I’ve been focusing a lot on the law enforcers as of late but I think it’s important to also take a look at the people who create the laws. Specifically, what incentives they put forward for enforcing different laws.
What does a law enforcement department receive when they solve a murder, robbery, or rape? Perhaps some respect from the community and the gratitude of the victims.
What does a law enforcement department receive when they go after a suspected drug user or seller? A percentage of the proceeds from the property taken under civil forfeiture.
What does a law enforcement department receive when they write a traffic citation? Here in Minnesota, as I’m sure is true with most other states, a percentage goes to the cities, which usually give that money back to their law enforcement department.
The law enforcers are focusing on the crimes that the politicians have incentivized them to focus on. The fact that the politicians are incentivizing crimes such as drug manufacturing, selling, and use over murder, robbery, and rape should be damning.
One thought on “Incentives Matter”
Concisely put. This whole stop a car, rip off the money, and pocket it for your department (or city) idea should have been laughed out of legislatures whenever it was proposed. Forget “potential for abuse”; it absolutely screams “inevitable abuse from day one”. I consider cops in general to have weak morals, but even a saint would be corrupted by incentives such are given to police in America today.
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