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  #101  
Old 09-18-2018, 01:32 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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And if they don't pay that debt, what should be done?
This:
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The state has the ability to take civil actions to retrieve the money, garnishment of wages and tax refunds, liens, etc.
If you owed me money, I wouldn't get to arrest you, impound your car, and hold you in a cell until you paid what you owed, plus a hefty charge on top. Why should the State get to just because they employ a bunch of guys with guns and built a bunch of cells for them to run?
  #102  
Old 09-18-2018, 01:38 PM
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You're missing the point- it's not just a bill to be paid- the bill itself is *the* penalty for the crime. By not paying or showing up to court to contest the charges, you're essentially saying you can't be bothered to be responsible for your actions one way or another, and that you don't care what the law says.
What I'm saying is that the law is stupid, and hurts poor people for being less able than the rich to absorb the chosen penalty for the "crime".

The penalty for this crime is something that rich people can trivially do. It's barely even being responsible for their actions because the penalty is nothing more than paying a bill that they can handle without effort.
  #103  
Old 09-18-2018, 01:57 PM
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If you owed me money, I wouldn't get to arrest you, impound your car, and hold you in a cell until you paid what you owed, plus a hefty charge on top. Why should the State get to just because they employ a bunch of guys with guns and built a bunch of cells for them to run?
That could be okay. Although, it seems like poor people would be able to do anything that resulted in a fine, since they will never pay it anyway. Drive without insurance? I'm not paying the fine anyway, so I won't get insurance. Same with registration or a license. If you reach a certain point where you can't pay any of the debt you owe, what would keep you from just racking up fines?
  #104  
Old 09-18-2018, 01:58 PM
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If you owed me money, I wouldn't get to arrest you, impound your car, and hold you in a cell until you paid what you owed, plus a hefty charge on top. Why should the State get to just because they employ a bunch of guys with guns and built a bunch of cells for them to run?
I understand what you are saying. Although, it seems like poor people would be able to do anything that resulted in a fine, since they will never pay it anyway. Drive without insurance? I'm not paying the fine anyway, so I won't get insurance. Same with registration or a license. If you reach a certain point where you can't pay any of the debt you owe, what would keep you from just racking up fines?
  #105  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:24 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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What I'm saying is that the law is stupid, and hurts poor people for being less able than the rich to absorb the chosen penalty for the "crime".
The law is supposed to be applied equally. If the fine for speeding is $100, as set by the state legislature, county board, or city council, then it doesn't, and shouldn't, matter if you are Bill Gates or Joe Schmoe.
  #106  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:45 PM
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I'm not advocating anarchy here. You have to have insurance since it protects other people, driving without it can harm others, so that's not a "fine only" type of violation.

The other stuff, it's just money owed to the state, I am not going to be horrified that someone is driving with a lapsed registration. The insurance company may not like your expired drivers license, which makes it everyone's problem, but beyond that, it's just some money not paid on time.
  #107  
Old 09-18-2018, 02:48 PM
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The law is supposed to be applied equally. If the fine for speeding is $100, as set by the state legislature, county board, or city council, then it doesn't, and shouldn't, matter if you are Bill Gates or Joe Schmoe.
In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and ditch out on paying a parking ticket.
  #108  
Old 09-18-2018, 03:20 PM
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I'm not advocating anarchy here. You have to have insurance since it protects other people, driving without it can harm others, so that's not a "fine only" type of violation.

The other stuff, it's just money owed to the state, I am not going to be horrified that someone is driving with a lapsed registration. The insurance company may not like your expired drivers license, which makes it everyone's problem, but beyond that, it's just some money not paid on time.
That seems to be a rather lax definition of "harm".

Driving with a lapsed registration means your car hasn't been inspected for safety or emissions. Things that can harm others.
  #109  
Old 09-18-2018, 03:28 PM
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That seems to be a rather lax definition of "harm".

Driving with a lapsed registration means your car hasn't been inspected for safety or emissions. Things that can harm others.
In some places, in my state, NJ, updating a registration is just a matter of writing a check (which, this reminds me, I need to do). Inspection is a completely separate process, and NJ doesn't even DO safety anymore!

But, the concept needn't change, if the item in question protects others from damage caused by you, then I'm absolutely OK with it being strongly enforced.
  #110  
Old 09-18-2018, 08:44 PM
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But, the concept needn't change, if the item in question protects others from damage caused by you, then I'm absolutely OK with it being strongly enforced.
And by "strongly enforced" do you mean fines and jail time?
  #111  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:35 AM
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And by "strongly enforced" do you mean fines and jail time?
You bet. We can't allow people to put others at risk with no teeth behind the rules. It's when the offense is essentially monetary that I feel we are hammering the poor and letting the wealthy off easy.
  #112  
Old 09-19-2018, 06:03 AM
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The law is supposed to be applied equally. If the fine for speeding is $100, as set by the state legislature, county board, or city council, then it doesn't, and shouldn't, matter if you are Bill Gates or Joe Schmoe.

