In what is clearly becoming “a thing,” as the kids say, another large government entity is apparently going to pay people not to do something they shouldn’t be doing anyway. New York City is essentially going to pay $1,000 a month to violent young thugs not to murder anyone. And now California appears set to pay drug addicts to stay sober.
The California program would allow people to earn payments for every negative drug test over a set period of time. Those who go the distance without any positive tests would earn hundreds of dollars, usually in the form of a gift card. Stay sober, get rewarded!
It used to be said, “Do the crime, do the time.” Now, however, a new adage is needed. Perhaps “Don’t do the crime, win a dime,” or something like that.
Is going down this road really a good idea? Should we pay people not to commit heinous and criminal acts? What does that say about our society? Should we also pay folks not to engage in simply sinful behavior? Maybe the government should pay us, say, not to be gluttonous. How would we determine if one’s behavior or non-act qualified for payment? Should there be a sliding scale with consequently weighted remuneration?
*Avoid succumbing to pride for any 12-consecutive-month period: $1,500. (Might be hard for the LGBTQ crowd.)
*Stave off greed until October, 2022: $1,000.
*Stay free of wrath for one full calendar year: $750.
*Refuse to envy anybody (for any reason) for six months: $500.
*Do not lust after your neighbor’s house, wife, ox, donkey, daughter, Cadillac Escalade, gaming system-- or anything else-- for 12 straight weeks: $2,500.
*Resist gluttony in all its forms for a fortnight. Do not overindulge in food (especially pizza), drink, drugs, sex, gossip, video games, binge watching television or streaming outlets, unfounded speculation, or righteous indignation: $5,500.
*Banish sloth from your life completely. Work overtime, volunteer with various charities, develop and meet aggressive exercise goals, don’t spend more than 30 minutes at a time on the couch, make multitasking the norm, brush your teeth three times a day, floss every night, mow frequently so you never remove more than one-third of a grass blade at a time, and check each of your vehicle’s fluid levels and tire pressures at least once a week. And guys, always put the toilet seat back down. Do this for six months in a row: $10,228.
Hear me now, oh local government: I wish to do my part in making the country a better, safer place for all. To that end, I hereby promise not to rape anyone at all in 2022 if you pay me the paltry sum of $1,200. That’s just $100 a month! Moreover, I vow not to commit assault and battery in that same time period for only $600, or $50 a month! And, if you act before midnight on September 1st, I’m offering a special package deal: I won’t rape, plunder, pillage, assault, rob, or burglarize any person or persons, business or businesses! Call now, my peeps are standing by!