Re: law enforcement for profit

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun May 21 2000 - 18:29:10 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:
> > spike:
> > > With big business we have the collective option of just saying
> > > no, or just saying less. And we MUST exercise that option.
> >
> > Michael S. Lorrey wrote: Lets say a community sets up a surveillance net,
> > even a competetive one, where every stoplight, every intersection, every
> > public area has cameras where private businesses can bid to maintain and
> > use them to enforce whatever laws the community wants to contract them
> > to enforce. How is the business to make money? Why, they make the most
> > money by writing the most citations.
> But remember the enforcement businesses are bidding to create the
> largest amount of societal order and safety at the lowest cost, and
> you and I are the customer now. The point of this whole exercise
> is to *reinforce* the notion that the *government is here to serve us*
> not the other way around. We must constantly reinforce that concept,
> since it slips away otherwise, and we become a society of slaves.

But how do you quantify 'societal order and safety' in a way that does
not involve traffic tickets or other punitive measures or fines?

> If a private security company gets overzealous, then the citizenry
> decides to demand lower fines for minor infractions. If murder is
> being perpetrated without the perps being caught, more security
> is demanded. An equilibrium is established.
> > I'd rather see it become a non-profit decentralized volunteer effort, a
> > sort of digital neighborhood watch.
> Ill buy it, Mike. But Im a little surprised (and pleased) to see such
> a suggestion coming from you. {8^D

I always prefer local solutions. Being libertarian, or even anarchistic,
does not imply that you think that everything ought to be derived from
the profit motive. For example, I'd hate to have to base my membership
fee at the gun club based on the number of bullets I expend...;)

> Palo Alto essentially has such a system now. And as you might
> expect, there isnt much crime there. Regardless of how we vote,
> such systems will spontaneously arise, for surveillance equipment
> is cheap and small. My 80 dollar wireless camera is already out
> of date, being 5 weeks old and all. This week the 80 dollar model
> gives you and infrared sensors and motion detectors.
> So what will happen when cameras are the size of marbles and
> cost 20 bucks? Or the size of a BB and costs 5? How soon
> do you suppose that will be?

I expect it to be relatively soon. I would hope though that the
technology is used mostly to prosecute people for causing accidents. One
reason I think the accident rate with cars is so high is that simple
accidents are not treated the same as, say, any other sort of assault
with a deadly weapon, or negligent/accidental discharge of a firearm,

> > Conditions of no risk should follow the no harm, no foul rule.
> Agree.
> > When they do all their calculations off the same
> > tables, and every insurance company is re-insured by the same
> > reinsurance syndicate, where do you get lower rates?
> Competitors would seek profit niches by using proprietary
> risk tables. Example: those companies that specialize in
> motorcycle insurance. Some years ago they established
> almost zero correllation between risk and engine size. They
> ate the big guy's lunch.

For how long?

> > here's an example: Once, several years ago, for about 6 months, I drove
> > around with no license.
> Why you rebel child you. {8^D Not that *I* would ever do
> such a thing...

I was NOT happy about it, beleive me.

> > Capping what they can make will limit the enthusiasm
> > with which they will engage in law enforcement, but will result in a
> > large roving population of law enforcers at any given time.
> >
> > What do you think?
> I dont know Mike, heres a lot of material in this post that I need
> to think over. Now I gotta run, out to Palo Alto to the nano/extro
> schmooze. spike

Say hi to everyone for me...

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