What could you do with $50,452?(1) That is the average amount it costs to execute a wiretap to help nab a plant seller read marijuana “dealer” these days. This according to newly released records from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. In the surveillance super state that we suffer mightily under this is to be expected; rather like you anticipate State Troopers to hover at interstate-off-ramps, writing brake-tag and seat belt tickets to save drivers from themselves. While Americans may have grown accustomed to the warrantless wiretaps and cops with bad attitudes why should they get used to incompetence?
The same police state that squanders the $50 grand on wiretaps has a lowly 18% conviction rate AFTER the wiretap is issued. Do the math and now our $50k walk in the park becomes a $277,000 scandal and this doesn’t even include the costs to prosecute then incarcerate our wiretapped, convicted, high volume weed-head.
In New Orleans today, the news has stories about hit and run killings, a murder in Treme(2) and the search for a rapist. Why not ask of the NOPD or JPSO: what could you do with $50 or $277k? These staggering amounts of wasted public monies don’t even begin to factor in the hundreds of billions the feds spend every year playing cloak and dagger with the rest of us that now includes the citizens of Brazil & Germany, who have learned that our government spies on them too. At every level of our public affairs, with eyes now partially opened, we can see just how large and expensive all this law enforcement has become.
Most of us agree that we must have governments to help organize peaceful societies but what part of peacekeeping requires American citizens to be the most popular target for these efforts? I’d like to see less cops, eating more donuts, spending less time wiretapping and more time telling motorists to “buckle up, ma’am, we don’t want to delay you getting to the city’s new $50k recreation park.”