Well, it's nice to dream.
These aren't "GoPro" systems, so I wouldn't expect stunning HD.
I'm not sure about access at all though.
The best part of them wearing a GoPro is that everyone wins: civilians get to feel much safer, and police get to show that they're not as bad as they're made out to be.
The issue arises when the cops have that introduced, and accusations of excess force drop dramatically... that sort of shows that yes, they are as bad as they're made out to be...
Would this system work for less dangerous areas? Probably. For more dangerous areas, I wouldn't want to be a police officer and have this forced upon me. Because corner cases here can be deadly.
Secondly, I very very rarely here of juries being "too hard" on police. The current culture is that most police can't be touch even if everyone knows they did it AND has evidence. In a lot of cases, they are untouchable unless their peers want to throw them under the bus or a separate, usually federal service looks into the matter.
There are people that, while wearing a camera in a dangerous situation, can remain calm, cool, and collected. If anything, that should be one of the first requirements of becoming a cop, not an argument against cameras.
In those cases the safest thing for the police to do is to withdraw to a safe location and wait for backup, which is what they're supposed to do. Engaging in the sort of aggressive behavior that could be "mischaracterized" as police brutality in response to a potentially dangerous situation only serves to escalate the situation and make it even more dangerous.
The accused have a moral right to have a jury decide what was appropriate for the officer to do in a given situation. Keeping the data private by its nature detracts from the goal of having a fair judicial system.
NB: to your read, the laws may need to be adjusted to allow officers to legally be more brutal to people who have not been convicted of crimes. That does not change the fact that police work should be able to be done in the light. Nobody benefits when police to feel like they don't have to become criminals to do their jobs.
It's true that there is a large number of bad cops--but that's simply because there are a lot cops. Most cops hold themselves to a higher standard, but never show up in the news because it's not newsworthy when a cop does his job.
While something like that may exist in some engineering-heavy workplaces (I've heard stories but never seen it), it's nowhere near as common or institutionalized.
Bad programmers don't have weapons and authority to kidnap people legally.
Which really just shows how much better cops behave when they know they're being watched and justifies complaints about their corruption.
Many of the people who deal with police on a frequent basis are skilled liars. They know how to stymie investigations by tying the officers up in paperwork. Having video evidence would prevent spurious complaints.
Fair point. However, I was a cop, and I know better than to trust cops.
That's great too! Win-win!
You would think police departments would jump at the opportunity to wear cameras for this very reason, but they have routinely fought it.
A town I lived in the cops fought dash cams for a long time saying they couldn't get enough money to install them. Finally the state supreme court stepped up and started throwing out all DUIs without dash cams and amazingly all squad cars had them installed very quickly.
Run it off beaglebone or rasberri the whole device and system is less than $500.
Steam that shit to the cloud. Want me to price that for you?
Law is made by the representatives to keep the problems in tact for various reasons by various people in the chain.
Politicians do not want to solve all problems and find out that since they solved the problems, they are not needed anymore.
The military and arms industrial complex certainly do not want to solve the problems, if they actually do, how will they get budget enlargements and lucrative deals?
The intelligence industrial complex thrives on laws that forbid things like drugs, if drugs werent lucrative and made expensive by these laws, then how would they finance their little and big schemes without having to be accounted for it?
Nobody in the rich class, the political class, the military class and the intelligence class is interested in solving these matters
Get real people!!
Law isn't about morality, it's about oportunity, don't let anybody try to fool you that it is about morality.
* Many politicians, like most people, are idiots. Partly because many voters are also idiots.
* Politicians don't have strong incentives to stop problems. (But they don't have strong incentives to preserve problems, either. They're only incentivized to be popular.)
* Principal-agent problems. Even if a politician comes up with a brilliant solution, the people lower in the chain won't execute it well, because they often don't have strong incentives to.
Anyway, there was a conspiracy to preserve problems, any particular politician could start solving problems. This would likely place him above his peers. Then his peers might backstab him, but they also might join him, since he'll have increased popularity. Essentially, we have a sort of iterated n-player prisoner's dilemma; or rather, at each step we choose m people (non-randomly) to together participate in an m-player prisoner's dilemma. It might be interesting to try to model this mathematically.
I thought The Wire's "Hamsterdam" episode was a great parable on what would happen in America if an influential politician fought inertia and tried to implement socially responsible drug policies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamsterdam
Much more influential are the prison guard and police unions and organizations. In California alone they oversee more prisoners than all the private prison operators combined and they are very active in strengthening sentencing.
