Wendy McElroy: A person imprisoned for possession of drugs, or for obstruction of justice (such as speaking back to a police officer) could lose his home, car, or bank account to the county for payment of “hotel” fees, drug testing, medical care, and parole costs.
Vijay Prashad: The drain of wealth to the war economy is a massive regressive taxation on the population: the rich who pay a much smaller proportion of their taxes and the corporations are insulated from the costs of war, and indeed some of them benefit from the windfalls of war.
Tanya Acker: There is a lot of discussion these days about the detriments of compromise. When you compromise, for instance, certain people may claim you don’t stick to your guns and decide not to vote for you.
Sy Slavin: While economists and national policymakers discuss economics in coldly statistical terms, research has shown that social costs of economic downturns, particularly rising unemployment rates have personal and social costs not previously discussed.
James Clark: Jerry Brown said “it’s all on the table.” If that’s true, why is he prioritizing death row over real help—like counseling—for victims’ families?
Tina Dupuy: Obesity and the hidden costs behind it are a classic example of privatizing profit and socializing losses. The more successful the food industry is, the fatter we become and the more society has to absorb those costs. The military has reportedly turned away over 48,000 recruits since 2005 for being too fat to serve. And if they can’t pass the military’s standard of 26% body fat, they’re not likely to make it as a civilian first responder either.