Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach A Synopsis

The world nowadays is not as peaceful and as calm as it was before. It used to be a place where people can move around worrying about nothing—strolling around and watching the birds fly, and watching the the sun set. At present, the number of people committing crimes are getting higher and higher as time passes by. The streets that were once safe roads, are turning into this disorderly world where people become afraid of what might happen to them, especially when night time falls. Sometimes, a person entering a grocery store is stabbed to death just because of the shirt he/she wore.

Even little kids, who enjoy the comfort of their homes are not as safe as before. Site for an example, the little girl who was kidnapped in front of her home while watching the fireworks last 4th of July. She was a naive little girl, who was just enjoying the display, and soon after, she was nowhere in sight. All her parents could hear after were her trembling screams and screaches. Unfortunately, all of these are now happening. The article, “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach” by Gary Becker focuses mainly on the relevance and depth of a crime and its corresponding punishment.

For the author, the level of punishment given or imposed on some crimes, does not necessarily suffice with the weight or the gravity of the crime committed. The author also resolved to the fact that in order for the crime rate to go down, or decrease in number for that matter, one must  hire more security personnel, more court officials, marshals, and those highly effective technological discoveries, that could help pin down the  unlimited number of rule breakers. This discovery however, may cause too much monetary loss for a government to handle.

The maintainance of the equipment and the salaries of the personnel hired to control the nuisance might affect the economical stability of a city, or a country for that matter,  in the sense that too much money is being deducted from the over-all funds. This result, will in turn, cause a lot of problems concerning the other payables, for the total budget would have to be adjusted to suit all of the others needs. Another observation made by the author is about the costs due to the punishments. According to the author, the offenders are not the only ones affected by this dilemma.

The government, and other civilians are also affected, in the sense that some of the dues made are used as payment for the services rendered, specifically by the guards, court officials, damages done to the complainants, and not to forget the expeditures in the maintainance of the prisoners' quarters and the food. The author resolved to the fact that in order to lessen the number of crimes, if not eliminate all of them, one must resort to the practical reasons of imposing rules other than just wasting time trying to make them.

Meaning, instead of just wasting time and effort focusing on the given policies of certain law enforcements, one must focus on how to actually devise a method that could and would actually work in decreasing the crime rate. According to the author, his main concern was to show the readers that money plays a big role in this aspect. The higher the crime committed, the higher the payment made. Although this concept is of good reasong, one can still conclude that the payments and the monetary amount given out is not enough to suffice for the crime committed.

Take for example, a case wherein one is convicted of murder with rape of a 10-year old child. Regardles of the fact that the murderer was convicted, you cannot bring back what was lost. The life and the future of the 10 year old child cannot be revived, and can no longer be planned. Thus, irrespective of whether justice was rendered to what happened to the child, it is now pointless and irrelevant. The next example I am giving is that of a driver fined for not following the speed limit allowance.

Being fined and given a ticket would not only mean that there is a sanction given by the government, but also there is also a fine that you have to pay for comitting that mistake. In a way, one could say that retrieving the license back would take much of one's time, and the effort in doing so would mean that you have to fit the retrieval in your busy schedule. At the same time, paying the fine would be too much from one's pocket, since the amount of ticket fines are really costly.

Another case is that of the homeless who were charged of a crime or crimes for that matter, and were then sentenced to jail. Most of these, if not all, would rather be put in jail than go back to their old life in the streets. This is primarily due to the fact that inside the prison cells, they are well cared for—they have a food, have something good to do, and most especially, have a cozy place to sleep especially during the cold winter days. The results of the author were of practical reasons, and are relevant to the growing crime rate of the country, and of the world.

When these are implemented, one can see that it can have a lot of positive outcome, especially in terms of discipline and in the depletion in the crime rate in the vicinity. To summarize the whole article, Mr. Becker wanted the readers to see and realize that the amount to be paid off by an offender for every punishment he/she makes is based on the intensity or the severity of the crime one has committed. This article, when taken into careful consideration, would bring both positive and negative outcomes and will therefore help in the upheaval of the discipline in one's country.

If one would notice, the author, Mr. Gary Becker, suggested that readers and further researchers focus more on the works of Beccaria and Bentham, both known as two of the greatest criminology contributors from the 18th and 19th century, respectively. Having more knowledge of the two mentioned,and that of their works would definitely be a big help in the discovery of new ideas. These ideas, in turn, would be a big contribution for the economic, moral and ethical upheaval of a country.

All one needs to do is to futher enhance the ideas and knowledge that have been deciphered from earlier days. With all that has been said and done, one can say that it is not yet too late to rise up from the mistakes and the circumstances that have happened in the past. Living in a peaceful world, the way it was before, is still as feasible as it seems. All we need is to device a way to go and convince everyone that everything is worth while.

Works Cited: Gary Becker, “Crime and punishment: An Economic Approach”. Journal of Political     Economy. 76. 2 (1968): 169-217.