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  #151  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:43 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I'm curious what discipline you give to your employees then?
Nearly all of my discipline has to do with attendance, and when it comes to attendance, it is their choice as to whether they want to get paid or not.

But, I have a variety of things to do. There are preferred shifts and hours, and people with less infractions get the choicer shifts.

If that doesn't work, then I may move to cutting out a day from someone's schedule. I'd rather not, but as I explain to them, I need to know when people will be here, at least now, I know that you won't be here.

I usually give them the option to call on their days off, and if we need them, I let them come in.

Only for serious infractions, mostly involving violence or theft, will I actually fire someone.

As I said, my goal is to create a workforce of productive employees, not get my revenge for infractions by firing people. I do the least harm in punishments I can in order to get the compliance needed to run my store from them. I consider that a good policy.

Curious as to what type of discipline you give to your kids then.

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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
Big deal. I've been going 80 and still being tailgated. It has nothing to do with what speed you are driving.
Like I said, I've only been there a few times, and I'm pretty sure it was always on a weekend. I didn't want to do much more than 10 over, as having an out of state ticket is a real pain in the ass.

So, what you are saying is that the current method of traffic enforcement is a complete failure. Why are we defending the status quo here?
  #152  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:46 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
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"
It only seems that way because you keep insisting that it seems that way, but it is not what I have said, not at all.

The fines should be smaller, or they should be able to make them up in other ways. I have no problem with the fines being much bigger for the wealthy.

Lets say a $200 fine is about a day's wage. So, that level fine should be about .5% of annual income. For minor speeding tickets, let's call it .1%.

Ultimately, I do not believe that incarcerating someone over their ability to pay does any good to the person, to the prison system(except those who profit off of it), or to society as a whole, and it still doesn't actually keep people from speeding. It fails entirely on every single front. There is nothing to defend here, just inertia that you refuse to let go of.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 09-20-2018 at 03:49 PM.
  #153  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:55 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
If that doesn't work, then I may move to cutting out a day from someone's schedule. I'd rather not, but as I explain to them, I need to know when people will be here, at least now, I know that you won't be here.
Do you think cutting a day from someone's schedule disproportionately affects your poorer employees?
  #154  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:57 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
The fines should be smaller, or they should be able to make them up in other ways. I have no problem with the fines being much bigger for the wealthy.
Yeah, I said I was cool with that. What other ways did you have in mind? And when they don't actually DO those other ways, what then?
  #155  
Old 09-20-2018, 03:59 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Like I said, I've only been there a few times, and I'm pretty sure it was always on a weekend. I didn't want to do much more than 10 over, as having an out of state ticket is a real pain in the ass.

So, what you are saying is that the current method of traffic enforcement is a complete failure. Why are we defending the status quo here?
On the contrary, I believe they are doing an adequate job of keeping speeding and reckless driving in check while allowing people to go faster than the dumb 55 MPH speed limit.
  #156  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:22 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Do you think cutting a day from someone's schedule disproportionately affects your poorer employees?
I am not levying a fine against them for something arbitrary. I pay them to be productive, and if they are not productive, then I am the one who is disproportionately effected, along with the other employees.

For instance, if they get a traffic ticket, I would not cut their hours. It would only be things that directly affect the operation of my business that would give me reason to do anything.

Do you see that there is a difference at all between and employer paying employees for work, and the state levying fines for punishment?

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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
Yeah, I said I was cool with that. What other ways did you have in mind? And when they don't actually DO those other ways, what then?
If, not when. There would be many more willing to pay their fines or otherwise make their penance if it were something that they were able to actually do.

Yes, at a certain point, people refusing to recognize their responsibilities does require some level of force for compliance. I am just saying that we jump to that point far too quickly, while expecting people to be able to come up with money or take off time that they simply cannot afford to do.

First, you see if your demands are reasonable, before you start punishing people for not meeting those demands.

For instance, I have an attendance policy that does require people to show up for the work, but, for the occasions when someone is unable to make it, they receive points towards a sanction, rather than a punishment immediately. If they get enough points, then I start cutting hours, suspending them, or ultimately terminating them. It is not that they made a mistake that I "punish" them, it is that they continue to make mistakes that are disruptive to my ability to run my store.

And that is what we are talking about here. If someone makes a single mistake, or the occasional mistake, they should not be severely punished. It is only when they have demonstrated that they refuse to learn from their mistakes that it makes any sense to start doing things that can cause harm.

Personally, I wouldn't have a fine at all for the first ticket at 15 mph or less in 2 or so years, just an officially recorded warning, and I would not issue tickets at all for 5mph or less. My insurance actually doesn't go up if I have a ticket less than once every three years, so if my insurance doesn't think that that single mistake is enough to consider me a higher risk to make me pay them money, then why should the justice system?

I already talked about garnishing wages, if someone refuses to pay reasonable fines. I talked about taking away their car, if they refuse to operate it safely. What else do you think is necessary to protect the public from unsafe drivers? (Other than replace them all with self driving cars, which I think will happen eventually, and make all this traffic stuff no longer relevant.)

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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
On the contrary, I believe they are doing an adequate job of keeping speeding and reckless driving in check while allowing people to go faster than the dumb 55 MPH speed limit.
I disagree. I see people driving rather recklessly on a daily basis. I see very few people driving the speed limit, and those that do, are the ones that are most disruptive to safe traffic flow.

That you feel that the legal speed is a dumb limit means that you don't actually think that someone going a few miles over that limit is actually being unsafe. So, how is fining someone for going over that limit making the roads any safer?
  #157  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:05 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
I am not levying a fine against them for something arbitrary. I pay them to be productive, and if they are not productive, then I am the one who is disproportionately effected, along with the other employees
If you cut the hours of a person who has a rich spouse, then they don't care about the lost income. But a single mother with 4 kids, a days pay being cut means her kids can't eat. If you have the same policy towards rich workers and poor workers, then you are hurting the poor workers because the cut hours affect them more. It's not fair.

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Personally, I wouldn't have a fine at all for the first ticket at 15 mph or less in 2 or so years, just an officially recorded warning, and I would not issue tickets at all for 5mph or less
I'd be cool with this.

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I already talked about garnishing wages, if someone refuses to pay reasonable fines. I talked about taking away their car, if they refuse to operate it safely
But a poor person cannot afford to have their wages garnished. A rich person can. It's not fair to the poor person. Also, if you take the license of a rich person, they can just get an Uber or something. What is a poor person supposed to do without a car to take them to their job? It's not fair.


Quote:
I disagree. I see people driving rather recklessly on a daily basis. I see very few people driving the speed limit, and those that do, are the ones that are most disruptive to safe traffic flow
And I disagree with your disagreement. Perhaps you need to drive here for a while to see it.

Quote:
That you feel that the legal speed is a dumb limit means that you don't actually think that someone going a few miles over that limit is actually being unsafe. So, how is fining someone for going over that limit making the roads any safer?
I never said it was unsafe. I don't write the laws. I would make the speed limit 75 on the beltway with rigorous enforcement. But I'm not in charge.
  #158  
Old 09-21-2018, 09:00 AM
Zeke N. Destroi Zeke N. Destroi is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
After keeping up with the news recently, it seems that a huge chunk of the population has some kind of fundamental logical disconnect between people who commit an original offense of some sort, and any follow-on penalties for not actually complying with the requirements of that first offense, be it coming to court, paying a fine, etc...

