This is an article that I’ve been kicking around for a few months. I’d like to say that I came up with that “banana pants” title, but it is largely
stolen borrowed from this Washington Post article: Paying criminals not to commit crime may not be so funny after all.
I’d like to be more original with my titles, but…
… being a stay-at-home dad makes working very difficult. I’m usually trying to play with and educate Little Man, which is obviously time-consuming in and of itself.
However, when trying to carve out some time to work, I put on a television show. The show that Little Man wants to watch is Bo on the Go. The show is annoying on so many levels. It’s so very far from TumbleLeaf. It’s almost like Bo on the Go is trying to annoy people so much that they won’t notice that the “solution” is almost always to put the “problem maker” in a Sisyphean task. For example, the current episode I’m watching punishes the “Neat Freak” with a “Never-Ending Puzzle.”
It’s almost impossible to write a good post in that kind of environment. I’m going to lean on heavily on the “almost”… it’s up to you decide what “good” is.
Sorry, that rant escalated quickly. Let’s get back to the original topic.
The article from The Washington Post makes a convincing case that paying criminals not to commit crimes actually makes sense. A funny thing about writing is that you never anticipate putting a string of words like that. The article doesn’t mince words, focusing on the controversy and “optics” at the start.
I put “optics” in quotes there because “optics” seem too often to be used as a way to hide the “meat” of the issue. (Yes that’s a lot of quotes.)
Oddly the “pay-for-peace” plan seems to work. I’m conflicted on the idea. By nature I’m idealistic, but the extremely strong logical side of me appreciates a cost-effective solution to an obviously very complex problem.
In the end, I’m going to agree with the author:
“But then someone asked more of them. They took trips to college campuses, and they were forced to make friends with rivals. For every month they attended meetings, listened to mentors, didn’t get in trouble, they got $1,000.
The cash helped pay rent and buy food. But ultimately, it was the attention to them, their futures and their success that kept those guys coming back, that kept them straight. It’s focused attention to their well-being that many never had before.”
So criminals got regular money, not just for avoiding crime, but for actively showing that they are turning their life around. And it’s hard to argue that giving positive focused attention is a bad thing.
What do you think? Is paying criminal to be good bad? If that question is too deep, let me know the kids’ television show that annoys you (ha, ha).