That is equal, but unfair. Laws are supposed to be fair, not equal. That's why Bill Gates doesn't, for example, pay the same taxes as Joe BurgerFlipper. Your proposed "equality" also creates a strong moral hazard, because it means Bill Gates gets to speed with impunity simply because he has the financial means to.
So you're essentially arguing for the re-instatement of privileges, except based on money rather than lineage (although of course, those equate to privileges based on birth-to-rich-parents as well). Off to the guillotine with you !
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  #113  
Old 09-19-2018, 06:35 AM
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The law is supposed to be applied equally. If the fine for speeding is $100, as set by the state legislature, county board, or city council, then it doesn't, and shouldn't, matter if you are Bill Gates or Joe Schmoe.
I think there is a difference. If it were purchasing a product, everyone should be charged the same - if Joe Schmoe is able to buy a cheeseburger at McDonald's for $3, then Bill Gates should only be charged $3 for the same cheeseburger at McD's too. But since the law and penalties are about deterrence, then the penalties should be somewhat different based off of income (assuming we're talking only about fines). Since the purpose of the law is to discourage crime, then it takes a much heftier fine to deter Bill Gates from speeding than Joe Schmoe.
  #114  
Old 09-19-2018, 08:18 AM
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You bet. We can't allow people to put others at risk with no teeth behind the rules. It's when the offense is essentially monetary that I feel we are hammering the poor and letting the wealthy off easy.
I'm having trouble coming up with some offense that are essentially monetary and don't put others at risk. Can you name some?
  #115  
Old 09-19-2018, 08:24 AM
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I'm having trouble coming up with some offense that are essentially monetary and don't put others at risk. Can you name some?
If you're going to suggest that driving 60 in a 55 zone puts others at risk and deserves to be enforced with the threat of incarceration, then there's no reason to continue discussing this issue, we are at an impasse.
  #116  
Old 09-19-2018, 08:32 AM
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If you're going to suggest that driving 60 in a 55 zone puts others at risk and deserves to be enforced with the threat of incarceration, then there's no reason to continue discussing this issue, we are at an impasse.
Strange. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm asking you for your opinion on which offenses you consider monetary only and don't put others at risk.
  #117  
Old 09-19-2018, 09:26 AM
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Strange. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm asking you for your opinion on which offenses you consider monetary only and don't put others at risk.
That's easy, all the ones that carry zero ongoing governmental penalty if you do nothing but write your check on time. Once you accumulate enough points to have your license suspended, you've proven yourself a risk to others, and are getting a justified punishment, which can be enforced for public safety purposes.

Take NJ for an example, a low level speeding ticket is 2 points, and suspension is at 12 points, so you need to rack up a few of those before being punished. Except... if you don't pay the fine, then you get suspended for Failure to Pay even if you only got one ticket. If you get 6 points in a short period of time, you get a Surcharge, a cash payment that, if you don't pay up, you get suspended.
  #118  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:06 AM
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That's easy, all the ones that carry zero ongoing governmental penalty if you do nothing but write your check on time. Once you accumulate enough points to have your license suspended, you've proven yourself a risk to others, and are getting a justified punishment, which can be enforced for public safety purposes.

Take NJ for an example, a low level speeding ticket is 2 points, and suspension is at 12 points, so you need to rack up a few of those before being punished. Except... if you don't pay the fine, then you get suspended for Failure to Pay even if you only got one ticket. If you get 6 points in a short period of time, you get a Surcharge, a cash payment that, if you don't pay up, you get suspended.
How about if, instead of a fine, a person caught speeding does 1 - 15 days in jail, as allowed by the NJ laws on speeding?
  #119  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:47 AM
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How about if, instead of a fine, a person caught speeding does 1 - 15 days in jail, as allowed by the NJ laws on speeding?
Indeed, the law does allow some ridiculous results.
  #120  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:18 AM
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And how would a $200 fine hurt you worse than losing your license?

I'm just not seeing it.
Only because you are not bothering to read what I said. If the only thing that you read are the parts that you quote, I can understand your ignorance. While only quoting the part you want to answer is an accepted practice, actually reading the whole post is actually beneficial to your understanding, even if you ignore the questions that are asked of you while you continue to ask more questions that have already been answered, they are still part of the context that you choose to ignore.

Do you lose your license for a single minor traffic ticket? If so, then you may have a point. If not, then you need to justify why I would lose my license over a single traffic ticket in order for your question to make any sense.

Losing a license should be something that you do to someone who has demonstrated that they are unable to follow safe driving practices, not something that you do to someone who who cannot afford a fine.

These are two different things, and I think it is only your desire to see people receive punishment that is confusing you. Try to forget about how much you want to see people punished for their crimes, and try again.


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So let's look at it this way- if someone's charged with assault and fails to pay their fine or show up to court, and then gets a warrant issued for their arrest and gets hauled into jail, is that reasonable? What about if they're not able to pay their assault fine?
Well, there are some who would say that violent crime should be handled differently from traffic violations.

If someone is violent, then sure, use force to get them to comply with not being violent anymore. If someone is not violent, then using force to may them comply may be excessive. It certainly should not be your first step.