Hypothetical example:

Person gets repeated speeding tickets. Person fails to pay tickets OR show up to court on the appointed days. Warrant is made for person's arrest. Person gets arrested, loses job due to unauthorized absence from work.

People start crying and getting angry because "Person lost job because of PARKING TICKETS! How is this just?" Et-cetera, ad nauseam.

WTF? They weren't hauled to jail because of their parking tickets. They were hauled into jail because they refused to pay them or to show up to court. It's a totally separate second offense.

Then if you explain it, the same people start frothing about how having to you know, actually PAY a speeding ticket or actually show up to court is somehow intolerably onerous.

So I ask, what is the court system to do exactly? Let people opt out of penalties and court dates? Most places let people set up payment plans for that kind of thing already.
In the case of fines, tie the fine to the income of the finee. What is not onerus on 100k a year sure as hell is on 10k a year.

And, in some cases at least, what you term "refusal" to pay is actually inability to pay.
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  #159  
Old 09-21-2018, 09:18 AM
Zeke N. Destroi Zeke N. Destroi is offline
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Can you provide a cite that Colorado, or any other state, has an exemption written into the law that allows people to drive an unregistered or uninsured vehicle?
No, he fucking can't. He outright said that the judge pointed out that it was strict liabilty. Fuck sakes chum, read the fucking thing before pusilanimously whinging "cite". Fuck.
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  #160  
Old 09-21-2018, 09:28 AM
Zeke N. Destroi Zeke N. Destroi is offline
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Originally Posted by hogarth View Post
I think it just makes a snappier clickbait headline to say something like "British mum in jail after ONE drink on plane" than "British mum in jail after getting in a heated argument with airport security".
And shorter than, "Stupid tourist fails to adequately research laws of an authoritarian pseudo-theocracy and furthers fucks herself by arguing with authority."

Harsh lesson to learn the hard way but thems the breaks. And she did, in fact, go to jail for drinking the wine. She got CAUGHT because of the heated argument.

Tourists are not immune from the laws of the country they visit.
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  #161  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:07 AM
Zeke N. Destroi Zeke N. Destroi is offline
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
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.
I agree that the systrm, as is, unjustly penalizes the poor for being poor and protects the well-off - is it coincidental that those who design and manage the system are in the group that benefits from this disparity?

But, to play devil's advocate, consider this:

Person A has an income of $10,000 a year, hasn't seen a doctor in a dozen years, eats once every day or two and lives in a roach infested shithole.

Person B has an income of $10,000,000 a year and has all of the luxuries etc that that figure suggests.

They both commit a murder. The victim, method and motive are so improbably similar as to be nigh-on exact. They both get a 100 year sentence.

Would you say that incarceration hurts them both equally?
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  #162  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:11 AM
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[QUOTE=k9bfriender;21219798]
No, the reasoning is so that they are able to press criminal charges against people if they are not able to pay the fine.
[/QUOTE=k9bfriender;21219798]

Which is just the flip side of what I'm saying, which is that civil penalties don't work because they basically require the government to sue someone in civil court to recover those tickets and any penalties. If someone doesn't have any assets to sue for, then the option is to garnish wages, which people around here would scream bloody murder about if the garnishee happened to be poor.
[QUOTE=k9bfriender;21219798]
Bitch and moan, eh? That's what it is called when you question the results of a failed public policy? Nice.
[/QUOTE=k9bfriender;21219798]

Calling the concept of specific fines for specific infractions is basically calling over 1000 years of legal precedent a 'failed policy'. That's hyperbolic to an absurd extreme.

The point is that

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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?
It was born of frustration, but around here (SDMB) there seems to be a mentality that the government can't do ANYTHING that might make the plight of the poor worse, regardless of whatever irresponsibility they may perpetrate or inability to adhere to the laws of the land. For example, one thing they require in my state in order to drive is proof of financial responsibility, i.e. liability insurance. We also require emissions inspections and potential repairs if a car doesn't pass. I've heard people get bent out of shape about how both of those things are onerous to the poor.

Which I don't get- nobody OWES them the ability to drive; that's a privilege and a responsibility, not some kind of human right. And it requires a certain financial capacity, up to and including the ability to pay a traffic ticket if you get caught doing something you're not supposed to. Or you know, having a valid license or registration. If you can scrape together enough to buy an inexpensive car, that also obligates you to register it, be licensed to drive it, and maintain it in a way that adheres to the law. And if you can't handle that financially, you shouldn't be driving, full stop. It's absurd to then cry foul because you can't handle the ticket for not having done those things that the law requires.

Beyond that, I'm not so sure that proportional fines are the answer either; first, it's none of any pissant town in the middle of nowhere's business what my income is if I'm just driving through, and that doesn't need to become public record either just because I got a ticket.

Second, the concept here is that each crime or infraction has a specific severity and associated fine. I'm not sure why some things, like say, a traffic ticket should be tied to one's income, while building a fence in your backyard that doesn't adhere to the building standards is fine to be a fixed fine? It's a little absurd to tie everything to someone's income level- maybe allow for people to apply for a fine adjustment due to circumstances or something like that, but not scale the ticket upward with income.

I mean, there's no reason Ross Perot or Mark Cuban ought to pay $50,000 (which is probably low) for some penny-ante traffic ticket that would cost me $200. None of us would be put out by paying either amount, but it's also ridiculous for someone to conceivably pay more than the worth of their car for a trivial speeding ticket.
  #163  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:31 AM
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Money should be out of criminal penalties entirely. Raise taxes to cover it. The police or city getting funding out of people breaking the law creates a perverse incentive w.r.t. the value of fines, enforcement, and even what should be a crime.

If we have to go with fines, then it's the state's responsibility to make sure everyone is stabily and consistently fed, clothed, housed, and healthy (both mentally and physically), and have the tools or resources they need to stay that way. It should be an active feat to be homeless, starving, or unable to pursue your best life. If we're in that position, then yeah, maybe we can talk about taking away money since it merely penalized people and takes away purely optional resources.

Last edited by Jragon; 09-21-2018 at 10:32 AM.
  #164  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:40 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
I mean, there's no reason Ross Perot or Mark Cuban ought to pay $50,000 (which is probably low) for some penny-ante traffic ticket that would cost me $200. None of us would be put out by paying either amount, but it's also ridiculous for someone to conceivably pay more than the worth of their car for a trivial speeding ticket.
Is it not ridiculous for someone to have their freedom taken away over a trivial speeding ticket, OR the fact they didn't write a $200 check?

I guess I'd ask, what is the purpose of the ticket, anyway? If it's to discourage bad behavior, then it kind of needs to have teeth, even for the wealthy, unless we don't think they need to be discouraged from committing misdemeanors. If that is the purpose, is there a reason to have poor people far more incentivized to be lawful than the wealthy? I'd like to understand why that's the case, if we believe that.

