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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

What’s needed is qualified, passionate researchers and time. It all falls back to time.

Don’t see undereducation as largely a financial societal problem Vika? Given my run of things, I’d have to beg to differ.

No, I don’t. We have a solid public education system as it is. It doesn’t need more money. What it needs is better management of the existing resources it has.

What we really lack are qualified, exuberant individuals willing to explore. There’s a dearth of those right aross the sciences. We don’t need the problem fixing 20 years after the education minister stops playing ’let’s radically change the curriculum every other week’, we need it fixing now.

Money’s a bit player at best. You can’t pay someone to create a lifelong passion for a subject. It doesn’t work that way. You have to instill it, and let it grow. That doesn’t mean throwing pounds at them, that means nurturing their passion from a teaching perspective.

It’s policy that’s wrong, not the money.


But, I fear we are needing to show how this socio-econ situation still ties to prostitution.

I would suggest, how many prostitutes are so employed due to their preference within their abilities? I’d imagine not very many. Or phrased differently, how many prostitutes could, and would, find alternative careers given the means?

Of the street walkers, I’d say probably near all of them. That’s not a career path of choice. As you climb the rungs to better paid, more challenging positions, I’d rather suspect the percentage would drop off quickly. I see no reason why it couldn’t be a good job if you’re comfortable selling your body as part of a larger service. If you’re not comfortable, it will never be a good job.

Heh. While entirely destitute I once got aboard public transit without fare (a long, tragic, story of unfortunate coincidence), got a ticket for that. Never paid it.

Fare dodgers are a rife issue across the public transport services. Probably all comes down to body language and fitting in. Bypass the station and just slip onto the train at the platform. For many of them that likely boils down to just boosting over the access gate to the side.

Customs is the same way, and I’ve taken advantage of that one. Look like you have nothing to hide, and just stride right on through ‘nothing to declare’. Nobody stops you. Nobody checks at either end. Easy way to get things that aren’t sold in this country through. Lime and molds, usually.

That is well above middle class.

It really isn’t. This used to be a working farmstead, and its normal for farmers to have that sort of money. Plus a mill only looks good on paper. It goes a lot less far than you’d think.

I’m nowhere remotely in the leagues of the upper class, if money-in-asset-form is the sole determinator.

Interestingly enough that makes you exactly around 10 times as rich as the median american (who has a beth worth of a 38 000$

This property isn’t in America. It’s different over here. This is a horrible, provincial-feeling little country, so small and everyone seems to know everyone, but money isn’t such a big issue. Most of the middle class have fairly substantial savings. Although the amount of free time you have is inversely proportional to what you’re making.

 
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No, I don’t. We have a solid public education system as it is. It doesn’t need more money. What it needs is better management of the existing resources it has.
What we really lack are qualified, exuberant individuals willing to explore. There’s a dearth of those right aross the sciences. We don’t need the problem fixing 20 years after the education minister stops playing ’let’s radically change the curriculum every other week’, we need it fixing now.

I meant less money within the education system and money in the hands of potential students.

Money’s a bit player at best. You can’t pay someone to create a lifelong passion for a subject. It doesn’t work that way. You have to instill it, and let it grow. That doesn’t mean throwing pounds at them, that means nurturing their passion from a teaching perspective.
It’s policy that’s wrong, not the money.

One also cannot pay their bills with passion for a subject. I think I also disagree with the assertion that money alone can’t create passion for a subject, there’s no shortage of lawyers or chemical engineers in my neck of the woods. But back to, passion for a subject does not create the means for serious study and mastery. I’d say the level of financial risk, or total impossibility, may have a great deal to do with the absence of qualified individuals.

Fare dodgers are a rife issue across the public transport services. Probably all comes down to body language and fitting in. Bypass the station and just slip onto the train at the platform. For many of them that likely boils down to just boosting over the access gate to the side.

Around here it’s more of a train system. Everyone aboard has to provide a ticket.

It really isn’t. This used to be a working farmstead, and its normal for farmers to have that sort of money. Plus a mill only looks good on paper. It goes a lot less far than you’d think.

Absolutely disagree with you. Arguing what financial ‘class’ that fits will break down to semantics, but objectively you’re a multimillionaire. As for how far that would go, I think I have a very fine idea how far. I run a pretty tight budget and I assure you I could live the rest of my life quite comfortably on that sum. A single million would pay rent for the next 83 years.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

One also cannot pay their bills with passion for a subject. I think I also disagree with the assertion that money alone can’t create passion for a subject, there’s no shortage of lawyers or chemical engineers in my neck of the woods.

Lawyers typically do not have passion. They are essentially professionally trained liars and con artists, not people seeking to push the boundaries and explore new heights. Typically they’re in it for the money, occasionally for the pleasure of seeing others suffer. So it is a very tightly tied to money profession.

No shortage of chemical engineers is something I’m surprised by. There is a chronic shortage of engineers generally. Chronic shortage across the sciences that is only getting worse.

