Author Topic: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?  (Read 1846 times)

GOFU

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Have I got an investment proposition for you! No money down. This is an investment in time.

Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?

I'm not talking about the Gulag, or a Turkish prison, or Folsom or the state penitentiary. Just a medium security or even minimum security place. Not the worst dark damp hell hole, but a place where you definitely are in prison and you know it. At the end, when you come out five years later, you have a million dollars waiting for you.

Would you do it? Would it be worth it to you? Why or why not?

Later I will discuss why I pose the hypothetical.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 06:35:05 AM by GOFU »

NotJen

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 07:45:33 AM »
Did you happen to recently listen to the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, like I did?

Nope, don’t think I would voluntarily go to prison for money.
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Roadrunner53

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 07:47:09 AM »
No, 5 years of my life is worth more than a million dollars. Life is short, you may not live long enough to get out to spend the 1 million dollars. 5 years in prison would probably feel like 500 years. Not to mention trying to steer clear of getting shanked.

GOFU

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 07:59:14 AM »
Thank for the responses. I will explain the post later. If you would, please go to the other post on the same topic and vote in the poll if you haven't.

Thanks, and I guarantee shank-free experience.

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GOFU

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 08:19:20 AM »
Did you happen to recently listen to the short story “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, like I did?

No, but I am going to now.

Heckler

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 08:57:49 AM »
Ive been in prison ten years.  Luckily mortgage free now and got my 7 digits, but still in house networth prison

Scandium

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 01:55:44 PM »
Is this one of those things where you take the fall for a mobster in exchange for a mill when you get out?

To answer; no probably not. If it involve the mob or deals with similar criminals definitely not!

bwall

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 02:02:26 PM »
Money is a stupid reason to go to prison. Especially for a small amount that can be earned by a motivated individual in that same time frame.

Love? Country? Revenge? These are reasons to go to prison. But not something as silly as paper notes that can be worthless when you get out--if you get out.

ysette9

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 02:04:11 PM »
Hell no! Even if I couldn’t earn another penny in my life i wouldn’t do that. Missing out on my own life would be terrible but missing out on being in the lives of my children? I can’t even fathom. No amount of money in the world would entice me to give that up.
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sol

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 02:17:58 PM »
While I think that $1milllion is a very medium sized amount of money, let's not pretend that a five year stint in prison is time wasted.  Prisoners are not put into suspended animation.  They get to exercise, and read, and learn new skills, and communicate with the outside world.  Some people come out of prison with GEDs, or even law degrees, or huge physiques, or a new religion.

I'm not saying I'd do it, just that the answers thus far seem to be making some simplifying assumptions about what the actual cost would be.  You're not instantly five years older, you've just limited your freedom of movement for the next five years.  Lots of people voluntarily go longer than that never leaving their little neighborhood, is that really so different?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 02:24:42 PM by sol »

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 02:18:39 PM »
No

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EricEng

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2018, 04:29:19 PM »
This actually is pretty close to what I did do to make a chunk of money.  Worked as a contractor in a war zone for 3 years making about $200k a year.  It feels like a prison at times.  You are stuck in a walled compound with guards, guns, gates, concertina wire, people trying to kill you, terrible food, sleeping on a cot, and can't leave that compound for 8-12 months.  Little connection with the outside world, days are repetitive, and nothing fun to do beyond same activities a prisoner has; reading, movies, exercise.  So I guess my answer was...yes? 

GOFU

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2018, 04:36:17 PM »
This actually is pretty close to what I did do to make a chunk of money.  Worked as a contractor in a war zone for 3 years making about $200k a year.  It feels like a prison at times.  You are stuck in a walled compound with guards, guns, gates, concertina wire, people trying to kill you, terrible food, sleeping on a cot, and can't leave that compound for 8-12 months.  Little connection with the outside world, days are repetitive, and nothing fun to do beyond same activities a prisoner has; reading, movies, exercise.  So I guess my answer was...yes?

That is similar to the situation that inspired the hypothetical. Full discussion over at the poll thread.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/would-you-go-to-prison-for-five-years-in-exchange-for-a-million-dollar-87116/


kayvent

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 05:30:36 AM »
So this is 200K a year. That's about 550$ a day. I don't think I would do it for five years. There is decreasing marginal utility of the money and increasing marginal cost to being in prison as times on. For me, the latter would be bigger than the former after a few months. At five years, the absolute cost has supplanted the entire value.

gooki

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2018, 09:21:37 PM »
No. Because I can nearly save 1 mil in 7 years by saving/investing hard.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 02:21:32 PM by gooki »
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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2018, 01:58:31 PM »
While I think that $1milllion is a very medium sized amount of money, let's not pretend that a five year stint in prison is time wasted.  Prisoners are not put into suspended animation.  They get to exercise, and read, and learn new skills, and communicate with the outside world.  Some people come out of prison with GEDs, or even law degrees, or huge physiques, or a new religion.