If the purpose is something else, let's stop pretending that it's to encourage lawful behavior, and admit exactly what you want traffic tickets to do.
  #165  
Old 09-21-2018, 01:52 PM
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If that is the purpose, is there a reason to have poor people far more incentivized to be lawful than the wealthy? I'd like to understand why that's the case, if we believe that.
Well, when a fine, upstanding wealthy, especially uber wealthy and influential citizen happens to accidentally bribe, cheat, and steal their way into more wealth, nobody but millions of Americans suffer a financial crisis, lose their homes, their jobs, or suffer massive cuts to welfare and soon social security and medicare, sure, but when one of those filthy poor people are unlawful... they're stinky, they hurt one or two other poor people and I have to hear about it on the news. The nerve of it! Of course we need to keep those bastards in line, just who do you think the boot in jackboot is meant for???
  #166  
Old 09-21-2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Y...
No, the reasoning is so that they are able to press criminal charges against people if they are not able to pay the fine.


...
No, again, just NO.

The criminal charges are NOT because they fail to pay a fine. The criminal charges are for not showing up to your court date. (Or you can pay the fine beforehand)

And there are already means and methods in place for those so impoverished that they cant pay a fine. It gets reduced, or they are given other options.
Longer time to pay, or community service options.
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  #167  
Old 09-21-2018, 02:53 PM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Is it not ridiculous for someone to have their freedom taken away over a trivial speeding ticket, OR the fact they didn't write a $200 check?

I guess I'd ask, what is the purpose of the ticket, anyway? If it's to discourage bad behavior, then it kind of needs to have teeth, even for the wealthy, unless we don't think they need to be discouraged from committing misdemeanors. If that is the purpose, is there a reason to have poor people far more incentivized to be lawful than the wealthy? I'd like to understand why that's the case, if we believe that.

If the purpose is something else, let's stop pretending that it's to encourage lawful behavior, and admit exactly what you want traffic tickets to do.
Here's the thing- the fines are in place for the same reason any fine is in place- as a financial penalty that's supposed to be commensurate with the gravity of the offense. But here's the rub- ALL of them work the same; the courts get pissy if you don't pay your fines if it's a criminal offense.

We seem to be hung up on traffic tickets, but let's use a hypothetical here. My city (Dallas) has a $129.10 fine for failing to put your child in an appropriate safety seat in your car. It's a misdemeanor, just like running a red light or speeding. It's also non-violent. But it potentially affects an innocent child. Car seats are expensive though.

Should we scrap car seat laws because some people can't afford them? Seems to me that these are laws that absolutely should be enforced vigorously. Same with school zones, which BTW are $500 tickets. Same thing- sucks to be unable to afford that ticket, but that's not the problem of the kids you might hit.

And that's the thing- in some sense the car seat laws are worse, in that they require someone to buy something, or pay a fine AND have to buy it anyway, which I'm sure is tough for the poor. But they can get one free through many public or private programs to provide them to people who can't afford them.

So what's the excuse if they get ticketed for not having a car seat? Should we give half a shit if it's a hardship at that point? The point isn't deterrence, it's compliance.
  #168  
Old 09-21-2018, 03:08 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Here's the thing- the fines are in place for the same reason any fine is in place- as a financial penalty that's supposed to be commensurate with the gravity of the offense. But here's the rub- ALL of them work the same; the courts get pissy if you don't pay your fines if it's a criminal offense.


The point isn't deterrence, it's compliance.
I'm skipping the bit about car seat laws, because those (and school zones) are about the safety of children, and nobody is arguing that laws to protect children should be scrapped.

On to the other bits.

Financial penalty commensurate with the gravity of the offense. It is apparent to me that a $200 fine has a greater impact on the life of a poor person than a wealthy person. Is the gravity of the offense greater for the poor person? Why should the wealthy be impacted so much less when the offense is the same?

Manson72 suggested that poor people should be extra diligent in complying with the law if they can't afford the fine. The converse is that wealthy people needn't be as diligent in complying with the law, because they CAN easily afford the fine. If the point is compliance, a fixed fine seems to fail here.
  #169  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Financial penalty commensurate with the gravity of the offense. It is apparent to me that a $200 fine has a greater impact on the life of a poor person than a wealthy person. Is the gravity of the offense greater for the poor person? Why should the wealthy be impacted so much less when the offense is the same?

Manson72 suggested that poor people should be extra diligent in complying with the law if they can't afford the fine. The converse is that wealthy people needn't be as diligent in complying with the law, because they CAN easily afford the fine. If the point is compliance, a fixed fine seems to fail here.
In theory having a income-based fine system sounds reasonable. But in practice, it would be a nightmare.

First, you'd STILL have the requirement that someone gather up the requisite documents (W-2, tax receipt, pay stub, etc...) and mail them in to whatever rinky-dink county sheriff or town had pulled you over.

Then you'd have the situation where you'd have to have the same exact non-compliance warrants and penalties for failing to send in your evidence of income. I don't know about you, but I don't really trust say... the Dawson County, TX IT department to have their shit together in terms of protecting my financial information.

Another likely situation is where you'd likely have each town/county having a different schedule- some would likely keep it flat for convenience anyway, some would stick it to the wealthy, others would try and make it progressive, etc...

Then there has to be some kind of auditing procedure to make sure people don't habitually under-report their income to get a better deal on tickets. This would be in EVERY county and city and state that did this.

In short, you'd be introducing a massive amount of overhead, risk and BS for some tiny number of people who run afoul of a pretty specific situation, AND don't avail themselves of the multiple methods to alleviate it.

Last edited by bump; 09-22-2018 at 12:24 PM. Reason: fixed quote formatting
  #170  
Old 09-22-2018, 04:16 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
If you cut the hours of a person who has a rich spouse, then they don't care about the lost income. But a single mother with 4 kids, a days pay being cut means her kids can't eat. If you have the same policy towards rich workers and poor workers, then you are hurting the poor workers because the cut hours affect them more. It's not fair.
There is a significant difference between people working, and people being fined. But in any case, lets explore you r analogy a bit.

There are only a few ways to get me to fire you. Violence is definitely a quick way. IF you commit violence against another employee, a client, or a dog, you are done. This is protecting the safety of the workplace. It doesn't matter what the effects are, or how "fair" fair they are, the number one priority is to have safe workplace.

Harassment and intimidation will get you terminated nearly as fast. You may get a warning about the behavior depending on how disruptive it is, or you may be immediately terminated. Once again, this is to protect the safety of the workplace.

These are analogous to violent or threatening behavior in public. People need to be prevented from posing a danger to the public.

The more analogous to traffic tickets behavior in the workplace is poor performance or attendance issues. These are things that I want to work with my employees to improve. If someone isn't very good at their job, then I find a way to make them better at it, or find a job that they can do well at. My goal is not to punish people for not being good at their job, but to get them to be good at their job.

As far as attendance, I need people to be here when I schedule them. That is why I have a very generous point system, along with a very fair probation system, that makes it so that the employee essentially has to fire themself by just not showing up.

Also, I avoid hiring wealthy individuals, and do my best to hire the poor. Part of this is to be more of a positive impact in my community, as I move people off of benefits and into good paying jobs, and part of this is specifically as you said, the rich person doesn't care, so they cannot be compelled to show up and perform nearly as well as the person who actually needs the job.
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But a poor person cannot afford to have their wages garnished. A rich person can. It's not fair to the poor person. Also, if you take the license of a rich person, they can just get an Uber or something. What is a poor person supposed to do without a car to take them to their job? It's not fair.
The post that you responded to had the word "reasonable" in it, right after talking about making sure that a fine was something that was actually affordable to the finee.