But as stated by others the main problem is the politics. There are real problems and politicians can score points with naive voters by "doing something". On the other hand reducing sentences is a very risk position for politician to take.
Blame the politicians and voters as it is their responsibility to set the rules of the game. All the other parties are simply acting in their self-interest.
I don't think it's as easy as blaming the voters. The political system seems caught in a negative feedback loop, greased by lobbyist money and with no clear offramp.
I wasn't bitching about those people, just explaining how things work on this planet.
You know, like a manual.
Don't fool yourself with romanticizing history, history is very dark and grim.
And of course you should try to make a lighter and fairer future, but people are people and nature/evolution isn't fair at all.
My experience and wisdom is what made me thrive for this long, I am far from cynical, I am in fact a happy person. :-)
Also repeat offenses of non-violent crimes might be needed but most can be solved economically. For instance take someone who does some financial crime, why lock them up and have the public on the hook for 30k per year or more when they could be making money back they stole and mark them for some period of time similar to jail time. Why cost the public 30k+ per inmate at all if it isn't a violent crime? What a waste.
Non-violent is another category, but I agree with you on that category, prison should be for the violent.
I generally agree with you, and do not at all believe Christian morality is a good basis for laws. That said, I have to play devil's advocate
In a world where the government provides health care as a service (which is where we're trending, eventually), abusing your own health does have a victim: the taxpayer. Granted, we don't like to think about it this way, and when we do it's usually for political showmanship instead of a real reason. But in the same way, building/living in a house that isn't up to fire or earthquake standards is a 'victimless' crime..... until my house catches on fire and burns down the whole block
Gambling is often predatory to the poorer classes of society. Depending on how you're defining victim, low-income-earners could be seen as victims of gambling
Bigamy is historically correlated with misogyny. Also, ironically, bigamy is not a violation of christian morality; there are myriad examples of one-man-many-woman relationships in the Bible
While the Old Testament contains many examples of polygamy, all of them are neutral or bad examples. Jesus strongly implies that a man should have one wife and Paul explicitly says so, at least for leaders of the church.
From a practical standpoint, widespread polygamy (which usually means polygyny) can lead to imbalances in marriage opportunity between the rich and poor, men and women, young and old, etc. Banning bigamy is a way to regulate the marriage market, in a way. If tax evasion is harmful to society, polygamy is harmful to ugly, poor men.
So can widespread monogamy in certain circumstances. In fact, that's pretty much why polygamy usually manifests as polygyny -- in societies with norms favoring men fighting, or engaging in other high-risk activities and protecting women (and children, usually, but while that's important to the motivation, its irrelevant to the effect), after certain types of events, such as large scale (for the community affected) conflict, an exclusive monogamy rule means most women have no mates and prevents a society from rebounding (and makes it more likely that there culture will die out).
This is also probably why in history polygamy loses acceptance as a general norm as the scale of society gets larger and these kind of events affecting a whole society become less common.
It's less than desirable for ugly poor men, but doesn't mean victim. There is no victim involved in not being chosen as a mate by a women. If 5 women choose to marry the rich man, that's a choice between consenting adults and it harms no other party.
No one is victimized by some other people getting married, whether it's because they're gay or because they're polygamists.
Both this and your gambling example lead us down a very scary path where the government is in charge of your health. I hate to use words republicans use when they don't apply, but that's a nanny state at best or a 1984-style dictatorship at worst. Perhaps we shouldn't be subsidizing poor choices in the first place. In any case, there are better solutions than the use of force and criminal penalties.
As for bigamy, I think you'll agree that a historical correlation doesn't imply an inseparable causality.
"Victimless crime" pretty much means a voluntary act which directly harms only the actor. Sure, you point to indirect harm from the actor harming themselves. But if I fricken own myself, you cannot claim that my harming myself is any sort of crime. And the people counting on others not to harm themselves better give them an incentive not to do it rather than imposing a prohibition.
An almost fair point... if and only if we get there, I'm not yet convinced we will, however drug use is not drug abuse. To call it a health issue it'd first have to affect your health negatively. If it does, that can be seen by the doctor and noted and then maybe you can be taxed higher to compensate, but use is not abuse.
Also, serious abuse could save tax payers money by killing you. So just because something affects your health negatively doesn't mean it costs more over your lifetime.