I'm not saying I'd do it, just that the answers thus far seem to be making some simplifying assumptions about what the actual cost would be.  You're not instantly five years older, you've just limited your freedom of movement for the next five years.  Lots of people voluntarily go longer than that never leaving their little neighborhood, is that really so different?

Location matters. If you're in New York you might exhaust the 77 book options pretty quickly.
https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-book-policy-83efefb676bc/

Quote
A new program in New York is severely restricting the books available to people in prison
The first five vendors combined offered just 77 books. 24 were coloring books.

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2018, 02:04:24 PM »
While I think that $1milllion is a very medium sized amount of money, let's not pretend that a five year stint in prison is time wasted.  Prisoners are not put into suspended animation.  They get to exercise, and read, and learn new skills, and communicate with the outside world.  Some people come out of prison with GEDs, or even law degrees, or huge physiques, or a new religion.

I'm not saying I'd do it, just that the answers thus far seem to be making some simplifying assumptions about what the actual cost would be.  You're not instantly five years older, you've just limited your freedom of movement for the next five years.  Lots of people voluntarily go longer than that never leaving their little neighborhood, is that really so different?

Location matters. If you're in New York you might exhaust the 77 book options pretty quickly.
https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-book-policy-83efefb676bc/

Quote
A new program in New York is severely restricting the books available to people in prison
The first five vendors combined offered just 77 books. 24 were coloring books.

Holy fuck.  You would think that the country that incarcerates more citizens than any other on the planet might have a modicum of sympathy.

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 02:57:01 PM »
While I think that $1milllion is a very medium sized amount of money, let's not pretend that a five year stint in prison is time wasted.  Prisoners are not put into suspended animation.  They get to exercise, and read, and learn new skills, and communicate with the outside world.  Some people come out of prison with GEDs, or even law degrees, or huge physiques, or a new religion.

I'm not saying I'd do it, just that the answers thus far seem to be making some simplifying assumptions about what the actual cost would be.  You're not instantly five years older, you've just limited your freedom of movement for the next five years.  Lots of people voluntarily go longer than that never leaving their little neighborhood, is that really so different?

Location matters. If you're in New York you might exhaust the 77 book options pretty quickly.
https://thinkprogress.org/new-york-book-policy-83efefb676bc/

Quote
A new program in New York is severely restricting the books available to people in prison
The first five vendors combined offered just 77 books. 24 were coloring books.

Holy fuck.  You would think that the country that incarcerates more citizens than any other on the planet might have a modicum of sympathy.

That sympathy would be internally inconsistent with the existence of the system, no?
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GuitarStv

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 05:11:04 PM »
Touché.

spartana

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This topic has been moved to Off Topic.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/index.php?topic=87116.0
maybe this thread and its second poll thread can be merge as I'm getting confused. Although that's usually the casevanyways ;-).
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AlanStache

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 06:48:04 PM »
Some how 200k/year in a war zone sounds better than prison... Given my skill set I would be in a green cubicle doing math 16hr/day in front of a computer screen.  Am I that addicted to screen time or doing analysis that bombs and beheadings are competitive with a minimum security prison that is literally called "camp"?
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EricEng

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2018, 11:00:51 AM »
Some how 200k/year in a war zone sounds better than prison... Given my skill set I would be in a green cubicle doing math 16hr/day in front of a computer screen.  Am I that addicted to screen time or doing analysis that bombs and beheadings are competitive with a minimum security prison that is literally called "camp"?
It has ups and downs.  Down being less likely to have showers, flush toilets, air conditioning or heat, no mattress, choking dust storms, snakes and scorpions.

Equal is chance of dying (shrapnel vs shanks), terrible food, appearance (walls with guards), limited activities, terrible monotony.

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2018, 12:11:17 PM »
Some how 200k/year in a war zone sounds better than prison... Given my skill set I would be in a green cubicle doing math 16hr/day in front of a computer screen.  Am I that addicted to screen time or doing analysis that bombs and beheadings are competitive with a minimum security prison that is literally called "camp"?
It has ups and downs.  Down being less likely to have showers, flush toilets, air conditioning or heat, no mattress, choking dust storms, snakes and scorpions.

