My favorite criminal business models involve large firms that subcontract or franchise work to small actors work which would get them into trouble. They usually hand the work over to small actors who lack the assets to be be effectively punished for the bad acts. But here’s an example of a criminal business model where they firm doesn’t even bother to intermediate the bad acts.
In San Francisco … “Last year, United Parcel Service paid $673,334 in fines for 11,788 tickets — an average of one ticket every 45 minutes throughout the year.“
The traffic rules are a means society uses to keep things civil and moving smoothly. UPS has figured out that it can make it’s internal operations move more smoothly by making the rest of society run less smoothly. If you made the parking fines progressive, so that legal entities like UPS who abuse the system are progressively fined and escalating amount, then UPS would just restructure their urban delivery operations so the operators where a flurry of smaller operators. That’s what Herbalife does so it can strap butt ugly signs up all over town.
So next time you spend a few minutes stuck in traffic behind double parked UPS truck you can think of the this puzzle: of how is civil order is maintained when commerce trains it’s people to make these trade-offs to it’s advantage.
“McMillan Electric Co. contributed $74,375 toward the total. The family-owned San Francisco firm, which does most of its business downtown, received 1,497 tickets over the year. “It’s a business decision,” company president Pat McMillan said. “Is it cheaper to pay the ticket, or is it cheaper to pay the guys working for me to spend time looking for a legal parking space?”
McMillan pays his workers about $80 an hour and said risking a parking ticket often wins out. ‘I don’t like it, but we’ve got a job to do, and we have to get our guys in there to work.'”
Who’s the jerk, the driver, the firm, or the the boss?
(Nod to Faisal)