The cost of everything is going up – most especially the cost of the things you’re forced to pay for and don’t want.
Like traffic “tickets,” for instance.
It’s noteworthy that much of the violence perpetrated by government is performed under the etymological cover of such bland-sounding euphemisms. Normal people do not use such language. If you take someone else’s money using violence, you call it what it is – robbery. Ask any self-respecting mugger.
But government likes to pretend it isn’t robbing you as it does so. Hence such terms as “taxes” and “fees” and “tickets.” The latter being what you get when you are “pulled over” – another government term designed to etymologically attenuate the being waylaid at gunpoint by an armed government worker – and handed an extortion note by the latter, ostensibly because you have committed a “traffic offense.”
No one ever asks who has been “offended.” Much less how “traffic” can be offended.
In fact, using honest language, what has occurred is that you have been handed a demand order – a kind of extortion note, bureaucratized – by an armed agent of the bureaucracy that orders you to pay a sum of money as punishment for doing something the government has declared you may not.
This “may not” can be any of dozens of different things, none of them being moral affronts in that the doing of them (as such) does not do anything, in terms of causing harm to anyone else. They are merely “illegal,” the term used by government to describe something it will punish you for doing.
Such as talking on a sail fawn while driving, for instance.
It is legal, actually, to talk. Just not to hold while talking. It’s an example of the arbitrariness of the thing. Even more so the absurdity of the thing. It is not only legal to tap/swipe the screen that is built into the dashboard of almost every new car, it is legal for the car companies to put these touchscreens in new cars. But it is an “offense” to tap/swipe the touchscreen you carry with you into the car.
The government says the latter is “distracting” while the former is – somehow – not. Either way, there is no metric defining “distraction” – in terms of your driving. Of a piece with what is styled “drunk” driving, which you can be convicted of doing irrespective of your driving – which is entirely incidental. A person can be a terrible driver and so long as they are “sober” – defined by the government as having less than a certain arbitrary blood-alcohol content (BAC) they are subject to much gentler treatment for actually causing harm, as by wandering over the double yellow and into the path of another car.
Anyhow, your libertarian car guy was recently handed a “ticket” for the “offense” of having a sail fawn in his hand while driving. The armed government worker had nothing bad to say about my driving. And had I gone to court to contest the charge, the latter would have been immaterial.
I probably ought to have gone to court. It would at least have saved my $30 – which was added to the $70 the court imposes in “costs.” The additional “$30 being imposed for “tried in absence.” But – wait a minute! – I thought I paid the court for its “costs” (i.e., the less-than-30-seconds it took for the traffic court judge to stamp the ticket “guilty”) to the tune of $70?
It ought to have given me a discount.
Instead the “fine” for the “offense” of holding my sail phone in view of a cop while driving rose from $125 – the prescribed punishment for doing this, irrespective of any harm caused to anyone and never mind that my driving (as such) was never at issue – to $230. The “court costs” – times twice – costing nearly as much as the “fine” for the “offense” itself!
It’s enough to make a self-respecting mugger blush.
The court also charges what it styles a “convenience fee” of 4 percent of the total “fine” if you use a credit card to pay. At least that portion of the grabby handing is avoidable.
The rest, of course, is not.
Well, one could avoid paying the $30 in times-twice court costs by showing up to be “tried” in person – another etymological affront given there is no trial. You are called up to stand in front of a judge who takes whatever the cop says as “evidence” against you – while whatever you say is dismissed out-of-hand by the judge as “hearsay.”
It takes the judge about 30 seconds. It cost you at least half a day. Which means it costs you more than $30 to show up to avoid being relieved of $30 in times-twice costs imposed by the court.
These costs approach the exorbitant – compounding the injustice. It was bad enough, in the Before Time, to get a “ticket” for some pettifoggery “offense.” But at least the fine wasn’t times-twiced by the court, as is apparently becoming common practice.
Meanwhile, the costs imposed on actual street muggers – I mean those lacking badges – are less than those imposed upon people who’ve robbed no one at all but are forced to pay robbers with badges.
And the courts that officialize it all.
. . .
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