Wednesday, February 03, 2016
I thought I'd seen it all until I saw the headline: "DC Bill Would Pay People Stipends Not to Commit Crimes:"
Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.There is no word on whether, among many other things, participants in the program might find a way to extort even more money for not (obviously) participating in crime.
The bill doesn't specify the value of the stipends, but participants in the California program receive up to $9,000 per year.
[Councilmember [sic] Kenyan] McDuffie argued that spending $9,000 a year in stipends "pales in comparison" to the cost of someone being victimized, along with the costs of incarcerating the offender. [bold added]
Obviously? You might ask. That becomes clearer when we consider a matter that McDuffie completely leaves out of his cost-benefit analysis: the whole purpose of his job. That would be to protect individual rights. Taking that small matter into consideration, we can better see just how preposterous this proposal really is. Since we do not currently finance our government by voluntary means, any stipend money would have to be looted from the law-abiding and productive, basically meaning that the government would commit theft, a real crime, for the alleged purpose of preventing crime. This is worse than too late, coming as it does from the very entity that is supposed to be protecting us from crime.
It is tempting to offer the following hollow praise of Kenyan McDuffie: At least his humble proposal is superior to the entire political program of every wealth redistributionist politician before him. Those programs simply initiate theft without even the pretense of preventing crime. But in this day and age, I risk being taken the wrong way seriously, since too few seem to appreciate the importance of the principles that show theft to be wrong (and especially at the hand of the government). Committing a crime to fend off a crime does not mitigate the fact that a crime has been committed.