Like most people you most likely think that Batman is one cool action hero who can save Gotham City from any disaster or villain who happens to be thrust upon it. Sure, they guy might look cool on the surface but if we dig a little deeper and take a look at the bigger picture there is plenty there to suggest that Batman, the Dark Knight him very self, is nothing more than a complete douche.
Bruce Wayne Could Save Gotham Without Batman
Gotham City is very similar in many ways to the city of Chicago. The two cities look every similar, both suffer from high crime rates, high unemployment and corruption. The only big noticeable difference between the two cities is that Gotham City happens to have four times the population of Chicago.
Because of the similarities between the two cities it is quite easy to work out some interesting statistics about Gotham. The city of Chicago has a very high crime rate. For every 100,000 people in the city there are 9,500 crimes. Over the course of a year this would mean that Chicago suffers in the region of 285,000 crimes give or take. If you take these numbers and apply them to a city the size of Gotham you have a city that suffers over one million crimes each and every year. That is a heck of a lot of crime.
Throughout the many Batman movies we have been told that there are at least 8 crime families that operate in Gotham City, each of them very similar to the Mafia families that operate out of New York City. We are also told that there are at least 12 street gangs that operate within the city but are somewhat less powerful than the 8 mafia style crime families. It is perfectly likely that, from the very top level right down to street level, there is a few thousand members in each criminal organisation. This would mean we are looking at somewhere in the area of 100,000 career criminals living and operating in Gotham City.
In the movie Batman Begins we hear characters explain that the level of crime is always closely related to the poverty so we can only assume that the 100,000 career criminals living in Gotham have turned to crime because they were living in poverty. If this is correct we can also assume that it would require $6 billion to employ these 100,000 career criminals in well-paid jobs of some description. We will say that $60,000 a year is considered a well-paid job for the sake of arguments.
Now with the numbers that we have worked out above consider this. Wayne Enterprises, the firm owned by Bruce Wayne aka Batman, is a multi-billion dollar company. The $6 billion price tag that it would cost for Wayne Enterprises to employ these career criminals would hardly make a dent in their annual profits. By simply employing these 100,000 people the crime rate in Gotham would plummet and only the occasional looney tune would remain.
On top of this Wayne Enterprises could actually employ these 100,000 people in the field of private security putting Wayne Enterprises in control of its own private army. An army that would be in huge demand to help combat any remaining criminals in the city. Because of the huge potential demand for private security Wayne Enterprises would no doubt make huge profits from this venture
Bruce Wayne Cannot Afford to be Batman
During one of the Batman movies we see a copy of Forbes Magazine which states Bruce Wayne’s personal fortune as $6.9 billion. Forbes Magazine also states that Wayne Enterprises rakes in an eye watering $31 billion in profit each year.
We also know that a single Batsuit costs Bruce Wayne $3.5 million, the Batpod cost $1,500,000 and the Tumbler cost $18,000,000. You can see how expensive, even for a billionaire, it is to be Batman and this is before we even consider things like the cool gadgets and weapons among other necessities. The real expense for is due to the need for Bruce Wayne to keep his identity secret. Bruce Wayne seems to think that the best way to hide the fact he is Batman is through excessive partying and extravagant spending. This makes Bruce Wayne’s public persona so bizarre and out of touch that no one would even consider thinking that he is Batman.
The excessive spending of Bruce Wayne includes things like impulse buying of hotels and paying to cancel a Broadway show just so he can party with the entire cast. Then there is the huge bill of $600,000,000 to rebuild Wayne Manor after it was destroyed. This type of wreckless spending could quite quickly dry up a fortune twice the size of the $6.9 billion that Bruce Wayne has at his fingertips.
The simple truth is that with this type of lifestyle it would only be a matter of time before Bruce Wayne was stood on the sidewalk shaking a cup. The only way he could continue to live this way would be to embezzle money from Wayne Enterprises. In fact it is so expensive to be Batman it is hard to believe that it took until The Dark Knight movie for an accountant to notice that huge amounts of money were being syphoned off the balance sheet along with various other company resources.
I could well be wrong when I say this but it was my understanding that this sort of activity was highly illegal. It makes little and no sense that a multi-billion dollar company like Wayne Enterprises could or would turn a blind eye to embezzlement on such a huge scale.
Looking at all of the above facts we must make the assumption that if Batman does not find himself in jail for vigilantism then Bruce Wayne would quickly find himself in jail for fraud.
Batman Costs Gotham City a Fortune
So far we have shown how extraordinarily costly it is for Bruce Wayne to dress up in rubber and beat the crap out of people who are living in poverty. People so desperate they have had to turn to a life of crime to survive.
It is not just Bruce Wayne or Wayne Enterprises that is faced with a huge bill from Batman. Batman also inflicts a huge bill on Gotham City. Although Batman has a strict “no killing policy” we see that every time Batman gets involved in a confrontation with a criminal he manages to beat them up so bad that they will be physically incapable of ever performing an honest day’s work ever again. To be honest with some of the injuries that Batman inflicts on these people it makes you question whether it is really the most humane thing to let these people live.
The point here is that because of the way Batman is working he is costing Gotham City a fortune. There is the huge cost of incarcerating all the criminals he captures not to mention the amount of money it will cost the city for their medical treatment, physiotherapy and disability benefits. If you add all of these costs up they quickly create a huge drain on Gotham City’s finances.
On top of all of these bills there is also the massive damage the Batman causes to private property and the cost to Gotham’s police force for operating a dedicated Batman task force.
Adding up all of these costs you really must ask is Batman and Bruce Wayne really interested in saving Gotham City or do they just want to live out their own childhood comic book fantasy regardless of the cost and to whom?