Equal is chance of dying (shrapnel vs shanks), terrible food, appearance (walls with guards), limited activities, terrible monotony.


Arizona's tent prison would seem to be in line with many of your 'downs':

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/aug/21/arizona-phoenix-concentration-camp-tent-city-jail-joe-arpaio-immigration

EricEng

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2018, 12:36:27 PM »
I was wondering if someone would quote that.  That is not typical low security prison as described by the OP. It also closed a few years ago and was deemed cruel.  The sheriff who did it was also found guilty until pardoned by Trump.  So not sure that is a fair counter.

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2018, 01:21:51 PM »
While the tent prison is certainly not typical of jails in the US, it kinda illustrates a disturbing point.  Nobody cares about you, or the quality of your life.  In the case of the tent city, it stood for 24 years before finally being closed for cruelty.  If you're in jail, people can do shit to you and get away with it.  These people include guards, sheriffs, other inmates.  That's pretty scary.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2018, 02:30:02 PM »
 You have no control over you life. You are told to do things, what time to do things, you are served crap for meals. You have to hang with the right crowd and know who to bow to. Just the freedom of getting in your car and going grocery shopping, getting an ice cream cone, going to your own refrigerator to gaze inside to see what you might like to eat and the comfortable bed you sleep in. To play a game with your kid or grandkid, kiss and hug your wife/Hub, pet your dog. Such little pleasures you have no way to enjoy.

There is no money in the world that can 'buy' that stuff.


Hula Hoop

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2018, 02:37:44 PM »
You have no control over you life. You are told to do things, what time to do things, you are served crap for meals. You have to hang with the right crowd and know who to bow to. Just the freedom of getting in your car and going grocery shopping, getting an ice cream cone, going to your own refrigerator to gaze inside to see what you might like to eat and the comfortable bed you sleep in. To play a game with your kid or grandkid, kiss and hug your wife/Hub, pet your dog. Such little pleasures you have no way to enjoy.

There is no money in the world that can 'buy' that stuff.

Absolutely.  Also, have you guys watched Orange is the New Black.  Even minimum security women's prison is a pretty scary place.

spartana

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2018, 03:50:35 PM »
You have no control over you life. You are told to do things, what time to do things, you are served crap for meals. You have to hang with the right crowd and know who to bow to. Just the freedom of getting in your car and going grocery shopping, getting an ice cream cone, going to your own refrigerator to gaze inside to see what you might like to eat and the comfortable bed you sleep in. To play a game with your kid or grandkid, kiss and hug your wife/Hub, pet your dog. Such little pleasures you have no way to enjoy.

There is no money in the world that can 'buy' that stuff.
Sounds like being on a military ship ;-). I spent a lot of time serving onboard military ships and the quarters were much tighter than most prisons and your life was equally regimented and not much in the way of recreation. But at least you'd get port stops and could generally get off ship and, unlike submariners, could get outside on deck. Plus you generally didn't have to worry about daily beat downs, or rapes or stabbings by gangs and guards...generally.  But then after 5 years in you don't walk away with a million bucks either.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 03:53:12 PM by spartana »
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sol

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2018, 04:20:12 PM »
But then after 5 years in you don't walk away with a million bucks either.

No, but you do get a lifetime of eligibility for free healthcare for you, and sometimes for your family.  And if you make 20 years you get a lifetime inflation adjusted pension superior to any other in the world.  Plus discounts on mortgages, groceries, banking, insurance, zoo memberships and movie tickets, cemetery services, etc.

I'm just saying, the monthly paycheck is not the only value you get from military service.  As a simplified rough approximation, the VA spends about 180 billion dollars per year on something like 5 million veterans, our around $37k per vet per year, for life, AFTER they have left service.

Is it fair compensation for hardship and danger?  I couldn't say.  But I bet it's worth more than a million dollars.

spartana

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2018, 05:13:31 PM »
But then after 5 years in you don't walk away with a million bucks either.

No, but you do get a lifetime of eligibility for free healthcare for you, and sometimes for your family.  And if you make 20 years you get a lifetime inflation adjusted pension superior to any other in the world.  Plus discounts on mortgages, groceries, banking, insurance, zoo memberships and movie tickets, cemetery services, etc.

