Give me $95,000 and I won’t sell crack (or smuggle people)

I PROMISE not to sell crack cocaine for an entire year if the government pays me $95,000.

This week's reports of the Australian Government bribing Indonesian people smugglers to turn their boats back to port have sent the media into a frenzy, and it is no wonder.

If the claims turn out to be true - the Prime Minister refuses to confirm or deny them at this stage - these flesh-mongers have had one hell of a payday.

Initial reports suggest the turn-back earned one wooden boat's captain as much as $7770 in Australian currency, while his crew earned $6475 apiece to total $40,130.

With minimum wages sitting at about $2790 a year in Indonesia, the captain would have received more than two and a half times what he might have earned over 12 months if he stayed home and worked a menial job.

In a domestic context, the government would have to pay criminals about $95,000 to give them the same ratio incentive to follow the law.

This might sound mad, but it would actually be cheaper than keeping them in jails.

The Productivity Commission has revealed the average inmate cost the country $292 a day or $106,580 a year to keep them locked up in 2013/14.

And that did not include the massive policing and court costs preceding their incarceration.

Maybe not such a bad idea after all.

STRANGE POLITICS with Chris Calcino
STRANGE POLITICS with Chris Calcino