And, your last complaint shows that you are still having difficulties in separating the protecting public safety and your need to see people punished aspects of the justice system.
Quote:

And I disagree with your disagreement. Perhaps you need to drive here for a while to see it.
I don't need to drive there. I drive in Cincinnati, which has horrendous traffic and drivers as well. I was just trying to relate to something that I thought you would be familiar with.

This isn't exactly current, but I doubt the number have changed much
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The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated by NHTSA to be $40.4 billion per year. In 2007, speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,040 lives were lost in speeding-related crashes. The total economic cost of crashes was estimated at $230.6 billion in 2000.
That doesn't sound like "in check" to me.
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I never said it was unsafe. I don't write the laws. I would make the speed limit 75 on the beltway with rigorous enforcement. But I'm not in charge.
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Which is just the flip side of what I'm saying, which is that civil penalties don't work because they basically require the government to sue someone in civil court to recover those tickets and any penalties. If someone doesn't have any assets to sue for, then the option is to garnish wages, which people around here would scream bloody murder about if the garnishee happened to be poor.
I think I straightened out these quotes...

Right, but that is my whole point. The paying of tickets and fines should not be the primary motivation here. If someone doesn't have any assets to sue for, then what is the point of giving them tickets and fines that they cannot pay in the first place? It's not screaming bloody murder, that's just your desire to wrongfully project motivations and emotional states onto your interlocutors, it is pointing out that the policy is not having the intended effect, and is harming people in the process. That is a very rational standpoint. You can make the argument that the policy is having the intended effect, or you can make the argument that the policy is not harming people. I would disagree with those arguments, but I would not call it "screaming bloody murder" in an effort to ad hominem my opponent.
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Calling the concept of specific fines for specific infractions is basically calling over 1000 years of legal precedent a 'failed policy'. That's hyperbolic to an absurd extreme.
Slavery was an institution that stretches back for thousands of years. Debtor's prisons have existed in one form or another for pretty much ever.

Yeah, we get better, we look at policies that do not move society forward, and instead move it back, and we call them failed, regardless of how traditional they are.

The idea that a policy *cannot* be a failed policy because it is over 1000 years old is naive in to an absurd extreme.

You look at a policy, and see if it serves its purpose. If it does not, it is failed. Defend how arbitrary fines for minor traffic infractions serves to protect the public, don't rely solely on tradition for your argument.
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It was born of frustration, but around here (SDMB) there seems to be a mentality that the government can't do ANYTHING that might make the plight of the poor worse, regardless of whatever irresponsibility they may perpetrate or inability to adhere to the laws of the land. For example, one thing they require in my state in order to drive is proof of financial responsibility, i.e. liability insurance. We also require emissions inspections and potential repairs if a car doesn't pass. I've heard people get bent out of shape about how both of those things are onerous to the poor.
That may seem that way to you, but I have no idea why you would think that sort of thing. Now, there is certainly something to be said for the government and society should be working to improve the consideration of the people living here, rather than to harm its citizens, and if that is the thing that you seem to be seeing, then I would agree.

But your characterization is a strawman that is hyperbolic to the extreme.

A few other things. You think that carrying state minimum insurance makes you financially responsible? Do you know how much your state minimum covers? It's fine for fender benders where maybe someone gets some stitches, but if we are talking about totaled cars and hospital stays, your minimum liability insurance isn't going to even scratch the surface.

And that you have "heard people get bent out of shape" does not have anything even remotely resembling relevance to this thread or this discussion. If you want to talk to people who get bent out of shape, go talk to them. If you want to characterize anything I say as "being bent out of shape", then you need to actually point out what it was that I said, and make the case, not just make a "seems to" argument, as that is worse than useless, that is only making an argument about your perceptions and analysis, not about what anyone has actually one or said.

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Which I don't get- nobody OWES them the ability to drive; that's a privilege and a responsibility, not some kind of human right. And it requires a certain financial capacity, up to and including the ability to pay a traffic ticket if you get caught doing something you're not supposed to. Or you know, having a valid license or registration. If you can scrape together enough to buy an inexpensive car, that also obligates you to register it, be licensed to drive it, and maintain it in a way that adheres to the law. And if you can't handle that financially, you shouldn't be driving, full stop. It's absurd to then cry foul because you can't handle the ticket for not having done those things that the law requires.
I do believe that society does owe people the right to move about. Society owes people the ability to get a job. Society has set things up so that you really need transportation in order to function, and has not provided that transportation.

Make up a robust public transportation system, along with Uber vouchers and hopefully self driving cars, and then you can call driving a luxury.

As long as driving is the only way to get to and from a job, it's not a luxury, it is a necessity to living in society, and society should not take away necessities without a very compelling reason.

So, sure, make your case for improving public transportation. I have no idea where you stand on it, so I will not ascribe to you any position, but I will point out that the majority of people who are for harsh punishments to the poor are also people who are against funding public transportation.

If your point is that we should be concentrating on ensuring the people do not need to have a car in order to survive, then I will agree. If you are for perpetuating the system we have now, while also claiming that driving is a luxury, then I would have to disagree entirely.
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Beyond that, I'm not so sure that proportional fines are the answer either; first, it's none of any pissant town in the middle of nowhere's business what my income is if I'm just driving through, and that doesn't need to become public record either just because I got a ticket.
If you find it to be a hardship to give a pissant town your financial information, then just don't speed through it.

You have no right to drive through a pissant town, that's a privilege and a responsibility, not some kind of human right. And it requires a certain responsibility, up to and including the ability to demonstrate your finances if you get caught doing something you're not supposed to.
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Second, the concept here is that each crime or infraction has a specific severity and associated fine. I'm not sure why some things, like say, a traffic ticket should be tied to one's income, while building a fence in your backyard that doesn't adhere to the building standards is fine to be a fixed fine? It's a little absurd to tie everything to someone's income level- maybe allow for people to apply for a fine adjustment due to circumstances or something like that, but not scale the ticket upward with income.
So, you are saying that you encourage a system where wealthy people are able to break laws with impunity?
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I mean, there's no reason Ross Perot or Mark Cuban ought to pay $50,000 (which is probably low) for some penny-ante traffic ticket that would cost me $200. None of us would be put out by paying either amount,
Then it does not act as a deterrence to you, or to mark cuban, just to people who are not as well off as you.
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but it's also ridiculous for someone to conceivably pay more than the worth of their car for a trivial speeding ticket.
Considering that I know people with cars that are worth less than $200, that statement makes your argument completely fall apart.

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Originally Posted by Kearsen View Post
No, again, just NO.

The criminal charges are NOT because they fail to pay a fine. The criminal charges are for not showing up to your court date. (Or you can pay the fine beforehand)

And there are already means and methods in place for those so impoverished that they cant pay a fine. It gets reduced, or they are given other options.
Longer time to pay, or community service options.
As I was responding to someone who was only talking about fines, correcting me that it is not just about fines is entirely missing the point and the conversation.

In any case, the criminal charges are because they did not follow the arbitrary stipulations laid out by the court. One of which is the ability to take off a weekday to attend court, something that not all employers will let you do.

If you are in a position to go to court, you have a decent chance of eliminating or at least reducing the penalty. If you don't have the means to attend court, you have to pay the full fine ahead of time.

If you do not have the money to pay the fine, and cannot take time off work in order to contest the fine or have it reduced, what exactly are the options that you are advocating here?

