Friday, February 5, 2016

D.C. Moves Closer To Ankh-Morpork

D.C. is considering legislation to pay criminals not to commit crime in their bailiwick. One supposes that if the proposed payment was equal to or greater than the amount a criminal could expect to net from his crime, this might work. Something like this has been suggested, in Terry Pratchetts Diskworld books in the legendary metropolis of Ankh-Morpork.

In A-M, the crime rate is very low. Criminals are organized into a guild which looks out for itself jealously. You want to be a criminal, you first join the guild. They dictate how much you can steal, and what percentage you have to kick back to the guild. The guild takes a percentage off the top and uses the rest to buy politicians and cops, pay retirements to those who actually live long enough to collect one, and other worthy endeavors. If you don't wish to be accosted and robbed, you buy insurance from the guild and upon presentation of the card, any attack will stop immediately. Persons working outside the guild or caught violating the rules are punished severely. Sometimes the bodies are found.

Paying a thief not to steal has a certain logic to it, up there with paying a worker not to work or a farmer not to grow strawberries. I have to wonder about some of the other crimes. Do you compensate a rapist for not raping by giving him a coupon to a "gentlemens' club" good for similar services? Commensurate with gun buybacks, do they offer to buy a drug dealers wares at the going retail rate, no questions asked?

Inquiring minds want to know!


BADKarma! said...

My question is, will politicians be included in the list of paid-off criminals?

Billll said...

A-M was ruled by a regent who took the title of Tyrant. What he said was law and the judges he appointed enforced it. Other agents of the government were appointed by him and hired people as needed so there were no elections.

Bureaucrats could be encouraged or sped up with a discreet bribe, but it seemed there was a limit to how much ones office could be abused before coming to the attention of the Tyrant which you definitely did not want. From that point of view I guess the pols were included, just not formally members of a guild of crooked pols.