The crime wave of the 2000's

In US history, everyone learns about Al Capone, Chicago gangs around the time of Prohibition of alcohol, which was a failed experiment. From todays WSJ headlines:

The FCC Has Fined Robocallers $208 Million. It’s Collected $6,790.

America’s telecommunications regulators have levied hefty financial penalties against illegal robocallers and demanded that bad actors repay millions to their victims. But years later, little money has been collected.

We are now in a new age of crime, where most of the crime is perpetrated via the internet, and the criminals are rarely caught or punished.


The criminals operating in Robodialing and telephone fraud pretending to be the IRS, etc., are annoying 100x their actual defrauded customers in possibly one of the most destructive industries that has ever existed. If someone robs your house, he doesn’t ransack 100 neighbors that night while robbing 1, but in the telephone fraud industry they annoy 1000s of people before finding a sucker to steal from.
Unfortunately, we just spent 80 million investigating if a hotel tycoon was conspiring with a foreign country. That 80 million could have been spent on wiping out the robodialling industry, and saved the world possibly the lost time of 40 billion calls times 1/6th of a minute to hang up on the assholes that ruin many a tender moment (at minimum wage of $12/hour they are wasting 80 billion dollars of peoples’ time per year in the USA alone). And where is homeland security in all this? We spend billions on those slackers to ride around in black Escadades, always on the prowl for nearly non-existent terrorists, and training park rangers on weekends with automatic weapons for that squirrel invasion that never happens.


The government’s super powerful criminal justice system apparatus, which has most of its employees at the city and county level, is now mostly occupied with cycling through their expensive system the mentally ill near-or-at homeless. they make the homeless more miserable, and because we have no agreement as a society which school of psychology has any theraputive effectiveness, punishment therapy produces poor results, and it just gets worse.


I work in an industry, which is responsible for a big chunk of the crime. Robodialling not only annoys people, but much of the calling is direct fraud. Lets assume that the criminal is buying their phone service for 0.7 cent a minute. And if you have someone on the phone an hour that means $4.20/hour for the cost of the calling, and perhaps $5.80/hour for the criminals’ employee. Thus for $10/hour, less than the minimum wage, you can keep someone working in a criminal business, safely operating 8000 miles away.

Once you make more than $10/hour stealing from people, which evidently is not that hard, your business will naturally grow, and you will hire more staff. So what we are seeing is the positive feedback loop intrinsic to capitalism, and the exponential growth of a successful industry doing various criminal things, breaking laws left and right.

They can stop this crap immediately if they wanted to. If you had to put a $100 deposit on hold for any phone number you wanted, and lost the deposit should you be found to be robodialling, that would stop it cold. You have only 4 companies handling 90% of all the phone calls in the country (ATT, Verizon, T-mobile, Sprint), and they know damn well who is doing this crap. 

Unfortunately our government leaders are so out of touch with regular life they haven’t noticed this crime wave, and so it continues on.