer, et. al.}
We speed. We blow an occasional stop signs, we burn and
occasional red light. We do other minor naughties in our cars,
do we not? We seldom if ever get caught.

What if our cars were instrumented to determine and log
speed, km driven, traffic conditions, etc. Then instead of
paying an occasional traffic fine, our driving safety would
be determined by an insurance company, who would presumably
take into account intangeable factors, such as the fact that
there was no one about when you blew the red light, etc.
Then the company determines your insurance rate depending
on the number of close calls you caused, your speed, your
general tendency toward or away from traffic anarchy, etc.
Then if you dont like their offered rates, you are free to go
purchase insurance from one of their competitors. Everything
would be strictly free enterprise, with the exception of one law
that each driver would need to carry at least 100k in liability,
not so different from what we have now.

Any takers? Im a taker. In the long run we would all
benefit from such a system. Of course we lose Queene's
desire to feel the satisfaction of having gotten away with
something. I dont know what to say to that. We wouldnt
get away with *anything* however the penalty for infraction
would not be large. The occasional spirited jaunt to 150 kph
on a deserted highway might cost you an extra 50 cents next
time you renew your insurance for instance. Any absent-
minded talking-on-the-damned-cell-phone-induced near
accident might cost you 50 to 100 bucks however. And
of course your bill would be roughly proportional to the number
of km driven.

But this is only one example. In the long run I could imagine
where nearly all police work could be turned over to private
enterprise. Then government would then have potential
competitors, thus breaking a long-standing power monopoly
and the associated corruption and inefficiency.

What say ye, Mike? spike

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