> Gambling is often predatory to the poorer classes of society. Depending on how you're defining victim, low-income-earners could be seen as victims of gambling
I reject the notion that you can be your own victim. If you choose to make decisions that hurt you, you must suffer the consequences; it is not the state's place to protect you from yourself. Jumping out of a perfectly good air plane is legal, and has a very high chance of killing you compared to other hobbies but we don't outlaw that.
> Bigamy is historically correlated with misogyny.
Not a reason to make it a crime. I'm allowed to hate things.
> Also, ironically, bigamy is not a violation of christian morality; there are myriad examples of one-man-many-woman relationships in the Bible
It's a violation of modern Christian morality; times change and so do the church's sense of morals.
Forget the state for a moment and try to scale it down. In a village where everybody knows and depends on each other, what would you do if an outsider came along and tricked one of your fellow villagers out of all their means?
When winter came, would you let that person die? No, you would use your own means to keep them alive.
Now, the next time this trickster came to town, would you just let them prey on the less perceptive of your fellow villagers again?
1. Not ever? Surely you don't think that the age of majority/consent is 0-years-old?
2. Taxation for Military defense falls under that same umbrella! Normally, people would never pay any taxes to support it until they feel threatened... And then it's too late, and they suffer from their own short-sighted penny-pinching. Are you saying the government should not collectively protect them from their own decisions?
Need I preface everything I say with "between consenting adults?"
> Taxation for Military defense falls under that same umbrella
No it doesn't because taxation isn't a la carte; it's a fictional scenario.
No, because it wouldn't help your argument anyway: The point (which I think you've tacitly acknowledged) is that sometimes the government SHOULD protect non-competent humans from making bad decisions... the only question is which shade of grey you think society should draw the line on.
> No it doesn't because taxation isn't a la carte; it's a fictional scenario.
Please read it again. I'm describing the system we DO have, and explaining how it is already preventing the society from making quote-unquote-"wrong" choices with their money.
Ok, I reread it, and I'd say providing for national defense was always a core job of government, it's in our constitution. The same is not true of these other things, we've not agreed by an amendment level of agreement that victimless crimes deserve jail. It's just wrong, there's no justification for jailing someone for anything related to what they ingest, who they marry and in what numbers, or anything else where the only direct victim is themselves. I own my body and no one has a right to claim otherwise.
This is a very dangerous line of thinking. You end up with a totalitarian nanny state that doesn't let anyone go outside or do anything with any degree of risk.
There have been science fiction stories written about that very future!
No need to dwell on hypotheticals. We can revisit this when the government starts paying for our healthcare. Regardless, this is a financial issue where the logical punishment is a fine, not prison.
Drugs are only violent if they are illegal, rape is violence, gambling is sometimes legal-- noone should ever be locked up for gambling -- it is not violent. Morals should not be used, civil rights and not affecting others rights should be the metric. You start involving morals, a bunch of religions have different ideas of that. Violence and invading others personal rights is easy to define. The reason why we have a black market problem is defining things on 'morals'.
The fact is, victimless is as easy to define as violence is or easy enough to have a pretty clear line.
Consuming drugs hurts no one but the consumer. Having 5 wives hurts no one as long as they all consented. Gambling your own money should be your choice.
While there may be the occasional things on the margin, most are quite clearly victimless.
>drugs hurt no one else
what about the family of the abuser? should a child grow up in the home of a heroin addict? doesn't society have the responsibility to protect children?
humans are just dumb monkeys. we have psychological weaknesses to stuff like gambling. how many fathers will gamble away their grocery money?
is it really consent if a girl is too poor and uneducated to get a job and is forced into a polygamist marriage for subsistence?
Devil's advocate back at ya.
Prohibition creates crime, this is well known, and a lesson we should have learned with alcohol and gangsters.
I'm curious what you say to the argument that manufacturing and profiting off extremely addictive and harmful drugs (ie meth or heroin) is a victumful crime?
Many people get "hooked" on drugs like this, and it often ruins them both physiologically and financially. How can you justify ignoring such people as victims? Especially if they were young or even children when they started?
Like alcohol? Should we make it illegal again to protect its victims?
It is very possible to use alcohol recreationally without becoming physically dependent on it.
You can't say the same for drugs like heroin or meth.
What catches people is a psychological addiction: heroin high just feels incredibly good (disclaimer: I did not try it so I translate other peoples' opinions). But the same can be said about alcohol, sugar, games like the infamous 2048, and great many other things.
Of course there are substances that would kill the user quickly and harm even from one use, like PCP or the infamous krokodil. But the same can be said about methanol, or sulphuric acid, or many other hazardous substances. These substances are appropriately packed, abundantly labeled with warnings — but their use is not banned.