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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Here's the thing- the fines are in place for the same reason any fine is in place- as a financial penalty that's supposed to be commensurate with the gravity of the offense. But here's the rub- ALL of them work the same; the courts get pissy if you don't pay your fines if it's a criminal offense.
But how does that make sense, if the severity of the fine decreases with the wealth of the individual, does that mean that the gravity of the offense also decreases with the wealth of the individual?
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We seem to be hung up on traffic tickets, but let's use a hypothetical here. My city (Dallas) has a $129.10 fine for failing to put your child in an appropriate safety seat in your car. It's a misdemeanor, just like running a red light or speeding. It's also non-violent. But it potentially affects an innocent child. Car seats are expensive though.
Does fining someone $129.10 help them to get a car seat?

If I were in charge of that policy, I would fine them the cost of a car seat, then give them a car seat.
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Should we scrap car seat laws because some people can't afford them? Seems to me that these are laws that absolutely should be enforced vigorously. Same with school zones, which BTW are $500 tickets. Same thing- sucks to be unable to afford that ticket, but that's not the problem of the kids you might hit.
Did anyone at all say anything at all about scrapping any laws at all?

If so, please cite.

If not, then you are tilting at strawmen, again.
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And that's the thing- in some sense the car seat laws are worse, in that they require someone to buy something, or pay a fine AND have to buy it anyway, which I'm sure is tough for the poor. But they can get one free through many public or private programs to provide them to people who can't afford them.

So what's the excuse if they get ticketed for not having a car seat? Should we give half a shit if it's a hardship at that point? The point isn't deterrence, it's compliance.
I have no idea how robust your programs are. Can I show up at any time, on any day, and get myself a free car seat?

Or, do I have to show up at specific places and times (with my car, of course, that I have no right, only a privilege to drive), fill out a bunch of paperwork, including the same sort of financial information that you would complain about having to provide to a pissant town because you refused to follow their speed limits, and then usually wait until that is approved, then go back, and when they happen to have one, maybe you get in line to get it?

Yeah, getting people to comply is all great and all. But wouldn't it make more sense to actually tailor your laws to get people to comply with things that they are able to comply with, rather than simply punish people for not being able to comply, and making it harder for them to do so in the future?

Like I said, it is a failed public policy if it has these sorts of negative results. No matter how long a tradition we have of enjoying seeing people suffer for their sins, if it doesn't actually improve society, it is failed.

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In theory having a income-based fine system sounds reasonable. But in practice, it would be a nightmare.

First, you'd STILL have the requirement that someone gather up the requisite documents (W-2, tax receipt, pay stub, etc...) and mail them in to whatever rinky-dink county sheriff or town had pulled you over.
or a copy of your federal returns.
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Then you'd have the situation where you'd have to have the same exact non-compliance warrants and penalties for failing to send in your evidence of income. I don't know about you, but I don't really trust say... the Dawson County, TX IT department to have their shit together in terms of protecting my financial information.
They also have tax payers that pay into their rinky dink town. Do you feel that they are not able to protect their own taxpayer information? I have to send my fed returns into my city when I file my city income tax.
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Another likely situation is where you'd likely have each town/county having a different schedule- some would likely keep it flat for convenience anyway, some would stick it to the wealthy, others would try and make it progressive, etc...
Very interesting, that way, there would be many different things that people try, and see what works best. That is often times better than continuing to do the thing that you know that doesn't work. You just pointed out a feature, not a bug.

In any case, it is not that hard to have such things set at the state level, if you are that concerned about it.
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Then there has to be some kind of auditing procedure to make sure people don't habitually under-report their income to get a better deal on tickets. This would be in EVERY county and city and state that did this.
If you habitually under-report your income on your 1040, then it is not every county and state, it is not some rinky dink town, that is going to audit you, it is the IRS.
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In short, you'd be introducing a massive amount of overhead, risk and BS for some tiny number of people who run afoul of a pretty specific situation, AND don't avail themselves of the multiple methods to alleviate it.
Nah, there wouldn't be any real overhead, nor risk, and the poor are already used to dealing with lots of BS. Is it that you are worried that the wealthy will suddenly have to actually face a punishment that actually acts as a deterrence?
  #171  
Old 09-24-2018, 09:36 AM
bump bump is offline
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I think there's a fundamental difference of opinion here; some of us think that it's more important to enforce the laws of the land than it is than those laws be entirely, absolutely fair, and others seem to think that it's more important that those laws be absolutely, completely fair than it is that they're enforced.

By that I mean that you guys (the progressives/left-wing types) have basically ruled out anything but an income-based fine system because you feel anything else is unfair.

I don't think that's reasonable; at some point you have to expect people to take responsibility and pay or show up to court, or for community service or whatever; you can't just say that fines are bad- people can't pay them, and then rule out every other option because they may require some tiny percentage of the population to be inconvenienced. You can't say something has "failed", just because it isn't absolutely, completely 100% fair- on the main, fines DO work for the vast majority of people- I'd guess that the vast, vast majority of traffic tickets are just paid or contested in court with little fanfare, and that remaining small percentage runs afoul of some problem with payment.

Worrying whether it's a bigger pain in the ass for one person or another is immaterial, provided both can afford it. It's really only an issue if someone can't afford to pay it- I agree there should be payment plans, or some other sort of relief (community service perhaps?) for those people.

But I don't think it's so important that everything be super-fair to the point of changing a system that has overwhelmingly worked for thousands of years. Tweak it where it needs tweaking (work with those who just flat-out can't afford their tickets), and leave it alone, rather than coming in and changing things wholesale just because of a tiny, tiny minority that have this issue. That's just burning money that cities, counties and states just don't have for a change that benefits a tiny number of people, and will probably make it worse for everyone else. That's a poor choice if you ask me.
  #172  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:36 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
I think there's a fundamental difference of opinion here; some of us think that it's more important to enforce the laws of the land than it is than those laws be entirely, absolutely fair, and others seem to think that it's more important that those laws be absolutely, completely fair than it is that they're enforced.
I don't have a problem with enforcement, I think the laws should be changed so that enforcement doesn't punish some people more than others* for the same offense. The difference of opinion is that you think it's fine for punishments to vary widely in their impact on offenders.

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on the main, fines DO work for the vast majority of people- I'd guess that the vast, vast majority of traffic tickets are just paid or contested in court with little fanfare, and that remaining small percentage runs afoul of some problem with payment.
What does "work" mean in this context? Fines work because most people pay them? If the purpose of the ticket is extracting money from people who get caught speeding, then yeah, they work great.

My view is that the money is the means to an end, not the core purpose of traffic enforcement. Can you get the same end with a different means?


*Let's say you and me both have a child, both kids have an xBox, and both kids did the same something that was wrong. We decide to punish the kids equally, by taking away the xBox for one week. However, my kid hasn't played on the xBox for a month, and yours plays it every day in an online group with all his friends. Your kid is going to be way more miserable than my kid. Did we, as parents, punish them equally?
  #173  
Old 09-24-2018, 11:56 AM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
I don't have a problem with enforcement, I think the laws should be changed so that enforcement doesn't punish some people more than others* for the same offense. The difference of opinion is that you think it's fine for punishments to vary widely in their impact on offenders.
They punish the same- the difference is in the ability to sustain the punishment. But absent some sort of complicated system that would take into account all sorts of confounding variables, you can't really have a "fair" fine-based system. I mean, how do you tell the difference between a family of four making $80k with a high mortgage and a family of four making $80k with a low mortgage. Or between all the other vagaries of personal finance- what if someone is just flat out stupid and doesn't know how to budget/save/etc... and in theory should have enough money, but doesn't? Or credulous elderly people gulled by televangelists? There are plenty of legitimate ways that fines could disproportionately impact people outside of a single metric like income.