But back to, passion for a subject does not create the means for serious study and mastery.

It is however, absolutely essential for someone willing to go into R&D. No passion, no researcher. They become a lawyer or a financier instead. No matter how much money someonte threw at you, they would not instill in you an all-consuming passion to push boundaries, push your very limits, and spend every waking moment dreaming about this passion.

Such things can only be nurtured from an initial seed and grown over time, not created by dropping say fifty million dollars in a person’s lap and telling them they are now a biomedical researcher. Their life is to revolve around that passion now.

Around here it’s more of a train system. Everyone aboard has to provide a ticket.

Providing the conductor can be bothered to check it. Or that the train service is even still using them and hasn’t gone totally automated.

The only train service I’d go out of my way to use is the sleeper – the cross-country overnight service. I wouldn’t even try and fare dodge that myself, out of fear I’d get caught, or worse, wind up without a bunk to sleep in. The service was solidly booked last time I used it. Admittedly that was before christmas last year, but its a big risk to take.

With normal train travel, sometimes they check, sometimes they don’t. You take your chances I suppose. Or use the lavatory when you see a conductor approaching from the car behind.

Absolutely disagree with you. Arguing what financial ‘class’ that fits will break down to semantics, but objectively you’re a multimillionaire.

you may consider it semantics, but I have to absolutely disagree with you. It’s the land that accounts for most of it, and the house, and the fixtures and fittings I inherited with it. It’s hard to use dirt as readily available capital, or to shop with a house as payment.

My actual available finances are far, far short of the million. I have property which I can sell if required (assuming anyone wishes to buy at the time) but to do so also means I have to go without that property. A range is one of the things I inherited with the house when my grandmother passed on. I could sell it in theory, and go through all the palava of having it disconnected, dragged out of the house, and buy something else to cook food on. But it’s hardly easily accessible money. Plus then I wouldn’t have access to it anymore.

This turbine which is in my thoughts a lot atm, is going to set us back £150k. If I were really the multimillionaire you assume I am, I would have the ready capital to purchase it relatively worry-free. Instead, that is a sizable chunk of change. Absolutely worth it, as we spent several days without power last December. My fault there; I forgot to buy more fuel for the generators. I knew we were low, but not that low, and then the winds hit, and the powerlines decided they wished to lay on the ground for a while…

Point is, it’s taken a while with three incomes, and savings, to get to the point where we can comfortably break some off to put in the downpayment. About half a year all told. I only once spent a huge chunk, about as much as you’d pay for a flat in London, to stave off problems with a research effort near and dear to my heart. A way of telling a somewhat demonic ‘angel’ investor to piss off. He wasn’t getting a controlling share in the company. Bye-bye now, we have the finances another way… Even so, its not something I would care to repeat, and not something I think I could repeat now, not without effectively liquidating the estate. I discovered back when I was working in London, when she was still alive, that I really don’t get on with pokey little flats, and there was just me in it then, so moving into a small house with three people (technically four if you count the dog) would absolutely not be on the agenda.

So I really don’t have the kinda capital you assume I have.

It’s also why I’m so steadfastly against thijser’s idea of fining people not in money, but in terms of a percentage of their property, for minor breaches of the law – such as prostitution or your dog fowling the verge. I’ve got some inkling of the utter hell it would be, liquidating your home, and trying to keep assets whole as opposed to partitioned, just to pay what would for anyone else, be a minor fine.

A better way to handle it would be something more in line with the driving lisence points system, where you get X points per offense along with a fine. Get enough points and you’re off the road, regardless of how much money you have. Do it with sex trafficing, and if you get caught enough times you’re in jail, regardless of what financial means you have. It’s a much fairer way of dealing with the potential for inequal finances, by taking them out of the equation.

As for how far that would go, I think I have a very fine idea how far. I run a pretty tight budget and I assure you I could live the rest of my life quite comfortably on that sum. A single million would pay rent for the next 83 years.

But would sink without trace in any middling sized business. Which is the problem. If you try to work the money, costs add up very quickly, and it does not go far at all.

 
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Lawyers typically do not have passion. They are essentially professionally trained liars and con artists, not people seeking to push the boundaries and explore new heights. Typically they’re in it for the money, occasionally for the pleasure of seeing others suffer. So it is a very tightly tied to money profession.

I must disagree with you there. I find most lawyers very interested in law (if not, justice) and pretty ready to push the boundaries and explore. I don’t disagree they are in it for the money, especially so at inception. But what I am trying to suggest is that there are many very capable, very dedicated agents in that profession and it is precisely because of the money.

No shortage of chemical engineers is something I’m surprised by. There is a chronic shortage of engineers generally. Chronic shortage across the sciences that is only getting worse.

Well fresh out of a bachelor’s around here you can expect to make a little shy of a hundred grand yearly with total employment confidence. Which is pretty sexy when compared to a half dozen fine art’s graduates I know making just blush of minimum wage.

