I’ve been teaching law & economics for many years now, and have slowly settled on the package legal reforms for which I most strongly want to argue. I have chosen a package that seems big enough to inspire excitement and encompass synergies, and yet small enough to allow a compelling analysis of its net benefits.
If premiums are set to cover claims, what incentive to reduce claims? The more crimes, the higher the premiums. Citizens may want lower premiums, but what power does each individual have? The rich could put in preventative measures (eg gated communities) that lower their premiums. The rest of us are stuck with the premiums and the crime, and with people who treat the premium as a 'cost of doing (illegal) business'... like fines.
I see lots of people debating Robin without really appreciating where he's coming from.
I think I do appreciate it, and I've privately mused about some ideas like this on my own. I didn't realize other people were considering them too.
I think an under-appreciated problem with this proposal is the reliability of judges, in not only judging evidence of crimes but in recognizing crimes at all. Historically, many judges, prosecutors and other ostensible public servants have happily *promoted* the increase in many categories of crime, deliberately allowed murderers to go free and continue to murder, etc. in service of political and ethnic ideologies. (For instance, many prosecutors have knowingly convicted innocent people, which means massively aiding and abetting whoever the real criminal is; and many judges have dismissed charges, officially or unofficially, because they felt that the defendant was so much like them that they categorically excuse all crime by them.)
This problem exists in our current system as well as Robin's; but at least in our current system, there is a democratic process ultimately in charge of administering the rules. That is, it may be some crooked cop's personal predilection to torture suspects, but at least there isn't a financial incentive.
When you apply the profit motive to a baseline system of injustice, it acts as a multiplier. That's why in America, private prisons have been such a failure for human rights and humanitarian treatment, even when compared to already lousy public prisons.
Thank you for the reply
You specifically mentioned strong monitoring, so I inferred some additional mechanism. You also say that non-insurance might need a non-fine punishment. If you meant in addition to a fine, then I apologize for the misunderstanding, but still must wonder how bounty hunters would get paid if the offender lacks the means.There's a far gap between being capable of hiring a lawyer and having deep pockets. Jury trials are rare, but the option of the jury trial still has a big impact. Also, maybe this is just me, but I think when you're revoking an explicit Constitutional right it's a big deal. You could make false prosecution a crime. Shall I infer from you not mentioning any other mechanism for preventing misbehavior of that sort that this would be the only one?I think contract disputes would be different in at least two ways. My understanding is that you can't currently have a legal contract that affords one party the right to execute someone, so some change has to be made to allow for things like that. And for the other, I think it's reasonable to expect that the proliferation of such contracts would lead to a proliferation in the number of disputes. There seem to me to be various ways this increase in number could change the nature of resolution.
"how to catch and punish" did you not see the part on bounty hunters? It doesn't make much sense to be a bounty hunter if you can't afford to pay lawyers to prosecute your case. Jury trials are quite rare today. If you make false prosecution a crime, then bounty hunters will pursue it. The system controls the vigor of prosecution via the fine level; low fines would result in weak efforts. As today, there could be contract disputes between a client and their insurance company, and those would be deal with as other contract disputes.
Why should the rest of us allow you to walk among us if you can't offer some assurance that you are not a big risk to us?
I guess I don't understand why it's my responsibility to get crime insurance. I see it as more society's responsibility to create a police force to act if I commit crimes, idk.
1) You have left several very important details out. Most notably, how to catch and punish those who are not insured, but also how to handle individual rights. These are not small, and your system cannot function without addressing them. 2) You assert that both sides in court cases will have deep pockets. I only see you establish that the defense will have deep pockets. 3) For some reason you seem to think getting rid of jury trials doesn't qualify as a big change? And you seem to think it doesn't qualify as changing "when to be persuaded by a particular crime accusation". 4) You also seem to think that changing the rules of evidence doesn't count as changing when to be persuaded by a particular accusation.5) Will this system still have grand juries, or some similar method of deterring clearly false prosecution?6) You seem to imply that all transgressions, even minor ones would be enforced. Would this include violations? If so, wouldn't flooding the court system with every speeding offense (you do claim universal enforcement) paralyze the court system? Even without infractions, it still seems likely to flood the system. Also universal enforcement seems just outright dystopian.7) The insurers seem to have a lot of power. They are allowed to execute people for breach of contract. How would that be adjudicated? Frankly, what's there to prevent someone from setting up an insurance company which hides clauses in a long contract that allow them to torture, execute, or enslave their clients, and handle matters of contract dispute by an arbitrator of their choice. Sounds like a wonderful extortion scheme. 8) On a less extreme note, it does seem like a setup for all manner of interesting contract disputes between insurer and insured
Private firms already provide bits and pieces of the criminal justice system in many countries...that is not a radical point.
It would be radical to suggest that a largely free market approach provides better incentives, but you seem to have backed down from that.
I can't see what you are saying at this point. A fine based system might work if most crime is minor and perpetrated by average income people. But people who can't pay fined are going to commit more crime, people who can easily pay fines need more of a deterrent, and dangerous people need to be taken of circulation.
You can keep fixing those problems, but problems, but I strongly suspect the process will end up with a similar system to current ones.
As I've repeated many times here, redistribution could subsidize insurance for any desired group. As with food, that is compatible with private firms providing the key products.
By giving it for nothing to people with no money? No, governments give food stamps to people with no money.
But profit oriented firms do in fact achieve universal provision of food.
The point can be steelmanned to "private profit does not optimise for making something affordable to everyone, and is therefore a bad solution where universal provision is required".
> This post is obviously about a large change
Yeah: it is no longer possible to avoid being monitored.
So you are re-inventing the US medical "system"?
As I said in the post, one can choose to redistribute to those likely to cause crime, just as some places do in favor of those more likely to get sick.
1. So a pure free market solution doesn't work? That raises the question of why you would even need a partial free market solution.
2. Fallacy of grey.
3. Doesn't address the original point: how does a citizen stop a putative crime without illegal use of force?