Sunday, 12 February 2012

Roy C: Shotgun Wedding

(Words by Milton Friedman):

Shotgun 'industry' output and employment up; benefits bill, teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment, vandalism, housing problems etc. etc. etc. down. Problems solved and a great song too.

Not too long ago there was a report, in the 'meejia', of an unusual judgement somewhere in Africa. A man had been caught with a goat in a situation that is still not considered normal, even in the most 'enlightened' societies, and so, according to the customs and practices of the place he was taken before the tribal elders for judgement. As I recall, there was a distinctly condescending tone to the report but I thought the decision of the elders eminently sensible. Mindful of the magnitude of the offence, of the heat of local outrage, perhaps the costs of paying for psychiatrists, social workers therapists; of building a courthouse with Human Rights Act respecting catering and toilet facilities; the cost of retaining a couple of silks, building a modern, user friendly prison and paying for turnkeys, social workers, therapists, counsellors, probation officers and so on and on and on, and knowing well the power of the opprobrium and scorn of one's relatives, friends and neighbours, of the pain of humiliation before them and lifelong ridicule in deterring miscreants, and others, from repeating their offences they decided that since he had taken the girl's honour he must marry her, and what ordinary, over-taxed and long suffering man or woman would disagree with them?

Here's a reminder of the sort of thing elders like them prevent:

Gruff thanks to Philtheone for the link to the video.

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