The Potential of Prisoners

More market-based prison management? An attempt at rehabilitation? I don’t know what to call this but I like it, a lot.
This guy on YouTube has video taped prison inmates in the Philippines dancing to Thriller and songs from Sister Act. There are about a dozen videos posted on the profile I’ll write more as soon as I get the bottom of exactly what the point is supposed to be.
Apparently, physical fitness is critical to rehabilitation. In order to get better cooperation rates from inmates the music and coordinated routines were added, awesome!

6 things to keep in mind at your next Ron Paul meet up.

I don’t plan on voting in the upcoming primary election, nor the 2008 presidential election, nor any election between now and the day I die. I’m an economist, and I just can’t convince myself that the benefits of voting outweigh the costs. So why am I writing this post supporting Ron Paul? There’s loads of other things that I could be doing right now, but because Paul has such a huge internet following I thought this post had some potential to get a bit of traffic for my site. That’s self-interest for you. So if you’re going to vote, If it’s worth it to you, I’d recommend voting for Ron Paul.

Continue reading “6 things to keep in mind at your next Ron Paul meet up.” »

Market Based Prison Management

I believe that a restitution based system of justice (ala Randy Barnett) is the ideal to preserve both individual liberty and to efficiently protect property rights. One major logistical issue that remains for such a system to be feasible is: how do victims extract the debt owed to them from criminals who are unwilling to work or cooperate?
The first solace to this problem is the assumption that the population of these sorts of criminals will be small (compared to how many people are incarcerated under today’s justice system). The problem is not so intimidating when you think of it in these terms. The logistical question is nothing more than how to motivate ordinarily unwilling inmates to be productive in terms that the prison administrators could profit off of. The following news stories are what I would consider to be great examples of market-based prison management techniques that seem to have had great success.
1. Tattoo parlors in Canadian prisons.
2. Italian women’s prison and German prison begin high fashion lines.
3. Maine State Prison novelties shop.

Population = Traffic v. Human Capital

First, Alabama has some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. That being said, I had several errands to run yesterday and couldn’t help but make the following observation. While traffic flow in semi-rural Auburn Alabama is swift and fast moving, sales staff and cash register attendants are slow and unhelpful. I’d suspect the opposite to be true in urban areas. It’s a compensating differential. If you choose fast traffic you pay for it with lower levels of human capital. There are both benefits and costs to living in areas with high populations. The question that remains is which do you prefer and why? I feel better prepared to waste time in my car. I can listen to music or plan my day. When I wait in line at a store counter I’m frustrated and the only solace is laughing about it with the other people in line. I think living in a big city with high human capital despite the traffic flow is a net gain.