I don't think I'm remiss in saying that most who start using heroin do in fact get to that point, am I?
> These substances are appropriately packed, abundantly labeled with warnings — but their use is not banned.
Comparing sulphuric acid to heroin is a huge stretch for me. Sure, injecting sulphuric acid into your arm is definitely going to be a lot more harmful than heroin... but heroin is intended to be used as a drug, and is harmful when used as intended. The acid is not.
I'm pretty sure that most users of nicotine (as smoked tobacco or in electronic cigarettes) get physiologically addicted pretty quickly, and in a pretty hard way. Though this is inconvenient to them, it usually does not bother people around, because nicotine is not a behavior-altering substance (unlike alcohol or cocaine). AFAIK, heroin is not a behavior-altering substance either. It's the lack of a dose what dangerously alters the behavior of a heroine addict (or an alcohol addict).
Since heroin is outlawed, users have far lower thresholds to pass to act unlawfully in other regards, since they feel like criminals already. A heavy nicotine addict may suffer immensely without a fix, but usually stays a lawful citizen despite it.
Take insulin: it's also intended to be used as a drug, and improper use can quickly kill you. Thats why it's a prescription-only substance, but a completely lawful one. Quite a few over-the-counter drugs can kill you, or at least severely cripple you, if used improperly. Do you think outlawing them is a good idea? (Hell, 3/4 pound of table salt, if ingested quickly, would kill you. I hope you exercise reason when adding salt to your food.)
No, of course I don't: making something illegal because it is dangerous when misused or used contrary to its intended purpose is silly. I'm not arguing that.
What I am arguing is that a substance that is created to be used in a specific manner, and causes known substantial harm when used in that manner should not be tolerated by society.
That's what a cigarette is: it's this thing that is made to be used in a way that has been shown without a shadow of a doubt to contribute to many fatal ailments in a major way.
I put heroin and meth in that category: dangerously addictive substances that are known to cause substantial harm when used as intended.
There's an enormous difference between prohibiting individual use of a dangerous drug, and allowing somebody to manufacture and sell a dangerous drug for profit. The latter troubles me deeply, and that's what I'm talking about.
Profiting off of human suffering is not something society should ever tolerate.
> you are the problem with this country.
Oh boy! Do I get a sticker?
No there isn't, if it's acceptable to consume, it's acceptable to sell; you can't allow one without the other and claim any sort of logic behind it, it's simply stupid.
> Profiting off of human suffering
And once again confusing use with abuse. Drug users are not suffering.
P.S The video contain very explicit images and commentary.
Here's a roughly translated quote to give you an idea: "During December there were 14 girls between 11-12 year old raped"
That we as a society allow groups of men to make billions selling a tremendously addictive product that has unequivocally been shown to kill its users is, for me, absolutely heinous.
Or maybe you like a drink now and then....
Nope: _Abuse_ of Alcohol is responsible for 10s of thousands of deaths in the U.S. alone.
You don't have to abuse cigarettes: you just use them, and they kill you.
But I bet you like a drink now and then, so you're willing to let other people die so you can get a buzz on.
Edit: can't reply to your reply so I'm appending here:
Your non reply confirms my guess. Because you like your drug of choice you are ok with it being legal, but other people can get fucked. Do you really think people are protected from drugs by making them illegal?
Have you ever given a moments thought to the death and destruction that comes from the War on Drugs itself? Do you have any notion of what a powerful weapon it has become in the war on humanity?
Or are you just a sanctimonious narcissistic nanny-stater? This madness continues because of support from people like you, you twit.
Alcohol is not my drug of choice. You're assuming a lot here...
> Do you really think people are protected from drugs by making them illegal?
Do I think prosecuting individuals for using drugs makes sense? Not at all, and that has never been my argument here.
I don't want Meth4U Inc. getting people hooked on meth, ruining their lives, and making a massive profit off of them. That is unconscionable.
So decriminalize the use of all drugs. I don't care. I never said I did. Going after individual users is a ridiculous waste of money and human capital.
However, I feel very strongly that the manufacture and sale of dangerous drugs like meth and heroin (or cigarettes) should not be tolerated by society. Will people still find a way to get away with it? Probably, but it's quite a bit harder to make and keep a profit if it's illegal.
> Or are you just a sanctimonious narcissistic nanny-stater?
I think that profiting off of human suffering is not something society should ever tolerate. If that makes me a "nanny-stater", so be it.
There is a huge difference between things that are fatal if abused, and things that are fatal if used as intended.