Although, I do agree that there is a shortage of sciences. I’m in a petrochem city, so anything oil and gas tends to have gold rain down on it and one can really, really, see the effect that has on profession and education spreads.

It is however, absolutely essential for someone willing to go into R&D. No passion, no researcher. They become a lawyer or a financier instead. No matter how much money someonte threw at you, they would not instill in you an all-consuming passion to push boundaries, push your very limits, and spend every waking moment dreaming about this passion. Such things can only be nurtured from an initial seed and grown over time, not created by dropping say fifty million dollars in a person’s lap and telling them they are now a biomedical researcher. Their life is to revolve around that passion now.

I disagree with the suggestion that various non RD jobs are bereft of passion and that those within are expressly born of it. Look at R&D for Big Pharma, I’m not convinced everyone of them crawled up from the playground and shouted to the heavens “I shall synthesize designer drugs and privatized cures for the wealthy!” but there they are, in spades, being quite well compensated.

Now I will give you that there are the rare and exceptional for whom finances don’t hold much draw, dangerous torchbearers with lightning in a bottle. But anything with sufficient pay scale is going to see a swathe of very capable, very ardent workers. I also agree with your emphasis on it being an organic process nurtured, encouraged, enabled and educated but I don’t see that as at odds with high paying positions – one hand washes the other.

But backtracking a little. My main emphasis and original point was that our local Wunderkind, or even a handful of capable people, will not be able to achieve the requisite education, study, training, without a certain amount of capital.

Providing the conductor can be bothered to check it. Or that the train service is even still using them and hasn’t gone totally automated.

Generally at the stop four or so rookie cops will come aboard, check everyone trying to leave, and check everyone remaining. But nope, no automation around here.

you may consider it semantics, but I have to absolutely disagree with you. It’s the land that accounts for most of it, and the house, and the fixtures and fittings I inherited with it. It’s hard to use dirt as readily available capital, or to shop with a house as payment.

One could sell it. It is by your own estimation you have multiple millions of dollars in assets, and liquid or not I must again say that would seem to qualify you as a multimillionaire. Which, much as it sounds, is well out of the scope of what most people consider the middle class and is a hundred fold the average american.

My actual available finances are far, far short of the million. I have property which I can sell if required (assuming anyone wishes to buy at the time) but to do so also means I have to go without that property. A range is one of the things I inherited with the house when my grandmother passed on. I could sell it in theory, and go through all the palava of having it disconnected, dragged out of the house, and buy something else to cook food on. But it’s hardly easily accessible money. Plus then I wouldn’t have access to it anymore. This turbine which is in my thoughts a lot atm, is going to set us back £150k. If I were really the multimillionaire you assume I am, I would have the ready capital to purchase it relatively worry-free. Instead, that is a sizable chunk of change. Absolutely worth it, as we spent several days without power last December. My fault there; I forgot to buy more fuel for the generators. I knew we were low, but not that low, and then the winds hit, and the powerlines decided they wished to lay on the ground for a while…

Yes, selling things is inconvenient. But it does operate under the assumption that one owns a thing. So, there is that. Also, I did not assume you were a multimillionaire; You told us you had a net worth of about three million. I’m sitting at about thirty five thousand personally in the interest of reciprocity.

It’s also why I’m so steadfastly against thijser’s idea of fining people not in money, but in terms of a percentage of their property, for minor breaches of the law – such as prostitution or your dog fowling the verge. I’ve got some inkling of the utter hell it would be, liquidating your home, and trying to keep assets whole as opposed to partitioned, just to pay what would for anyone else, be a minor fine.

I’m not sure I follow why for anyone else it would be a minor fine if we are operating under the assumption of a total stake in finances. Last time I got a ticket I was in net debt though, so I suppose operating under a percentage fine I would have been awarded a small sum of money, heh. What I don’t follow is your suggesting that you would have less solvency or control per dollar. It would be inconvenient to sell a home and buy another, certainly. But alternatively having the bank foreclose and minimum house values out of reach would leave one homeless. Which seems worse.

A better way to handle it would be something more in line with the driving lisence points system, where you get X points per offense along with a fine. Get enough points and you’re off the road, regardless of how much money you have. Do it with sex trafficing, and if you get caught enough times you’re in jail, regardless of what financial means you have. It’s a much fairer way of dealing with the potential for inequal finances, by taking them out of the equation.

Except that you suggest they retain the fine, which keeps the legal system de facto more punishing of the poor. I’m not against the idea of a tallying system, but beyond simple misdemeanors the impact a percent fine could have on the behavior of the ultra rich would be interesting.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

vika:

It’s also why I’m so steadfastly against thijser’s idea of fining people not in money, but in terms of a percentage of their property, for minor breaches of the law – such as prostitution or your dog fowling the verge. I’ve got some inkling of the utter hell it would be, liquidating your home, and trying to keep assets whole as opposed to partitioned, just to pay what would for anyone else, be a minor fine.

