The Warren Principle: Crime Should Cost More than it Pays
The idea comes from senator Elizabeth Warren, as best evidences in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mavB1lbtIow. She points out that, in practice, breaking financial laws is often a net profitable activity for large banks, EVEN if they get caught. That's because there is usually a modest settlement instead of a trial, for potentially a lot less money than was made by breaking the law.
There are many other examples where the Warren Principle applies, at least in principle. Phone companies overcharging for services probably make more money than they ever pay out in class action suites. The fines for corporations dumping toxic waste are often smaller than the money they save by not doing proper disposal.
Starting a meme is a hard thing to do, but I think this one is at least worth suggesting. It should be a guiding principle for policymakers, in government and all other areas, that the punishment for a crime should be larger than what a criminal gains from it. It's a corollary to basic fairness.