I call it identity punishment. Break the law, and you are fined according to who you are.
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An op-ed appeared in The New York Times this weekend and got a lot of attention. The writer wanted speeding ticket fines to be based on your income.
Right now, you speed and you pay this. A flat-rate fine.
The New York Times opinion piece suggests something different: you speed, and your fine depends on how much money you make. Dangerous stuff.
This is the system in Finland, and it has produced some horror stories. Like the Nokia executive who was fined the equivalent of $103,000 for going 45 mph in a 30 zone.
He was driving a cherry-red Harley. Gee, do you think he may have been picked on as a fine source of revenue?
A hockey player was fined $39,000 for the same offense a couple of years earlier.
Do you help the poor if the rich pay a higher fine? No.
Are we going to have a sliding scale of fines: make $50,000 and pay this, $60,000 you pay this, and so on down the line, like a progressive income tax? Un-workable, and frankly, unfair.
Could it become open season on people who look wealthy? Drive a fancy car, and you become a target?
You can just see some cash-starved local authorities going after the BMW driver on the grounds they need the money and the driver can probably afford a hefty fine.
And is it really fair to charge unequal fines for the same offence? I don't think so.
Frankly this whole thing seems like another excuse to go after first, the rich, and then, the middle class.
I'll close with this: why is it that most Americans want to get rich, and they're prepared to work hard to get there? But then, when they do make it, they are hated, and get no respect, only jealousy. Take it off 'em.
I think it is the Obama socialist legacy – not good.