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That could be okay. Although, it seems like poor people would be able to do anything that resulted in a fine, since they will never pay it anyway. Drive without insurance? I'm not paying the fine anyway, so I won't get insurance. Same with registration or a license. If you reach a certain point where you can't pay any of the debt you owe, what would keep you from just racking up fines?
It doesn't seem that way at all. First of all, if you could get away with not paying minor traffic tickets by being poor, would you quit your job? No, I didn't think so. You are proposing such a silly scenario here, that the most marginalized populations around have some sort of "privilege" that you don't get to take a part of. Well, if it is that much of a privilege to not be thrown in jail for the crime of owing the state a couple hundred dollars, then quit your job too.

Driving without insurance is a different one. You are not increasing the risk, but you are increasing the chances that if something happens, you are not able to make other's whole, but at the same time, do you actually know what most state minimum insurance is? It is not enough to make someone whole, it'd be lucky to cover the most basic medical response and car repair. If not having insurance is your greatest crime, then fining you for not having money to pay insurance improves the situation how, exactly?

Also, no one has said anything like what you are claiming here. You keep talking about "racking up points", even though I have been specifically talking about a single ticket that you cannot pay.

There are those who are "judgement proof" meaning that you can't sue them, because they don't have any assets to sue for. Is that some sort of loophole, in your opinion?

People get into so much debt by purchasing TVs and computers and games and fine dinners that they have to discharge their debts to the public in bankruptcy.
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That seems to be a rather lax definition of "harm".

Driving with a lapsed registration means your car hasn't been inspected for safety or emissions. Things that can harm others.
I have never had a lapsed registration, and I have never had a safety check, and my last emissions test was in the 90's.

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How about if, instead of a fine, a person caught speeding does 1 - 15 days in jail, as allowed by the NJ laws on speeding?
Sure, if that is the case for everyone, you included. Up for that deal?
  #121  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:42 AM
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Sure, if that is the case for everyone, you included. Up for that deal?
No. I like the fine or jail idea myself. I can afford to pay the fine. Can't afford the fine? Then go to jail. I'd be okay with the either/or but not both. Let the person who committed the infraction decide.

What's wrong with that?
  #122  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:46 AM
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These are two different things, and I think it is only your desire to see people receive punishment that is confusing you. Try to forget about how much you want to see people punished for their crimes, and try again.
I want to see some sort of repercussions for not following the law.
  #123  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:39 PM
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No. I like the fine or jail idea myself. I can afford to pay the fine. Can't afford the fine? Then go to jail. I'd be okay with the either/or but not both. Let the person who committed the infraction decide.

What's wrong with that?
Do you realize that this is exactly the thing that is being argued against. Where people who "can afford" stuff don't go to jail and people who "can't afford" do go to jail. For doing the exact same thing.

Because, and let's be crystal clear about this, the infraction itself doesn't justify a jail sentence, because the State is perfectly happy with a bit of cash instead. But you're sending people to jail over it, because they're not wealthy.
  #124  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:43 PM
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Because, and let's be crystal clear about this, the infraction itself doesn't justify a jail sentence,
If that were the case, a jail penalty wouldn't have been written into the law.

I say it DOES justify a jail sentence. Which is my opinion, same as yours.

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Do you realize that this is exactly the thing that is being argued against. Where people who "can afford" stuff don't go to jail and people who "can't afford" do go to jail. For doing the exact same thing
Yeah, that's the advantage of having money. I thought that was obvious. There MUST be a way for poor people to avoid fines or jail time for speeding. Perhaps a solution will come to me eventually.
  #125  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:59 PM
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Call me crazy, but I like to pretend that the point of punishments for crimes is deterrence. If the "advantage of having money" is that rich people aren't deterred, or aren't deterred to a comparable level, then I'd say that the punishment system is fucked by definition.

This, again, presumes that the goal is deterrence. If the goal is something else (like if the goal is to oppress the poor for shits and giggles), then the system could be argued as working fine.
  #126  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:59 PM
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There MUST be a way for poor people to avoid fines or jail time for speeding. Perhaps a solution will come to me eventually.
Let me guess:

They should have been born to richer parents?

They should buy more money?

They should stop being so poor?

I think it's the last one. Hell, the Republicans have been trying and trying for years to make being poor just as effing miserable as possible, and these jerks just keep on choosing to be poor. Can't they take a hint and start being rich, or something?
  #127  
Old 09-19-2018, 01:08 PM
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Well, I had a rough draft of a theory that was something like "Don't speed", but I like yours as well.
  #128  
Old 09-19-2018, 01:09 PM
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Call me crazy, but I like to pretend that the point of punishments for crimes is deterrence. If the "advantage of having money" is that rich people aren't deterred, or aren't deterred to a comparable level, then I'd say that the punishment system is fucked by definition.