Surely you must see the difference?
Same answer: _Abuse_ of food kills people.
Occasionally eating McDonalds on road trips isn't good for you, sure, but it's not going to meaningfully harm you in the long run unless you do it frequently.
I've read articles pointing to physically addictive effects of fast food, but comparing that to nicotine is silly.
Now, to your point. No one forced anyone to try drugs; I reject any notion that you're your own victim. If you choose to put something in your body, that's a choice, you were not victimized by anyone. That it can and does often ruin people both physiologically and financially are called consequences of your actions. No one forced you, there is no victim here.
I'm not meaning to play emotions; however, I don't think you can just write it off: if all drugs were legalized, you would see use among youth increase (just as you would likely see an increase in any other subset of the population).
> If you choose to put something in your body, that's a choice, you were not victimized by anyone.
For me, very physiologically addictive substances are a different category: in that case, you have somebody with full knowledge of the danger and addictiveness of the drug knowingly enticing others to start using it with the end goal of causing them to become addicted and making a lot of money off of them. I see that as a very low form of extortion.
I will not try meth because, despite whatever curiosity I have about the drug's effects, I know I am probably not capable of willing my way out of a very real physical addiction. Somebody less educated and rational is much more likely to say, "Sure, I'll try it once", and go downhill from there. For me, that person is being victimized. Sure, they made the decision, but it was an uninformed one.
Now, I have no idea how to solve that problem. I think that the US's ridiculous drug policy probably ruins more lives than the drugs would if they were legal. But whenever I think about blanket legalization, I can't escape feeling uneasy about the above.
That uneasy feeling is called cognitive dissonance, you're realizing the propaganda you've been fed is wrong but you haven't yet accepted its complete failure even though you know it intellectually.
As do I. I find myself continually defending things I didn't say because people are more concerned with arguing with what they think I meant rather than reading what I actually said.
If you like the former then fraudsters allow the entire taxpayer base to absorb their fraud with a fee on top to keep them locked up (more losses), that will happen either way but it would be nice if they were working for that back rather than locked up.
If you commit fraud you are also marked for some time after like probation but no jail time unless you repeat offend or cause violence. Making fraudsters work is probably more of a fear than jail for some.
What Bernie should have to do is work for x amount of years at a lowly job, or some job that he'd never take in life to earn back as much as he can during his sentence outside of the prison (not talking about a debtors prison but fraud). Financial fraud would re-think if they needed to work at McDonalds for years after during their sentence rather than their comfy suite. It is not like they wouldn't also be marked just like a normal locked up criminal is.
Also, what you describe is basically indentured servitude, which is a pretty old-fashioned form of punishment.
If you run a ponzi scheme, you are incurring large debtors prison type effects on others (taking their rights they earned -- they lose their hard earned money and have to work harder to get it back). The punishment should be the same for ponzi fraudsters at that level. They need to work throughout their sentence at a job to feel what they have done to others. They would also maybe get more insight out of it and rehabilitate more in life feeling the effects of what they have done. I am talking about cases for high profile fraud, again not debt prison for non-criminals but more like a fine that fits the crime just as we do today with that not costing us room and board.
What would be better for a guy like Bernie Madoff? Sitting in an everything provided cushy prison after stealing everyone's money or having to work back that debt through a job in society? He'd get alot more rehabilitation seeing how hard it is for the duration of his sentence. It will never happen but it is more closely rehabilitation than sitting in a prison costing tax payers even more. It would also keep him away from other high profile criminals. Locking him up and costing yearly to do so might make some feel good but it is a net loss further in many cases.
2. Maybe no victimless crime should result in jail time, but there are a lot of penalties for "victimless" crimes (tax evasion, illegal production of controlled substances) that justly result in fines.
EDIT: OK. I typed too quickly with the child support bit. In retrospect, that was a bad example. I also added scare quotes to emphasize that justice can be served in criminal court even if nobody goes to jail.
That argument only works if taxation provides a net benefit to society.
How about this one then: At any given level of government spending and borrowing, tax evasion requires higher taxes to be imposed on those not engaged in tax evasion.
This argument is valid regardless of whether taxes benefit society or not.
You are confusing who is stealing from whom.
Do you have some better examples you would like to use?
Better examples? Practicing medicine without a license (assuming good medicine otherwise). Trespassing (assuming no other damages). Criminal endangerment (assuming no actual harms). Production of controlled substances. Ownership (not use) of unlicensed firearms.
