A rampaging batsman plundering the bowling is a joy to see unless the batsman is on the other team. At that point, arresting the flow of runs, not taking wickets, is the priority.
As good as the batsman is, an opposing captain has to juxtapose the batsman’s performance against the quality of the bowling and fielding and make the changes required.
Let’s look at Crime as a feature of our social interaction. Crime has been the rampaging batsman putting our best bowling and fielding changes to naught. Even when we dismissed a marauding gunman, another, no, many more take his place. The resulting onslaught and carnage have the effects of consuming resources, talents, lives, and livelihoods, leaving trails of blood and death, all the while squeezing the productive capacity to a certain end.
How do you fix that?
As it is, as it always was, crime pays if you can get away with it. Albeit it is an inefficient and cannibalistic way to go guaranteed to not end well.
However, if and when we get into a dog eats dog world, as we currently, if not always, have been in, national development is unsustainable. The remedy is to take the profit out of crime.
Put it this way: What if I steal something from you at the risk of death but cannot spend, save or trade it in the formal economy without a detailed explanation of where and how I came by it?
Oh! The Informal and Underground Economy beckons. What if the physical medium of exchange cash is systematically targeted for elimination, and more and more transactions, including street side hustling above, say, $1000, are targeted?
What if store and transportation services are paid for and captured digitally? Without spending money to arm police, the citizenry, or firing a shot, we would be changing the nature of our relationship with the underworld.
What am I saying?
Start innocuously. Make transactions above $100,000 mandatory digital and compulsory routed through a commercial bank. The buyer has to be set up digitally too.
So, if I want to give you $100,000, for whatever reason, I have to be qualified, and you have to be transparent to receive it. Otherwise, the funds cannot be transferred.
So that takes care of the six and fours and makes the match a more hopeful affair. Next, we do transactions of 50,000 or more. Only qualified and transparent parties can trade. Shine a light in any darkened room and the rats and cockroaches, along with the people living in that space, have to acknowledge the unacceptable state of affairs. We cannot continue to wring our hands and lament Crimes and Criminals operations as intractable.
What if the high-priced Champaign, Samuels, Townsend, and other high-priced lawyers couldn’t legally conduct business with folks who are not qualified by their work history and verified business activities because the source of their clients’ money couldn’t pass scrutiny? Do we think they would still be representing Welders and Electricians who have little recent acquaintance with work?
Let’s narrow the space where crime pays. Let’s revolutionize our transaction medium. Retire cash and go digital. If I cannot profit from stealing from you, why bother?
It isn’t so much that we all are thieves; we have long passed that shame tree. Rather, it is inherent in our calculations and dealings, factoring in our decision-making. We need not accuse each other, especially as our courts rarely make any charge into a conviction, and even when that is achieved, the prisoner can still order hits and extortion demands from prison. Even when we win, we lose. That’s a recipe for disaster.
We cannot continue to lose matches we should win. We are courting ruin and a future that haunts.
None of the batsmen should attempt a run without our permission, but for now, let’s get our focus right. It ain’t them doing us bad. It’s us not figuring out how to take the profit out of crime so that all of us can live and work without the constant threat of insecurity and violence. We need to retire cash as king in our lives. It’s time to digitalize every transaction above a certain amount and bring sunshine to disinfect and shine a light on our buyers, sellers, scammers, and extortion practices. Be thoughtful.
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Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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