The laws on fines are completely unfair and out of balance!! I do not say this because I am mad at having to pay a traffic fine or anything. I have felt this way for years and years.
The purpose of fines is to act as a deterrent. People avoid breaking minor laws because it can be financially damaging. To be effective these fines must be fair and even across the board in their effect on the people who must pay.
How is it fair to demand the same amount from a single mother of three as the state does from Bill Gates? Yes they committed the same infraction, say speeding, but one pays up out of literally pocket change and the other is hit with a major financial setback. As a result the wealthier a person is the more their compliance with minor rules and laws becomes pure choice on their part.
The way the system is today fines of any sort loom much larger for poorer people and diminish to meaninglessness They might still worry about losing their license but NOT until that is a prospect. I know, I have seen it, talked to wealthy folks who regard another ticket as a minor nuisance, telling me that they are not in danger of suspension so who cares. On the other hand I have known a women who lost her apartment and almost her job because of the fallout of having to pay ONE ticket.
Why do people let this go on? The way I see it people are personally optimistic, no one likes to think of themselves as “poor”. Everyone dreams/hopes/expects to have “enough” money someday. So they swallow this poison pill and let the richies laugh at them while they pay out of proportion to their infraction.
Lets have a minimum fine set for each infraction. That minimum to be applied to anyone who did not make enough to have to file taxes the year before. Everyone else gets to pay based on a sliding scale fixed to their last years taxes. There could be loopholes if you can show that your financial situation drastically lowered since you filed..but the state could also look and see that you just tripled your income with a new job and set the fine accordingly.
What is unfair about this? Put up the counter-arguments or jump on the bandwagon and talk about how unfair it all is NOW. That is how social change first starts.
This is not a big issue but it strikes to the root of our society’s way of favoring the rich and sweeping the poor under the rug. I am well aware that not everybody is capable of doing anything that can make them rich but that is not a reason to punish the ones, who through circumstance or nature do not have substantial incomes.
Imagine the fallout! Lexus, BMW and Porsche drivers would soon be known as the most POLITE drivers instead of the biggest jerks on the road! Overall the income to the state from fines should not change much; less money from the little fish but more, sometimes a LOT more from the obscenely wealthy. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a Communist tax the rich into submission kind of guy If I was filthy rich I would still feel the same way.
If society wants me to view something as not to be done and passes a law to impose a fine I ask for no privilege to be able to ignore it unless the fine reaches a threshold of pain for me personally.
If I am going 100 on the freeway I want to be NERVOUS about getting caught As nervous as that mother of three would be. Imagine what the fine would be if Bill Gates got caught throwing his trash out the window in Ca (where the fine is now $1,000 for ANYONE) “Yes Mr. Gates, I will impose only the minimum fine of 10,000,000.00. Consider yourself lucky!” : – ) On the other hand the Mother of three might get hit with 100.00 which would hurt but not destroy her finances. Any objections to this? Speak up!!!!