This, again, presumes that the goal is deterrence. If the goal is something else (like if the goal is to oppress the poor for shits and giggles), then the system could be argued as working fine.
I'd be fine with percentage of income based fines for minor infractions.
  #129  
Old 09-19-2018, 01:26 PM
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I'd be fine with percentage of income based fines for minor infractions.
I think it would be even better to factor in things like estimated monthly expenses - after a point you get people who can comfortably lose 50% or more of a month's income without blinking while other people would experience systemic life collapse losing 5%. But those are just details; on the face of it we have something approaching agreement! On the internet!
  #130  
Old 09-19-2018, 04:22 PM
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No. I like the fine or jail idea myself. I can afford to pay the fine. Can't afford the fine? Then go to jail. I'd be okay with the either/or but not both. Let the person who committed the infraction decide.

What's wrong with that?
Disproportionate punishment. You are fine with someone who is poorer than you being punished much more harshly than yourself for the same infraction.

As Shodan has said, a deterrence needs to be a punishment that hurts. If you are okay with paying a fine, then it's not really a deterrence to you, now is it?

If you are fine with someone else being locked up for going 2mph over the speed limit, then you should be fine with yourself being locked up for the same.

Otherwise, you are just claiming that you are wealthy enough that you can ignore the consequences of your actions. That having money makes you above the law.

Tell you what, since you are not capable of understand the concept of "for the grace of God, there go I", lets say that it is a fine or time in prison, except the fine for going 3 mph over the limit is $500,000, or 1-15 days in jail. Now that you cannot afford the fine as well, do you still feel that you should be locked up for a speeding ticket that you cannot pay?


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I want to see some sort of repercussions for not following the law.
You live near DC, which means that I assume you have seen the beltway during rush hour? I've driven through there a few times, and nearly every one of the cars on the road is breaking the law. Do you want to see repercussions for all of these drivers, or you just want to see repercussions for the ones that the police decide to pull over, or you just want to see repercussions for the ones that the police pull over, and don't have the resources to avoid any repercussions? Be consistent here, but keep in mind, that it is only the last group that you will actually see having repercussions.

So, you desire to see people punished. I get that, and it is a common sentiment, one that we struggled with as we became civilized. The code of Hammurabi: "An eye for an eye" was not meant as a way of meeting out punishment, but as a way of limiting it. Before that, if you cost someone an eye, they'd murder your whole family, because that is the sort of savages that we are, we wanted to see some sort of repercussions.

We have improved that eye for an eye mentality as we have improved civilization, but we have not entirely eliminated that bit that wants to see people punished. It is the basis of religious belief where people rejoice at the idea that those who have not led a righteous path will be tortured for an eternity in a lake of fire.

Compared to the punishments that we have been giving out for most of history, I will agree that a fine that you cannot afford to pay is actually much more civilized then the savagery of the past.

The question is, however, is not whether the punishments are better than they were in the past, but whether we can do better than now. Should we improve our civilization, or let it fester?

Keep in mind that poverty is actually the basic human condition. The vast majority of all people who have ever lived have lived lives of extreme poverty. We have fewer poor now, and civilization has improved due to that.

Your visceral need to see others suffer for their sins is common, but has fortunately been prioritized in the minds of most as being below that of having a just and fair society. There are those who take our society for granted, and believe that they have actually been deserving of everything they have received, and so heap scorn upon those who have received less, as they feel that means they deserve everything that they have received. People seem to think that having money makes them better than those who do not. It doesn't.
  #131  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:45 AM
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Tell you what, since you are not capable of understand the concept of "for the grace of God, there go I", lets say that it is a fine or time in prison, except the fine for going 3 mph over the limit is $500,000, or 1-15 days in jail. Now that you cannot afford the fine as well, do you still feel that you should be locked up for a speeding ticket that you cannot pay
Let's see. If I knew the fine for going 3 mph over the speed limit is $500,000 or some other amount that I couldn't afford to pay, I would make DAMN sure that I never went 3 mph over the speed limit. You know, because I can't afford the consequences of doing so. Seems simple to me.


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You live near DC, which means that I assume you have seen the beltway during rush hour? I've driven through there a few times, and nearly every one of the cars on the road is breaking the law. Do you want to see repercussions for all of these drivers, or you just want to see repercussions for the ones that the police decide to pull over, or you just want to see repercussions for the ones that the police pull over, and don't have the resources to avoid any repercussions? Be consistent here, but keep in mind, that it is only the last group that you will actually see having repercussions
There are numerous ways to avoid being pulled over on the Beltway. But a person who gets pulled over should be responsible for whatever the crime is. It's not hard.

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Your visceral need to see others suffer for their sins is common, but has fortunately been prioritized in the minds of most as being below that of having a just and fair society.
If you have kids, and you've never punished them for anything, then I will accept your sincerity in these statements. If not, then I doubt you really believe this.

Last edited by manson1972; 09-20-2018 at 08:45 AM.
  #132  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:57 AM
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That is equal, but unfair. Laws are supposed to be fair, not equal. That's why Bill Gates doesn't, for example, pay the same taxes as Joe BurgerFlipper. Your proposed "equality" also creates a strong moral hazard, because it means Bill Gates gets to speed with impunity simply because he has the financial means to.
So you're essentially arguing for the re-instatement of privileges, except based on money rather than lineage (although of course, those equate to privileges based on birth-to-rich-parents as well). Off to the guillotine with you !
Speaking only on the speeding issue, Bill Gates would still not be able to speed with impunity as that would result in his getting his license revoked.

