Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charles Dickens Call Your Office

We have to believe that one of the things that troubles our betters as they move to create a capitalist paradise is what to do with all the poor people they're creating. We mean, after all, there are only so many fast food jobs and probably most people won't even have enough money for a value meal in a few years anyway. Gardening and child care? Nah. Got the illegal immigrants for that. More wars? Now that's a possibility, but what about those who are too young, or too old, or sick?

Well, truly a dilemma that deserves serious discussion over a second bottle of Clos Mogador Priorat, 2007. Waiter, please? See, there's this unintended consequence to creating a society that makes things better for the already well off by abandoning the most vulnerable and needy elements of the population. Those elements tend to get a bit testy.

Now, admittedly the violence churned up by all this inequality isn't really the problem since public transportation doesn't come out to the gated communities of those who create the policies that institutionalize economic injustice, so mostly the poor just end up making a bad situation worse for themselves rather than interfering with the tee times of their superiors. No, the problem is violence creates market instability which can affect portfolios. Now, say you're thinking about buying the third Porsche, you know, the one in a color that matches your eyes? But you can't plan your investments because the market is up one day, down the next then up and down in the same day.

Most inconvenient, and well, just messy--all those ragamuffins roaming the streets putting your dividends at risk. Oh sure, your police catch a few and throw them in jail, but that's not really a long term solution. No, the long term solution would be just to remove the poor, but that's going to be pretty hard to pull off, even with all the Koch Brothers' money.

Hey, wait a minute. Money. Poor people are poor because they don't have any money, so what if you made not having money a crime?
Kyle Dewitt spent three days in jail because he was too poor to pay a fishing fine. Last spring, Dewitt was ticketed and fined $215 for fishing smallmouth bass out of season (Dewitt disputes the charge). But Dewitt, 19 years old with a fiancée and a nine-month-old son, lost his job at a grocery store in 2010 and has been out of work ever since. He couldn’t afford the $215 fine. Instead he offered to pay $100 up front, and repay the rest in a month. But Judge Raymond Voet of Ionia, Mich., refused. The judge sentenced Dewitt to three days in jail.
 It's not like you're singling out an entire economic class or anything, you're just saying there's a price of admission to this country now, and some people don't have it. You know, it's the same as when the elite want to go to the opera, or a museum. Got to buy a ticket. No ticket, no admittance. Now that's actually equality right there because everybody has to pay for what they want. Want to see the new Picasso exhibit? Got to pay. Want to eat? Got to pay.
“Long thought to be a relic of the 19th century, debtors’ prisons are still alive and well in Michigan,” Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan ACLU, said.
Oh be still my bleeding heart. Look, people need to learn to be self sufficient and self reliant. Those are the strong conservative values that built this country and made low inheritance taxes possible so the sons and daughters of the people who built this country don't have to work for a living.
Using a rule called “pay or stay,” judges in Michigan can decide to keep people in jail who have been found guilty of misdemeanors but who cannot afford to pay their fines. (Dewitt’s case is an anomaly, since he says he wasn’t fishing out of season, and he was never found guilty by a jury.) Other cases involving the ACLU include:

- Kristen Preston, 19, was unable to pay a $125 fine for underage drinking. Judge Voet sentenced her to 30 days in jail.

- Dontae Smith, 19, pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and was ordered to pay $415 in fines. Smith was given an hour to call friends and relatives, but was unable to raise the money, so Judge Joseph Longo of Ferndale, Mich., sentenced him to 41 days in jail.

- David Clark, 30, was ordered to complete a six-week parenting class and pay a $1,250 fine for spanking his girlfriend’s child. Clark took the class, but he couldn’t afford the fine as a part-time grocery store worker who brings home $150 a week. So Judge Randy Kalmbach of Wyandotte, Mich., sentenced him to 90 days in jail.

- Dorian Bellinger, 22, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession and couldn’t afford the $425 in fees, so Judge Robert B. Brzezinski of Livonia, Mich., sentenced him to 13 days in jail.
 Hey, actions have consequences, you know? Well, unless you're wealthy enough or connected enough to avoid them, then your actions have consequences for others, but you can skate, just as the Founders intended.
“These modern-day debtors’ prisons impose devastating human costs, waste taxpayer money and create a two-tiered justice system,” Elora Mukherjee,staff attorney with the ACLU’s racial justice program, said in a press release.
Well, that's an easy problem to fix, just privatize all the prisons. The rich are already paying too much in taxes to support all those freeloaders anyway.

1 comment:

Pearl said...

Holy shit.

Can't wait to see where all of this takes us...