I’m not sure I follow why for anyone else it would be a minor fine if we are operating under the assumption of a total stake in finances. Last time I got a ticket I was in net debt though, so I suppose operating under a percentage fine I would have been awarded a small sum of money, heh. What I don’t follow is your suggesting that you would have less solvency or control per dollar. It would be inconvenient to sell a home and buy another, certainly. But alternatively having the bank foreclose and minimum house values out of reach would leave one homeless. Which seems worse.

I think the problem here is that vika just isn’t fully understanding your position on this, Ung. She is way overblowing it. You are talking about very small fines. Yet, even small fines—levied against those of very minimal income (actually: minimum wage related?) would have (somewhat?) serious negative monetary impacts for the low-income ppl.

However, in the monetary fines area, those of significantly greater incomes might have to give up that fancy dining-out this week. Whereas, the poor guy would have to eat shitty food all week. vika’s idea about the point system for driving infractions—along w/ PRORATED fines is something that begins to approach some reasonable form of equality for income disparities. (see below).
.

vika:

A better way to handle it would be something more in line with the driving lisence points system, where you get X points per offense along with a fine. Get enough points and you’re off the road, regardless of how much money you have. Do it with sex trafficing, and if you get caught enough times you’re in jail, regardless of what financial means you have. It’s a much fairer way of dealing with the potential for inequal finances, by taking them out of the equation.

There is a huge difference between not being able to drive and not being able to WORK at your “trade” because you are IN JAIL. This smacks of debtor’s prison: one is jailed because they owe money to someone; but, how are they going to earn the money to pay their debt should they be in jail?

Sure, not being able to drive oneself to their job can be a bit of a “hardship”.
BUT, nothing near the inconvenience of being in jail.
A jailed prostitute won’t have to worry about food, a roof over his/her head, clothing, etc.
But, any other substantial losses would be devastating….loss of car, rent deposit, etc.
These forms of “secondary punishments” for the poor for a lack of corrections of continued minor bad behavior do come close to vika’s exaggerations about how a percentage-of-income based fine system for “social-breeches” would somehow have a huge negative impact on the rich for these minor infractions of law.

For misdemeanor infractions, all that would be necessary for optimum fairness & just monetary assessment would be to obtain the offenders last income report and assign the percentage. Certainly seems fair to me.
.

Ung: Except that you suggest they retain the fine, which keeps the legal system de facto more punishing of the poor.
Yup.
Which brings up right back to YOUR point of injustice of the monetary punitive factor present in a society that is extremely income diversely uequal.
.
Ung: I’m not against the idea of a tallying system, but beyond simple misdemeanors the impact a percent fine could have on the behavior of the ultra rich would be interesting.

I’m sure it would make most any level of income earners do a little more thinking about the laws they think aren’t all that important to someone of their (financial) “standing”. This would be something along the line of: if you can’t do the time…you shouldn’t do the crime. Only this would be monetary fines rather than jail time.

And, believe me…the wealthy I’ve encountered certainly have a few of them that sincerely believe they are (somewhat?) above the law in some ways…..that such laws are for keeping the “riff-raft” in check.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Except that you suggest they retain the fine, which keeps the legal system de facto more punishing of the poor. I’m not against the idea of a tallying system, but beyond simple misdemeanors the impact a percent fine could have on the behavior of the ultra rich would be interesting.

You have to retain the fine. If you don’t, you will get people trying to wiggle their way out of any punishment whatsoever.

If they truly cannot afford it, the court will take this into consideration, and choose to waive the fine, in lieu of penalty another way.

With driving, it was always the points that stung far more than the fine. As in if I got 12 points I was effectively out of work. But if I honestly could not afford the fine, if I didn’t pay it, it would go to court and provided I had the paperwork to back up my lack of finances, they would accept that, and find an alternate punishment. Community service most likely.

Plenty of individuals who live on DLA are in that situation. They have proof of income via official paperwork. It’s more than sufficient for any court to see they truly cannot afford the fine, and so its waived.

 
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You are still missing and/or dancing all around Ung’s point.
The wealthy just pay the fine….usually just mail it in or something equally “no sweat”….maybe even have their lawyer handle all of it.

The economically disadvantaged obviously aren’t allowed these “privileges”.
So, in lieu of simply paying….they have all of those other hoops to jump through.
Doing “community service” is like taking a third or fourth job for most of them…AND NOT GETTING PAID.
vika, I’m beginning to think that ya just don’t know how “the other half” lives?
It is paycheck-2-paycheck. The slightest waves severely rock their boats. They are barely scraping by.

A good example of a rather large “wave” would be for a “lower income” person to have failed to note/understand the impact of a state law enacted several years ago regarding traffic fines for failing to move to a far lane and/or slow down when passing a stopped law enforcement or other emergency or roadwork zone. The fine currently is $190.