Ultimately this comes down to respect of the law. If you are poor and GO TO COURT, they will do 1 of about 3 things:
1. Offer you some sort of payment plan
2. Offer you alternative methods of paying it off (community service)
3. Cut the fine imposed

Now, if you fail to obey the request to show up for a hearing, THEN they issue a warrant and if picked up after, you go to jail.... (So that you actually show up for court)

All of this but the poor and but the rich when it comes to which laws you can and can not break is ridiculous.
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Last edited by Kearsen; 09-20-2018 at 09:00 AM.
  #133  
Old 09-20-2018, 09:28 AM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is online now
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
That is equal, but unfair. Laws are supposed to be fair, not equal.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the concept is "equal protection", not "fair".
  #134  
Old 09-20-2018, 09:53 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Let's see. If I knew the fine for going 3 mph over the speed limit is $500,000 or some other amount that I couldn't afford to pay, I would make DAMN sure that I never went 3 mph over the speed limit. You know, because I can't afford the consequences of doing so. Seems simple to me.
Let's make this somewhat generic. Let's say that punishment for going 3mph over the limit (speeding) is something that you (and a fair number of people like you) are simply incapable of dealing with. Others, the majority of people in society, can easily deal with this punishment, it represents to them little more than fodder for an amusing anecdote.

You are forced to white knuckle your way down the highway being tailgated, honked at and yelled at for being a slowpoke. Multiply this experience by a dozen different things you have to deal with the same way because society just LOVES this method of punishment, it's so simple to administer, whatever it is.

What I say is that this punishment isn't fair to you, because you must live your life in a highly restrictive way that others do not.
  #135  
Old 09-20-2018, 09:56 AM
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Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Under the U.S. Constitution, the concept is "equal protection", not "fair".
If the tax burden was divided equally and everyone(no matter what their income was) had to pay, say, $14,000-would that be equal, or would that be fair?

Last edited by Czarcasm; 09-20-2018 at 09:57 AM.
  #136  
Old 09-20-2018, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Let's make this somewhat generic. Let's say that punishment for going 3mph over the limit (speeding) is something that you (and a fair number of people like you) are simply incapable of dealing with. Others, the majority of people in society, can easily deal with this punishment, it represents to them little more than fodder for an amusing anecdote.

You are forced to white knuckle your way down the highway being tailgated, honked at and yelled at for being a slowpoke. Multiply this experience by a dozen different things you have to deal with the same way because society just LOVES this method of punishment, it's so simple to administer, whatever it is.

What I say is that this punishment isn't fair to you, because you must live your life in a highly restrictive way that others do not.
For one, if I wanted to, I could drive the actual speed limit on the Beltway in the far right lane, and nobody would be honking or tailgating. And that is what I would do if I was incapable of dealing with the punishment for speeding. That's why I don't go 100 MPH on the Beltway now. I don't want to get arrested and my car impounded.

For two, life isn't fair. Some people get treated better than me, some people get treated worse. The concept of "fairness" in life isn't one that I concern myself with when the treatment is a result of a person's own actions.

Last edited by manson1972; 09-20-2018 at 10:00 AM.
  #137  
Old 09-20-2018, 10:50 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Let's see. If I knew the fine for going 3 mph over the speed limit is $500,000 or some other amount that I couldn't afford to pay, I would make DAMN sure that I never went 3 mph over the speed limit. You know, because I can't afford the consequences of doing so. Seems simple to me.
Well, good for you, then. That makes you the only person who doesn't speed. Or make an improper lane change, or not stop for quite long enough at a stop sign, or making a rolling right on red. Or, you know, just do something (like drive a beater car)that attracts the attention of a cop until they find some excuse to pull you over.

Keep in mind, if you are driving a BMW or Cadillac, you get to drive several mph faster than someone driving a '77 Delta 88 without getting puled over by the police.
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There are numerous ways to avoid being pulled over on the Beltway. But a person who gets pulled over should be responsible for whatever the crime is. It's not hard.
I agree, I just feel that we should revisit "whatever the crime is", and the punishment imposed to be more proportional to what it is, a minor moving violation.
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If you have kids, and you've never punished them for anything, then I will accept your sincerity in these statements. If not, then I doubt you really believe this.
If you have kids, and you throw them out in the snow to die for not cleaning their room, then I will accept your sincerity in these statements. If not, then I really doubt you believe this. You do realize that I never said that there should be no punishment, just that the effective punishment should be proportional to the crime, right? You are making an accusation as to my sincerity based on your extremely poor understanding of my argument. You'd look more sincere if you actually responded to what I post, rather than whatever you make up.

I will tell you that I do have employees, and my discipline is aimed at improving their performance, not decreasing or eliminating it. I have fired people for discipline reasons, but it is the very last resort. I am never looking for reasons to fire people, never looking for reasons to punish them. I do the least amount necessary to keep them productive and behaving properly.

I could have an arbitrary discipline system, that imposed draconian punishments on my employees for the slightest infraction, and it is possible that some of my employees will manage to toe the line well enough to not get fired. That's going to harm over all morale, and make it hard to staff my establishment.

