Don’t get me wrong, the latest Batman movies are quite enjoyable. Having said that, there is plenty about these movies (and the whole idea of Batman) that really makes no goddamn sense.
There are Easier Ways to Save a City
Although dressing up in a rubber suit to fight crime and save the city makes a good movie there are many simpler ways to go about it. Especially if you happen to have the wealth and resources of Bruce Wayne.
Gotham City is very similar to the city of Chicago only with a population four times the size. With that in mind you can work out a few statistics about Gotham. Chicago has a high crime rate with about 9500 crimes per 100,000 people which equates to approximately 285,000 crimes a year. If you use that statistic and apply it to Gotham and its larger population you are looking at a city with around one million crimes each and every year.
According to various sources there are at least eight crime families similar to the mafia that operate in Gotham City. There are also a further twelve less powerful street gangs also operating throughout the city. It is plausible that each of these criminal organisations would consist of a few thousand members from the top level right down to the street level. Realistically we are looking at around 100,000 career criminals operating in Gotham City.
In Batman Begins we hear how crime is always closely related to poverty so that means there are 100,000 people in Gotham City who have turned to crime because they have lived in poverty. It would cost a mere $6 billion to employ these 100,000 poverty stricken criminals in a well-paid job of around $60,000 a year.
If Wayne Enterprises were to employ these 100,000 people in the field of private security Gotham’s crime rate would be massively reduced leaving only a few psychos to fight with those who cannot be rehabilitated. The $6 billion price tag on employing these people would hardly make a dent in the profits of Wayne Enterprises not that it matters as there would be a huge demand for well-equipped private security firms to protect against the remaining nut jobs. Wayne Enterprises could really cash in on this and in one easy flick of his wrist Bruce Wayne could wipe out crime and revitalise the economy of Gotham City at the same time.
How Does He Afford to be Batman?
According to Forbes Magazine Bruce Wayne’s personal fortune is in the region of $6.9 billion with his company, Wayne Enterprises, raking in $31 billion in a year. That is certainly no small sum.
Bruce Wayne spends around $3.5 million for a single bat suit and bat mobile but the real cost of being Batman comes when Bruce Wayne has to hide his secret identity. He does this with excessive partying and extravagant spending which keeps the Bruce Wayne persona so bizarre and out of touch that no one would ever think that he is actually Batman.
His excessive spending includes things like impulse buying hotels and cancelling a show so he can party with the entire cast. He had a huge bill when it came to rebuilding Wayne Manor and has a regular expense keeping his butler, Alfred in employment. With this sort of excess even $6.9 billion would quickly dry up and run out.
The only way for Bruce Wayne to live the lifestyle he does without finding himself stood on the street shaking a cup would be to embezzle money from Wayne Enterprises. If you do the maths keeping Batman going is so expensive it is beyond believe it took until The Dark Knight movie for an accountant to notice huge amounts of money was been syphoned off along with god knows how many other company resources. It was my understanding that this sort of thing was highly illegal so it just does not make sense that a multi-billion dollar company would turn a blind eye to such embezzlement.
If Batman doesn’t finds himself in jail for vigilantism it is a certainty that Bruce Wayne would find himself in jail for fraud.
The Cost to the City of Gotham
As you can see there is an extraordinary cost to Bruce Wayne’s personal fortune for him to beat up people who are living in poverty and been forced to turn to a life of crime. Although Batman has a “no killing policy” every time we see Batman in a confrontation with a criminal he manages to leave them physically incapable of ever performing an honest day’s work in the future. In fact some of the injuries we see him inflict on people makes you wonder whether it is really the most humane of things to let these people live.
Think about it this way, Batman and his way of working creates a huge potential cost for Gotham City. There is the massive cost of the incarcerating all of these criminals not to mention the money it will cost for their medical treatment, physiotherapy and disability benefits. All of this equals a massive drain on the finances of Gotham all because of Batman. This is all before we start to take account of damage to private property that Batman himself causes and the cost to the police of running a dedicated Batman task force.
Is Batman and Bruce Wayne really interested in saving Gotham City or is he just wanting to live out his own comic book childhood fantasy regardless of the cost?