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2016
facts and opinions... no pop ups

Social cost of traffic ticket on working poor

$8 per hour and a traffic ticket.
Long rambling story...

Girl does not have car. Works day shift $8 hour. Reliable friendly, funny, accurate,... no drugs, no alcohol... and does a good job.... been my friend for years. Came from tough circumstances.
Lives with her mother, walks 2 miles to work, and 2 miles back in the dark along streets with no sidewalks.

Ok, she borrowed car to go shopping.
Got a traffic ticket for something. Probably minor. I didn't ask.

Question is... did she get ticket because her driving skills are rusty and she doesn't drive regularly?

Anyway, she's got a ticket. She has no money to pay the ticket via mail.
Instead she has to go to court for a day and lose more money. Hopefully not on voting day.


Traffic court takes full day.... unless you pay the ticket by mail.
Start early... show up 7 am ... take a number ... wait for your name...go to window where they check for warrants and other chances to arrest you ... plead guilty ...
(for real, you have to plead guilty to see the judge)
Wait for court doors to open ....move into courtroom ... wait until they call your name.
Then you talk to the judge.... who is likely to be friendly to strangers and more harsh to regulars. He's smart and tough... lives down the street and I voted for him.

If the court is busy, you are there until 2-3 pm.
If you do not go to court, or pay the ticket ... they will issue warrant... and jail you overnight or weekend until judge is available or friend risks his credit by throwing your bail.


Of course my friend can't afford to pay the ticket, so she has to take a day off from work and have someone drive her to the courthouse.

She has to 'sit it out'
My god... there's a name for the process: SIT IT OUT.
She hopes the judge will dismiss the fine... more likely they will lower the fine and put her on 'payments.'

Logically poor people with tickets have to sit it out or go to jail ... and then meet another payment.
'Rich folks' are able to pay the ticket by mail... so they would never see the process.


Here's the unseen third rail about this situation.

She said she has another job offer at $9 per hour.... helping serve meals to prisoners (traffic scofflaws?) ... BUT the employer said she has to clear the ticket before they can hire her.
SHE CANNOT GET ANOTHER LOW PAYING JOB BECAUSE SHE OWES MONEY for a traffic ticket.


How much of this story is caused by low wages?
How much is caused by a legal system that acts like the 1800's?
How much is caused by elected representatives who do not solve problems?
How much is caused by companies that discovered ways to profit from stopping changes?
How much of this is caused by invading privacy without our permission?


My opinion... the court system and hiring system are deterrents for bad behavior... but much of this is poverty-driven.
I think the cell phone offers a solution.


We can bank by phone? The banks found a way.
They can track your every location using a phone and then sell that data to some rich guy's profits. The big privacy invaders found a way.
Facebook knows the business location near where my phone photo was taken.
Amazon owns alexia ... and knows every website click and what website you visited afterwards.
Windows 10 knows what a person writes, and names of your contacts, and they embedded windows 10 in medical devices. They found a way.


So why can't the people find a way? We pay trillions into the economy, but the economy continues to stop change... except those 'changes' that cause us more restriction.... yet the economic leaders yell that it is we-the-people who stifle innovation.
Baloney.


Why can't we clear traffic tickets and set up a payment by phone?
Why does a rich guy get the same price ticket as a poor person?
Why can't we register to vote using our phone?
Why can't we vote by phone?
Why do laws come into effect without the majority approval of the people... not just those who can afford to miss work to register and vote?
Are privacy issues the reason we cannot do what it takes to change?
Why can't we opt out of privacy invasion that stops us from getting work?

Why can't we accomplish things that help people?

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