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Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Example Free Market Justice Calculation

I was watching a baseball game, and it was interrupted due to a fan running on the field. That seems to be a surprisingly common problem. I thought about it, and realized that the penalty for running on the field and getting caught is way too low.

What should the penalty be for a fan who runs onto the field, and interrupts the game for 15 minutes?

Suppose that all the players and workers in the stadium get paid $1M per game. If a game lasts 3 hours, then 15 minutes is 1/12 of a game. Using this calculation, the direct cost of a fan running onto the field is at least $83k.

However, the penalty should be greater than $83k. A fan who runs on the field presumably did it on purpose. Therefore, punitive damages should also be added. Being drunk is not an excuse.

In the present, running onto the field during a baseball game is a misdemeanor. The person who runs on the field might spend a few days in jail and get probation. There is no requirement to reimburse the baseball team for the wasted time.

That's an interesting observation. Corrupt State courts provide artificially high criminal penalties for non-crimes like possession of marijuana, prostitution, working without a license, or income tax evasion. Corrupt State courts provide artificially low penalties for genuine crimes like drunk driving, theft, and fraud.

1 comment:

bobsala said...

While I do see the point you are trying to make about calculating free market justice, I don't think your example of a baseball fan running on the field quite holds up. These days, fans running on to the field are dealt with swiftly. I would estimate no more than 2 or 3 minutes of game time is lost in most cases. Baseball players and stadium workers are not paid hourly, so any time spent by security pursuing fans on the field wouldn't add to a team's operating costs.

Having said that, keep up the good work on your blog. I especially like the fnords.

This Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved. Check out my new blog at realfreemarket.org.