Taxes, it is sometimes said, are how we pay for civilization. But I'd like to pay careful attention to this transaction.

The American government spends about 38% of the economy on government services. And a quick says that only about 64% of murders are solved. For other crimes (warning: the FBI is terrible at making charts), the rate is even lower.

The rule of law, at its most basic, says that you have the right to live, the right to property, and can basically go about your business without the system crushing you (so long as you're not breaking the law). And yet, for robbery, the clearance rate is 30%, and for burglary is less than 15%. For aggravated assault, it's a coin flip whether they'll solve the case.

And that doesn't mean anyone even gets charged. It just means the cops think they know who did it. The cops also complain that prosecutors have unreasonably high expectations and demand open-and-shut cases. The conviction rate for murder is 70%, but there are also plenty of times where cops solve the case (according to themselves) and prosecutors don't bring the case, so just taking the 64% Solved * 70% Convicted is a very generous over-estimate of justice as it is done in America.

And that leaves only about 45% of the murders solved.

I don't know what it means, if those two numbers cross, where we spend 2/5 of our lives working for civilization and get less than 2/5 of a civilization back. I worry for the world when people will pay anything for civilization and get so little in return. And the no-civilization approach to solving these problems is even worse.