Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

I don’t know about you, but through the years I’ve received my share of traffic tickets and parking citations. Minor stuff overall, seventy dollars here, a hundred bucks there, a couple hundred smackeroos if caught in the wrong speed trap.

Sometimes the cost made me say ouch. But like most folks I just pay the tickets. And try to slow down.

But if you are poor, struggling, climbing the ladder from one of the bottom rungs?

Different story. And a speed trap set up by your local police or the state troopers, then, has a much different punch to it.

Could traffic tickets be instruments of tyranny?

Well, the $150 some of us can pay with a mere wince another simply cannot pay, or can only pay at the expense of a child’s supper, or replacing a balding tire on the car, or . . . worse.

And those who cannot pay, despairingly, often shirk the “duties” they cannot perform. Like coming to court to pay the fines they can’t pay. And then they get arrested. And then serve time.

A few more “and thens” and their lives are wrecked. Along with the lives of their children.

Radley Balko tells several such stories in his recent article, “How municipalities in St. Louis, Mo., profit from poverty.” He explains the very human costs of speed traps and other penny ante scofflaw “services” the police inflict all around Ferguson, the scene of last month’s protests and violence.

Balko quotes one observer, who describes the whole system as a trap for the poor, sucking them into a “vortex of despair.”

Stop punishing the working poor with excessive fines. Vanquish the vortex!

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick says:

    Timely. They popped me last week on a quiet neighborhood street at the bottom of a hill. I think there is an unwritten quota to prop up the city’s budget and i think they prefer better neighborhoods(but not the best where the power resides) because they get less grief and actually get paid.

  2. James says:

    Hmm…Lawbreakers whining when they get caught breaking the law.

    Now I see how tyrants get a foothold.

  3. Rick says:

    Ha! And you just reminded me how spin-artists do what they do.

  4. Ron says:

    A friend who happens to be a St. Louis city cop tells me that they absolutely do have quotas for tickets and arrests. Watch your back, especially near the end of the month!

  5. Brian Wright says:

    Excellent case, Paul. Predatory gummint is upon us, and the movement that can appeal to the legions who have been hammered flat by this overstuffed beast will carry the field and the battle.

  6. Brian Wright says:

    On your Today in Freedom account of 9/11/2001 I’m amused it takes the party line: the official story of 9/11 is no longer believed by ANYONE who has simply looked at the evidence: and my latest review of a great expose film: The Anatomy of a Great Deception, by David Hooper:

    Europe thinks most Americans are trapped in the Truman Show when it comes to the official Big Lie of 9/11.

  7. The petty (to some) enormous (to others) arbitrary and unjust regulations on all fronts, is a practice that desperately needs to be rescinded. It will take middle and upper income people though to fight this battle as the very poorest are staggering under the weight of these silly rules and regulations, and also have been told it is their fault for “breaking the law” even though most are not necessary or sensible laws at all.

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