A lawmaker wants to increase it He says: “We’ve got to get this law changed where the penalty is not just a slap on the wrist." He wants it to be $400.

I can very easily tell ya that the $190 (+ court costs) certainly ain’t no slap on the wrists for the poor working class. This asshole lawmaker’s heart (for those in danger on the shoulders of the road) may be in the right place; but, he certainly just doesn’t get the picture Ung is trying to bring to light on this inequality of incomes means a huge injustice for those who are fined $$$$$.

Our fucking great traffic enforcement “stings” (12 to 15 cars) won’t go after the assholes who speed, weave in & out of traffic lanes, use up all of the yellow light & enter the intersection on red.
No…their little stings amount to monitoring an intersection and ticketing ppl who: fail to maintain the proper (closest) lane upon making their turn. AND, in the process, cause a lot more danger by stopping and writing tickets on down a busy street.

HELL, hardly anyone doesn’t “swing wide” to the far lane when making a turn…particularly on a right turn.
I’ve even seen cops do it….fairly often.
I seen them fail to signal turns & lane changes.
Yet, they (in general) will give a poor sap a ticket which costs them a hefty percentage of that days work….if not all of it and the next one, too.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

You are still missing and/or dancing all around Ung’s point.
The wealthy just pay the fine….usually just mail it in or something equally “no sweat”….maybe even have their lawyer handle all of it.

The economically disadvantaged obviously aren’t allowed these “privileges”.
So, in lieu of simply paying….they have all of those other hoops to jump through.
Doing “community service” is like taking a third or fourth job for most of them…AND NOT GETTING PAID.
vika, I’m beginning to think that ya just don’t know how “the other half” lives?
It is paycheck-2-paycheck. The slightest waves severely rock their boats. They are barely scraping by.

Then the court will see this, and change the form of the punishment. There are no court costs involved when the income is low, at least this side of the pond. Those are waived automatically, and I’ve seen it done many a time.

The fine IS a good idea, because if a person cannot pay it and has an honest reason why they cannot, then the form of punishment is changed. It’s still a punishment, and I fully support the idea of punishment other than financical. Such as an additional ‘poison’ type punishment. Enough times and you’re going down, doesn’t matter what finances you have.

The fine then is only there for a placeholder. Nominally to cover the court’s admisitration costs, but it is not something to just forget about. I absolutely do not wish to get into the situation of “oh, you’re poor. Then there will be no punishment.”

That will get abused six ways from sunday.

 
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Again, ya’re simply looking at this situation the wrong direction.
It isn’t about how badly fines affect the poor.
Ung’s point (and mine, by the way) is that, regardless of ability to pay in the lower echelons, the real problem is that the fines DO NOT in any measure affect the wealthy in the same way.
That “direction” is the one Ung & I are looking….to make the “penalty” for a transgression be played out on a much more level field of play.

Fine everyone according to their ability to pay.
If the poor have none….then, your ways are fine.
But, for those who have plenty (and likely are “using” the poor to get it), I have no problem in making sure that—like that lawmaker wanting fines of $400—they feel the pinch just the same as those who aren’t so wealthy.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Again, ya’re simply looking at this situation the wrong direction.
It isn’t about how badly fines affect the poor.
Ung’s point (and mine, by the way) is that, regardless of ability to pay in the lower echelons, the real problem is that the fines DO NOT in any measure affect the wealthy in the same way.

the fines aren’t meant to affect the wealthy. It’s the other half of the punishment that affects everyone regardless of wealth. It directly impacts the person, not their property.

What they are meant to do is cover the legal administration costs. I’ve no problem with the fines being raised, so long as they’re still waived for those who cannot afford to pay them. In the long run they will have to be raised, to cover the costs of the numbers being prosecuted who cannot afford to pay them.

 
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You have to retain the fine. If you don’t, you will get people trying to wiggle their way out of any punishment whatsoever.

I suppose an only tally system would have no immediate punishment, but there would be the looming threat of escalating.

If they truly cannot afford it, the court will take this into consideration, and choose to waive the fine, in lieu of penalty another way. Community service most likely.

Or, they might not. Summary sentencing by rote based upon approved non differentiating standards seems more likely. Mostly how things work now. Although, you’ve brought to mind an interesting notion. Time based sentencing. I think a case could be made for the rich having more time then the poor, but not that much. A certain number of requisite hours seems fairly equitable across the board.

The fine IS a good idea, because if a person cannot pay it and has an honest reason why they cannot, then the form of punishment is changed.

Even supposing they can pay it, it still remains more punishing of the Poorer then the Richer.

What they are meant to do is cover the legal administration costs. I’ve no problem with the fines being raised, so long as they’re still waived for those who cannot afford to pay them. In the long run they will have to be raised, to cover the costs of the numbers being prosecuted who cannot afford to pay them.

