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Why? Nothing bad happened, so what is the point of punishing him? He learned something and went home. So did everyone else.



Endangerment is legitimately considered a crime.[0]

Our go-to example in an Economics of Law course was firing a gun while in a crowd. Similarly, attempted murder is a crime even in the case where no harm befalls the victim.[1]

[0]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangerment

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempted_murder


The value of endangerment laws to society, to the extent that there is any value, is to deter the offender and deter others as well. In the story here, I don't see how you can apply that ethic. I don't want to live in the society in which every low-probability danger is made into an offense. Life has some sharp edges.


Luckily there's a common sense rule to apply that an economic analysis of law makes clear.

Enforcement should occur up to the point where the marginal cost of extra enforcement is equal to the marginal cost of the activity we are seeking to deter.

I would agree with you that the particular circumstance described in the article does not warrant legal action, but your original post made no allowance for enforcement directed at anything other than purposeful and effective crime.


That logic doesn't seem to apply when a cop pulls you over (while still intact) when caught driving 200km/h on a highway which is not the Autobahn.


"Why? Nothing bad happened,"

duty of care?




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