Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shame On You

From experience, many of us know that creative teaching methods are often the most effective. So why not use that philosophy in punishing people too?

When I opened up the LA Times today, I learned that OJ Simpson, Dionne Warwick, and Sinbad are among the biggest tax evaders in California. OJ owes $1.4 million, Dionne owes $2.6 million, and Sinbad owes $2.1 million. You expect it from OJ, the guy's name is Sinbad, but who would have guessed Dionne Warwick?

This news came out because California just released a list of the top 250 tax evaders for the state. Since then, 26 people have paid their tax delinquencies to get off the list with OJ. It actually did work. Public shaming, I love it.

Like the California government, we discussed ways of preventing people from stealing food from our events. Although we were joking, someone did suggest creating a wall of shame by posting pictures of our food stealers. Our advisor also jokingly suggested tasering- but that's so been done at UCLA and Florida.

On a more serious note, all of this did make me think about how the legal system and government can become more creative in punishing people and finding solutions generally. Perhaps public humiliation is not the answer for every crime (though a case could probable be made- people do love their reputations), but I do not think locking everyone up is the answer either.

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