A Quark of A Different Spin. (adameros) wrote,
A Quark of A Different Spin.

elnigma points out here that 1 out of every 37 U.S. adults have been to prison. That is 2.7% of our adult population. Is this too much? Is this not enough? Does this mean that we are a nation of savages? Are the laws to strick? Are they to light?

I tend to think we have to many laws that are to obfuscated. We also have far to many random and sundry fees in our governments, which result in the people having to cut corners, making it so some fees don't get paid, and poor are fined even more, or possibly incarserated. Look at how reliant we are on cars. In the SF Bay Area the mass transit systems are such a shambles that what take someone 20 minutes to drive can take a couple hours by bus. That is assuming you are going or coming from somewhere that is covered by the bus system. Then add the cost of housing, very few people can live close enough to work to make alternate transportation an option. So you are dinged with fees, obsure traffic laws, overzelous police, and high insurence premiums. I'm not saying the poor shouldn't pay thier fair share, I'm saying the system is fucked, and that everyone is asked to pay in excess of thier fair share. This leads to people driving while uninsured, unlicensed, and/or unregistered. All, just to beable to get to work to get by. And they will likely end up going to jail for this.

There are a number of other things like this. Take business taxes, for example. I was discussing with a CPA the costs of doing business in Portland. With the Federal, State, County, and City taxes, business immediatly lose something like 60% of their money. Then add employee benifits, insurence, rent, etc, etc, etc. You are very lucky if you squeek by with one or two percent profit. It makes one wonder why you would bother going into business in Portland. Or in California, if you have a Zine, sell bead necklaces, art, anything as a business, you are have to pay a business tax (which is normal), but the minimum you are taxed per year is $400. So if you have a Zine, and sell 50 copies online, making a profit of about $20 (if you are lucky), you have to pay the state $400. This basicly kills most home/side businesses. And if you can't pay, they put a lien on your bank account. If you still can't, they seize your property. And if that doesn't cover it, hello jail.

Or, let's look at the guy in San Jose who got VERY drunk, went out to his front porch and pissed on his own lawn. A neighbor saw and complained to the police, they came out and arrested him for indesent exposure. He went to jail, and now has to register as a sex offender where ever he moves.

Or my ex-coworker, AJ. When he lived in Texas, he was drunk and listening to music loud. The police showed up, he opened his door. The tried to arrest him for public drunkenness (because he opened his door for them, and could be seen from the street while drunk). He refused to leave the house, saying they were full of it. They hauled him out, and added resisting arrest to the charges. He went to jail.

Now we hear that the police think we have too many rights.

Basicly, the system is fucked, and the poorer you are, the more fucked by it you are.

What to do if you are stopped by the police.

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