Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
It's never a good idea to financially incentivize those responsible for our protection: it soon becomes a protection racket. Policing is not a business or we could hire private police; same with Safety Inspectors and other government functionaries we allow to monitor and regulate us via the public sphere because we can't trust private interests not to exploit us. However, government, especially local governments, can be just as insidious an extortion threat with their use of fines.
Fines should never be used as revenue generators for local government because if the benefits accrue directly to the agency imposing the fines, that's self-dealing. For example, it's unproven rather Red-light cameras improve safety, or are a deterrent, but even if that is the assumption then any safety law that has a fine attached to it is suspect unless the fine money goes to an uninterested Third Party and there is no financial benefit to the ticket-giver. Enriching private out-of-State companies who provide the cameras and ticketing, and that are then given the State's power of collection, is especially heinous and should be explicitly prohibited. In fact, many States have made Red-light cameras illegal and some State Supreme Courts have even declared them unconstitutional. Why is that precedence not universal unless, of course, local governments want a slush fund.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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