Just like a parent, or an employer, the govt has a responsibility over its citizens to try to guide them on the right path, but it also has a responsibility to not destroy them for setting a foot astray.

But, as I said, wise social policy has to compete with people's visceral need to see other people punished, so it will always be a compromise. I will continue to advocate for wise social policy, and I assume that you will continue to advocate for punishment, and we may find a compromise somewhere in the middle.

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Originally Posted by Kearsen View Post
Speaking only on the speeding issue, Bill Gates would still not be able to speed with impunity as that would result in his getting his license revoked.
You really think that Bill Gates would even go to court? He'd have a lawyer contest it, and never hear about it ever again. Especially over some of this penny-ante shit that cops like to pull poor people over for. You think Bill Gates is going to actually get a fine for an improper lane change?

In the very unlikely event that he were actually to lose his license over rampant speeding, do you think that he may have some alternate transport lined up?
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Ultimately this comes down to respect of the law. If you are poor and GO TO COURT, they will do 1 of about 3 things:
1. Offer you some sort of payment plan
2. Offer you alternative methods of paying it off (community service)
3. Cut the fine imposed

Now, if you fail to obey the request to show up for a hearing, THEN they issue a warrant and if picked up after, you go to jail.... (So that you actually show up for court)
Keep in mind of course, that an employer does not need to give time off for someone to go to court. If you have a hearing date, and your employer says you are fired if you are not at work that day, which would you choose?
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All of this but the poor and but the rich when it comes to which laws you can and can not break is ridiculous.
I'm not sure, but it sounds as though you are claiming that a speeding ticket effects the wealthy and the poor the same. No one ever said that you can break laws, only that the effects of the punishments should be proportional to the crime.

The rephrasing of the desire to prevent people's lives from being destroyed over minor infractions into "which laws you can and can not break" is ridiculous.
  #138  
Old 09-20-2018, 10:58 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
For one, if I wanted to, I could drive the actual speed limit on the Beltway in the far right lane, and nobody would be honking or tailgating. And that is what I would do if I was incapable of dealing with the punishment for speeding.
How often do you check that your brake lights aren't out? How long do you stop at a deserted stop sign before continuing? How many reminders do you put on when you park at a meter, so you don't accidentally go over time? You better clean the hell out of your sidewalks come winter, wouldn't want a ticket for that, either.

"Life isn't fair" isn't justification for knowingly making it less fair, or never trying to make it more fair.
  #139  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:00 AM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Well, good for you, then. That makes you the only person who doesn't speed. Or make an improper lane change, or not stop for quite long enough at a stop sign, or making a rolling right on red. Or, you know, just do something (like drive a beater car)that attracts the attention of a cop until they find some excuse to pull you over
Good thing I didn't say I never do those things. Perhaps you should respond to what I type, and not to things you make up that I'm saying? I'm saying that if the fine for speeding was $500,000, I would never, ever speed. Seems easy enough to me. I don't HAVE to exceed the speed limit. It's not a biological imperative or anything.

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I will tell you that I do have employees, and my discipline is aimed at improving their performance, not decreasing or eliminating it
Do you take into account their monthly incomes and expenses when you decide what discipline you inflict on them?

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I'm not sure, but it sounds as though you are claiming that a speeding ticket effects the wealthy and the poor the same. No one ever said that you can break laws, only that the effects of the punishments should be proportional to the crime
Of course it doesn't effect the wealthy and poor the same. Only that the means to avoid it are equal to the wealthy and poor alike. And I already said I'd be fine with income-proportional fines for things like this.
  #140  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:06 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
For one, if I wanted to, I could drive the actual speed limit on the Beltway in the far right lane, and nobody would be honking or tailgating. And that is what I would do if I was incapable of dealing with the punishment for speeding. That's why I don't go 100 MPH on the Beltway now. I don't want to get arrested and my car impounded.
I've been on the beltway, and that is simply not true. I was doing about 10 over, and still being tailgated.

You know you can also get a ticket if you are obstructing traffic, even if you are going the speed limit, right?
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For two, life isn't fair. Some people get treated better than me, some people get treated worse. The concept of "fairness" in life isn't one that I concern myself with when the treatment is a result of a person's own actions.
Of course life is not fair. You certainly don't deserve the things that you have received, and nor do the poor, and nor do the wealthy. You position in life has very, very little to do with the results of your own actions. Wealth is distributed fairly randomly, nothing fair about it. We used to murder each other over slights, and get eaten by wild animals. We died young from disease, and starvation has killed as many as wars have.

So, yeah, the basic state of life is not fair, but it is far fairer than it was a hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand years ago. I believe that that is a direction that we should continue to head in, to continue to make life more fair. YMMV.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 09-20-2018 at 11:07 AM. Reason: formatting
  #141  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:18 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
Good thing I didn't say I never do those things. Perhaps you should respond to what I type, and not to things you make up that I'm saying? I'm saying that if the fine for speeding was $500,000, I would never, ever speed. Seems easy enough to me. I don't HAVE to exceed the speed limit. It's not a biological imperative or anything.
You do claim that you are somehow better than others who do those things, but cannot afford the fine.

