Not a money making scheme

A few weeks ago I was in traffic court to see about playing that little game of reduce-the-fine.

The judge was very up front and clear about how the game worked. He explained that there was another employee of the government who would call your name, ask you to walk outside with her, offer you a deal, and it would most likely be in your best interest to take the deal.

Then he said, this is not a money making scheme.

I somehow managed to restrain myself. This guy was obviously a wise and intelligent guy, he made no story or issue about what was going to go on in his courtroom. We were all playing this game, and this is how it goes.

But then he flat out lied to everybody by saying this was not a money making scheme.

There is a $85 surcharge that new york state tacks on to nearly every ticket and summons it passes out.  Does the state feel the need to extra-punish us? Or does it just want more money.

I am reminded of a time a few years ago when I was getting off the exit of a highway and there was a checkpoint. You know, where the cops look at the inspection and registration of every car looking for expiration problems.

He took one look at my car and pulled me over.

He pointed out the my registration had expired. Interesting, I thought I very distinctly remember going to the dmv website and renewing my registration and paying. But I looked at the sticker in the window and sure enough it had expired.

So I got a ticket.

It seems to me this is a money making scheme. If the nice police man really wanted to help, he might have said “Your registration has expired, is everything okay?” And we could have discussed the situation, and I would have thanked him for pointing out the problem to me.

In fact what had happened, was I used a state government website to renew my registration. The state government either failed to mail me the new registration sticker or the federal government’s postal system failed to deliver it to my house. Either way, I did everything right, the government’s system failed, and for this, I get fined $60.

Of course you can say it’s my car it’s my responsibility to make sure everything is in  order, and I agree it is. I will take responsibility (the issue of being forced to register my car is another matter entirely) for my actions. But did they have to fine me or could they just have pointed out to me the problem so I could take care of it.

No, this is not a moneymaking scheme.

If anybody’s looking for reasons why the revolution has failed, here’s a good example.

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