Again, I don't necessarily agree that those are all victimless. The point is that they are arguably benign crimes that shouldn't necessarily require jail time.
I raise the point as someone who is quite happy to support marijuana and alcohol use, but believe the definition of victimless is not an easy one.
> If there was a statistical link between a drug and increasing the chance of the user committing violence would you still consider drugs victimless
Yes I would. Consuming drugs never creates a victim, that is an indisputable fact, you cannot victimize yourself. If you commit violence against another person, that's already illegal and already punishable and is a crime regardless of why you did it.
Drug use is not drug abuse and we don't need pre-crime in our world. Punish people who actually do the bad things, not those who might do something bad, otherwise we should start locking up all poor people because they might statistically commit more crimes than the rich. This is a dangerous line of thinking.
Say I walk down the street firing a gun randomly, but I don't strike anyone with a bullet. Civil remedies only?
If by firing randomly you were assured nobody else would be hurt, would anyone still care? The real problem with firing randomly is that you can't ensure nobody will get hurt.
Taking drugs is two steps removed from that. The idea being that by taking drugs, you are more likely to walk down the street firing a gun randomly, therefore a criminal. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
Why not? If you are in actual fact endangering people then you are risking the severe criminal penalties that would be imposed if you hit someone. That is enough to deter anyone acting rationally. On the other hand, if you are not deterred because you have somehow ensured that your actions will cause no damage, why should your actions be prohibited?
That is a poor assumption. The government is incompetent (and corrupt) to choose what course of action best manages risk.
The better answer is to make people (and their insurance carriers) liable for the damage they actually cause. If you drive too fast and kill someone, you should be liable for a Very Large sum of money. If you drive 90MPH and cause no damage, you should be left to your devices. If driving fast has a high correlation to causing damage then insurance companies will figure out a way to charge higher premiums to people who take more risks (with risks defined scientifically by statisticians rather than corruptly by politicians), and the higher premiums will either deter the risky behavior to the extent that the damage caused by the risk is in excess of the value of getting there faster to the driver, or alternatively cause the driver to pay money in the amount necessary to compensate for the risk being imposed on others.
There is no need for criminal penalties, which do nothing but create animosity between the police and the population, encourage lawbreaking, encourage the police to issue unwarranted citations (and set inappropriate speed limits or unsafely short yellow lights) in order to generate revenue, etc.
The same applies to illicit drug use. If there are negative externalities then require purchasers to carry insurance, or impose a tax, and use the money to mitigate or compensate for the damage actually caused.
You can't actually give someone your life. Killing the perpetrator doesn't bring back the victim, it's just revenge. And revenge is never justice.
What benefits the victim more? Setting the perpetrator on fire, or making the perpetrator [carry insurance sufficient to] pay the victim the most accurate estimate we can make of the monetary value of the damage caused? I know people hate assigning dollar figures to human life, but in the absence of some technology capable of resurrecting the deceased, how else do you propose to compensate the victim's loved ones?
Then there is the key point that jail costs time which is proportional to the individual fined rather than the victim. In a proportional payment system there would be an even larger perverse incentive to get hit by moneyed people if the fine was in anyway punitive.
"But it costs society to incarcerate and is a net negative from the point after the accident on", Yes but we decided that prisoners shouldn't incur debt for being imprisoned for some very good reasons.
What of the victims? What benefits the victims more than giving them money after the fact is reducing the risk of it happening in the first place. A payment system has either a more harsh proportional punishment than the current system to decrease this happening further, or reckless driving will increase because it is more tenable for the drivers (or people are irrational when assessing jail time and money as punishment and the deterrent affect is not proportional).
So my main point is while I agree that it may be utilitarian to lower the cost to society after the fact there can be even more utility to play the ultimatum game before the event.
Better enforcement leads to higher prices leads to a more profitable black market profits leads to more criminal behavior.
BTW when people say "foo 101" they usually mean "it is basic". But this time that really was the course where I learned this. (Black markets are an elementary application of supply/demand curves.)
Typically for a black market that will wind up being a higher profit margin, and the margin is required to tempt people to run the risks of enforcement. The better the enforcement, the higher the risk, and the better the profit margin that is needed to get people to do it.
The consolidation that you are referring to happens because there are substantial economies of scale to be had for importing and distributing illegal commodities. Particularly once you add into the picture the fact that criminal organizations do their own anti-competitive enforcement...
Of course the US has a black-market problem. I have meet many young businessmen who just ignore the law because the legal landscape is too complex. And I cannot blame them for their actions.