one lesson any libertarian has to have learnt already, from the many “Wars On…” that progressive governments waged across the centuries is that not only do they not eliminate anything perceived as evil, they strengthen it and produce even more entropic undercurrents. example on display: the war on drugs. cocaine, marijuana, etc have become more available, and mega-cartels are now sometimes bigger than their host societies.
I would go one step forward and say: prohibitions don’t ever work. a moral hunt backed by massive troops payed from taxes do not provide the right incentives to reduce the production and distribution of anything. quit it.
the usual counter-move is: “but what about, say, murder“. as if I was some kind of puritan who, in face of the name of the devil, would shriek away from anything. no, the prohibition of murder also doesn’t work. what works is some incentive structure that produce an eugenic trend and thus reduces murderers in the long-run, irrespective of how many battalions are after murderers.
my suggestion – wait, and spit on me – is to put a price tag on everyone. it’s also usually called “life insurance”. the workings are simple:
- you hire a life insurance.
- if someone attempts or actually murders you, they have to pay a fine, proportional to your life insurance (plus due process fees, etc).
- behavior adapts to such state of affairs.
the same can be applied to pretty much every crime.
this helps internalize costs (you have to pay for your own security – the more you pay, the safer you are). it frees people from state dependency (you can choose to protect yourself). it eliminates criminal and unproductive lineages of people in the long run (sometimes insurance companies will pay rogue death-squads to eliminate “negative premium” people – those whose debts are above their insurance premium). it incentivizes people to work in security of others (they can gather the premiums of deflecting criminals), all the while economizing on police forces (who can answer calls now based on insurance premium values), and disincentivize would-be criminals, given both the prices in money and blood they can incur.
also, prisons become obsolete and useless. why lock people away and spend millions taking care of them, or putting them in make-work, when you can put a debt in their balances, black-list them on general records, and still have them free to do productive work? if they become unproductive enough to not even cover the cost of their behavior, there are good incentives in place to eliminate them, in decentralized form.
seriously, monetizing justice may be the greatest social improvement since private property.