And if it is also a fine for obstructing traffic? What are your options now?
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Do you take into account their monthly incomes and expenses when you decide what discipline you inflict on them?
Why would I, I am not levying a fine at them? They are also completely voluntarily in my employ. I cannot levy anything on them above terminating their employment, unlike the state. Ultimately, my discipline has the intent of making them more productive employees, so that I can pay them more. What is the intent of levying fines that can't be paid?
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Of course it doesn't effect the wealthy and poor the same. Only that the means to avoid it are equal to the wealthy and poor alike. And I already said I'd be fine with income-proportional fines for things like this.
I thought your counter was that, if they couldn't pay, then they could spend time in jail. What with your repetition that life is not fair, I must have missed when you agreed with my basic premise that fines should be proportional to income, rather than arguing that proportional fines somehow let poor people get away with things, and then implying (with your kids comment) that I said that there should be no punishments whatsoever. I believe you did, but skimming the thread, I am not seeing the post, could you remind me where that was?

Last edited by k9bfriender; 09-20-2018 at 11:19 AM.
  #142  
Old 09-20-2018, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Disproportionate punishment. You are fine with someone who is poorer than you being punished much more harshly than yourself for the same infraction.
It's not disproportionate though; no more so than having everyone pay the same fee for getting a drivers' license, car registration, gasoline, safety inspection, etc...

You drive a car, you have to pay X amount for registration. You drive over the speed limit, the fine is Y.

We get it, it sucks to be poor. But I doubt the point of the fines is to make it easy on the rich, or hard on the poor. In all likelihood, they set them such that they are a pain in the ass to the middle of the bell curve. In other words, the vast majority of people find a $200 fine to be enough of a pain in the ass to not want to actually commit the offense, but not enough to actually cause them any serious hardship.

But that's totally situation-dependent. A single person making $60k a year can probably support a $200 ticket a whole lot easier than a family of four living on $60k. Even that's dependent on the circumstances- if that family of four owns their house outright, that changes things. So does the single person having crippling debt. There's also assets vs. income; many "rich" people don't necessarily have incomes commensurate with their assets, so they'd be paying less than you might expect.

The other thing to consider is that courts WILL set up payment plans and/or work with you if you're having trouble paying your fine, or will reschedule your court date if you need them to. They're not out to deliberately screw anyone, but they'll blithely let the weight of bureaucracy land on someone who doesn't work with them.

Like I've said before, the real issue here isn't whether fines are appropriate punishments, but rather whether a lot of these things should be considered criminal offenses or just administrative infractions. I suspect the reasoning is that people can and will ignore civil offenses like traffic tickets, especially if they have no assets to be taken in the first place. And I suspect people would bitch and moan just as loud around here if someone making minimum wage got their wages garnished because they didn't pay their parking tickets, because you know, being poor sucks and apparently absolves people of having to be responsible or obey the law.
  #143  
Old 09-20-2018, 12:43 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
Let's see. If I knew the fine for going 3 mph over the speed limit is $500,000 or some other amount that I couldn't afford to pay, I would make DAMN sure that I never went 3 mph over the speed limit. You know, because I can't afford the consequences of doing so. Seems simple to me.
I get that your goal here was to announce that you're smarter than the idiots who speed, but my takeaway from this was different. My takeaway is that you're saying that that staggering amount of money is enough to act as a deterrent for you, while the current fine isn't.

Whereas if you made, say, 5% of your current income, it probably wouldn't take quite as large a sum to make you so careful about speeding. And if you made a million dollars a week, then even that astronomical fine might not slow you down.

I'd say that that demonstrates the point that the deterring effect of fines is not equal for rich and poor drivers, and if we're trying to achieve an equal (read: existing) deterrent effect against rich drivers, then we really ought not to have fixed fine amounts that don't account for wealth. Well, that or we switch to a punishment method that's not as vulnerable to being rendered irrelevant by wealth, like say incarceration.
  #144  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:09 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I must have missed when you agreed with my basic premise that fines should be proportional to income
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Originally Posted by Me
I'd be fine with percentage of income based fines for minor infractions.
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Why would I, I am not levying a fine at them? They are also completely voluntarily in my employ. I cannot levy anything on them above terminating their employment, unlike the state. Ultimately, my discipline has the intent of making them more productive employees, so that I can pay them more. What is the intent of levying fines that can't be paid?
I'm curious what discipline you give to your employees then?
  #145  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I get that your goal here was to announce that you're smarter than the idiots who speed
No, I'm smarter than idiots who speed when they know they cannot afford to pay the fine if they are caught speeding. That's just dumb.

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I'd say that that demonstrates the point that the deterring effect of fines is not equal for rich and poor drivers, and if we're trying to achieve an equal (read: existing) deterrent effect against rich drivers, then we really ought not to have fixed fine amounts that don't account for wealth. Well, that or we switch to a punishment method that's not as vulnerable to being rendered irrelevant by wealth, like say incarceration.
I've already said I agree with proportional fines. I'd be cool with jail time too. Although I suspect the usual people will still be whining that poor people get screwed because they cannot miss work to go to jail.