Sort of? Most mass ticketable offenses (Speeding) are employed directly as a revenue generator. Which covers costs, yes, but for the most part nothing directly associated with the offense itself. Also large or troubled cases do not see an increase in fines to cover their more extensive cost.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

If they truly cannot afford it, the court will take this into consideration, and choose to waive the fine, in lieu of penalty another way. Community service most likely.

Or, they might not. Summary sentencing by rote based upon approved non differentiating standards seems more likely.

Only if you choose to pay the fine in person at the courthouse. If you choose not to pay the fine, or contest it, then the fine is doubled automatically, and a court date is set. That’s your chance to then show you honestly cannot afford the fine. It’s your only chance to do so: Those staffing the fine desk are unresponsive to any plea bargaining.

I’ve had a few speeding fines over the years, and so have sat in that bland waiting room listening to all sorts of inane excuses why they shouldn’t have to pay. A guy who was arguing that he shouldn’t have to pay because he was registered as mentally ill has stuck in my mind as a favorite. He wasn’t so mentally ill that he was deemed unfit to drive, so no excuse there. He was told the same thing everyone else is; if you wish to contest it, refuse to pay it. Drag the process out to court, and plead your case there. He eventually paid, as he hadn’t a leg to stand on. But those with a genuine case, can go to court and have the fine squashed.

Mostly how things work now. Although, you’ve brought to mind an interesting notion. Time based sentencing. I think a case could be made for the rich having more time then the poor, but not that much. A certain number of requisite hours seems fairly equitable across the board.

Anything that isn’t solely based on finances would be ideal, though I disagree the rich have more time than the poor. I’d gladly pay whatever you asked if you could promise to add six hours to my every day, make them 30 hours long rather than 24, so I could fit more in the same time as a more average person experiences, but so far, nobody has come forward with a credible such offer.

Ultimately time is the great limiter. money can be gained, but time is a finite constant. There’s never enough of it either.

Even supposing they can pay it, it still remains more punishing of the Poorer then the Richer.

Then set a minimum income threshold for the fine to be paid above, or a tiered threshold. But cap the max level of the fine at the costs of administration for the court. That’s the sole purpose of the fine really, to cover their costs. The actual punishment is the points received.

I don’t have any problem with paying double or triple the cost now, if there is such a tiered structure in place to help those who cannot afford it. I’d basically be paying to support the processing of those who cannot afford it, and that I’m fine with. My own fault for not particularly paying attention to the change of speed limits to begin with.

Sort of? Most mass ticketable offenses (Speeding) are employed directly as a revenue generator. Which covers costs, yes, but for the most part nothing directly associated with the offense itself. Also large or troubled cases do not see an increase in fines to cover their more extensive cost.

Troubled cases automatically have their fines doubled. It’s a prerequisite before its taken to court to arbitrate the matter. If they lose the court battle they have to pay double the original fine, plus a court fee, which I think is £160. The only real way to lose is to not have a solid case that you genuinely cannot afford the fine in the first place. Claiming you’re mentally ill – not too mentally ill to drive, but too ill to take responsibility for your actions – would be a good way to lose, for example. Presenting DWP documentaion and a rent book, showing you honestly do not have the kind of money they are asking for, is a good way to win.

Speed cameras are mostly for the money, I agree. They’re not in traffic blackspots most of the time, but in nasty places like the foot of hills and round sharp bends, where you are naturally more likely to be speeding. (The last time I was flashed by one, I maaay have been doing double the speed limit, so I can’t use that excuse.)

However, increasingly speed camera warning systems are coming pre-installed on sat-navs, and as the average sat-nav system these days will set you back all of £30, they are increasingly within the range of those of little means, so they are forewarned and forearmed as to where the cameras are. Speeding is more and more becoming the remit of those who truly aren’t paying attention to the road around them.

 
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Vika you really believe it’s a good idea to have every traffic violation be brought to court? And what abou those who can neither afford to pay the fine nor miss the day of work? Plus how often would you have to liqudate a large sum of your property to pay the biggest of 1% of you annual income or 1/20% of your total net value? Even if you a worth 3 million that is only 1500$ for a traffic fien (sure it would otherwise have been around 150$ but still).

 
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Originally posted by thijser:

Vika you really believe it’s a good idea to have every traffic violation be brought to court? And what abou those who can neither afford to pay the fine nor miss the day of work? Plus how often would you have to liqudate a large sum of your property to pay the biggest of 1% of you annual income or 1/20% of your total net value? Even if you a worth 3 million that is only 1500$ for a traffic fien (sure it would otherwise have been around 150$ but still).

I think your underestimating total net value. 1% net value is generally more than 100% net annual income for the average person. Suggest sticking to daysets (1/365% of net annual income) and applying a number of those according to the severity of the issue.

 
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Great (<<< good way).
We’re now doing something Ung & I should have done some time back to make our point clear: apply some numbers to demonstrate how the huge disparity of income/wealth holdings among (I know only of America…but, I imagine much the same the world over) a society to show the effects of how truly harmful an “equally applied” justice system can be for the working poor.

