A world without crime?

He worked the night shift at a small convenience store in Rockland Maine. The turn of 11 p. M. A 7 a. M. Sees very few clients with a few exceptions. The pizza delivery man is running out at the end of his shift, the alcoholic trying to get you to sell him that last twelve-pack and he can’t even walk straight. It is the first hours. Then there is a pause until around 3 in the morning when paper deliveries begin and then shift changes at the various companies that operate all night.

The only regular customers during all this time are local police officers, sheriffs, and state police officers. They come for a cup of coffee, some scratch off bills, tobacco, etc. Usually they stay for a while and chat. One night I asked a bailiff how his evening was going and he told me: “It’s quiet, absolutely nothing is happening.” Of course I replied, “That’s good, right?” He said no. I’d rather have something to do. Now in my mind I’m thinking, for you to have something to do, that means someone has to be committing some kind of crime. This got me thinking … a crime-free society is not only possible, but desirable. So, I asked him, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was no crime?” Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any society? He didn’t seem to like the idea, because then he would be out of a job. I can understand that position, no one wants to be out of work. A point that resonates strongly in our current economy.

It’s strange to think that if a crime-free society were within our grasp, would it really be a good thing? Think about how many people would be unemployed. Most local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies would no longer be necessary. Each jurisdiction only maintains a minimum crew in the event a crime occurs. The idea seems counterintuitive, because so many people out of work … you’d think it would eventually lead to crime.

A correlation can be established between unemployment and an increase in crime. For my part, I believe that as a society we must continually evolve and do so from generation to generation. Ideally, one would think that it is possible that in the far and distant future we may reach a point where crime is obsolete. An illusion, but for the sake of discussion I would like to consider this possibility. Crime is bad, we have law enforcement to ensure that criminals are dealt with. You would think it would be good if the crime disappeared. And yet it seems that we cannot live without crime, because it would seem that it is a vital part of our economy and our way of life. Criminals are in charge of keeping people employed and as long as they are committing crimes, business is good. When one person commits a crime, they negatively impact another person. At the same time, others profit from the same crime. “The loss of one man is the gain of another man,” so to speak.

All this leads me to the conclusion that crime is only half fought. We want to do a good enough job to keep it under control, but we don’t want to eliminate it entirely. Not that we can, actually crime and criminals will always exist. I find it interesting that in the end, even if we could eliminate crime, we wouldn’t want to. Our society can live without it, but our economy cannot. And as for the criminals of the world, we may want to treat them with a little more respect. After all, they are doing their best to keep a lot of people employed. That’s a morbid thought, especially when you delve into particularly horrible crimes. The ones that inevitably end up destroying a family or scaring a victim for life. I guess in the end it’s just one of those riddles that we have to live with in this world. That in the end even something good can come and it comes from something bad … not for some but for others.

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