Last edited by manson1972; 09-20-2018 at 01:12 PM.
  #146  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:13 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I've been on the beltway, and that is simply not true. I was doing about 10 over, and still being tailgated.
Big deal. I've been going 80 and still being tailgated. It has nothing to do with what speed you are driving.
  #147  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:49 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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No, I'm smarter than idiots who speed when they know they cannot afford to pay the fine if they are caught speeding. That's just dumb.
I really, really wish that I could cast the first stone at people who sometimes do dumb things.

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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I've already said I agree with proportional fines. I'd be cool with jail time too. Although I suspect the usual people will still be whining that poor people get screwed because they cannot miss work to go to jail.
Well, it almost certainly is a harsher burden on the poor - I know that if I suddenly had to take a few days off work to chill in jail I could absorb it in vacation time better than many. (Living it down might be a problem, though.) But at least from a deterrence angle, jail time is still at least somewhat of a problem no matter how rich you are. The same can't be said for a $100 fine.
  #148  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:52 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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I really, really wish that I could cast the first stone at people who sometimes do dumb things
You'd run out of stones really quickly.
  #149  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:26 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
It's not disproportionate though; no more so than having everyone pay the same fee for getting a drivers' license, car registration, gasoline, safety inspection, etc...

You drive a car, you have to pay X amount for registration. You drive over the speed limit, the fine is Y.
You can register your car for 3-4 years for the same price as one ticket. You can budget the upcoming fee, as it is known exactly when it will come up.
We get it, it sucks to be poor. But I doubt the point of the fines is to make it easy on the rich, or hard on the poor.
[/quote]
the point, maybe not, but the effect, yes. And that the effect does cause some level of disproportionate pain to those who are considered "lessor" is a feature to many who defend the status quo.
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In all likelihood, they set them such that they are a pain in the ass to the middle of the bell curve. In other words, the vast majority of people find a $200 fine to be enough of a pain in the ass to not want to actually commit the offense, but not enough to actually cause them any serious hardship.
So, what is the intended effect of this law? Is it to prevent people from speeding?

If so, then it fails, as I see people speed every single day, sometimes even excessively to the point of creating true danger to those around.

It is certainly not having its intended effect, but it seems to be having a negative unintended consequence.

Is there a reason to advocate for the status quo, when the status quo does nothig to improve the safety of the public, but does do harm to vulnerable and marginalized populations?
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But that's totally situation-dependent. A single person making $60k a year can probably support a $200 ticket a whole lot easier than a family of four living on $60k. Even that's dependent on the circumstances- if that family of four owns their house outright, that changes things. So does the single person having crippling debt. There's also assets vs. income; many "rich" people don't necessarily have incomes commensurate with their assets, so they'd be paying less than you might expect.
I have no idea what your point is here, except that you are reinforcing the point that arbitrary monetary payouts for traffic infractions is a poor idea.
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The other thing to consider is that courts WILL set up payment plans and/or work with you if you're having trouble paying your fine, or will reschedule your court date if you need them to. They're not out to deliberately screw anyone, but they'll blithely let the weight of bureaucracy land on someone who doesn't work with them.
Depends on the court, every single court in the country is different. Some will be lenient and work with you, some will toss you in the clink until you pay.

And rescheduling court dates? Not really. You can sometimes get a bit of an extension, but that means that they set a new date, not that you get to pick it.

That's a whole different situation. Now, you are determining the punishment to be levied upon someone based on their ability to navigate a bureaucracy effectively.
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Like I've said before, the real issue here isn't whether fines are appropriate punishments, but rather whether a lot of these things should be considered criminal offenses or just administrative infractions. I suspect the reasoning is that people can and will ignore civil offenses like traffic tickets, especially if they have no assets to be taken in the first place.
No, the reasoning is so that they are able to press criminal charges against people if they are not able to pay the fine.
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And I suspect people would bitch and moan just as loud around here if someone making minimum wage got their wages garnished because they didn't pay their parking tickets, because you know, being poor sucks and apparently absolves people of having to be responsible or obey the law.
Bitch and moan, eh? That's what it is called when you question the results of a failed public policy? Nice.

And that last little throw away line there, are you really going to stand by that? Yes, being poor sucks, but when has it ever, ever, ever, in history absolved people of obeying the law? Now, being wealthy has had that effect since being wealthy was invented, but being poor, not so much. That statement is so far out of touch with reality that I'm not sure that it was intended to be taken seriously, was it?
  #150  
Old 09-20-2018, 02:32 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
And that last little throw away line there, are you really going to stand by that? Yes, being poor sucks, but when has it ever, ever, ever, in history absolved people of obeying the law? Now, being wealthy has had that effect since being wealthy was invented, but being poor, not so much. That statement is so far out of touch with reality that I'm not sure that it was intended to be taken seriously, was it?
Well, it does seem like you are advocating for a system of punishment for breaking a minor law that poor people will just disregard. Sort of like "A small fine? One that, if I don't pay, won't result in my going to jail? Well, I can't afford that, so I'm just not going to pay it"
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