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comment by oyster
oyster  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Finland, home of the $103k speeding ticket

    Casey Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, has valid concerns about them. “An income-based system might appear to ‘help the poor,’ but that's forgetting the victims of those crimes,” he says. He notes that income imbalances between neighborhoods could create disparities in the incidence of reckless driving. “Do we want more speeding past schools in poor neighborhoods than in rich neighborhoods?

I’m trying really hard to understand what this guy thinks he’s saying. Like, does he think if we fine rich people more money poor people will just forget that the fine they could get for speeding will really affect their financial situation ? Is this just another rich guy pretending to care about poor children because he doesn’t want to stop speeding ?

snoodog  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think what he’s saying is that at some point the penalty is too low and the time has no value or the price of the ticket isn’t worth the officers time..

Seattle has already started to have this problem where crimes where the city will not enforce laws against hobos and addicts. It’s not worth the officers time to arrest someone who is on heavy drugs and committed property crimes because the processing will take a long time and the tiny penalty is not a deterrent. It’s really hard to punish people who are living near rock bottom without going either way overboard or not being effective.

oyster  ·  225 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So, the point of it being income based is that the cost of the fine will have an impact on everybody getting the fine, not just poor people. The price being too high for rich people while simultaneously too low for poor people doesn’t really fit.

Maybe he was poorly quoted, but he didn’t mention quotas which isn’t really a problem with this type of fine, it’s a problem with police. If it was public knowledge that I didn’t do my job all month and had to scramble to finish it at the end I wouldn’t be very highly regarded. Having said that even if the problem stays and we change the fines they could simply make the quota about the number of fines as opposed to the amount of money coming in.

veen  ·  226 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can only see some value in his argument if this policy also meant that overall ticket prices are lower, which would disporportionally favor the less well off.

    Mulligan also points out that because some penalties involve time in custody, in court, or in jail, the system does, to an extent, mete out justice equally. “The value of the time component of a penalty is proportional to the penalized person’s value of time,” he says. In terms of earnings potential, an hour of a CEO’s time is worth a lot more than an hour of a janitor’s.

But I think he's just one of the whining ones. As if a CEO would've earned $102k otherwise...