We’ve gone a bit afield of the original instigator, prostitution, in citing examples of petty crime ( which prostitution is) that seem to focus entirely on moving violations of vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not chastising anyone for going SOMEWHAT off peripheral to the OP. I think such spinning off is only natural….and, I usually/mostly enjoy it because heretofore subtle nuances relating to the OP, or not, are gleaned.

First, to apply some the sociology to the prostitution part.
Such application of legal “punishments” is typically done only to street walkers.
And, this happens when it is being done in an area that rejects it and complains.
Otherwise, the police generally just “look the other way”….except for the occasional “round up of the usual suspects”…which will include the johns (also simply given a misdemeanor ticket).

The street walker is getting shit money for her work.
It goes to her pimp….there are very few independents “on the street”…for three main reasons.
One: a woman needs the protection….as much as is possible under those circumstances.
Two: being an independent on the street is largely frowned up.
Three: a typical street walker has psychological issues that nudge her to a need for male dominance.

But, it is the woman, not the pimp, that gets the ticket…it goes on HER record.
Sure, the pimp pays the fine…just cost-of-business expense,,,
the same as housing, feeding, clothing, etc. them.
They typically live together in order for the pimp to exact the control both he & his stable desire.

On up the sex-for-hire trade, you have the business establishment (whore house, massage parlor, escort service, etc.). These enterprises are difficult to establish an actual crime incident. They obviously get no complaint from the neighborhoods they are in….and, the police are rational enough to know prostitution is gonna happen and , much like abortion, de facto just “ignore” it unless something of a really serious nature is happening.

From that area of trade, we move up to the call girl. There certainly isn’t going to be much “arresting” there. Her cliental’s anonymity is of great importance to the social structure. They are the upper echelon of the economic status Ung & I are referencing that tacitly pay far less for breaking the same law as do the lowly street walker.

Now, back to the numbers/percentage application for general misdoings by the different strata of economic status. I’ll stick to traffic violations since that is the current theme. Let’s us this chart to show the incomes of 10,000 ppl. One percentage that pops right out is that statistically two things happen:
A) one-half of those 10,000 are of low income. Since $30,000 is the average. This means that a very large number of them are at a number below $20,000.
B) Those ppl are going to be driving in parts of town that aren’t usually policed for traffic infractions. Not necessarily by much….but, still increasingly so as one goes higher up the income ladder.

Now, let’s boil gross income down to net. A person earning $20,000 will typically net something in the neighborhood of $15,000. Did anyone actually read that link I gave about how there is a $190 fine for failure to slow down and move to a lane away from particular emergency vehicles stopped on the shoulder of the road (even ON the street/highway… sometimes necessary). And, double the fines in work zones…which are much, much more likely to be violated than the others.

Okay, with me so far?
For simplicity, I’m going to round up that $190 ticket up to $200 so it computes easily w/ that $20,000 gross income. It’s 1%. It’s obviously a little more for the net income that is where the money for the fine will come.
BUT, it is one helluva lot less for those whose incomes are considerably higher.
All of this “justice” here is being meted out for the very same infraction of a law.
Result: it’s good to be rich…..in soooooo many ways.
A nice (yet very average for XXXX) flat screen TV can cost $1,500…that is 10% of NET for that lower group.
An outing to a movie theater for 4 can cost a family something like $60.
A simple trip to Arby’s, McDonalds, etc. can cost them $15-$20.
Again: it’s very nice to have a good income.

Now, since there has been some discussion about court costs. Here in Kansas, YOU PAY THEM … regardless. I see it as just another fucking “hidden tax”. As the chart shows, the more typical speeding infractions yields $45 for speeding and $98 standard court costs = $143. Put that in a work zone = $188. And, it is often very hard to observe speed limits because all the traffic around you is on your bumper pushing you to go faster. You can actually get a ticket for impeding traffic….even though it is speeding.

Now, for some real “justice”.
My wife was ticketed for work zone violation for simply maintaining the speed of the flow. She was PICKED OUT of the many. If laws can’t be administered fairly….there is no justice. No justice greatly weakens respect for laws.

vika has brought up the subject of incrementally increasing fines for habitual violations. This is an example of a few in Kansas.

HOWEVER, once again…it is good to have money.
Money to hire a lawyer to “handle” the more serious (drunk driving, etc.) traffic violations.
The poor schmuck certainly can’t do this.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Money to hire a lawyer to “handle” the more serious (drunk driving, etc.) traffic violations.
The poor schmuck certainly can’t do this.

If you’re caught drunk driving, it really doesn’t matter how much money you have. You’re off the road. Minimum of a year. Goodbye lisence. If you hit someone, you can probably add manslaughter charges to that. Doesn’t matter how good your lawyer is, some charges cannot be blagged out of.

