The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Much Would be Enough?

When I was younger, early teens I guess, I considered a life of crime. Being a little too logical and grounded, I spent the next few years contemplating and weighing the costs and benefits of such a life. I had no idea what a cost/benefit analysis was but I apparently did that... over time.

The benefits were obvious; money, power, and a kind of freedom. The costs were also obvious; incarceration and being outside of society, an "outlaw." I figured I could handle the incarceration. I had friends who spent time in various reformatories. What we called "Youth Hall", which was in Dade County, and something we called "Marianna." The latter has been in the news of late and not pleasantly. It was a reform school and a tough one by all accounts. It was in north Florida, near the town of Marianna. And you went there once you were deemed to be really bad, incorrigible.

I eventually rejected the idea of following a path of crime. I wasn't tough enough. I also didn't want to go through the process that would toughen me up and teach me the needed skills. The main reason I rejected it was that it seemed more work than it was worth.  I decided that the "scores" I would need were few and far between.  There simply wasn't enough profit in it. In the late fifties and early sixties, $10,000 was a  lot of money. And I saw no way I could get that through theft without a lot of work. There is the planning, the preparation, and the assembling of a crew. No crime that would pay well could be done at the time without a crew. And a crew meant depending upon others... something I also had an aversion to.

In the end, I decided there just wasn't enough money in crime to be worth the potential risks.  After all, let's suppose I found a Big Score. I would have to assemble a crew I could trust and that meant sharing the score with them and relying on them not to get caught and ratting me out. I knew, even then, that there really isn't any honor among thieves. They will make deals and rat out their own brothers to get a reduced sentence or some other preferential treatment.

I decided the only way I would commit a crime was if I could do it alone, score enough to live the rest of my life on, and had it planned out to perfection. At that time, the amount would have had to exceed $500,000 and there was no way of scoring that much without a crew.

Today, if I was young, it would have to be much more than that, 10-20 times that amount. And that would still take a crew. Which would expose me to those risks I despised. If you fail, all you end up with is prison time. And that would not be pleasant.

How much would tempt you?



Joanne Noragon said...

Back in the days before EZ Pass I was on the TriState in Illinois, with a young friend. She was passing me hands full of change for the toll buckets. As I tossed in a batch dimes and nickels she said, "Oh, that wasn't enough." But the gate went up anyway and I said "whoo hoo." At the next gate she gave me a dime too much and said "Put it all in!" So I did.

Douglas said...

Joanne, today I am so freaking honest, I count my change to make sure I wasn't given too much. But you know the thrill of getting away with something, I see.