Monday, March 14, 2005

More Fun with Math: NY Auto Theft Prevention

Tom at Undercaffeinated complains the NY state government is pissing away his money. Though I would happily agree, I thought I'd be fun to play Devil's Advocate on the subject.

According to this site, in 2000, there were about 57,160 car thefts in New York State per year: (285.8/100,000 vehicle thefts per citizen) x (approx. 20,000,000 people).

According to this article, the average value of a stolen car at the turn of the millennium was $6,701.00.

Thus the total value of all car thefts in New York per year was $383,029,160.00.

New York had a drop in auto theft 3.5% greater than the national average. [38.5% - 35% = 3.5%]

The total value of money saved due to the additional 3.5% drop would be $18,567,338.53 per year: $383,029,160.00 x 138.5% from before x 3.5%.

New York spent $6.2 Million per year on auto theft prevention between 1997 and 2001: $31 Million / 5 years.

Thus New York arguably profited $12.3 Million per year from the program, and more than doubled their investment.

Of course, (1) the statistics are skewed due to limited data, (2) this is not an objective measurement of how effective the program actually was, and (3) not all auto thefts equal a total loss of the automobile's value (though could possibly exceed it, through loss man-hours and cost of retrieving it). Even then, NY might have broken even on the venture.

Crime prevention spending shouldn't be viewed with the same categorical skepticism as welfare, social-spending, do-gooder pork projects. Government spends it money best by preventing theft, and spends it the worst by facilitating it.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Have you ever read Ludwig von Mises' "Bureaucracy"?

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Couch Potato said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Tony said...

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