 
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I certainly can’t speak for all of America (and, from what I gather…neither can you).
And, mostly I’m aware of what happens in metro-Wichita….and, moderately for the State. (that is the typical news coverage here…local & state).

But, believe me on this, I know personally 3 lawyers that this is a large part of their practice.
And, these guys don’t pay for this expensive advertising for not reason.

Now, expand that to minor drug offenses and other such petty crap that still makes it worth the money to hire a lawyer…a lawyer that doesn’t make a good living doing pro bono.

Again…it’s good to have money.
And, just EXACTLY like the bias of how good looks can ameliorate the punishments for wrong doing, the same goes for having money. There are many such studies that show the various applications of this bias.
So, like it or not, even though most judges would deny having such bias on money, good looks, etc….they are still highly likely to be “hard-wired” socially to be so.

Something of note

Kansas DUI law problems

Look, I had a nephew killed by a drunk driver.
I’ve invested a lot in this issue….on several levels.
I probably know a tad bit more about this issue than the average person….this includes you, vika.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

But, believe me on this, I know personally 3 lawyers that this is a large part of their practice.
And, these guys don’t pay for this expensive advertising for not reason.

They wouldn’t be advertising like that in the UK. It’s pretty open and shut. You were driving drunk, driving dangerously, driving without due care and consideration. If you are lucky, you will get to keep possession of your car. Chances are the cops’ll take that as well. It’s near 100% guaranteed you’ll lose your right to drive. The only exceptons being those that are borderline on the limit.

Hire the best lawyer money can buy; won’t change the case one iota.

Now, expand that to minor drug offenses and other such petty crap that still makes it worth the money to hire a lawyer…a lawyer that doesn’t make a good living doing pro bono.

Yea, lawyers that operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis are increasingly hard to find these days.

Again…it’s good to have money.

Even better to keep it by avoiding doing business with lawyers wherever and whenever possible.

So, like it or not, even though most judges would deny having such bias on money, good looks, etc….they are still highly likely to be “hard-wired” socially to be so.

And then the papers get ahold of the story, the smell of corruption from whitehall is in the air, and suddenly there’s a major scandal and those judges are out of work. British public does not tolerate corrupt officials, and the papers love to expose them.

 
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Oh, how I wish America were a lot more like the UK in this regard.

Those kinds of “no win-no pay” lawyers here are for the much more lucrative liability cases.
And, they won’t take a case unless there is a serious “payday” involved for them.

I agree, not needing a lawyer is a good thing.
However, here in America….we have tons of them.
So, since the more “well-heeled” are the ones that pay them…
quite obviously they aren’t much good at following your advice….lol

The problem w/ the “smell of corruption” is that it isn’t at all noticed because it isn’t at all big and “all ppl in a society” are just as involved in it. Playboy doesn’t sell a lot of mags w/ ugly gals presented in their pages. Most Hollywooders are damn fine looking….same for the modeling world.

Do I really have to “prove” the innate bias society has for good looks & money?

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Do I really have to “prove” the innate bias society has for good looks & money?

You’d have to prove that this bias always trumps the law of the land, yes.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

Do I really have to “prove” the innate bias society has for good looks & money?

You’d have to prove that this bias always trumps the law of the land, yes.

Did I come even ANYWHERE NEAR approaching that issue?
I very simply stated that it is something that most anyone of normal intelligence & of age (beginning at least around 10) has a damn fair idea of its existence.

I did say that, try as hard as they want, most judges will—to some degree or another—fall prey to such bias. Why do ya think they wear BLACK robes? Any other preference for style, color by the judge would be copied by the attorneys. While it can be so subtle that the judge doesn’t know he is doing it, there are times that one, or both, attorneys can.

Ala and this:
President Sees Red at News Conference
March 22, 1985 | From a Times Staff Writer
White House reporters, some of whom are experienced at making President Reagan see red, used the color to catch his eye—and attention—at his news conference Thursday night. Convinced that Reagan tends to call on reporters wearing red, First Lady’s Nancy Reagan’s favorite color, most members of the press corps were wearing something red. The tactic briefly seemed to work.

First…..always is simply just dumb to say.
Second….trumps is so subjective that it is nearly as dumb.

However, though this thread really isn’t the place for the racism issue (unless one can tie it to the OP), I know of one helluva lot discussions that do center around how the law isn’t exactly all that “fair” to Blacks.
Trumps the law of the land? No, probably not….depending upon what one means by that.
Most interpretations I know of means (from card playing) to hold a higher value.
But, from: trump up, to devise deceitfully or dishonestly, as an accusation; fabricate: Try as they might, they were unable to trump up a convincing case against him.

But, there is some very convincing situations where “looks”—as in having “darker skin” did appear to play a “significant” part in how justice was served.

And, on topic….might not a “very religious” city judge be able to harbor some bias against those filthy whores? If judges are so “unbiased”, why are the SCOTUS members assigned conservative & liberal (leaning?) tags?