Should a Rich Speeder Pay More?

From this article:

I am against this system, and I rather suspect there will be at least some support for this scheme here.


I find the notion…attractive…but couldn’t it be seen as a violation of “equal justice?”

Anyway, I say no… Let’s make the rich pay more indirectly, the way they already do, by, for instance, higher registration fees on expensive cars.


Because $1 for a millionaire does not represent the same level of deterrence or justice as $1 for a pauper, and we want to deter and punish both equally. Which is not to say I support it, or that this is the be-all end-all, but it’s not hard to understand the argument.

This is discrimnation in its purest, finest, most blatant form.

That’s what Andy used to do in Mayberry.

Because wealth is an immutable characteristic…

Does the state accept a billionaire donating his wealth to avoid the higher fine? “No way I should have to pay that I only have 20 bucks left to my name!”

Thank to sex change operations, sex is no longer immutable and neither are religious or political beliefs. :rolleyes:

I’m fine with this, just so long as they also let the rich buy themselves out of jail time.

Qin. do you believe people should receive equal punishment for doing the same crime?
If so, assume a $300 speeding ticket is given to two people. One makes $700 a month, the other $10,000.

Which one will find the ticket more unpleasant? If one suffers a lot more did they receive equal punishment?

Or should money be a mitigating circumstance to punishment?

Abstractly, in theory, I don’t have a problem with this at all. It sounds perfectly fair and just to me. A $200 speeding fine is no big deal to me financially, whereas to someone living paycheck-to-paycheck it might hugely disrupt their finances. As a result, I can speed and generally violate traffic rules without fear of any serious repercussions, while someone in worse financial situation may have to watch their speed like a hawk, stop fully at all stop signs, etc.

No matter how conservative you are, I don’t think anyone seriously believes that having more money should allow you to pay less attention to the law. With fixed fines, the punishment for traffic violations is simply harsher for poorer people, and that’s not fair.

Now, from a practical perspective, this is a terrible fucking idea. In practice, it will result in revenue-minded police focusing on issuing tickets to drivers of expensive cars, and potentially ignoring violations by drivers of old piece-of-shit cars. I don’t care if it works just dandy in Sweden or wherever, that’s what would happen here.

They already kind of do. There are legal clinics, waived court costs, and payment arrangements and lowered bonds for poorer people.

OK Qin. Do you think the wealthy need to be protected from this form of discrimination or did you just pop in the thread to point out this in fact meets the definition of discrimination?

Imprisoning anyone is discrimination as well are you against that too?

There should be equal fines but if someone cannot pay for it they can instead perform community service or whatnot.

Discrimnation is discrimnation no matter who suffers it and I’m opposed to it on principle.

If you’ve committed certain crimes you go to jail, how is that discrimnation?

Please answer my first question. Do you believe people should receive equal punishment for the same crime (with I might add the same relevant facts)?

Overall I’m against fine structure of this type. Not because I think it’s unfair but because I think it is excessively bureaucratic and encourages government invasion of ones privacy.

‘So I clocked you going 10 miles over the speed limit, I sent a request to the IRS for you last tax filing and because I now know you make a million dollars a year your fine is going to be 5k.’

For a speeding ticket? Fuck everything about that.

Flat rates and the cop can just issue a fine based on your speed and not any of your personal data.

Yes. For example if a billionaire and a pauper committed murder they must both be sentenced to death.

You know those are two conflicting statements. First you say you are against any discrimination. Then you say you are for discrimination if certain requirements are met.

You are discriminating if you say one person is free to do what they want and another is to be locked up. You may certainly have good reason to discriminate but that doesn’t mean you aren’t discriminating.

Because we would be discrimnating based on moral evils and danger to the community rather than morally neutral factors like race or wealth.

Death for both leaves them both dead. We’re talking about monetary fines here.

Thank you. The question then becomes how to ensure traffic violators are punished equally. Since people don’t have equal amounts of money confiscating a fixed amount is going to result in unequal amounts of punishment.

However I do like your thinking on community service. However I might suggest one minor tweak. Instead of letting people buy their way out of it. Why not make it the punishment for everyone?
Then Bill Gates and hobo Willie a like suffer the same weekend of picking up highway trash for speeding. No discrimination.