The environmentalists, bless their little hearts and their empty heads, are complaining about parliament doing things under urgency. I have some sympathy for this complaint, since it is how we got the awful EFA, but since the environmentalists supported the EFA, a bill so dreadful that it has almost no supporters, they had better pull their collective heads in.
But I really wanted to comment on taxing crims, which is being brought in under urgency this week. The only reservation I have about taxing crims is that they are a minority in terms of voting power and it is one of the worries of democracy that minorities can be attacked by populist politicians and have no way to fight back.
But that is my only reservation. In every other way, I think it is a great idea. In fact I would go further:
- When convicted of stealing a car, a car thief should contribute to a fund which pays for 80% of all car lock-outs, replacement car keys, car theft insurance, etc.
- When convicted of breaking into a home, the burglar should contribute to a fund which pays for 80% of all burglar alarms, alarm monitoring, house key cutting, home theft insurance, lock changing, broken windows due to lock-outs as well as childcare and taxis required in situations where relatives and friends are unable to get in when they feel like it
- When convicted of assault, the crim should pay for private hospital care for the victim, transport to and from court, an amount for emotional stress, an amount to compensate bars and restaurants for loss of patronage due to people being scared to go out at night, etc. etc.
Anyway you get the idea. Crims get off far too lightly. Those who can't pay or contribute as above should be declared backrupt, and forced to work in prison at $12 an hour (or more if they have some useful skill that the prison can tout) until the debt is cleared. The cash would then be paid by the taxpayer to the appropriate party.
The cost of crime to society is a negative externality which desperately needs sorting out. Crims suck the life out of the economy, taxing the police, social services, encouraging lots of fundamentally unproductive security measures, hospitals and courts. They should pay for this privilege.
I would also lump in to the 'criminals' label the people at Apple who think that a computer should only have one mouse button. Yes I am typing this on a Mac laptop. What where they thinking???