That's why, I suspect they set the fines where they are- the vast majority of people can sustain a $200 traffic ticket- it's a pain in the ass for almost everyone- enough to be a deterrent, but not enough to actually impact them.

What else are you going to do? The only two options we have are to fine people, or to incarcerate them/compel them to do something like community service, and they already decided that small misdemeanors like traffic tickets aren't worth incarceration, so we have fines.

Don't get me wrong- I'm totally against the idea of tickets being a major revenue generator for towns/cities and counties or law enforcement itself. It sets up a perverse incentive for police to be extra sticky about stuff like traffic tickets, and leads to abuses.

But I'm not sure what else you do, and I'm not convinced that setting up income based fines is really much more equitable, while being sure that it would be a huge cost and a lot of overhead above and beyond what already cash-strapped governments already have.
  #174  
Old 09-25-2018, 02:12 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
I think there's a fundamental difference of opinion here; some of us think that it's more important to enforce the laws of the land than it is than those laws be entirely, absolutely fair, and others seem to think that it's more important that those laws be absolutely, completely fair than it is that they're enforced.
There may be a fundamental difference, but it is not as you state. I have no problem with enforcing laws, I just want to make sure that those laws are wisely crafted to promote the public policy that they are intended to promote.

I could say that "some of us feel it is important for laws to be crafted to promote policy, and others of are more concerned about keeping the status quo than about ensuring that the laws lead to productive outcomes", but that would be a rather passive aggressive and insulting way of summing up someone else's opinion.

Some of us wouldn't do that.

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By that I mean that you guys (the progressives/left-wing types) have basically ruled out anything but an income-based fine system because you feel anything else is unfair.
Not really, I mean, look at the thread. We've suggested community service, we've suggested car impoundment, we've suggested that if you pay a fine for not having a car seat, that that fine should go towards the purchase of a car seat.

You guys (the authoritarian/right wing types) have ruled out income based fine system because you are worried that it might actually be a real consequence and deterrent to *you*.
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I don't think that's reasonable; at some point you have to expect people to take responsibility and pay or show up to court, or for community service or whatever; you can't just say that fines are bad- people can't pay them, and then rule out every other option because they may require some tiny percentage of the population to be inconvenienced. You can't say something has "failed", just because it isn't absolutely, completely 100% fair- on the main, fines DO work for the vast majority of people- I'd guess that the vast, vast majority of traffic tickets are just paid or contested in court with little fanfare, and that remaining small percentage runs afoul of some problem with payment.
It's good that no one is saying any of the things that you are saying that people can't say.

I would say that it has failed because it does not work for the vast majority of people. The vast majority of people are not deterred from speeding, as you can see by looking out onto any road, anywhere. As you can see from my cite where speeding is responsible for quite a number of deaths and property damage.

You said that you don't like fines as a revenue source, but that is the only way in which it is working. As far as protecting the public and preventing people from driving dangerously, it has failed.

The only people deterred from reckless driving are the small percentage that runs afoul of some problem with payment.
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Worrying whether it's a bigger pain in the ass for one person or another is immaterial, provided both can afford it. It's really only an issue if someone can't afford to pay it- I agree there should be payment plans, or some other sort of relief (community service perhaps?) for those people.
I agree. But I also think that there should be some method of deterring people like yourself, to whom a speeding ticket is not a big deal, from driving dangerously.
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But I don't think it's so important that everything be super-fair to the point of changing a system that has overwhelmingly worked for thousands of years. Tweak it where it needs tweaking (work with those who just flat-out can't afford their tickets), and leave it alone, rather than coming in and changing things wholesale just because of a tiny, tiny minority that have this issue. That's just burning money that cities, counties and states just don't have for a change that benefits a tiny number of people, and will probably make it worse for everyone else. That's a poor choice if you ask me.
Traffic laws have worked for thousands of years? Please cite the roman ordinance for changing lanes without signaling.

Otherwise, you would see that such laws have not been in place for thousands of years, or even hundreds of years, and really, barely even decades.

No one has said anything about changing anything wholesale, no one at all. The only claims to that are the claims you are making on other's behalf.

You say tweak it, that's what we want to do. It's not that hard, not at all.

You can either just have a simple relief system, where you can claim economic hardship, turn in your 1040 and show that you don't make enough to pay the full fine, that's easy, or you could have a system that acts to deter people from breaking the law, and have it progressive, so that the wealthy are as inconvenienced as those less off for breaking laws. That's pretty easy to implement as well.

What exactly are cities going to be burning money doing, looking at your adjusted gross income, and multiplying it by a percent to determine your fine? How much do you really think that that costs?

I would also implement more abilities to pay, appeal or reduce your ticket through the internet or phone apps. Having to take a day off to go to a particular place at a particular time doesn't do anyone any good, and it actually costs any municipality much more to deal with all these people individually in person than it would to just take payments or vouchers through an app.

The status quo is inefficient, ineffective and harmful to those most marginalized already. Maintaining the status quo for the sake of it being the status quo seems a poor choice, if you ask me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
They punish the same- the difference is in the ability to sustain the punishment. But absent some sort of complicated system that would take into account all sorts of confounding variables, you can't really have a "fair" fine-based system. I mean, how do you tell the difference between a family of four making $80k with a high mortgage and a family of four making $80k with a low mortgage. Or between all the other vagaries of personal finance- what if someone is just flat out stupid and doesn't know how to budget/save/etc... and in theory should have enough money, but doesn't? Or credulous elderly people gulled by televangelists? There are plenty of legitimate ways that fines could disproportionately impact people outside of a single metric like income.
All of that math is hard and complicated, but fortunately, we all have to do it yearly anyway when we do our taxes.

You have alot of "what ifs" there. How about, "What if someone has enough money that they can get out of any ticket they don't want to pay, and therefore, do not bother to follow the traffic laws at all?"
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That's why, I suspect they set the fines where they are- the vast majority of people can sustain a $200 traffic ticket- it's a pain in the ass for almost everyone- enough to be a deterrent, but not enough to actually impact them.
Definitely not enough to be a deterrent. Going to jail for murder is a deterrent, so we don't have all that many murderers. Getting a speeding ticket that doesn't impact them is not a deterrent, as can be seen by the way that people very rarely drive the speed limit.
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What else are you going to do? The only two options we have are to fine people, or to incarcerate them/compel them to do something like community service, and they already decided that small misdemeanors like traffic tickets aren't worth incarceration, so we have fines.
And then you reduce it down to an excluded middle choice, ignoring all of the reason and nuance in this thread of the other, many , options that are available to us as a society in order to get people to comply with public safety laws.
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Don't get me wrong- I'm totally against the idea of tickets being a major revenue generator for towns/cities and counties or law enforcement itself. It sets up a perverse incentive for police to be extra sticky about stuff like traffic tickets, and leads to abuses.
Right, like cops pulling over beater cars because they know that they will get more revenue out of someone that they can rack up fines on for everything and everything they can, and that they won't have the resources to fight it in court.

