This is a subject I hit on several times back in the days when I wrote on our local news paper forum; before the founding of the RNL. When government budgets for fines and penalties as part of their yearly revenue sources, they are “budgeting” war against the citizens they are supposed to serve. This story is an admission that my assertion is correct:
Authorities in Sacramento, Calif., say law-abiding citizens are hurting city revenues.
Let us explain: The people of Sacramento have been doing such a good job of avoiding parking tickets that city officials say it’s starting to affect revenues.
You see, if the government is depending on income from fines, they will make sure there are a minimum number of fines every year – whether citizens actually break the law or not. This is where the police end up with ticket quotas. To be sure, government officials seldom put it in such terms, but never the less, police officers end up feeling pressure to write a certain amount of tickets in order to meet the government’s budgetary requirements.
Then there is the tangential aspect of fines. Most people have been conditioned to just accept fines and penalties as normal, but they are actually a violation of natural law. Natural law demands restitution to the harmed, but where is anyone harmed by speeding? Yes, speeding could endanger someone, but government is supposed to be a mechanism for enforcing natural law, and until someone is actually harmed, there is nothing to enforce. In fact, there are conditions under which doing the speed limit presents more of a hazard than speeding often does. You can no doubt think of a time when traffic was traveling at 10+ mph more than the posted speed limit only to encounter a vehicle doing the speed limit. At that time, people are faced with the reality of speed: speed does not kill, differential speed kills. So, when the faster traffic has to avoid the slower vehicle, a hazard is created. So why do we ticket those going “too fast” instead of the slower vehicle? After all, the slower vehicle created the hazard, ot the faster cars. And that is yet another aspect of this matter: the disconnect between the letter and the spirit of the law.
Keeping with the theme at hand, let’s look at stop signs. Suppose you are driving home at 2 AM and there isn’t another car on the road. You come to a stop sign where you can easily see in all directions, so you slow down, look in both directions and proceed – sort of “sliding” through the intersection. That’s when a cop who had been sitting there waiting for someone to do just that turns on his lights, pulls you over and gives you a ticket. And there you go: the officer just violated natural law. You say no, you did because you didn’t follow the law, but you did – you followed natural law. You see, the purpose of the stop sign is to remind you to exercise due caution so you do not endanger or harm others. In this case, you did just that: you slowed down and looked in both directions to insure you were not creating a hazard. So who was harmed by your action? No one. So why do you have to pay a ticket when there was and could be no injury? You were ticketed because you violated the letter, but not the spirit of the law (and the government wants its money).
I’ll close with this. Even if we accept that we must obey the letter of the law because of whatever fallacious argument is offered, why is the government the beneficiary of the fine? Was the government the harmed party? No! So, unless the government is going to give the fine to the party that is actually injured, all a fine represents is a tax. But in this case, it is a conditional tax connected with the notion of law. And when that tax is budgeted and assumed, the government becomes an enemy of the people it is supposed to be working for by placing itself in a position where it has to “created” law-breakers to meet its budget. There is a violation of natural law that cannot be punished – because the letter of the law says the government can violate natural law.
And we wonder why our government is dysfunctional…