Can you see the 'other' picture?

Its interesting how one-sided most of what we hear is. A 'balanced' picture is almost always never available or presented. The fallout of such one-sided content exposure is its effect on decision-making. Take the case of incarcerating criminals. The cost to taxpayers is a reason quoted on why criminals shouldn't be punished as much.

That this is baloney is known when you look at the costs of setting a criminal loose. Note Thomas Sowell's take, 'The most obvious question that is being resolutely ignored in these scientific-sounding calculations is: What is the cost of turning criminals loose? Phrases like "intensive probation" may create the illusion that criminals at large are somehow under control of the authorities but illusions are especially dangerous when it comes to crime.

Another question that ought to be obvious is: Why are we counting only the cost to the government of putting a criminal behind bars, but not the cost to the public of turning him loose? Some may say that it is not possible to quantify the costs of the dangers and anxieties of the public when more criminals are walking the streets. That is certainly true, if you mean the full costs. But we can quantify the money costs-- and just the money costs to the public vastly exceed the costs to the government of locking up criminals.

Its exceedingly important that businesses too consider 'balanced' pictures before decisions are effected. I remember this one time while working at a restaurant that had a dress code for its diners, some people came up with the idea that it was hindering sales. Now this was a first-class restaurant at one of the leading five star hotels, serving continental food. The target clientele was the upper class. The 'lost sales' gambit ensured dress rules were taken off. The result? A deluge of customers who weren't the moneyed kind and who were looking only to stay longer at a table nursing a single drink. What followed was disaster. Cover turnover went for a toss. Guests staying at the hotel who frequented the restaurant for dinner went away seeing the crowd that didn't look too charitable. Sales fell, and soon enough the decision-folks realised their blunder and brought the dress-rule back.

Its important we always see two sides to a scene. It helps us make judgements that are as close to rational as possible. Now never mind the liberals, criminals belong behind bars. Because from a cost standpoint, its ACTUALLY cheaper, and of course, because THEY DESERVE IT!


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