I'm just saying, the monthly paycheck is not the only value you get from military service.  As a simplified rough approximation, the VA spends about 180 billion dollars per year on something like 5 million veterans, our around $37k per vet per year, for life, AFTER they have left service.

Is it fair compensation for hardship and danger?  I couldn't say.  But I bet it's worth more than a million dollars.
All that is true in some circumstances. The VA has qualifiers to enrollment and not all vets are automaticly entitled. And those who are but don't have service connected disabilities and have incomes higher than a certain amount (around $35k I believe) may  have to share some of the cost or may not even be entitled to healthcare if funding isn't available. The VA. has several Priority Groups to determine funding and care eligibility and non-disabled vets with incomes higher than $35k will be placed in the lowest priority group or cut completely. Dependents can't get medical care from the VA (ChampVA) unless the service member is severely disabled or dead. But yes, there are many benefits given to service members who are honorably or medically discharged and who have served long enough. But I doubt they add up to a million bucks over a persons lifetime unless they were severely disabled or did their 20 years and retired. But they still don't hand you a cool million out the door after 5 years.

And you forgot all the freebies on Veterans Day!

ETA: pre-ACA vets who wanted to use the VA medical centers for non-service connected injuries/disabilities had to do a means test - all income and all assets - each year in order to qualify. This included everything you earn or owned (including things like artwork, jewlery, property, vehicles, all sources of income taxable or not,  investments, retirement accounts, etc) and probably the kitchen sink too! So not as many vets used or qualified to use the VA before 2012 when the VA was required to comply with the same standards as the ACA and begain using taxable income alone as the qualifier. You also can't get subsidies for  private health insurance and use the VA. Its one or the other.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 06:00:49 PM by spartana »
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jim555

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2018, 06:52:45 PM »
If I was young and broke I would probably go for it.  The prison would have to be nice like in Norway.

fmzip

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2018, 07:15:40 PM »
Is the $1M after tax? ;)

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2018, 10:47:45 PM »
No, I cannot lose my independence for money!

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2018, 11:22:27 PM »
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

The whole point of my life has been the escape from stupid arbitrary authority. Middle School was close enough for me.

Plus, forgo the company of women for five years? For a measly mil? Nopity nopity nope nope nope.

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2018, 10:49:36 AM »
Can I have my brother do it for me? I'll split it with him.

Duke03

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2018, 03:37:09 PM »
To the OP: you seriously need to up your offer or shorten your prison stint.

My old ex neighbor only got 3 years for stealing 1.4 million from her employer over a 3 year span.  The only reason she got that long was because her employer was a government contractor so they threw the book at her for stealing government money in a way.

Malkynn

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2018, 04:37:06 PM »
No.

Absolutely not.
Not for 1M, not for 10M, not for any amount of money.

I know too much about the prison system to ever be willing to voluntarily do that to myself.
I would rather work until I die.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 04:31:57 AM »
No, because I can make more than a million dollars in five years. Looking at the situation, I need to consider not only how much I could have made in five years, but also the impact of a five year gap to my future earning potential. For five million dollars, I'd be willing.

I'd spend those five years learning new skills, getting in shape, meeting interesting people, etc. For the right price, it would be a great opportunity.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 04:41:40 AM by Herbert Derp »

accolay

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2018, 11:10:51 AM »
Are you asking for a friend?

The answer is: no,  1 million isn't enough. Now, if you start the bidding at maybe 50 million after tax...

Also depends...are we talking Federal Prison Camp, or Federal Pound-me-in-the-ass Prison?
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NoraLenderbee

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2018, 02:52:49 PM »
Would you take a job you hated for 200K per year, but on the condition that you must stay in the office building 24/7, eat only cafeteria food, and get locked in your cubicle every night?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2018, 03:24:58 PM »
Noralenderbee, for me that would be a nightmare but for some who are married to their jobs, a dream come true!

Doesn't Rand Paul camp out in his office to save money even though he gets a stipend to get housing?

GuitarStv

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2018, 06:00:49 PM »
Would you take a job you hated for 200K per year, but on the condition that you must stay in the office building 24/7, eat only cafeteria food, and get locked in your cubicle every night?

No.

 . . . but if I really loved the job and didn't have a kid I'd consider it.  Probably would end up hating the job and burning out though.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Would you go to prison for five years in exchange for a million dollars?
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2018, 04:07:16 AM »
How many years would I have to stay in the office building, is there an end to this imprisonment or as long as I collect $200K I am forced to stay in the building? Would there be showers and how would I do my laundry? Would they send it out to be dry cleaned?