As I mentioned, I got pulled over far more often when I was driving a '77 Delta 88, or a '85 Honda Accord, than I do driving my 2014 Ford Focus. And I am driving just the same. If you are against tickets being a revenue generator, then you would be against the uneven enforcement that is at the beginning of the "unfair" fine system.

The poor may not have much, but there are alot of them, and it's easy to take what they do have.
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But I'm not sure what else you do, and I'm not convinced that setting up income based fines is really much more equitable, while being sure that it would be a huge cost and a lot of overhead above and beyond what already cash-strapped governments already have.
You keep going on about the overhead, and I'm just not seeing how looking at a number, and multiplying it by a percentage should have all that much overhead. Calculators are not that expensive, and an app can do it for free.
  #175  
Old 09-25-2018, 02:59 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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So everyone who gets a speeding ticket has to show their tax returns to the traffic judge?

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 09-25-2018 at 03:00 PM. Reason: To focus on just one point
  #176  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:10 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Is it not ridiculous for someone to have their freedom taken away over a trivial speeding ticket, OR the fact they didn't write a $200 check?
This show why you just don't get it.

We are talking about people who get a speeding ticket AND do not pay the fine AND do not go to court to explain their situation to the judge.

You're argument seems to be if you are poor then you should be able to say fuck you to the laws and ignore them while the rest of us are expected to abide by them.
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  #177  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:25 AM
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Banquet Bear Banquet Bear is online now
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We are talking about people who get a speeding ticket AND do not pay the fine AND do not go to court to explain their situation to the judge.
...I thought we were talking about people who get a speeding ticket AND do not pay the fine AND do not go to court to explain their situation to the judge AND then get thrown into jail AND then end up dead.
  #178  
Old 09-27-2018, 06:16 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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We are talking about people who get a speeding ticket AND do not pay the fine AND do not go to court to explain their situation to the judge.
Is this person a danger to society? I think arrest and jail should be reserved for people who harm others, not people who didn't fill out the right form or pay enough bribe money to the court.

Sure, it's all wrapped up in legal trappings, a piece of paper with lots of official words, a big wooden desk with an old dude in robes behind it, but really it's no different than some crooked Mexican cop telling you to give him $200 cash or he'll arrest you on the spot. It's true that we get the option of not paying the $200 ticket, instead taking a day off of work, waiting for a few hours at the courthouse, and then getting the ticket reduced to $150 + $45 court fee. Three cheers for justice!
  #179  
Old 09-27-2018, 07:10 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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And then there are “court costs.” The latest episode of the Serial podcast delves into a misdemeanor case in Cleveland that illustrates how even a minor case can cost a defendant a lot.

There should be no court costs or incarceration fees. The costs of law enforcement shouldn’t be borne by defendants.
  #180  
Old 09-27-2018, 09:02 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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And then there are “court costs.” The latest episode of the Serial podcast delves into a misdemeanor case in Cleveland that illustrates how even a minor case can cost a defendant a lot.

There should be no court costs or incarceration fees. The costs of law enforcement shouldn’t be borne by defendants.
When court costs are imposed, they aren't defendants - they have been found guilty. Why shouldn't the costs of law enforcement be borne by the guilty, to the degree possible? Better them than the innocent.

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Shodan
  #181  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:46 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
When court costs are imposed, they aren't defendants - they have been found guilty. Why shouldn't the costs of law enforcement be borne by the guilty, to the degree possible? Better them than the innocent.

Regards,
Shodan
Because society benefits from the fact there's a legal system. Do you like that there's a legal system? Then pay for it. Taxes. Deal with it.

Well, that and the mindset of "we have assessed that he deserves this one punishment due to what he did, and oh yes also he gets to also have all sorts of other punishments too because ha ha unjust cruelty" ain't cool.
  #182  
Old 09-27-2018, 02:07 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Because society benefits from the fact there's a legal system. Do you like that there's a legal system? Then pay for it. Taxes. Deal with it.
That doesn't address the question. Why should the guilty not pay for the benefit society receives? The guilty are largely the reason that society benefits.
Quote:
Well, that and the mindset of "we have assessed that he deserves this one punishment due to what he did, and oh yes also he gets to also have all sorts of other punishments too because ha ha unjust cruelty" ain't cool.
Saying something "ain't cool" is not, in my view, much of an argument. Why is it not cool to assess both fines, and (where applicable) court costs? What is the moral distinction to be drawn? How is it different to assess a $280 fine vs. a $200 fine plus costs?

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 09-27-2018 at 02:07 PM. Reason: bad coding ain't cool
  #183  
Old 09-27-2018, 02:45 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
That doesn't address the question. Why should the guilty not pay for the benefit society receives? The guilty are largely the reason that society benefits.
That part was to address why you should pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Saying something "ain't cool" is not, in my view, much of an argument. Why is it not cool to assess both fines, and (where applicable) court costs? What is the moral distinction to be drawn? How is it different to assess a $280 fine vs. a $200 fine plus costs?
I got tired of saying "it sounds pretty damned unconstitutional to me for the state to apply punishments to a person that are not punishments for a crime."

IF, and that is a big capital-letter IF, the government in its infinite and infallible reason determined that the just punishment for jaywalking is to become the whipping boy for every vindictive sadist and/or cheap bastard out there, then that would be just. But the mere fact that a person has committed a crime does not make it just to punish them for it above and beyond their actual punishment. I don't see much of a legal or moral distinction between declaring financial open season on a dude independent of his legal punishment, and declaring that all persons who have committed any crime can be freely murdered to remove their inconvenient selves from society. They're crooks, right? They deserve it!
  #184  
Old 09-27-2018, 03:10 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
Is this person a danger to society? I think arrest and jail should be reserved for people who harm others, not people who didn't fill out the right form or pay enough bribe money to the court.
So what would you do to make the person accountable for their actions?
Fine them again/more? They've already refused to pay it once.
Community service? They had an opportunity to ask the judge for that and refused to
Impound their car? Honestly, this is a great solution. Sell it and keep fine+costs and send them a check for the rest. But then will you complain that they are poor and The State took their only way to get to work?
Nothing because they're poor.
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  #185  
Old 09-27-2018, 03:44 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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So what would you do to make the person accountable for their actions?
Asked and answered multiple times upthread.
  #186  
Old 09-27-2018, 03:59 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
That part was to address why you should pay.
Again, WADR, that doesn't answer the question. Why should I pay? Why should not the guilty party pay as much of the cost as practicable?
Quote:
I got tired of saying "it sounds pretty damned unconstitutional to me for the state to apply punishments to a person that are not punishments for a crime."
The court costs are part of the punishment. What do you see as the Constitutional issue with saying 'speeding shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $200 and court costs not exceeding $80' vs. "speeding shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $280"?

Regards,
Shodan
  #187  
Old 09-27-2018, 04:35 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Again, WADR, that doesn't answer the question. Why should I pay?
I don't feel like putting too much effort into explaining why anarchy doesn't work. People who are part of a society are expected to pay taxes that go towards paying for the shared institutions of the society. Fire departments, police departments, and the stuff that happens as a result of those police departments too. All that stuff that people want their government to do. It's called 'civilization' and junk. I'll assume you've heard of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Why should not the guilty party pay as much of the cost as practicable? The court costs are part of the punishment. What do you see as the Constitutional issue with saying 'speeding shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $200 and court costs not exceeding $80' vs. "speeding shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $280"?

Regards,
Shodan
If memory serves, the topic of this thread (as laid out in the OP) includes costs that go far beyond $80. If in fact we really are just talking about $80, and it is determined just that the punishment should be a fee of $280 rather than a fee of $200, there are ways of changing what the stated punishment for the crime is so that the designated punishment for the crime is $280. And while some may argue that surreptitiously dumping a completely unlimited set of 'incidental' fees and punishments on the convicted is awesome, my thinking is that if it really were awesome, the additional punishments could be included in the actual punishment to start with!

You tell me something costs $280, and I give you $280, that's fine.

You tell me something costs $200, and I give you $200, and then you come and take another $80 and tell me that you can actually come back and take as much as you want because I'm a criminal now and can't stop you, that's not fine.

And two situations aren't equivalent, either.
  #188  
Old 09-27-2018, 05:20 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Because access to the neutral adjudication of a qualified court before being punished by the state is a right that I shouldn’t have to pay for.

If you want to subject me to the power of the state to face punishment then it should be your burden to pay the costs of that adjudication, not mine.

If it’s eventually decided I deserve punishment, that’s a different issue. But either way I shouldn’t have to pay the costs of exercising the right to defend myself.

The justice system is there to serve the public, so the public should pay for it, not the individuals that the system decides to punish.
  #189  
Old 09-27-2018, 05:21 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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And by the way, I have to pay court costs even if I’m acquitted. That’s wrong too.
  #190  
Old 09-28-2018, 10:05 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I don't feel like putting too much effort into explaining why anarchy doesn't work. People who are part of a society are expected to pay taxes that go towards paying for the shared institutions of the society. Fire departments, police departments, and the stuff that happens as a result of those police departments too. All that stuff that people want their government to do. It's called 'civilization' and junk. I'll assume you've heard of it.
No one is suggesting anarchy, so I don't see what that has to do with anything.
[qutoe]
If memory serves, the topic of this thread (as laid out in the OP) includes costs that go far beyond $80. If in fact we really are just talking about $80, and it is determined just that the punishment should be a fee of $280 rather than a fee of $200, there are ways of changing what the stated punishment for the crime is so that the designated punishment for the crime is $280. And while some may argue that surreptitiously dumping a completely unlimited set of 'incidental' fees and punishments on the convicted is awesome, my thinking is that if it really were awesome, the additional punishments could be included in the actual punishment to start with![/quote]It already is included. The court costs and the fines are imposed at the same time, as part of the same punishment. There is nothing surreptitious about. Nor are court costs unlimited, any more than fines are unlimited.
Quote:
You tell me something costs $280, and I give you $280, that's fine.

You tell me something costs $200, and I give you $200, and then you come and take another $80 and tell me that you can actually come back and take as much as you want because I'm a criminal now and can't stop you, that's not fine.
It's not fine, and it is also not what happens.

Regards,
Shodan
  #191  
Old 09-29-2018, 03:48 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
So everyone who gets a speeding ticket has to show their tax returns to the traffic judge?

Regards,
Shodan
Interesting idea you have come up with there, but I don't think that it would be the most practical way of going about it.

Unless, the reason that you put forward this idea is that it is the sort of thing that would be a consequence great enough to deter you from breaking the law.

Would it, if the consequence of breaking the law were to be having to show your taxes to a traffic judge, be enough to stop you from ignoring the laws that you don't care to follow?

If you really think that that is the only way to get you to follow the law, then I could get behind it. But, before we go that route, can you think of anything else that may get you to comply with the law that is less onerous?
  #192  
Old 09-30-2018, 09:55 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I didn't come up with the idea, which I think is silly. You did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender
You can either just have a simple relief system, where you can claim economic hardship, turn in your 1040 and show that you don't make enough to pay the full fine, that's easy, or you could have a system that acts to deter people from breaking the law, and have it progressive, so that the wealthy are as inconvenienced as those less off for breaking laws.
Please don't try to palm off your ideas on me.

Regards,
Shodan
  #193  
Old 09-30-2018, 10:15 AM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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I didn't come up with the idea, which I think is silly. You did.Please don't try to palm off your ideas on me.

Regards,
Shodan
That statement is nothing like the one that you made. That was an original idea that you came up with all on your own.

Don't try to be modest, if you are actually trying to attribute your idea to what I said, then you are having some serious problems with reading comprehension or basic logic.

But, regardless of who gets the credit for the idea, do you think that if that was the consequence for breaking the law, it would deter you from doing so? Is there anything at all that would be acceptable to you that would keep you from ignoring the law?
  #194  
Old 09-30-2018, 05:36 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
That statement is nothing like the one that you made. That was an original idea that you came up with all on your own.

Don't try to be modest, if you are actually trying to attribute your idea to what I said, then you are having some serious problems with reading comprehension or basic logic.
Well, one of us does.

When you said this
Quote:
you can claim economic hardship, turn in your 1040 and show that you don't make enough to pay the full fine, that's easy...
Did you mean anything in particular? Do you know what a 1040 is?

Regards,
Shodan
  #195  
Old 09-30-2018, 06:17 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Well, one of us does.

When you said this Did you mean anything in particular? Do you know what a 1040 is?

Regards,
Shodan
Were you going to claim economic hardship? If so, then I can think of many people other than the traffic court judge to be in charge of that. If not, then why would you be showing your taxes to anyone at all?

Please, be specific.
  #196  
Old 10-01-2018, 08:37 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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In charge of seeing my tax returns? No, I don't think many people are "in charge" of that.

But just to be specific - you only need to reveal your tax returns if you are claiming economic hardship - this idea that rich people will be charged more is not what you intend. Is that correct?

And again, this doesn't address what happens when someone, rich or poor, never shows up in court. What do you do in that circumstance?

Regards,
Shodan
  #197  
Old 10-01-2018, 08:57 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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And again, this doesn't address what happens when someone, rich or poor, never shows up in court. What do you do in that circumstance?
Summary judgement and wage garnishment.
  #198  
Old 10-04-2018, 01:07 PM
MikeF MikeF is offline
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I don't have a dog in this fight but how much do you garnish? A percentage of the wage? A fixed dollar amount? How would you garnish the wages of someone like pre-President Trump? The whole idea of increasingly harsh punishment for one who refuses to obey the rules culminates in some mope locked down in Pelican Bay. What do you do with him when he breaks the rules by assaulting or killing a CO?
  #199  
Old 10-04-2018, 03:07 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
I don't have a dog in this fight but how much do you garnish? A percentage of the wage? A fixed dollar amount?
Quote:
If a judgment creditor is garnishing your wages, federal law provides that it can take no more than:
•25% of your disposable income, or
•the amount that your income exceeds 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less.

Your disposable income is established by subtracting required deductions from your total paycheck. Required deductions include things like federal and state taxes, state unemployment insurance taxes, Social Security, and required retirement deductions. They do not include voluntary deductions, such as health and life insurance, charitable donations, savings plans, and more.
Cite. If someone is self-employed, unemployed, or paid under the table, it gets complicated.

Regards,
Shodan
  #200  
Old 10-04-2018, 03:44 PM
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manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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Can SSDI be garnished to pay state fines?
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